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Page last updated at 14:55 GMT, Wednesday, 12 January 2011
Leicester girls fined for defacing lap dancing poster
Lap dancer
"We said what we felt, but now we're paying the price for it" - said Dee

Two teenage girls from Leicester have been fined for defacing a poster for a lap dancing club.

Grace and Dee daubed the slogan "women not objects" on the poster on Vaughan Way which was advertising a new gentleman's club, the Spearmint Rhino.

The 18-year-olds claim the criminal act was a protest against what they consider to be the exploitation of women by such establishments.

They were caught committing the offence by police and made to pay an £80 fine.

Grace said she felt angry when she saw the club's adverts on billboards and bus stops.

"We don't think it's right that lap dancing clubs can advertise freely across town and promote themselves as something that is acceptable in society," said Grace.

The protesters were taken to the police station to be interviewed and were asked if they regretted their actions.

"In the eyes of the law it was wrong to do, but morally it's not because we don't agree that women should be sexually objectified," said Dee.

"It's also quite damaging to young children who are easily influenced because they grow up thinking it's acceptable for women to be viewed as sex objects, which is damaging for both girls and boys.

"We said what we felt, but now we're paying the price for it".

Pole dancer
I can appreciate the girls have their ideas and opinions but there are other avenues to got about it
John Specht, Spearmint Rhino

Grace added: "We accept that what we did was wrong, but we feel what Spearmint Rhino is doing is a lot worse and they're not being held accountable for it."

'A legal business'

The club, which opened in Leicester last month, is part of a worldwide chain of lap dancing clubs.

John Specht, UK Vice President of Spearmint Rhino, believes there are other ways people can get their message across.

"What they did was a criminal act and they should be fined for it," said John.

"We're a business - it's our newest location in Leicester.

"I don't think I have caused any offence to anybody and I can appreciate the girls have their ideas and opinions, but there are other avenues to got about it."

John said they will be arranging for more posters to be displayed in the city advertising the company.

"There's nothing wrong with our ads. We not showing naked women or anything like that. They were clean and classy, for an obscure gentlemen's club."

"We're a legal business with high standards and governed by the local authority," added John.

Family support

Grace's mother, Ann, said she is supporting the girls and is proud they stood up for what they believed in.

"It's a sad reflection on society when this number of posters advertising a new strip club are allowed to be displayed around our city centre," she said.

"We've brought up our children to be respectful of the law, but in this case I think Grace and her friend have been were trying to have a voice and we support them in that."

Leicestershire Police said: "People have the right to express their opinion on issues that concern them but when a crime is committed to express those views the police have to take action."




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