Kenyan woman jailed 10 years for running brothels in UK
A Kenyan woman who ran two brothels and enslaved a Romanian woman to fund lavish home improvements was jailed for 10 years in the UK.
Ann O’Brien, 44, and husband Martin Carroll, 47, splashed out on a loft conversion, ground floor extension, designer kitchen several giant flat screen TVs and even £10,000 curtains.
O’Brien opened her first three-girl escort agency in 1997 after leaving a small village in Kenya and heading to Ireland where she married her first husband Patrick O’Brien.
She was eventually managing 40 prostitutes and paying thousands of pounds into 27 bank accounts each week.
She paid a £400,000 deposit to buy a £1.27m Georgian townhouse in Upper Berkeley Street, Mayfair, to run as a brothel offering a choice of women from around the world.
O’Brien was also running two websites dubbed ‘brothels on wheels’ which sent girls to homes and hotel rooms.
Her sex menu offered services for between £40-£150 depending on the degree of sexual contact with girls from as far afield as Thailand, Brazil and Sweden.
O’Brien was convicted of three counts of controlling prostitution in 2005 but let off with a 180-community punishment order and ordered to pay back £600,000 of her fortune.
Officers from the Met’s financial investigations unit seized assets including the madam’s Kilburn High Road hairdressing salon, her car and what remained in her bank accounts.
But soon O’Brien had started business again, running two bordellos with her husband and sister.
She was convicted of charges including conspiracy to control prostitution for gain, facilitating travel of another person with a view to exploitation after her latest Southwark Crown Court trial.
O’Brien’s sister, Elizabeth Muya, 48 and her husband Martin Carroll, 47assisted the madam in running her prostitution network.
Muya was jailed for 21 months while Carroll, received a suspended sentence
Carroll and O’Brien’s sister Elizabeth Muya, 48, were found guilty of conspiracy to convert criminal property and two counts of keeping a brothel for prostitution.
Judge Simon Russel-Flint, QC, said: ‘This was serious criminality that exploited many people of considerable vulnerability.
‘In Ms O’Brien’s case this is the fourth time that she has been before a court for similar offending in respect of prostitution or management of brothels and I am satisfied that they do present as an escalation and added diversity.
‘Each of you defendants should know the suffering of the world of prostitution in addition to the misery it brings to many.
‘The lawlessness that accompanies it means that ordinary members of society take a very dim view of it indeed.
‘This was a well run commercially profitable enterprise from which you have all gained and stood to gain further and it is through your actions that those who you hold dear will be hurt.’
Prosecutor Alexander Agbamu said: ‘Ann O’Brien and Elizabeth Muya ran two London brothels.
‘They, along with Martin Carroll, laundered the proceeds of those brothels through sham companies which they had set up.
‘A number of people worked at these brothels.’
‘One of those people had been trafficked from Romania and was subjected to conditions which amount to modern slavery.’
The police began investigating on March 22, 2017 at Stansted Airport when a Romanian man and woman made UK Border Force officers suspicious.