West Yorkshire brothel owner sent to prison

Ribchester man will appear in court in January
Ribchester man will appear in court in January

A MAN who ran a brothel for two years at a house he owned in West Yorkshire has been sent to prison.

John Dixon, 54, was given a four-month sentence after a court heard he made £300 a week from the illegal business.

Leeds Crown Court heard police executed a warrant at the property on Wakefield Road, Pontefract, on April 17 last year.

Felicity Hemlin, prosecuting, said officers spoke to a woman at the premises who admitted she was a “working girl” and the property was being used as a brothel.

Officers spoke to Dixon who admitted that two other women also used the property for prostitution.

He said the women charged clients £35 per “service” and £15 of each payment went to him.

Dixon, also of Wakefield Road, Pontefract, said he had been earning around £300 a week.

Miss Hemlin said: “He accepted he did know it was a brothel and that he set up a website that offered sexual services.”

Dixon pleaded guilty to managing a brothel.

Anthony Sugare, mitigating, said Dixon had owned the property for 15 years but it had only been used as a brothel for the past two years.

He said the premises had previously been a legitimate sauna business but the tenant had stopped paying rent and the property became empty.

Mr Sugare said a woman offered to take over the premises but asked Dixon to set up a website to market the business.

He added: “For the last two years he foolishly took a more active part in the premises. He marketed it and said there were girls available. As a result of men looking at the site, they realised the innuendo of girls being available and business started booming.”

Mr Sugare added: “I am not saying that two wrongs make a right but there are other places in Leeds and other cities where the police turn a blind eye to what’s going on.”

The lawyer also referred to Leeds’s managed red light zone, in Holbeck, where women in the sex trade can operate freely.

He said: “We have in Leeds an area where prostitution is allowed to continue. I am not becoming moral about it in this court - he has pleaded guilty - but that is the way it is going.

“I would suggest it is not as serious as it might first seem.”

The court heard Dixon, a divorcee, has no previous convictions owns an audio shop based in Pontefract town centre.

Mr Sugare said: “The defendant has another business and this was a sideline - if I can put it that way.”

Jailing Dixon, judge James Spencer, QC, said: “It seems to me that, quite cynically, for the past two years you managed a brothel on your premises.

“You managed it in the sense that you permitted it and then took a share of the money that the prostitutes there were able to generate.

“It does seem to me that a prison sentence is manifestly justified.”

Innovation Network at the Parkinson Building, Leeds..Pictured from the left are Dave Moore, Dr Oliver Jones, Louise O'Brien and Greg Wright..6th December 2017 ..Picture by Simon Hulme

Yorkshire firms can boost productivity by thinking creatively, Leeds event is told