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9 April 2010, 14:08 | Updated: 9 April 2010, 14:36
A woman from Bournemouth's been jailed for 14 months for keeping a brothel in Wimborne Road
Police found that dozens of prostitutes had been working at the 5 bedroom flat.
Diana Wood, 61, of Bournemouth, has been sentenced at Bournemouth Crown Court for keeping a brothel and money laundering.
Jacqueline Scannell, 51, also of Bournemouth, was convicted of managing the brothel she's been sentenced to 120 hours community service.
Ruby Wood, Diana’s 82-year-old mother, was also found guilty of money laundering. She was given a conditional discharge at Bournemouth Crown Court on Tuesday, 2 March.
From around mid-2005, Diana Wood ran a five-bedroom brothel along Wimborne Road, in Bournemouth. Dozens of prostitutes were working at the premises at various times.
Having rented the flat for several months, Diana Wood decided to buy the property at the end of 2005 – she asked her mother, Ruby Wood, to remortgage her house and buy the flat on her behalf.
She told her mother that she intended to set up an ‘escort agency’. However, Ruby Wood knew that Diana had been involved in the sex industry in London.
Diana Wood continued to run the brothel and paid over £52,000 into her mother’s bank account between 2005 and 2009 – the majority of this money was used to pay the mortgage.
Toward the end of 2006, Ruby Wood began to suspect that her daughter may have been running a brothel. Nevertheless, she continued to allow Diana Wood to pay large sums of money into her bank account.
In January 2007, Jacqueline Scannell started working at the brothel as the live-in maid/manager. She was given free accommodation and paid wages in exchange for acting as a receptionist, cleaning the bedrooms, washing the sheets, preparing the daily cash sheets for Diana Wood and arranging advertisement in a local newspaper.
Dorset Police executed warrants on the brothel and also at Diana and Ruby Wood’s home address on Wednesday, 10 June 2009. Four prostitutes were found in the brothel, along with two men.
At the home address £26,000 was discovered and a large amount of documentary evidence linking Diana Wood and Jacqueline Scannell to the brothel was also found. Diana Wood was arrested.
When interviewed, Diana Wood admitted running a brothel and typically making £2000 profit a month. She refused to name any of her employees and stressed that her mother did not know about the brothel.
Ruby Wood denied knowing that the flat was a brothel – she said that she had suspicions but had deliberately never asked her daughter.
Jacqueline Scannell admitted working at the brothel as a prostitute since January 2007. She refused to accept the title of ‘maid’, but admitted being responsible for a number of managerial tasks.
Detective Constable Morn Um-Morn, of Dorset Police’s Economic Crime Unit, says:
”Diana and Ruby Wood were making tens of thousands of pounds of profit out of the brothel, none of which was taxed, allowing them to pay for their own luxury holidays.
“Confiscation proceedings under the Proceeds of Crime Act have now been commenced in order to recover their benefit from criminality.
“These three convictions should serve as a warning to others who may consider running brothels, which exploit young and vulnerable women largely for the profit of the owners."