A mother who turned her Black Country home into a brothel by renting out a room for prostitution has received a suspended jail sentence.
Carol Clarke provided a single room for four women at her house in Eastfield, Wolverhampton, and was well aware that “ladies were entertaining men” within them, Wolverhampton magistrates heard.
The 53-year-old had previously pleaded guilty to keeping and/or managing a brothel used for prostitution. She was handed a 16-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months.
Miss Jo Taylor told the court that police had called in at Clarke’s address on another matter and stumbled across the prostitution.
“The premises were being used for ladies entertaining men for a price,” said Miss Taylor. Clarke advertised in a newspaper under the heading of Temptations, stating that young ladies could come and stay with her, the court heard. She was in financial trouble and having difficulty keeping up with the rent.
“She knew what would take place, allowed that to happen and received money,” said Miss Taylor.
“She was providing those who do that service a place to do it.”
Clarke had previous convictions for prostitution, Miss Taylor said.
Ms Debbie Stars, defending Clarke, said four women rented out a single room in the house, in Deansgate. She added: “It’s effectively renting out one room in her flat. It was a place of safety for the girls involved.
“She does not want anyone to think she has been in any way obstructive but I’m told her son, who is 32, is quite severely disabled.
“She was in financial difficulty –there were rent arrears and that is how this came about.
“The business was so discreet that neighbours didn’t even know what was going on”.
Sentencing, District Judge Michael Wheeler told Clarke that she was in effect playing a management role in the brothel.
“The sentencing guidelines indicate someone involved in management passes the custody threshold,” he said. “It is serious enough for that but I’m not going to send you to prison today.
And given you’re the sole carer for your son I judge that certain community requirements would be unworkable.”
He told her she had been co-operative and frank with the police.
Clarke was also ordered to pay £85 costs and an £80 victim surcharge.