A prostitute who ran a brothel in a rented flat above shops in Walsall has been spared an immediate stint behind bars.
Lynne Smith operated the business from the property in Wolverhampton Road for two-and-a-half months.
The 35-year-old managed the brothel and enlisted the help of two others in a bid to pay off debts. Wolverhampton Crown Court heard yesterday how police swooped on the premises on August 9.
A number of documents including clients’ contact details, rotas and charges were found in a bin at the rear of the flat.
Officers then carried out a search of her home in Cemetery Road, Willenhall, where a CS gas canister and stun gun were found.
An account for advertisements in the Bargain Pages was also found.
Mr Howard Searle, prosecuting, said the premises for the brothel had been rented by Smith under a different name for a three-month period. It was said to rake in more than £1,300, although the court was told that Smith insisted this was not a profit.
Mr Gurdeep Garcha, defending, said Smith had a “tumultuous” childhood and previously had a drug addiction.
The mother, who has a teenage son and partner in the armed forces, had got into “spiralling debt” after moving into a new home. He said: “She foolishly resorted to this work, it was a short-term enterprise.”
Mr Garcha said a relative had found the stun gun and brought it home. The intention was to hand it over to the police.
Smith insisted that she had no idea where the canister had appeared from.
Smith had pleaded guilty at a previous court hearing to the keeping of a brothel and two counts of having prohibitive weapons.
She was yesterday sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years, and also given a three-month curfew from 6pm to 6am. This was in relation to using the flat for a brothel. There was no separate penalty for having the CS gas canister and stun gun.
Another woman was previously sentenced in connection with the address in Wolverhampton Road. Samantha Linton, who was working as a receptionist, admitted assisting in the management of a brothel at Walsall Magistrates Court last year.
The 34- year-old from Wolverhampton was sentenced to a six month community order, with supervision, and 40 hours unpaid work.