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Married couple who operated brothels in the City and Berkshire sentenced

A woman found guilty of running brothels in the City of London and Berkshire has been jailed for three years.


Graziela McNamee, 38, and husband Brendan McNamee, 34, both of Hunton Bridge, Kings Langley, Herts, were sentenced on Tuesday (19 September 2017) at Inner London Crown Court after both were convicted following a trial at the same court on Monday (18 September).


Both were convicted of five counts each of controlling, managing or assisting in the management of a brothel; Graziela McNamee was also convicted of possession of criminal property, and of converting criminal property.


The case followed a lengthy investigation by the City of London Police Central Detective Unit, which led raids on 27 April 2016 at residences in Middlesex Street (E1), Friar Street (EC4), Fleet Street (EC4), Poppins Court (EC4), and Kelvin Gate in Bracknell, each of which were being rented by the suspects for use as brothels.


The court heard how the investigation initially stemmed from complaints to officers from neighbours living near the Middlesex Street property, who were suspicious about the activity taking place within.


An investigation into the apartment found the registered tenant to be Graziela McNamee, who had rented the property since June 2015. Further research found her to be the director of a company, City Sensations, which openly advertised sexual services online.


More properties in the Square Mile were linked to Mrs McNamee, with tenancy agreements at three more locations, including one in Friar Street which she had rented since April 2014. This was compounded by discarded rubbish found on Friar Street which cleaners suspected was consistent with an active brothel, including price lists and women’s names.


Cars owned by Mrs McNamee and her husband travelled throughout the City frequently, as well as to locations in Bracknell. Further investigations linked Mrs McNamee with the Bracknell address also.


On 27 April 2016, both she and her husband were arrested at their home address, while search teams carried out warrants at each address suspected of being linked to brothel activity. Twelve women were discovered within the various properties, while subsequent analysis of mobile phones found across the different flats also found substantial evidence of messages pertaining to the brothels sent by both McNamees.


A parallel financial investigation conducted by the City of London Police asset recovery team also ensured that acquired assets were seized.

When the couple were arrested, Graziela’s new Land Rover Discovery and a quantity of cash was seized and detained under the Proceeds of Crime Act. Restraint orders were also sought and granted against their house in Hunton Bridge along with numerous bank accounts with funds held within. A confiscation investigation is now under way post-conviction.


At court on Tuesday, Graziela McNamee was ordered to serve three years in prison for the charges of controlling or managing prostitution, with sentences of two years for converting criminal property, and one year for possession of criminal property, to run concurrently.


Brendan McNamee was given a 12-month custodial sentence suspended for two years, with a requirement for 150 hours of unpaid work. A confiscation hearing will also take place at a later date.  


After sentencing, Detective Constable Brendan Kennedy, from the City of London Police Central Detective Unit said:


“Today’s sentence represents the successful conclusion of a detailed and comprehensive investigation, and one with important consequences for the City of London and beyond.


“From utilising the expertise of the City of London Police Central Detective Unit, as well as our close relationships with our community policing team, local residents, the City of London Corporation, and Thames Valley Police, we were able to shut down several brothels operating in the Square Mile, and one in Berkshire.


“Not only has this undoubtedly prevented further exploitation of the young women who were found working here, but has also stopped the anti-social behaviour associated with active brothels.


“This will bring peace of mind to the residents living and working in these areas, and enforces the reputation of the City of London as a safe place to live, work and visit.”


No evidence of people trafficking or exploitation was found during the investigation, and police have worked with the women found at the locations and offered appropriate support, assisted by agencies which provide help to individuals working in the sex industry.


A third person who was also charged with offences linked to this case was found not guilty following a trial.


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