Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Margaret Paterson found guilty of running prostitution racket

Margaret Paterson
Image caption Margaret Paterson spent almost £500,000 on designer goods

An Edinburgh woman who made hundreds of thousands of pounds running a national prostitution racket has been found guilty of living off immoral earnings.

Margaret Paterson spent almost £500,000 on designer goods and was found with more than £200,000 in cash in her West End home.

Paterson, 61, ran a brothel and escort service from the New Town with business partner Robert Munro, 61, who was also found guilty of the same charge.

They will be sentenced on 8 July.

Ian Goalen, 59, pleaded guilty to living off the earnings of prostitution at the High Court in Edinburgh on Monday.

Goalen then gave evidence against his former bosses.

During a nine year period, Paterson and Munro provided prostitutes all over Scotland.

'Serious offences'

Image caption Inside Paterson's West End home

Goalen, a former bank manager from East Lothian, acted as a driver for the working girls in Edinburgh, West Lothian, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Newcastle Upon Tyne.

However, it came to an end when police raided their premises in Edinburgh's Grosvenor Street in September 2011.

Officers found sex toys, designer shoes and evidence which showed Paterson had gone on a £461,604 spending spree in some of Edinburgh's most exclusive shops.

Detectives found credit card records which detailed how she bought luxury items from Harvey Nichols, Louis Vuitton and Mulberry.

She also purchased health care from the Spire hospital in Murrayfield, Edinburgh.

After conviction on Monday, temporary judge Michael O'Grady QC said: "These are serious offences."

The trio were convicted of proceeds of crime and immoral earnings charges after a month-long trial at the High Court in Edinburgh.

Details can only now be reported as Judge O'Grady passed a contempt of court order at the start of proceedings prohibiting reports of it until the conclusion of the trial.

The jury spent three hours deliberating their verdict. They then returned unanimous verdicts on all charges.

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