Two men who controlled a teenage prostitute and supplied her with drugs has been jailed today (Wednesday February 22).
Thomas Entwistle, 26, of Dog Lane, Napton, and originally from Warwick, was jailed for 11 years after a jury found him guilty of controlling child prostitution and supplying controlled drugs.
And his accomplice, Martin Cantle, 24, of Radford Road, Coventry, was also jailed for the same amount of time for the same crimes.
The young girl was given drugs such as cocaine by the men in an effort to control her, and was threatened with violence if she protested.
The jury found them not guilty of a further charge of causing or inciting the girl to work as a prostitute in the first place, after it was asserted she had already been doing so. Jailing them at Warwick Crown Court, Judge Andrew Lockhart QC said: “In early 2014 you met and befriended the victim.
“She may have seemed streetwise due to her life experiences and in all likelihood she may have fallen in to working as a child prostitute.
“This moved in to a wholly different type of circumstances once you two had taken over. You preyed on a vulnerable girl in care and exploited that to your advantage.
“You made her feel part of a team but that was actually a wicked plan that swung in to action.
“For four months you carried out this conduct. Night after night you forced her on to the highly dangerous area of Hillfields as a prostitute.”
After the men were jailed, Detective Inspector Nigel Jones, who led the investigation, said: “I’d like to take this opportunity to recognise the immense courage of the young lady at the heart of this case and thank her for her support in the investigation.
“She put her trust in them but they controlled her every move, put her into extremely dangerous situations and left her feeling she was unable to escape from it for fear of threats they had made to her and violence used against her.
“A team of professionals set up to tackle the devastating effects of child sexual exploitation worked closely with the victim over a long period of time to build trust, encourage her to speak out and support her through the investigation.
“The journey has been long and traumatic for her and I hope the sentencing today goes some way to assisting her recovery from the abhorrent acts of these two men.
“I must also mention the bravery of a number of young women who gave evidence in this matter in extremely difficult circumstances.”
And a spokesman for the NSPCC said: “Cantle and Entwistle callously exploited a vulnerable girl in order to line their pockets.
“They controlled and manipulated her as she endured a life of suffering and degradation.
“These convictions and the sentences show that victims can get justice and highlight the importance of reporting concerns that a child or young person is being sexually exploited.”