August 2023

Convicted murderer encouraged 16-year-old girl into prostitution and takes a cut of her earnings

A convicted murderer encouraged a 16-year-old girl into prostitution and took a cut of her payments after having a sexual relationship with her.

He was caught after police attended a flat he had rented out for the girl to see clients and found him partially dressed.

Charles Frayne, 46, was jailed for life in 1998 for the murder of jeweller Gerry Hales who was stabbed to death during a robbery in Cowbridge.

Following his release, the defendant appeared in the courts on a number of occasions, most recently for possession of a bladed article and criminal damage in 2017.

A sentencing hearing at Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court on Tuesday heard Frayne was discovered at an address in Cardiff on April 15, 2021, with his victim after police were flagged down by a man concerned about prostitution taken place. Upon answering the door of the Colum Road flat, Frayne was partially dressed and his “facial expression” changed upon seeing police.

The victim then came to the door and gave a false name and false age, telling police she was 20-years-old, but she appeared “jittery” and was trembling. Further suspicions were raised when open packets of condoms, lingerie and a notebook containing notes about sexual acts were discovered in the flat.

Prosecutor Julia Cox said: “It was quite clear to police some element of sexual activity was ongoing.” At some point, another woman arrived at the property and referred to the victim by another name to the one she had given to police.

When the victim was spoken to alone, she told police she had met Frayne on Snapchat and was actually 16-years-old. In an interview, she said the defendant assisted her in opening an account on a website linked to prostitution and gave her the money to do so.

She said she obtained clients and would pay Frayne a section of her earnings. He rented out the property in Colum Road through an Airbnb for four days, and he would be present when she was with clients in another room. He also paid for her food and taxi expenses.

Frayne, of no fixed abode, was arrested and later pleaded guilty to causing or inciting prostitution, but maintained he genuinely believed the victim to be 20-years-old. 

As well as his conviction for murder, the defendant has previous convictions for perverting the course of justice, and inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent. As a result if his latest conviction, he has been recalled to prison.

The Recorder of Cardiff Judge Tracey Lloyd-Clarke sentenced Frayne to 10 months imprisonment. She also made him subject to a restraining order for four years.