Brothel boss ordered to pay back just £25,000 of £400,000 made from sex workers

Newcastle Crown Court. Copyright Google Images.
Newcastle Crown Court. Copyright Google Images.

A brothel boss who made £400,000 through his illegal enterprise has been ordered to pay back less than £25,000.

Paul Roy was in charge of North East Escorts, a prostitution agency with 50 workers on its books who used plush apartments to service clients.

The 44-year-old was jailed for 16 months in March but his case was back at Newcastle Crown Court yesterday for a hearing under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

The court heard investigators are able seize the only available assets they can prove he has left - which amount to a total of £24,735.

He will face a further 18 months behind bars if he fails to pay the full amount within three months.

Some of the cash will be raised from the equity in his house, the court heard.

Roy did not attend the hearing where Judge Deborah Sherwin said: "I certify the value of the benefit obtained by him was £400,000.

"The available amount is £24,735 and I thereby make a confiscation order in the sum of £24,735."

The court heard some cash is already in the hands of the police.

Roy was caged at the same time as co-accused Emily Payne, 39, who was locked up for eight months.

The court heard at the previous hearing Payne had been working for Roy through North East Escorts before she decided to move up the ranks and he allowed

her to manage a separate website called 'Newcastle In Calls' for him.

Payne, of Handle Street, South Shields, paid £25,000, for the website and was told by Roy, of Ceres Road, Leeds, that if it made a profit she could take it

over entirely in a year after paying yet another £25,000.

While managing the new website, Payne was also responsible for collecting money from the 50 girls employed by Roy.

The court heard the agencies were both advertised as providers of services limited to 'company and companionship' and when the pair were arrested they

denied that there was anything more to it.

They later pleaded guilty to keeping a brothel used for prostitution.

North East Escorts website, which had reviews from over 2000 customers, dated back to 2007 and advertised prices of £120 per hour or £650 for a whole

evening.

The court heard the reviews left "little to the imagination" about the services provided.

When Payne's personal phone was seized, police found text messages in which she admitted that she had dipped back into prostitution from time to time

because she 'missed the money' but tried not to do so too often for fear the girls wouldn't see her as being in a position of authority.

Payne described making money through prostitution as 'easy peasy' but eventually had to concede the business side of things back to Roy when it

was clear she wasn't profiting from the venture.

Both Payne and Roy were of previous good character.

The pair employed at least 50 women as prostitutes in the region who carried out their work in some of Newcastle's most sought after apartment

complexes, such as Merchant's Wharf and Waterloo House.

The apartments were occupied 24 hours a day by women mostly in their early 20s, sometimes working in pairs for safety.

The women paid 40% commission to the company from their work.

The court heard that although the business was illegal, there was no suggestion that the girls were coerced or intimidated and that none of the workers

were under-age or illegal immigrants.

Roy pleaded guilty to converting criminal property, possessing an offensive weapon, namely a CS gas cannister found in his home at the time of his

arrest, and keeping a brother used for prostitution.

Payne pleaded guilty to transferring criminal property and keeping a brothel used for prostitution.