Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Brothel House Landlord Fined; RESIDENTS' LIVES MADE A MISERY BY MEN LOOKING FOR SEX

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Brothel House Landlord Fined; RESIDENTS' LIVES MADE A MISERY BY MEN LOOKING FOR SEX

Article excerpt

Byline: Chris Knight Reporter christopher.knight@trinitymirror.com @C_M_Knight

A BROTHEL, operating out of a house, plagued a quiet village street with strangers searching for sex. Neighbours on Ridley Gardens in Swalwell, Gateshead, have revealed men would pull up and knock on doors trying to find the illicit sex den.

Paul Hughes, owner and landlord licence holder of the property, has since been fined for failing to comply with the conditions of a licence after a prosecution by Gateshead Council.

A young mum living on Ridley Gardens, who did not wish to be named, said: "Strangers would be knocking on your door trying to find the brothel, and it was constant.

"I was here for about a year and a half before I found out, but once I was told it all made sense.

"I have children - I won't let them play out in the street now."

A disgruntled resident complained to Gateshead Council in August of last year about the home being used as a brothel.

Police found the property was set up for sex work, and several women were found at the address.

Another neighbour said: "The house was behind big bushes so it was very concealed.

"We had heard a couple of things about what went on there.

"Men would be up and down the street on their phones trying to find the house." Hughes was prosecuted after he failed to comply with the conditions of his landlord licence, issued in March 2014 under the Selective Licensing Scheme.

The landlord, who owns and rents out a number of properties in the Swalwell area, was contacted by Gateshead Council officers by phone and email between August 31 and September 20, 2016.

Hughes was asked on several occasions to provide information about who was living at the address, to provide a copy of the tenancy agreement and proof tenants had been properly vetted and reference checked. …

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