A WOMAN who worked as a receptionist at a brothel in York has been sentenced, but two others in the same case have had their charges dropped.
Rachel Sarah Donaghey, 24, stood alone in the dock at York Crown Court and the Recorder of York, Judge Stephen Ashurst, said the part she played in the brothel in Lawrence Square, York, had been small.
Donaghey had initially been charged with conspiracy to run a brothel along with a man and woman from Hull.
The Hull pair had also each faced allegations that they had laundered criminal money between April, 2010, and November, 2011, but all charges against the two were dropped.
Adrienne Gower, senior district crown prosecutor with the Crown Prosecution Service Yorkshire and Humberside, said those defendants raised a legal argument which required the CPS to carry out a further review of all the material in the case. She said: “The result of this review was that the case against those defendants could not proceed for evidential reasons.”
Sentencing Donaghey, the Recorder of York, Judge Stephen Ashurst, told her: “You were heavily pregnant at the time, you were not engaged in sexual work with the customers of that brothel, and to some extent, your vulnerability was exploited by other people at the brothel.”
He also told her: “Others who on the evidence were much more heavily involved were not proceeded against.”
“The prosecution has discontinued proceedings against two people who set up and benefited financially from this brothel”.
Donaghey, of The Garth, Raskelf, near Easingwold, pleaded guilty to assisting in the running of a brothel between July 1 and August 9 last year and was given a 12-month conditional discharge.
She had no previous convictions and the prosecution accepted her basis of plea that she only took the job because she was pregnant.
Tim Capstick, prosecuting, said the brothel was in a third-floor apartment in a modern block of flats and Donaghey’s role was to describe the sex workers to would-be customers on the phone, meet clients on arrival and take their money.
A North Yorkshire Police spokesman said: “North Yorkshire Police is satisfied that a thorough investigation was conducted in relation to this matter.
“However, following consultation with the Crown Prosecution Service, it was decided that it was not in the public interest to proceed with the court case.
“While we are naturally disappointed by this outcome, we respect the advice and guidance that we received.
“We will be reviewing the investigation in due course to see if any lessons can be learned from this case.”