Birmingham & Black Country

Pair jailed over £8m Birmingham Libra Club brothel

Achilleos Neophytou (left) and his son Stefanos Neophytou,
Image caption Achilleos Neophytou (left) was the "controlling mind" of the club and his son Stefanos was its day-to-day boss, the court heard

A father and son who ran a brothel which made an estimated turnover of £8m have been jailed.

Achilleos Neophytou, 66, and his son Stefanos Neophytou, 25, ran Birmingham's Libra Club, which attracted up to 200 clients per day.

The pair, who had admitted keeping a brothel used for prostitution, were each jailed for 27 months.

Club manager Martin Tierney was given a suspended 10-month jail term. Three women were handed community orders.

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All six defendants had previously pleaded guilty at Birmingham Crown Court to offences committed between 1 January 2010 and 1 February 2015.

'Conveyer belt of prostitution'

Judge Richard Bond said Achilleos Neophytou was the "controlling mind" of the club, which was advertised as a "massage parlour".

He said officers who raided the property in February 2015 found there was "not a massage table in sight".

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Media captionPolice found 20 women working at the brothel

Instead, they discovered a "highly-organised conveyer-belt of prostitution", where sex workers had been taken advantage of.

"Women don't ordinarily choose to become prostitutes," he told the court.

Neophytou and his son were told they would serve half of their sentence in prison and the remainder on licence.

Image copyright Google Maps
Image caption The club was closed down last year following a police raid

Cyprus-born Achilleos Neophytou previously ran a chain of fish and chip shops in Wolverhampton before turning to the sex trade.

His son Stefanos grew up in the brothel business and became the club's day-to-day boss, the court heard.

Clients paid £65 for 30 minutes with a sex worker who kept £40 of the fee, the prosecution said. The club made at least £25 from each transaction, as well as charging a £10 entrance fee.

The prosecution estimated the brothel's turnover was £1.7m a year and raised some £8m over five years.

400 Viagra pills

Tierney ran the club and took publicity shots, the court heard. The 50-year-old, of Sheffield Road, Sutton Coldfield, received a sentence suspended for two years.

"Madams" Anita O'Donnell and Marilyn Egan, both 55, were given 12-month community orders.

The latter collected the club's money and officers found £28,000 in cash and 400 Viagra pills at her home, the court heard.

The pair, of Slade Lane in Hall Green, and Elmwood Court, Edgbaston, were also given electronic tag curfews.

Club receptionist Ogun Olufunlola, 30, of Roseby Street, Springhill, was handed a 12-month community order.

Image copyright West Midlands Police
Image caption From left: Achilleos Neophytou, Stefanos Neophytou, Martin Tierney, Marilyn Egan, Anita O'Donnell and Ogun Olufunlola were all involved in the brothel

The police raid involving 50 officers followed a series of incidents at the club, including an arson attack, a firearms incident and several outbreaks of disorder.

Officers said at the time up to 20 women had been working there.

A proceeds of crime investigation will take place to find out what happened to the money made at the club.

Ch Insp Chris Mallett, of West Midlands Police, said: "Fortunately no-one was injured during the firearms or arson offences but brothels often attract wider criminality and organised crime.

"It prompted a lot of concern from within the community and its closure has given them some peace of mind and shows we take such illegal operations seriously."

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