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Last Updated: Wednesday, 3 October 2007, 19:55 GMT 20:55 UK
'Brothel' made millions of pounds
Billie Piper
Billie Piper played a prostitute in ITV's Secret Diary of a Call Girl
A woman said she embarked on a career in prostitution simply to get the sex she craved.

The mother, 46, told jurors trying a multi-million pound escort case, the village she lives in could not provide her with the opportunities she sought.

"Goldie" gave evidence at London's Southwark Crown Court against alleged boss of the Silk and Lace escort agency Steven Drew and his five co accused.

The defendants, from Herts and Beds, deny charges of running the agency.

The witness, who often pockets 1,500 a week "after tax", is known both by her "working name" Goldie and police pseudonym Susan.

She is the third sex worker to give evidence against Mr Drew, 51, who is said to have helped run a highly lucrative escort agency on "military" lines along with his two sons, a daughter and two other defendants.

Enjoyed every minute

The court has heard the eight-year operation, based in two industrial units in Hatfield, Hertfordshire, banked more than 2m in 2005 alone.

Patricia May, prosecuting, claimed the enterprise was not only a "front for prostitution" but "one of the top league players in the field".

Madam, if I may say so you are just a slightly older version of Billie Piper
Defence barrister Edward Henry

Giving evidence about her time with Silk and Lace, Goldie, who accepted she was a "slightly older" version of Billie Piper's TV call-girl character Belle, told how she "enjoyed every single minute" of it.

Michael Levy, defending Mr Drew, asked the sex worker if her time at Silk And Lace, from February 2003 until police raided the premises last December, had been "happy".

"Very happy," she replied.

Edward Henry, one of the defence barristers, began cross-examining the witness by saying: "Madam, if I may say so, you are just a slightly older version of Billie Piper."

"I haven't actually seen the programme," the witness told him.

Billie Piper plays a prostitute in ITV's Secret Diary of a Call Girl.

In the dock with Mr Drew, 51, are his son Christopher and the 26-year-old's partner Carly Wright, 25, all of Millwards, Hatfield, Hertfordshire; a second son, Paul, 24, and daughter Kerrylyn, 27, who also live in the town; Lisa Stuart, 38, of Jubilee Close, Henlow, Bedfordshire, and Graham Sansom, 43, from Western Road, Tring, Hertfordshire.

They variously deny one count of controlling prostitution between April 1 and November 25, 2005, and one of conspiring to launder the enterprise's "ill-gotten gains". The trial continues.

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