Romanian mum offers sex near Barking Park after being unable to claim benefits

A Romanian mum told she was forced into prostitution to support her young children after being unable to claim government benefits.

Silvia Afendulea, 26, repeatedly offered sex at a notorious red light district near Barking Park to give the boys aged three, four and seven a roof over their heads, a court heard.

Her solicitor said issues around her identity had stopped her from receiving housing and child benefit, but she was arrested after ignoring repeated police warnings about loitering in Ilford Lane.

She admitted two counts of persistently soliciting for the purpose of prostitution at Barkingside Magistrates’ Court on Friday.

The solicitor, John Yanourides, told magistrates: “There are concerns and problems in relation to her identity.

“This is the reason why she could not get benefits.

“It was an economic necessity, she tells me. She doesn’t want to be on the street.”

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Elizabeth Ajayi, prosecuting, said police cautioned the single mum on September 3 and 16, but she was again seen offering sex in Ilford Lane in the early hours of September 24 and 28.

Mr Yanourides said she moved from Romania seven months ago and had indicated to him she had stopped soliciting.

Afendulea, of Forest Court, Chingford, was given a 12-month discharge with no financial penalty but magistrates warned her the charges could be reinstated if she solicited again.

Les Claridge, the chair of the bench, said: “It is the unfortunate truth that you are in this position, but this is a decision that you make.

“On this occasion, we will not fine you but you will be given a conditional discharge for a period of 12 months.

“This means you are not being penalised for this offence, but should you offend in the next 12 months these offences will be taken into account and as a result you may be re-charged on these.”