1987: Mrs Payne is no brothel Madam
Party planner Cynthia Payne has been acquitted of nine charges of controlling prostitutes at her home in south west London.The courtroom burst into applause after decision of the jury – of eight men and four women – was announced after just over five hours of deliberation.
Mrs Payne, 53, said: “This is a victory for common sense. But I have to admit all this has put me off having parties for a bit.”
Mrs Payne first hit the headlines in 1978 when police raided her home to find a sex party in full swing, attended by middle-aged and elderly men exchanging luncheon vouchers for sexual entertainment.
After a trial in 1980 she was sentenced to 18 months which was then reduced to six months and a fine on appeal.
This time she ended up in court after holding an “end of film” party following the production of the movie Personal Services, starring Julie Walters.
Author of a book about Mrs Payne’s life, Paul Bailey, described her as “a chirpy little Cockney woman going round telling people to behave themselves.”
After the 13-day trial she sent Judge Brian Pryor QC a copy of the book, An English Madam, with the inscription: “I hope this book will broaden your rather sheltered life”.
Legal costs reimbursed
During proceedings at the Inner London Crown Court Judge Pryor told the court: “You must be sure that the particular woman was acting as a prostitute and that that particular girl’s movements were influenced one way or another by Mrs Payne.”
He ordered defence costs – in a trial costing £117,000 – to be paid from central funds and Mrs Payne’ s £5,000 legal aid costs to be reimbursed.
The prosecution said Mrs Payne provided facilities for prostitutes in her home in Ambleside Avenue, Streatham including, food, drink, condoms and bedrooms.
Mrs Payne emerged from the court beaming with smiles as she was mobbed by a crowd of 100 media and well-wishers.
Conservative MP Geoffrey Dickens said: “It seems astounding that all this public money should be poured into bringing these charges.”
Police said they would not be reviewing their policy over the prosecution of brothel madams.
Cynthia Payne is due to face further charges of brothel keeping at magistrates’ court.
SEE BELOW A FEW SIGNED ITEMS FROM OUR MADAMME CYNTHIA PAYNE DISPLAY HERE AT LITTLEDEAN JAIL
A SIGNED XMAS CARD WITH PERSONALLY SIGNED PHOTO FROM CYNTHIA PAYNE FRONT AND REAR FACE OF CYNTHIA PAYNE’S A BOARD , INSCRIBED AND SIGNED BY HER BACK IN 1987 THAT WAS ORIGINALLY ON HER STAIRWELL AT HER HOUSE OF SIN AND ILL REPUTE (BROTHEL) AT 32 AMBLESIDE AVENUE , STREATHAM .LONDON . NOW ON DISPLAY AT LITTLEDEAN JAIL
ABOVE…. INSCRIBED AND HAND SIGNED PHOTOGRAPH BY HER LADYSHIP CYNTHIA PAYNE
ABOVE… HAND SIGNED ELECTION FLYER FEATURING CYNTHIA PAYNE
Cynthia Payne (born 24 December 1932, in Bognor Regis, West Sussex) is a retired English party hostess who made the headlines in the 1970s and 1980s when she was accused of being a madam and of running her brothel at 32 Ambleside Avenue, in Streatham, in the south-west of London, England.
Payne first came to national attention in 1978 when police raided her home and found a sex party was in progress. Elderly men paid in Luncheon Vouchersto dress up in lingerie and be spanked by young women. When the case came to trial in 1980, she was sentenced to eighteen months in prison, reduced to a fine and six months on appeal. She served four months in Holloway prison.
In 1986, the police raided her home again, this time during a “special party” she was hosting after shooting the film of her life had been completed. Although she was acquitted on this occasion, the resulting court case in 1987 made headlines for several weeks with lurid tales, some details of which she aired onThe Dame Edna Experience in 1988, with co-guests Sir John Mills and Rudolf Nureyev, where she also launched her book, Entertaining at Home. The court case ended her career as a party giver.
On this programme, she expressed an interest in becoming an MP, in order to change Britain’s anti sex laws, which she followed through with by standing for Parliament as a candidate for the Payne and Pleasure Party in the Kensington by-election in July 1988, followed by her standing in her own area ofStreatham in the 1992 UK General Election. She did not gain a parliamentary seat.
There have been two films made that are loosely based on her life. Wish You Were Here (1987), about her adolescence with Emily Lloyd in the lead role, and Personal Services (also 1987) about her adult life starred Julie Walters. Both were written (and Wish You Were Here was directed) by David Leland, but are vague in their similarities.
Cynthia Payne has made appearances as an after-dinner speaker and launched a new range of adult services and products in 2006.