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No one was forced into having sex’ says brothel keeper

PUBLISHED: 13:17 06 February 2008 | UPDATED: 11:31 01 July 2010

A BROTHEL manager was jailed for running a covert sex shop in a spa. Paul Chapman, 43, employed illegal immigrants to offer sex acts to customers at the Carlton Spa, Carlton Parade, Orpington.

A BROTHEL manager was jailed for running a covert sex shop in a spa.

Paul Chapman, 43, employed illegal immigrants to offer sex acts to customers at the Carlton Spa, Carlton Parade, Orpington.

Chapman who also worked as a lorry driver was jailed for 10 months last Wednesday after pleading guilty to management of a brothel at Croydon Crown Court.

Residents became suspicious of the shop and informed Bromley council who sent a private investigator to act as a bogus customer.

He visited the brothel in January last year and was offered sexual services for up to £140 an hour. He returned on June 22 and was offered the same thing.

Prosecuting, Philip Jones, said: "It was discovered that the spa was being advertised on the internet, featuring a large number of females in provocative poses."

Police with a search warrant raided the shop soon afterwards and found that the girls working there were illegal immigrants. Some have since been deported.

One of the girls had in her pocket a price-list for the various facilities available. Police were still at the shop when Chapman arrived and said the place was not registered in his name. In an interview at the police station, Chapman, of Ratray Court, Hither Green said the girls had been self-employed and he had had no idea that sex was going on. He said he did learn that one of the girls had been doing this and he had sacked her.

John Blandford, defending, said there was no evidence that any of the girls were the victims of exploitation.

He said: "They were free to leave; no-one was imprisoned there. They turned up for work, did their shift and went home again. It might not be everyone's idea of a career. No-one was forced into it."

Judge Simon Pratt told Chapman: "Prostitution abuses and degrades vulnerable women. They are dragged into it either because of poverty or drug addiction and people like you profit from it."

ktneditorial@archant.co.uk

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