Chesterfield flats ‘run as brothels’

The case is being heard at Derby Crown Court
The case is being heard at Derby Crown Court

Two men rented eight flats in Chesterfield and across the East Midlands which they operated as brothels with prostitutes from the Far East, a court has heard.

Mo Quan Zhou and Meyrick Bramhill-Purchase brought sex workers over from China, Malaysia and Korea and made them work in the properties, the prosecution claim.

Derby Crown Court was told how the pair took almost half of the working girls’ earnings and used them for free sexual services for two years.

Flats in Chesterfield, Derby, Lincoln, and Sheffield were set up and advertised as legitimate massage parlours, but instead were used to home sex workers who were protected by “nannies” working for the two men.

Zhou, 45, of London Road, Derby and, Bramhill-Purchase, 64, of Muntjac Way, Witham St Hughs, Lincolnshire, deny the charges against them.

Opening the case at Derby Crown Court Vanessa Marshall, prosecuting, told the jury of nine men and three women: “The prosecution says these two defendants, over a two year period conspired together with others to set up brothels, largely in the East Midlands.

“We say they arranged for Oriental girls to travel from property to property so they could work there as prostitutes.

“These men took a cut of the profits or at the very least got sexual benefits from the girls.”

Miss Marshall told the jury how the prosecution claim a number of properties, which were operating as massage parlours, were used as brothels.

They included a flat in London Road and another above a convenience store in Uttoxeter Old Road, Derby.

The others are in West Bars, and Hall View, both in Chesterfield, another in Abbey Lane, Sheffield and at addresses in Lincoln.

Miss Marshall said: “Mr Zhou was largely the recruiter who was able to meet, speak and communicate with the girls and sometimes acted as a nanny.

“Mr Bramhill-Purchase made up the administration side, finding the right properties, taking out the tenancies, paying the bills and so forth.”

The charges are that between May 9, 2015 and May 11, 2017 they arranged or facilitated the travel of another person with a view to that person being exploited, caused or incited them to become a prostitute and controlled their activities in relation to prostitution.

The trial, which is expected to last up to six weeks, continues.