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Folkestone Pussycats brothel manager Lisa Joy ordered to pay back nearly £40,000 under proceeds of crime act


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One of the women who ran a Folkestone brothel called Pussycats has had her “kitty” reduced by thousands of pounds.

Lisa Joy, 51, had escaped with a suspended prison sentence after the premises in Risborough Lane were raided in 2013.

She later admitted assisting running the brothel with manager Sharon Potts, 61.

Pussycats in Folkestone was used as a brothel
Pussycats in Folkestone was used as a brothel

Now after a financial investigation under the Proceeds of Crime Act a judge had ruled she had pocketed £37,285 from her venture.

Joy, of Somerset Road, had claimed she only had a peripheral role in the business and asked for the figure to be reduced.

But Judge Adele Williams told her she didn’t believe her – and ordered her to pay the money within six months or face 14 months in prison in default.

The judge told her: “I don’t believe the evidence you gave and find that you are a resourceful and intelligent woman who played a much bigger part in this business than you were prepared to admit.”

“The house had the feel that it was being used as a brothel. Potts said she had worked at Pussycats for about a year and was paid £7 an hour. She said that Pussycats advertised in The Sport newspaper and on an adult services website" - Prosecutor Kieran Brand

Prosecutor Kieran Brand had told the hearing last year how police had gone to Pussycats which had been advertising in sleazy newspapers and on Internet porn sites as a “massage parlour”.

He said: “Potts said she was the manager and Joy said she was the receptionist. There were three other women there. They claimed to work there but declined to provide further information.

“During a search of the premises three rooms were discovered covered in mirrors. There were no medical or massage tables or equipment.

“Nor were there any sales literature relating to massages, “ he added.

Potts, who settled her Proceeds of Crime Act bill last year, had told officers that the double beds covered in PVC were “the massage tables”... although a whip and a pair of handcuffs were also discovered on the counter.

Potts, of Cooling Lane, admitted running a brothel and was given a six-month jail sentence suspended for two years. Joy received a four-month sentence suspended for two years.

Mr Brand added: “The house had the feel that it was being used as a brothel. Potts said she had worked at Pussycats for about a year and was paid £7 an hour.

“She said that Pussycats advertised in The Sport newspaper and on an adult services website," he added.

The Pussycats premises in Risborough Lane
The Pussycats premises in Risborough Lane

The court heard that girls who worked there were paid £40 for half an hour and £60 for an hour.

But the prosecutor said that during the search officers discovered condoms and a quantity of Viagra – which were being sold at £3 a tablet.

Joy said her duties were to take money from the girls and make clients welcome and maintained it had been a massaged parlour.

Mr Brand added: “There is no evidence of girls being exploited and there had been no complaints from neighbours.

“It also seems that nothing is known about the owners, “ he said.

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