TOP

The Oldest Profession

Brothel madam living off benefits is caught running second sex business

Published in The Liverpool Echo
29th September 2017


Merseyside
A brothel madam arrested in a police raid was caught running a second illicit sex business only weeks later. Alison Fahiya was claiming benefits despite managing the brothels, using business cards to attract new customers. The 47-year-old mum-of-one was locked up for nine months at Liverpool Crown Court today after admitting two counts of managing a brothel.

The Recorder of Liverpool, Judge Clement Goldstone, QC, told Fahiya he would likely have suspended the sentence if she had not set up a second business after police raided the first.

He said: “You decided to stick two fingers up at the authorities after your release, following your original arrest. ...you were left in no doubt on your release that you were at serious risk of prison if you chose to continue in the same or a similar venture.”

Simon Duncan, prosecuting, said a tenancy had been taken out at a flat in Islington, Liverpool city centre, under the name of a company named Cool Mountain Ltd, on October 16 last year. Police raided the flat on March 11 this year, at 1.20am, and found Fahiya inside with three sex workers – which included former brothel manager Terri-Bowker Hughes.

Bowker-Hughes, 34, was jailed for three years in September, 2015, for operating an illicit sex business in Dale Street - causing misery to neighbours – but played no role in the management of Fahiya’s operation.

Mr Duncan said: “The defendant was dressed markedly different from the other three women, and was wearing a tracksuit. The other three women were working as prostitutes, charging a fee which would go to the house. None were under-age and none had been coerced into working there.”

The court heard each bedroom in the flat contained a mattress and towels, along with condoms and baby-wipes. Police also found the business cards offering escorts for “in-calls and out-calls” containing a mobile phone number, which later matched the number of a “graft phone” used to manage the business.

Mr Duncan said: “There was a statement taken from Ms Bowker-Hughes, who said she was paid £30-40 per client. She stated that she had worked the Friday before when the defendant was also present and had seen 10 males on that occasion. All of the clients would pay the defendant who would in turn pay the girls.”

Messages seized from a phone belonging to Fahiya included messages about shift patterns. One message, in response to a woman “pleading for work,” said: “I had to pay a client out of my own pocket because of what you did, that’s not good for my business.”

Another message read: “The rules are the same for everyone, no-one just works weekends it’s not fair on the girls who graft through the week.”

But Mr Duncan said a second flat was raided above a cafe in Great Howard Street on July 9, which again revealed Fahiya, who was wearing pyjamas, with four other women wearing lingerie.

Mr Duncan said the raised followed concerns about the nature of the brothel but again none of the women were underage or had been coerced into sex work.

The court heard Fahiya’s home in Epping Street in Hulme, Manchester, was searched and found to be “well-furnished” despite her having no other legitimate income.

Daniel Travers, defending, said his client had herself worked as a prostitute since the 1990s and understood that the women were safer working off the street. He said: “So the court understands there was no lavish lifestyle here, she’s cleaning, she’s making beds, she’s washing linen, she’s also making sure that the girls are turning up for work.”

Mr Travers said his client was a “very good mother” and would face being separated from her daughter - who she had tried to protect from the truth of her profession. He also suggested that while Fahiya had not been coerced into operating the brothel, she had been influenced by her brother, Lee Fahiya, who was “engaged in criminality at every level.” Mr Travers said she had been attacked due to issues with her brother, on one occasion being “bitten and sprayed with paint.”

But Judge Goldstone said having worked as a prostitute herself, Fahiya would have known the vulnerability of the sex workers.