October 1 2014 Latest news:
by Tom Marshall
Thursday, August 21, 2014
A pimp who was jailed for overseeing a multi-million pound sex empire is back on trial – for allegedly reopening the same brothel under a new name.
Ross Lawson, of no fixed abode, was handed a two-year sentence last July for keeping a brothel, the Steam and Sun Health Club in Chalton Street, Euston, and laundering its vast profits at Blackfriars Crown Court.
On Thursday (August 14), the 33-year-old was back in court for another trial, facing a single charge of keeping a brothel.
He is accused of helping a former taxi driver, Andrew Reading, to relaunch the illicit business under the new name of AJ’s Private Members Club.
Prosecutor Mark Paltenghi told the jury that the premises were closed following a police raid in February 2012 – which led to Lawson’s conviction last year – before being reopened in June 2012.
Reading, 45, of Ferdinand Street, Camden Town, is standing trial alongside Lawson. He faces one count of keeping a brothel and five of acquiring or converting criminal profits of more than £800,000 in total.
“It’s the crown’s case that [Lawson] encouraged and advised Mr Reading and put money into the new business,” said the prosecutor.
Lawson and Reading deny all charges.
The trial continues.