Page last updated at 17:59 GMT, Thursday, 10 September 2009 18:59 UK

Policewoman turned escort jailed

Victoria Thorne
Victoria Thorne joined Northumbria Police in 2002

A Northumbria policewoman caught advertising herself on an escort website has been jailed for 15 months.

Former Pc Victoria Thorne, of Washington, Tyne and Wear, advertised herself under a pseudonym on a website called The Notorious Girls.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the 28-year-old, who earlier admitted misconduct, worked as a £100-an-hour prostitute for two years.

A police investigation found she had links to brothel operators.

She appeared along with five other defendants who had earlier admitted charges related to the running of brothels.

Sentencing Thorne on Thursday, Judge John Evans told her: "It is plain that those who thought they knew you, and knew you well, are at a loss as to how you came to be involved in such a seedy world."

She came under investigation when superiors became suspicious about her use of police computers to make checks about other brothel owners and prostitutes.

The court heard the initial investigation by Northumbria Police exposed a lucrative vice trade under the guise of Notorious Girls Escort Services, spanning the north of England and the Scottish Borders.

Thorne, who joined Northumbria Police in 2002, began advertising her services using the name Kelly in 2006 and initially did not tell anyone she was a police officer.

Victoria Thorne showed complete disregard for the law, said Northumbria Police

The investigation uncovered Thorne's links to 28-year-old Neil Lock, from Galashiels, who with his wife Natalie, also 28, ran a widescale operation, involving houses across Newcastle, Sunderland, Hartlepool and Middlesbrough, being run as brothels.

The couple ran the Notorious Girls escort website, which included photos of their prostitutes, and listed their services, prices and activities.

They took 30% of the sex workers' costs for arranging their meetings with clients.

Thorne's barrister, John Elvidge, said: "She, by her great folly, has lost everything, including her reputation. Financial pressure was the catalyst."

Natalie Lock, who is the mother of Neil Lock's two children aged eight and 10, has split from her husband and now lives in Devon, nearer her family, the court heard.

She was given a 51-week suspended jail sentence after admitting managing prostitutes and brothels, and perverting the course of justice.

Neil Lock was jailed for four years for running brothels, managing prostitutes, and aiding and abetting Thorne's misconduct.

The Locks also ran NG House, a three-storey brothel in Bury, which the court heard Greater Manchester Police tolerated. It was run by Neil Lock's 60-year-old father Nigel.

Neil Lock
Neil Lock operated a network of brothels

Also involved were Alan Bartle, 53, of Winlaton, Gateshead, and Osher Marks, 57, of Ravenscourt Place, Gateshead.

All three previously admitted charges relating to running brothels.

Nigel Lock, of Bolton, was fined £415; Marks was fined £765 and Bartle £515.

Thorne was kept separate in the dock from the others by four security staff.

The court heard all the defendants except Thorne will face Proceeds of Crime Act hearings later.

The judge said Thorne would serve half of her 15-month sentence behind bars, less the 161 days she has spent on remand since she admitted misconduct in a public office.

After the hearing Det Insp Andy Jones said: "In this case Vicky Thorne showed complete disregard for both the law and our own high standards and paid the price through the loss of her career and freedom."

Print Sponsor

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