Horrified residents of UKs red light district saw people having sex in gardens

Residents living in Britain's first legal red light district claim they are in a "living nightmare" as sex allegedly occurs on driveways, in parks and on street corners.

People living in Holbeck, Leeds say the social experiment, which is meant to keep sex workers safe, has "destroyed their lives" and made the area feel unsafe for children and adults.

A grandma spoke about the horror of looking out of her bedroom window one afternoon and witnessing a sex worker and a man getting frisky in her front garden.

"They were up against the fence, it was only 2pm," Pauline Lawn told The Sun.

The scheme, dubbed "The Managed Approach", dedicated a half-mile area where paying for sex between 8pm and 6am was completely legal and could be done so without police interference.

The zone was paused in May last year to prevent the spread of Covid and since then sex crimes have reportedly seen a decline of 65% – which has led to the council deciding to scrap it permanently.

The area was shook by the tragic death of a 21-year-old sex worker just one year after The Managed Approach began.

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Lewis Pierre, 24, was jailed for life in 2016 after brutally kicking Daria Pionko to death in a now demolished abandoned warehouse.

Some local residents are extremely happy to see the red light district be abolished.

Mum-of-five Toni Lea said she lived in fear after being harassed by strangers in a car.

The 30-year-old "won't walk to the shops alone" and even said she wouldn't let her kids play outside "in case they see something they shouldn't".

Her partner, Jason Nutton, 42, said two of his kids were offered sex acts while they were in school uniform, and claimed he has been "propositioned so many times I can't even count."

Residents said they heard sex workers and their clients moaning and shouting from the woods at night – and some people claimed to have been threatened and attacked by pimps.

Jason said he was ordered by police to get tested for hepatitis after a sex worker spat at him on the street.

"I had to have a test, which thankfully came back negative," he recalled.

"But you don’t expect these things to happen in your life.”

Some people have been staging protests against the scheme since it started in 2015.

Councillor Debra Coupar, of Leeds City Council, spoke of the scrapping: "It's far from abandoning the project, this is a scheme brought in to respond to a specific need in the Holbeck area at the time, which was large numbers of on-street sex workers operating in that area and causing issues for local residents.

"We know it has been a bumpy road and it hasn't always been easy, but what we've learned through the Managed Approach has given us the opportunity to reflect on it and take it to a city-wide strategic level."

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