Somerset

Criminal inquiry as Weston-super-mare brothel ordered to close

Butterfly's Weston
Image caption A search warrant was executed at Butterfly's massage parlour in Weston-super-mare

A criminal investigation is taking place into a brothel which has been ordered to close.

Police raided Butterfly's massage parlour in Weston-super-mare in November, and found handwritten notes setting out the sexual favours employees were willing to perform.

The three month closure order was granted by magistrates.

The court heard its owner Natalie Davis had not opposed it.

Avon and Somerset Police sought the order on the self-styled massage parlour in Alexandra Parade under the Sexual Offences Act.

North Somerset magistrates were told that during the November raid an employee accepted she performed sexual services and earned up to £350 a week, seeing three to four clients a day.

Magistrates agreed with the police that the brothel was active recently and that Ms Davis took half of her employees' money.

They also said that women working there were medically examined on Ms Davis' insistence and there were grounds to accept she had not declared all her income.

There was no-one in court representing Butterfly's and the order was not contested.

'Evidence of prostitution'

Det Sgt Mark Probert said: "We're pleased the court agreed with us that this premises should be shut for three months, which is the maximum amount of time we can apply for.

"This is an important stage of our investigation into Butterfly's and a criminal inquiry is still very much under way.

"Our anti-social behaviour officers helped compile the closure order application, which included evidence of prostitution taking place at this premises within the last three months."

The court heard that HMRC stated that between 2011 and 2017 Ms Davis declared net profit of £161,000 from massage services.

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