Diane Cooke meets mum-of-three Rachael Webster who spent 15 years as a high-class ‘escort’ to  gangsters, the rich and famous in London and the rest of her week as a  loving mum at home

AS a high-class call girl Rachael Webster carried a credit card swipe machine in her handbag which she once left in the dingy high-rise flat of a smelly old man she couldn’t bring herself to “service.”

Having feigned illness and escaped his clutches, the happy hooker, who once hailed from Haslingden, had to knock on the septegenarian’s door and politely ask for the return of the machine.

She said: “I never got to the point of discussing what he wanted because the smell knocked me sick. I’d unloaded the machine, but I just couldn’t go through with it and fled. When I got back to the car, my driver asked about the machine, so I had to go back. It was so embarrassing.”

In her 15 years as a call girl to the rich and famous in London – some of which is detailed in her memoirs The First Floor available on Amazon.co.uk – she was often “requested” by gangsters.

“You were with people who have a lot of money and were pretty well known – but also criminals and gangsters, so I had to have my wits about me. In my book I don’t condone or promote my lifestyle. I just tell the story.”

Her clients included the son of a very well-known man and the brother of an A-List celebrity actor.

She also carried scores of condoms in her bag which she almost exposed to an outing of pensioners on a London high street when the bag’s strap broke!

The mother-of-three’s remarkable life took an even more unexpected turn when she was offered a place on a creative writing degree course at Ruskin College in Oxford, which specialises in helping people without qualifications.

But instead she decided to write her book lifting the lid on her life as a high-class escort called Sam, who made £3,000 a week and frequented Claridges and The Ritz dressed in designer clothes. The book is currently being considered by a major publisher.

“For years, I was basically living a double life,” said Rachael, “A part-time high-class call girl after responding to a newspaper ad and a part-time loving mother to my eldest daughter.

“In London, I was glamorous with my make-up perfectly done, my Jimmy Choo heels and Chanel bags, but at home I had my hair tied back and my jeans and T-shirt on.

“I’d gone from having threadbare carpets in a council flat to earning £3,000 some weeks. To be able to buy my daughter the clothes and toys she’d always wanted was the best feeling in the world.

“I would leave my daughter with my mum and go to London for a week to work. In the end I did confess what I was doing to my mum, but she said she’d already guessed. I often felt bad that I worked away a lot and watching her become closer to my mum than she was with me was hard.”

Rachael, 41, a recovered alcoholic, eventually quit after she was struck down by a depressive illness sparked by the death of her mother, Lyn, from cancer aged just 63.

As part of her recovery, she began penning her memoirs at an adult education centre. Her writing skills led to her being offered the degree place at Ruskin.

“I was very flattered, but decided not to take up the offer because I wanted to write my own book. It’s a gamble that has paid off. I’ve sold 1,000 copies on Amazon so far. It’s also been very therapeutic getting it all down on paper.

“It was tiring leading a double life. It’s not a line of work I’d want my daughters going into.”

Rachael has three children aged 20, 15 and 12, the youngest two of whom are cared for by her sister after they were taken into care after she was struck down by her illness – dubbed Broken Heart Syndrome – Takotsubo cardiomyopathy – where a traumatic incident triggers the brain to distribute chemicals that weaken heart tissue.

Her eldest daughter knows of her past life and she will tell the others when they’re old enough to understand.

All of which seems a world away from the quiet market town of Haslingden where Rachael attended St James’ School at the age of seven.

“We were always moving around as a family when we were young. We lived in two terraced houses on Blackburn Road.

“Haslingden was a beautiful place. I loved it. In my prayers at night I used to say: ‘Dear God please can you save all the abused children – my mum had been stabbed in the shoulder with a broken cup by her adopted mother at the age of nine – and please can you help me write a book that everyone reads’.”

It seems that part of her prayer may just be about to answered.