Leicester drug dealer jailed for reign of terror
A drug dealer who forced a woman to continue working as a prostitute against her wishes has been jailed for five and a half years.
Wedmore Hayles fed the vulnerable victim's drug addiction by regularly selling her heroin and crack-cocaine.
At Leicester Crown Court, he was convicted by a jury of causing her actual bodily harm, controlling prostitution for gain and two counts of supplying class A drugs, between January and May.
Hayles (50), of Carrick Point, Falmouth Road, Crown Hills, Leicester, denied the charges.
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Caroline Bradley, prosecuting, said the victim was a working girl already addicted to drugs before getting involved with the defendant.
She decided to stop working as a prostitute in January, but the defendant coerced her to carry on against her wishes.
Miss Bradley said: "He became dominant and verbally abusive.
"He ordered her back onto the streets because he wanted money and she became frightened of him.
"He made her comply with his wishes, saying he would kill her and hurt her family.
"He took her to the red light area, watching her work.
"He then followed in a car when she picked up a customer."
The 25-year-old victim told the jury Hayles assaulted her several times.
She said: "It got to the point where I felt worthless and scared. Every time he moved, I'd flinch."
She described on one occasion he repeatedly punched her in the face, cutting her nose and lip.
Hayles claimed she fabricated the allegations against him and was lying.
The court heard his previous convictions included living off immoral earnings in 1985 and 1990.
In 2004, he was jailed for seven-and-a-half years for offences including possessing class A drugs and wounding with intent to resist arrest.
Edward Barr, mitigating after the verdicts, said: "On his last release he made efforts to improve by enrolling on a mechanic's course.
"He's been the architect of his own misfortune."
Sentencing, Recorder John Pini QC told Hayles: "You took advantage of her vulnerability so she could carry on earning money to continue being supplied by drugs by you.
"You used violence on her to overcome her will."