Tycoon who ran brothels in Bristol and was found with machine gun at home avoids jail
A millionaire and his former partner made more than £800,000 running brothels in Bristol.
But Philip Stubbs and Julie Gatty have avoided prison sentences - despite Stubbs also having been found in possession of a machine gun.
Both were handed a suspended prison sentence at Bristol Crown Court for managing Panache in Highland Crescent, Clifton, as well as From China With Love in North Street, Bedminster.
In a separate trial last month, Stubbs, who used to own Tortworth Court, near Thornbury, as well as Weston-super-Mare's Birnbeck Pier, was also found guilty of possession of an offensive weapon, after a machine gun from a tank was found during a search of his home. The pair also had a swimming pool and hundreds of cars, including Bentleys and Lamborghinis, police said today
Gatty claimed Panache was a legitimate massage parlour and she was a receptionist. But a police investigation, which included undercover surveillance, found she banked £818,717 between 2005 and 2012.
Stubbs, who claimed to be a maintenance man, was seen on Panache CCTV receiving envelopes from girls, said to contain takings from sexual services.
Gatty, 59, and Stubbs, 68, who were separated but living at Hook Street Farm, Berkeley, both denied two charges of keeping a brothel used for prostitution between November 2009 and March 2012 but were found guilty at an earlier hearing.
Stubbs was given a two-year suspended jail sentence for running the brothels, with a six-month suspended prison term to run alongside for the firearms offence.
Gatty was ordered to do 120 hours of unpaid community work.
A proceeds of crime hearing has been scheduled for a later date, following an application by Avon and Somerset police.
Detectives searched the former couple's home in March 2012 and found the property had an indoor swimming pool and a temperature controlled basement containing 116 cars, including Mercedes, Bentleys and Lamborghinis.
DC Emma George who led the investigation said: "These sentences should act as a warning to anyone involved in running a brothel, that we will investigate, prosecute and bring them to justice. Ultimately, they could end up spending time behind bars.
"The fact that we are now pursuing their assets through the Proceeds of Crime Act shows that we are committed to recovering money and other assets that have been derived from crime and sends a message that crime does not pay.
"The defendants have refused to accept their guilt throughout the entire legal process and have cost the tax payer a small fortune by attempting to delay things for as long as possible. Stubbs is clearly in denial and thinks he is above the law, as he still does not accept his guilt despite being convicted twice at two separate trials."
Brendon Moorhouse, opening the case for the prosecution, said it was not an offence to be a prostitute.
But he told the jury it was an offence to run or assist in the running of brothels.
He said: "People were going to these two premises and paying for sex there. Two or more women were working there, offering sex."
Mr Moorhouse said assistance in the management of a brothel could involve being a receptionist, providing security, banking proceeds, advertising services on offer or transporting sex workers.
He said the Panache premises was let out to Gatty in July, 2007, very soon after which she and former partner Stubbs set about creating a brothel.
The Crown had a letter Gatty sent to Bristol City Council, claiming nil business rates during an eight-week period of refurbishment.
There was also evidence Gatty set up a bank account to pay utility bills at Panache, which she described to police as a massage parlour.
Other evidence included Gatty taking out advertisements in the local press.
Mr Moorhouse said Stubbs was filmed on CCTV at Panache taking money from sex workers.
Mr Moorhouse told the jury: "This is all about money, It is about the people who manage premises and do so to make money."
A self-made millionaire and former drag racer, Stubbs owned Grade II-listed Tortworth Court mansion, next to Leyhill Prison, before selling it to Four Pillars hotel group in 1999 for £2 million. It was then transformed into a luxury hotel and events venue.
Stubbs owned Chapel Cleeve Court, near Minehead, and also bought Birnbeck Pier in Weston for £1.5 million in 1989, hoping to transform it as part of an ambitious £150 million plan, which included a marina and waterside village.
But problems meant the scheme never got off the ground and in 1998 the pier, valued just a few years previously at £2 million, came on the market for £500,000 - £1 million less than he paid for it.http://oldestprof.com/index.php/crimewa ... voids-jail