Devon

Devon man pleads guilty to running Lee Mill brothel

A man has admitted operating a brothel at a cottage in a Devon village.

Stuart Somers, 39, pleaded guilty to running the brothel in Lee Mill between September 2009 and February 2010.

Plymouth Crown Court heard it was discovered after villagers complained to the police about the number of single men visiting the cottage.

Somers was given a four-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, ordered to do 150 hours of community work and to pay £1,000 costs.

Jason Beal, prosecuting, said South Cadleigh Cottage was a four-bedroomed house which Somers rented from September 2009 for £850 a month.

He said: "From the early weeks of him living there it became apparent to neighbours that there was unusual activity taking place and a pattern began to emerge of lone males attending the property and making or receiving mobile phone calls while outside it.

"They would then go in and come out again after about half an hour and it was apparent what was taking place."

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When police visited the cottage they found two women working as prostitutes.

They also found three rooms being used for prostitution, one of which had been "specifically decorated and altered" to adapt it.

The court heard Somers had placed adverts in local papers from September 2009 to February 2010.

These read "Roxys Massage. Very discreet location. Open seven days. Plymouth area."

Police also found mobile phone evidence indicating sexual activity had been taking place.

Somers told police he thought a brothel needed to have "lots and lots" of girls and did not count as one if there were only two girls working there.

Judge Francis Gilbert QC told him: "This was brothel keeping on a low level. There was no evidence of coercion or exploitation of the prostitutes.

"Due to early police intervention it operated for only six months and the Crown do not dispute only two or three operated from it.

"There was no evidence of significant financial advantage."

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