Scarborough’s MP has spoken out following the sentencing of a woman who ran a brothel from a Thai massage parlour which now homes his office.
Natwlai Beck, 48, known as Netty, appeared at York Crown Court last week after earlier pleading guilty to secretly managing a brothel at her San Sabai business in Albemarle Crescent.
She has also been ordered to carry out 100 hours of community work and pay a victim surcharge of £100.
Beck’s suspected offending was investigated by North Yorkshire Police who established that she and another Thai woman were charging for sexual favours on top of legitimate massage services.
Between August 18 and November 27, 2014, around 72 sexual acts were believed to have taken place.
Beck was arrested at the premises on November 27, 2014, and she was charged on May 22, 2015, with managing a brothel.
She pleaded guilty to the offence at Scarborough Magistrates’ Court on June 22, 2015, where the case was committed to Crown Court for sentencing.
Detective Inspector Glenn Kelly, of the Scarborough and Ryedale Serious Crime Team, said: “From our extensive investigation, it was apparent that Netty Beck had resorted to prostitution at her massage parlour as a way to earn extra money to fund a gambling problem and to live on following the split with her husband.
“While we have found no evidence of a wider criminal conspiracy, prostitution and managing a brothel is a very serious matter which required swift police action.”
Scarborough MP Robert Goodwill has also spoken out following the sentencing, as his office is now located at the former brothel premises.
He told The Scarborough News: “I was shocked. A number of people told us it used to be a Thai massage place, but nobody said it used to be a brothel.
“The premises has been completely redecorated and there is no sign of the old business. When we moved in I didn’t really give it a second thought.
“I must stress that the first time I entered the building was when we were proposing to rent it. I’ve yet to meet anyone who frequented the premises.”
He admitted he had encountered “a bit of leg pulling” about the choice of premises, but added: “There’s no case for levity. Much of the sex trade in this country involves people who are forced into it.
“I’m not saying that is the case in this instance, but it is true in many cases across the UK.”
Mr Goodwill added that he was glad that Beck had been convicted, adding: “I don’t want Scarborough to be associated with this kind of activity. It’s a family resort.”
DI Kelly said the male clients who were identified during the course of the investigation have been advised by Public Health England to seek medical attention to guard against the spread of sexually transmitted infections.
He added: “We believe there were a number of other men who possibly engaged in sexual activity at the San Sabai massage parlour in Albemarle Crescent in Scarborough.
“To minimise the risk, our strong advice is to refer themselves to a sexual health clinic or their GP for a sexual health check-up as soon as possible.”
Anyone with concerns is advised to ring (01904) 721111 to make an appointment at a sexual health clinic in Scarborough, York, Malton or Whitby.
More information can be found at www.yorsexualhealth.org.uk