Successful defence of “duress of circumstances” against brothel-keeping charges

In 2010, Ms Finch (R v Finch, Luton Crown Court) was prosecuted for “keeping/ managing a brothel” (SOA 1956). Ms Finch worked collectively with friends at her home, prioritising safety. Following an 18 month public campaign, spearheaded by the ECP, she was acquitted using what is thought to be the only successful defence of its kind, the defence of necessity/duress of circumstances. Barrister Anna Morris, Garden Court Chambers reports: “The case involved an analysis of the law and public policy surrounding the collective organisation of sex workers for their own safety.”

“’Happy endings’ massage boss cleared of running brothel”, (BBC, 29 April 2010)

Police boost funds from assets taken in raids on prostitutes, (The Observer, 25 April 2010)