The only suspicion neighbours had was that the nondescript terraced house near Canterbury city centre appeared to have many visitors. Some thought it was used for student accommodation but in reality it was a brothel – with a regular flow of clients aged up to 70.
As the customers of the Beano cafe tucked into their egg and chips, little did they know that sex was being peddled right next door. It was being run by a Chinese man smuggled into the UK who had told his partner he was running a karaoke bar in the city.
His lies were uncovered when police raided the house at 13 North Lane after a complaint from one of the sex workers who were being “savagely exploited”. As officers arrived to search the premises they saw wipes and condoms being thrown out of the windows, Canterbury Crown Court heard.
Teng Gao, who lived there, tried to tell police he thought it was just a massage parlour and had no idea any sex was going on. The Chinese national – who was smuggled into Britain some years ago – later revealed that he had told his partner he was working at a karaoke bar.
But now the 38-year-old, who has since moved to Middlesbrough, admitted assisting in the management of a brothel for seven months on the day he was expected to stand trial. A probation report claimed he was under a lot of financial pressure because of gambling and family debts “and he chose to turn a blind eye” to what was going on.
Judge Rupert Lowe heard that Gao had been “dishonest by telling his partner he was going to Canterbury to run a karaoke business and she was unaware until his arrest”.
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