Neighbours in shock after escort agency is discovered in quiet Hampstead lane
Hidden in a quiet cobbled residential street in Hampstead is a glimpse into the village’s seedy underbelly.
Neighbours were shocked last week to learn that an “escort agency” works out of picturesque Back Lane in Hampstead – more likely to be found in a tourist brochure than a telephone box.
Unsurprisingly there is very little to identify the agency’s location – a small camera is trained on the front garden and a note on the door saying “Unless you are expected the door will not be opened. You are on CCTV and if not known then you will definitely not be let in”.
But last week it emerged that an escort at the address was attacked, tied up and robbed of �600 in cash and �5,000 worth of designer handbags.
She had been lured out of her flat by Vytautus Rubys, 22, who posed as a customer to carry out a string of attacks on such parlours over two months.
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Rumours had spread among residents that an elderly or pregnant woman had been attacked on January 11, but neighbours were aghast to learn the truth behind the incident.
City worker Martyn Harrison, 33, who has lived in Back Lane for six years, said: “It’s certainly concerning. I’m surprised there has not been a problem with residents before.
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“It’s quite underground if that’s the case, you don’t see guys pulled up outside the house waiting in cars.
“It’s not going to do the house prices much good either.”
Anna Williamson, a teacher from Wembley who lives in Back Lane, said she and her three housemates had been on tenterhooks ever since the attack.
“We all thought we were really safe walking around here, but since then we have all been a bit nervous to answer the door for a good month afterwards,” she said.
“You just wouldn’t expect that kind of thing here.”
Rubys, who used a similar ruse on addresses in Ealing and Barkingside, pleaded guilty to three counts of robbery and a single count of handling stolen goods at Snaresbrook Crown Court last Wednesday (August 16).
The court heard how the escort in Back Lane was set upon by a number of hooded men who bound and gagged her.
Prosecutor Christopher Ware said: “One male pointed a screw driver in a woman’s face and threatened to stab her
“Her wrists and ankles were tied and the property was ransacked.”
Rubys was jailed for three and a half years.
One resident added: “It’s not very typical Hampstead.”