TRIBUTES have been paid to a Hampshire Women’s Institute stalwart who fought to decriminalise prostitution.

Shirley Landels, pictured, from Tichborne near Winchester, died during a trip to see her 97-year-old mother in Lincolnshire.

Earlier this year the 73-year-old grandmother trawled the world’s brothels highlighting the plight of working girls.

Fellow WI member Jean Johnson, who accompanied Mrs Landels on the fact-finding trip, said she was determined to carry on campaigning.

Mrs Johnson, 62, from Four Marks, said:.“For a lady of her age she was a delightful companion to have and threw herself into it with great panache. She saw sights and things she never expected to see.”

Mrs Landels, a member of the Women’s Institute for 45 years and president of the Cheriton branch, took action following the murder of five prostitutes in Ipswich in 2006. She had hoped to take a motion to the WI’s national conference to urge the Govern-ment to decriminalise prostitution.

A memorial service will be held for Mrs Landels at St Andrew’s Church, Tichborne, next week but a date has yet to be confirmed. A private family ceremony is being held in Lincolnshire.