Fury as brothel madam walks free
PUBLISHED: 17:07 22 August 2008 | UPDATED: 15:20 07 September 2010
Residents plagued by brothels and street prostitutes around Paddington and Marylebone have expressed disbelief after a madam who ran a high-class whorehouse walked free from court. Ramune Miniaskiene, 32, made £1.5million from her escort agency in just
Residents plagued by brothels and street prostitutes around Paddington and Marylebone have expressed disbelief after a 'madam' who ran a high-class whorehouse walked free from court.
Ramune Miniaskiene, 32, made £1.5million from her escort agency in just 10 months.
Operating from luxury flats in Bayswater and Marylebone, the set-up had been nicknamed 'The Gucci Girls'.
The blonde Lithuanian, a former call girl herself, marketed her business under the name of Abragirls Ltd and advertised her workers' services extensively on the internet, where clients could choose from a "menu of sexual services", Southwark Crown Court heard.
Ms Miniaskiene was charged with conspiracy to control prostitution and convicted last Friday.
But since her six month jail term was suspended for a year, she was able to walk free without punishment.
People whose lives have been blighted by prostitution have blasted the courts and claim Ms Miniaskiene has been let off leniently.
John Zamit, president of the south east Bayswater residents association said: "It seems a very low sentence for the severity of the crime. It sends out the wrong message.
"Prostitutes operating in blocks of flats cause a nuisance with their comings and goings."
Karl Upsall, president of the Marylebone Association, was also left open-mouthed by the judgment.
"In this case there seems to be no excuse for leniency as there might be for the type of prostitutes who walk the street," he said.
"This is a problem that we live with in this area and Bayswater that you would hope the courts would find a more sensible measure to act as a deterrent.
"A suspended sentence is neither a deterrent nor punitive."
Ms Miniaskiene set up her agency with her boyfriend Bashkim Delijaj, who is still on the run, after fleeing from Lithuania to escape domestic violence.
She offered her punters a choice between blondes and brunettes and from her massive profits she splashed out on Gucci clothes, handbags and Jimmy Choo shoes.
Anita Arora, prosecuting in court, said: "The web pages for the company provided information about sexual services that the girls provided. It was there for people to see on the internet.
"There was a menu with codes that would have been known to those who used it.
"It was open for all to see - these were girls offering full sexual services."
In court Ms Miniaskiene admitted conspiracy to control prostitution and stashing nearly £150,000 of profits which were found in a safety deposit box.
Linda King Taylor, chairwoman of the Westminster North policing partnership, has campaigned to reduce levels of prostitution for 15 years.
She said this week it was of the utmost importance that the courts do their part to help crack down on vice.
"We've long worked with other agencies to remove the blight of brothels, prostitution and kerb crawlers," she said.
"Paddington and the communities in the surrounding areas are fed up with the brand of that part of Westminster being tarnished with the prostitution paint brush.
"We rely on the support of the courts when police do bring people to court to face charges.
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