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Brothel keeper who kept more than 100 cars underground fails in bid to clear his name

Published in The Gloucester Citizen
12th April 2017


Gloucestershire
A Gloucestershire man who helped his ex-wife run two brothels has failed in an Appeal Court bid to clear his name. Phillip Stubbs, 70, of Hook Street Farm, Lynch Road, Berkeley, was found guilty of two counts of brothel keeping at Bristol Crown Court in March 2015.

He was handed a two year suspended sentence and ordered to carry out 250 hours of unpaid work. His former wife, Julie Gatty, 61, was ordered to do 120 hours unpaid work after being found guilty of the same charges.

Stubbs yesterday challenged his convictions at the Court of Appeal, in London, saying he had uncovered "new evidence". He criticised his trial lawyers and argued the fresh evidence could have undermined testimony given by witnesses at his trial. But his complaints were thrown out by senior judges, who said there was "a wealth of evidence" he was involved in running the brothels.

Two brothels - 'Panache', in Highland Crescent, Clifton, Bristol and 'From China with Love', in North Street, Bedminster, Bristol - were targeted by a police investigation using undercover officers and surveillance. Officers and women who worked at one of the properties gave evidence at the trial that sexual services were offered for money.

The court heard there was also surveillance footage which showed Stubbs going to and from the properties with plastic bags. He claimed he had collected money to help his ex-wife, but was not aware the premises were being used as brothels.

However, despite his denials, he was found guilty by a jury of keeping the brothels between November 2009 and March 2012.

During a raid at his farm in March 2012, officers discovered more than 100 cars - including Mercedes, Bentleys and Lamborghinis - in a temperature controlled basement, as well as an indoor swimming pool.

Rejecting his appeal bid, Judge Christopher Kinch QC said he had received a fair trial, at which he gave evidence, and there was no merit in his complaints. "There was a wealth of evidence from different sources as to his involvement in these premises. None of the matters relied upon raise any arguable ground of appeal," the judge concluded.