Added on 24 November 2017 at 17:37
A 70-year-old Gloucestershire man who ran brothels in Bristol has been landed with a £310,000 confiscation order at Bristol Crown Court.
Philip Stubbs of Lynch Road in Berkeley, appeared for the confiscation hearing today (Friday 24th November 2017).
This follows a police operation, which was set up to deal with off-street sex work. Enquiries were made into suspected brothels being run from 1 Highland Crescent in Clifton (which was trading as Panache) and 164 North Street, Bedminster (trading as From China with Love).
Police officers visited the premises on a number of occasions from 2009 onwards. Philip Stubbs said that his ex-wife Julie Gatty (61) was renting the Panache premises and he was helping out – women working in the premises rented rooms for massage purposes.
He was also seen in the company of females attending the North Street address in Bedminster, transporting and accompanying them in his vehicles and buying items for use in the premises.
Further investigation confirmed that Stubbs and Gatty were in charge of the two premises, a fact which was reinforced by the placing of adverts for Panache and other premises.
Evidence gathered confirmed Stubbs, Gatty and Stubbs’ current wife Rui Qian-Stubbs ran the various premises.
In March 2012 Stubbs and Qian-Stubbs were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to control prostitution, money laundering and managing a brothel. Julie Gatty was also arrested.
Various addresses were searched and cash, computers, paperwork and other items were seized.
The three suspects were released on police bail, pending further enquiries.
On 15 May 2013 Stubbs and Gatty were charged with keeping/managing a brothel, used for prostitution . The third defendant Qian failed to answer bail and is still being sought.
Stubbs and Gatty appeared at Bristol Crown Court and were convicted on 31 March 2015 of keeping/managing a brothel used for prostitution. For Stubbs this related to the Highland Crescent and North Street premises and for Gatty the Highland Crescent premises.
Both appeared at Bristol Crown Court on 16 September last year. Stubbs was sentenced on two counts of keeping a brothel and jailed for two years imprisonment for each offence (to be served concurrently) and suspended for two years.
Gatty was sentenced on one count of keeping a brothel and given 120 hours unpaid work.
She further appeared at Bristol Crown Court on 17 January this year (2017), where she was served with a confiscation order. She was ordered to pay £14,520 (which was the amount she had available within three months or face a term on nine months’ imprisonment). This amount has now been paid.
Today at the confiscation hearing at Bristol Crown Court, Stubbs was served with a confiscation order. Benefit of £310,165.67 was identified and a confiscation order for the same figure agreed.
Stubbs has three months to pay the order or face a jail sentence in default of three years three months, after which he will still be required to pay the order.
Dr Kirstie Cogram, Manager of the Complex Crime Team – Investigations for Avon and Somerset Police, said: "We are committed to seizing any assets that criminals have gained as a result of crime. It is not acceptable that criminals benefit from illegal activities and we will relentlessly pursue them through the courts to ensure their money is taken. By doing this we show criminals that they will not benefit from crime and hopefully deter others from entering a life of crime."
Force lead for sex work, Chief Inspector Andy Williams, said: “Fifty premises across our force area, including massage parlours, residential and pop-up brothels, have been identified and prioritised in terms of safeguarding concerns, though the picture is constantly changing and the proactive work we are doing in partnership with others is likely to drive that number up.
“Information from residents and local businesses is vital to ensure we continue to target the right premises, safeguarding the vulnerable and bringing to justice those profiting from their exploitation.”
Anyone with suspicions or concerns should contact us on-line (via a form); on the non-emergency number 101; or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. You can also contact Crimestoppers through their website, www.crimestoppers-uk.org