ABBEY Veasey knows more then most the dangers of working in Blackpool’s sex industry.
She started out as a prostitute five years ago after getting divorced and found herself bringing up five children on her own.
Abbey found work as a receptionist at a sauna on Cookson Street, but soon discovered she could earn a lot more by selling herself.
The 42-year-old said: “I saw what could be earned and thought this could be easy.
“The first time was gut wrenching, I was terrified but couldn’t let it show.
“You learn to have a switch off button. It’s a job – it’s not a 9am to 5pm job but we go to work and provide a service.”
But it was while out “providing a service” that Abbey was brutally attacked.
Her throat was slashed by a client who launched a frenzied attack while they were in bed together at his Cleveleys home in July last year.
Martin Brown pulled the kitchen knife from under his pillow before slitting her throat.
Abbey managed to wrestle free and run out into the street, naked, covered in blood and scream for help.
Brown, 41, a self-employed electrical engineer and father of two, later pleaded guilty to attempted murder.
He was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 10 years at Preston Crown Court earlier this year, although he has now been told he could apply for release after serving just seven years.
Despite the horrific ordeal, Abbey has stayed in the industry. Not only that, she has now opened her own massage parlour – Dolly Babes, on Cookson Street. She says more girls than ever before are turning to prostitution.
There are now five massage parlours on the street – Natalie’s, Dolly Babes, Brooklyn’s, Tabu and Twilight Babes.
The local sex industry is said to be booming in terms of more girls looking for work.
Whether on the street or in the massage parlours there is an endless line of punters.
The very clear health and safety risks – which will be covered in The Gazette over the next few days – are ignored by many.
Working girls The Gazette spoke to say while some customers are paying less – seemingly because of recession – it’s still lucrative enough with plenty of “work” going round.
Abbey added: “There are more girls looking for work now. There have been more in the last 12 months.
“The majority are single mums – you do anything to provide for your kids. It’s a living. You can’t earn this sort of money doing a 9am to 5pm job when you have to pay for child minders.
“I don’t drink or do drugs – I get a buzz off my girls earning money.
“It’s a hard job to get out of – you get used to the money factor. You could earn £1,000 one night at the weekend. I’m going to be here forever.”
Abbey says she set up her own parlour, to “help other girls out who genuinely want to work in parlours, rather than on the street”.
She said: “What we do is not against the law – I’m registered with the Inland Revenue and I pay my taxes.
“Some people see parlours as being a seedy thing but they’re not. All the girls are gorgeous and they’re here to earn a living.
“It’s about providing a service to the public that stops some idiots from doing awful things. Their urge will never go away.
“Sometimes we get call outs but the girls never go alone, they always go accompanied. We provide contraception and have a sexual awareness health worker to visit the girls. There is no reason why the girls should put themselves at any risk.
“I ensure the girls are safe. “It’s hard work, but as long as I can keep a massage parlour open and have girls here working then I will do.”
Blackpool’s sex trade: