A 48-year-old mother who ran a "busy and successful" brothel was jailed for three years today.
Emily Murphy, known as Lulu, managed and controlled a number of prostitutes at the brothel in Euston Road, north London, from June 2006 until her arrest two years later, a jury at London's Southwark Crown Court found.
The jury of seven men and five women took less than three hours to convict Murphy last month of controlling prostitution for gain, concealing criminal property, false accounting and possession of false identity documents with intent. She was cleared of conspiracy to commit false accounting.
Nigerian-born Murphy, of Hertfordshire, put the money towards a mortgage and helped hide more than £45,000 in cash, the court heard.
Prosecutor Edmund Vickers said she was known by the prostitutes as Lulu and used the cash to buy expensive holidays and vehicles.
He told the jury: "Between June 2006 and Emily Murphy's arrest in June 2008, Emily Murphy ran a busy and successful brothel.
"She organised the girls, told them what to do, and collected the money."
Murphy, of Mount Pleasant Lane, Bricket Wood, St Albans, used some of the cash as a deposit on a house valued at more than £200,000.
Mr Vickers said: "It was a very useful way of diverting some of the cash proceeds from the business."
Murphy also had access to, and control of, a safe deposit box containing more than £45,000 in cash and used false Republic of Ireland passports to support applications for tenancies or mortgages, Mr Vickers said.
Murphy would "come and go as she pleased", staying at the brothel for anything from 20 minutes to two hours, he said.
She also sent and received text messages from prostitutes asking about work, organised the rotas and was kept informed about the takings each night, he said.
One message read: "Morning. S*** night, £1,890 in the book."
Murphy also organised the printing and distribution of calling cards and paid the rent on the property in cash each month.
Undercover officers, working as part of Operation Lindop, carried out covert surveillance on the brothel from February 2008 and saw Murphy carrying large quantities of cash in white envelopes, Mr Vickers said.
He said text messages "clearly show her to be in charge of the brothel", adding that several of the messages showed "clear instructions from Emily, managing and controlling the brothel".
One handwritten note to the prostitutes, written by Murphy, read simply: "Girls, this is a brothel" and reminded them of the correct etiquette.
Similar documents to those found in the brothel, including time sheets and rotas, were found in her home along with price lists and details of how much the prostitutes ought to pay the brothel.
There were also "many unexplained cash deposits" in her bank account, Mr Vickers said.
When she was arrested on June 11 2008, she had £2,090 in cash on her person, a further £2,840 was found in a safe at her home and more than £45,000 was discovered in a safe deposit box.
She also spent some of the money on cars, including a black VW Touareg, the court heard.Reuse content