HOURS after a 39-year-old woman was killed in Huddersfield’s red light district prostitutes were back on the streets.
The victim, Geraldine Brocklehurst, was found dying from knife wounds at the bottom of Lower Fitzwilliam Street near Huddersfield town centre at 1.30am yesterday.
A postmortem yesterday confirmed that Geraldine – known as Gez – died from stab wounds.
She lived in the Huddersfield area and had been known in the red light area for several years.
A 23-year-old man arrested a short time after the woman was found remains in police custody today being questioned by detectives from West Yorkshire Police’s Homicide And Major Enquiry Team.
A massive area was cordoned off by police yesterday, including the Great Northern Retail Park and the Phoenix Retail Park nearby – home to PC World.
The Phoenix Retail Park reopened yesterday afternoon, but the bigger Great Northern Retail Park – home to large stores such as Homebase, Currys and Next – remained shut all day as did Lower Fitzwilliam Street and part of Great Northern Street.
The red light district extends along Great Northern Street and into Hillhouse Lane and parts of Alder Street.
One young prostitute was walking up and down there looking for business by yesterday lunchtime.
She said prostitutes had been attacked in the area and she was now frightened to walk out there at night.
“I feel safer here in the day and there’s less competition,’’ she said.
“A short while back I went to a punter’s house with a friend and he pulled a gun on us. Attacks happen – not every night but they happen.’’
She said descriptions of punters likely to cause them problems or harm are circulated among the girls.
Most of the working girls turn to prostitution to feed serious drug habits.
The girl said: “One had been missing for a few weeks and she was found dead from an overdose.
“I’m 17-and-a-half now and I’ve been working the streets for the last 18 months.’’
One businessman in the area, who asked not to be named, said prostitutes are out and about from 7am in the morning.
Back alleyways and yards in the area are covered in used condoms.
He said: “We can only think that some of the men visit the girls on their way to work in the morning.
“There are about four we see regularly during the day and then after a few months they just seem to vanish. It could be they’ve got off drugs or possibly ended up in prison.
“It’s just sad to see them and think those girls are someone’s daughters. We’ve even seen pimps lurking in the bushes shouting at the girls to do more business and get the money so they can go to buy drugs.’’
He added: “During the day you can see expensive cars cruising the area while at night time it tends to be lorry drivers.’’
During yesterday police also cordoned off part of Huddersfield Broad Canal to search it.
Clothes were found in the canal, but it is not clear if they were linked to the murder probe.
Uniformed officers guarded all the lane, roads and alleyways.
The cordon was lifted late yesterday and by last night only one police van remained in the area.
Anyone with information should phone detectives on 0845 6060606.