Brothel ex­posed af­ter po­lice break in to pad­locked f lat

THE LAW SAYS ...

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Basement’s Sinful Secret - By Keith Hunt and Suz Elvey

selvey@thek­m­group.co.uk When po­lice raided a flat in Ash­ford af­ter a tip-off, sus­pi­cions that it was be­ing used as a brothel were con­firmed.

Of­fi­cers found more than 116 con­doms, lin­gerie, baby oil, a di­ary con­tain­ing tele­phone num­bers and £515 at the premises, a court heard.

A pros­ti­tute was also in a bed­room with a client.

Prose­cu­tor Martin Yale told Maid­stone Crown Court that po­lice of­fi­cers went to the base­ment flat – at the rear of the Seek­ers Let­ting Agency in New Street, Ash­ford – on Oc­to­ber 15 last year and found a tall gate with a pad­lock on it.

No­body came to the door so the pad­lock was cut off.

A man called Yu Liu was on a mo­bile phone in the hall­way.

He said he had re­cently moved there from Birm­ing­ham.

Liu was jailed for six months af­ter ad­mit­ting keep­ing a brothel for prostitution.

He was due to be freed, hav­ing served the sen­tence on remand.

The prose­cu­tion ac­cepted the 22-year-old’s ba­sis of plea he had been work­ing at the house in 13 New Street for 10 days and was paid £232 a week, with free lodg­ings.

Liu added he that took tele­phone calls and opened the door to cus­tomers. He was also re­spon­si­ble for bank­ing the prof­its. He told of­fi­cers that none of the four women who

worked at the

What do you think? Write to Ken­tish Ex­press, 34-36 North Street, Ash­ford, TN24 8JR or email ken­tish­ex­press@thek­m­group.co.uk brothel at dif­fer­ent times did so against their will.

He would give them half of the amount they earned.

James Ross, de­fend­ing, said Liu came from a poor fam­ily in China and a rich un­cle pro­vided £15,000 for him to come to the UK to study English. Af­ter­wards, he had a va­ri­ety of jobs. Af­ter in­jur­ing his back in a ware­house he helped to man­age the brothel.

Judge Martin Joy told Liu: “Keep­ing a brothel and be­ing in­volved in the man­age­ment of a brothel is a se­ri­ous of­fence and only a cus­to­dial sen­tence is ap­pro­pri­ate.”

Prostitution, ie the ex­change of money for sex­ual ser­vices, is le­gal. How­ever, a num­ber of ac­tiv­i­ties re­lat­ing to it are il­le­gal.

It is il­le­gal to so­licit for sex in a pub­lic place.

It is il­le­gal to run a brothel or to con­trol prostitution for fi­nan­cial or other gain.

It is il­le­gal to so­licit another per­son for sex in a pub­lic place.

It is il­le­gal to place ad­verts re­lat­ing to prostitution in tele­phone boxes – how­ever, it is not il­le­gal to ad­ver­tise such ser­vices in a news­pa­per.

Any­one aged un­der 18 who is in­volved in prostitution will be treated as a vic­tim of abuse in law.

‘For keep­ing a brothel only a cus­to­dial sen­tence is ap­pro­pri­ate’

A flflat flat be­hind the Seek­ers Let­ting Agency in New Street, Ash­ford, was be­ing used as a brothel

A di­ary with phone num­bers, lin­gerie, con­doms and cash were among items found at the flat

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