Portsmouth brothel that made £250,000 a year is closed down

Ravelin Park in Portsmouth.

Picture: Habibur Rahman

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POLICE raided a brothel that was making £250,000 a year after residents spotted a red light shining from the window.

People living in Tangier Road, in Baffins, Portsmouth, also had to put up with confused punters knocking on their doors late at night looking for the flat.

Sergeant Pete Phillips, from the Baffins Safer Neighbourhoods team, said residents had put up with a lot.

‘I’d like to thank everyone who came forward with their concerns,’ he said.

‘It’s fair to say this brothel was causing problems for the community on Tangier Road.

‘Neighbours complained of the noise of taxis arriving throughout the day and night, and rowdy men turning up at their homes by mistake.

‘No-one should have to put up with that sort of behaviour so I’m pleased we’ve been able to shut the place down and life should hopefully be able to return to normal.

‘Brothels are not a big problem for communities in Portsmouth, but if you suspect you’re living next door to one, tell us.

‘As we’ve seen, the more we know, the more we can do about it.’

Yu Seng Liu, a Chinese national who ran the place from 2009 to 2010 and who was in the UK illegally, has now been jailed for eight months.

Because of the amount of time he has spent in custody since police raided the flat in October, Liu is due to be deported to China this week.

The 56-year-old, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to assisting in the management of a brothel when he appeared at Portsmouth Crown Court.

Sergeant Allan Dineley, who leads Hampshire Constabulary’s Vice Investigation team, thanked members of the public for helping to close the brothel.

He said: ‘It’s the culmination of a long-running investigation to build up the evidence we needed to secure a conviction.

‘When we put the door in back in October, it was clear the house was being used as a brothel; we found condoms, red bulbs in the lightshades and towels at the windows.’

‘It was a living hell’

PEOPLE living near the brothel say it made their lives hell.

Simone Nicholson, 36, who lives alone in one of the flats above the brothel, said: ‘I had their so-called customers knocking on my door between 1am and 4am.

‘Some of these people were peering through my letterbox in the middle of the night – it was quite scary.

‘It has been a living hell.’

Mark Cosgrave, 41, who also lives above the brothel, said: ‘I didn’t click on at first then I went downstairs one day and there were men sitting on the stairs and I asked them what they were doing.

‘It got too much with so many people waiting outside.’