THE "madam" of a series of “pop-up” brothels in York and North Yorkshire has been jailed - and may be deported.

Xiao Yan Kang was part of a gang that rented premises for two months to use for the sex trade.

They put ads in national newspapers such as the Daily Sport to attract customers, said Ian West, prosecuting.

“Observations (of the brothels) were made of numerous males seen coming and going through that period from morning to late evening,” he said.

Each paid £60 for half an hour with a “working girl”.

“This defendant is the madam,” said Mr West. “She was the in-house manager.”

One of the brothels was in York, the other two were in Harrogate.

“The pop-up brothels were consecutive to each other,” said Mr West.

“This was a way of escaping detection, popping up for a short time, before finding another premises and another.”

Illegal immigrant Kang, 51, of Stewart Road, Falkirk, admitted being concerned in the management of a brothel.

“It is my recommendation you be deported back to China as quickly as possible on your release,” the Recorder of York, Judge Sean Morris, told her.

“But that is a matter for the Home Office.”

He jailed her for 10 months.

For her, solicitor advocate Neal Kutte said Kang had been in the country for about 20 years.

“She is not legally here but has been here for a long time,” he said.

She had been in an abusive relationship with a man police believed was part of the gang, the court heard.

He denied it and was acquitted of involvement in the brothels by a jury.

When she was working as a cleaner, the man had given her some money, said Mr Kutte.

She had got involved in the brothels to pay her living expenses and to help support elderly and young members of her family in China.

Mr West said the brothel premises were rented by a second man who was jailed for 18 months a few years ago for setting up brothels in Bournemouth as well as the York and Harrogate ones.

He visited the brothels from time to time.

The ads directed customers to a phone number manned by Kang. She would then direct them to the current brothel and would tell the working girl a customer was on the way. Normally there would only be one working girl in the brothel.

The brothels operated from 10am or 11am to 11pm each day some years ago.

Mr Kutte said Kang didn’t know the renter of the premises very well, though she did know his partner.

“There are concerns about her mental health issues in prison,” he said.

Kang has been remanded to prison for four months.