In a world gone mad, we’re now seeing people so desperately dodge the archaic prostitution laws that they’re using other crimes as alibies. And not just those ordinary day ‘I made a mistake’ sort of excuses, but actually admitting to taking and buying drugs. This was the case for Michael Wokoh this week, found kerb crawling the streets of Bristol in the early hours of the 20th of May this year.
Defending himself in court, he told the judge that he was not, in fact, soliciting prostitution, but had been seeking to buy drugs. This is how upside down our legal system has become – it’s better to profess outright guilt of one crime, so long as it does not get associated with the socially-stigmatised act of prostitution. Pumping drugs into your system through dirty needles? No problem – as long as you’re not engaging in services freely offered by millions of women across the world.
This is the political, social and legal system we have developed off the back of scaremongering and messy legislation. What the 44 year old man was actually doing is anybody’s guess, but for us, if you’re creeping alongside dimly-lit streets in your expensive Audi at 2am in the morning in a notorious red light district with a known prostitute in your car, you’ll forgive the police officers who found them for making assumptions.
Defending himself in court, he said: “I suffer from anxiety and depression, and on this night I needed to self-medicate.
“I’m a recovering drug addict, and so I don’t keep any numbers for dealers on my phone.
“I know girls on the street could help me find drugs at that time of night.”
We’d love to believe the chap just based on the thoroughness of his fabrication, but we still remain a bit sceptical. There are surely better, safer ways to score drugs than snaking through red light districts. But maybe he is telling the truth – either way, it points to the absurdity that driving about scoring class A drugs (cocaine no less) is a more socially and legally acceptable activity than hiring somebody legally advertising their sexual services.
One day, we hope to live within an England where prevailing social prejudice does not get in the way of progressive change to our legal system. The dangers of class A drugs are thoroughly documented, and the fact that this is a ‘better reality’ than prostitution means we live in a scary world – one where the perceived dangers aren’t ever the true dangers.