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‘Edinburgh madam spent £500k in Harvey Nichols’
Alan McEwen - Evening News, Edinburgh - 15th May 2013
A Scottish Pensioner accused of running a prostitution racket from a New Town flat spent almost £600,000 on perfume, handbags, shoes, jewellery and private health care, a court has heard.
sex-for-sale business, Madam, luxury goods, private heaklth care, Louis Vuiton, Mulberry, Harvey Nichols, Spire Health Care,
Margaret Paterson is alleged to have blown cash from the sex-for-sale business on luxury and household items bought at Harvey Nichols, Marks and Spencer at The Gyle and the Spire hospital at Murrayfield.
The 60-year-old is charged with going on spending sprees at the Louis Vuitton and Mulberry departments inside the St Andrew Square store using money made from a brothel based in Grosvenor Street.
Paterson, who went on trial at the High Court in Edinburgh yesterday with two men, is alleged to have been found in possession of more than £200,000, as well as cash in other currencies.
Prosecutors allege over a ten-year period between September 16, 2001 and September 7, 2011, at Grosvenor Street and elsewhere, Paterson exercised control, direction or influence over the movements of four prostitutes called Claire Cairns, Kellie Anne Bolton, Helen Kinnon and Vikki Harkness.
Paterson’s role did “aid and abet or compel their prostitution with other persons”, according to the charges.
The Crown allege that between December 13, 2010 and September 7, 2011, the offence was “aggravated by connection with serious organised crime”.
Paterson, of Grosvenor Street, is on trial with Robert Munro, 61, also of Grosvenor Street, and Ian Goalen, 59, of St Andrew Street, North Berwick.
The trio face a total of seven charges of making cash from the sex trade.
Prosecutors say that Paterson used the money to “purchase luxury, personal and household goods and services including perfume, handbags, shoes, jewellery and private medical care”.
It is alleged that her actions broke the terms of the Proceeds of Crime Act.
One of the charges alleges that Paterson spent £594,741.49 at Louis Vuitton, which has sported Madonna as a brand ambassador, and Mulberry at Harvey Nics, as well as the Marks and Spencer store at the Gyle Shopping Centre, and at the Spire Murrayfield hospital in Corstorphine Road, between October 1, 2003, and February 13 last year.
It is also alleged that between February 24, 2003 and October 6, 2011, at the Bank of Scotland in Victoria Road, Glasgow, Paterson and Munro caused various prostitutes working for them to deposit £544,762.87 into a bank account that was held in the name of their company.
The trial before temporary judge Michael O’Grady QC continues today, when the first witness is called.
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