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Catherine Marston, Home Affairs Reporter
"Daly has always denied knowing what went on in her saunas"
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Thursday, 28 September, 2000, 16:26 GMT 17:26 UK
Madam has 2m confiscated
Josie Daly
Josie Daly made 7m in two years from the brothels
A 64-year-old woman who ran a string of multi-million pound brothels in north London has had a 2m confiscation order made against her.

Josie Daly, 64, from Hornsey, was also fined 3,000 and ordered to pay court costs of 50,000 at Harrow Crown Court on Thursday.

She was a significant player in the London prostitution racket

Detective Inspector Paul Holmes

Judge Barrington Black said that while prostitution was not illegal, the law could not accept other people profiting from women offering their bodies for sale.

Daly had admitted three charges of controlling prostitution for gain at an earlier court hearing.

The court heard she controlled dozens of prostitutes working from three brothels, which were all licensed by the local authority as saunas and massage parlours.

In the parlours about 25 women, aged between 18 and 30, worked 12-hour shifts and entertained about 1,500 men a week.

Business advertised

She even advertised her businesses, which made 7.5m in two years, in police publications.

Although she admitted living off prostitution, Daly said she had not known what was going on at the massage parlours.

Vice squad detectives kept observations on her brothels for months and saw hundreds of men arriving.

Daly was arrested in 1998 after officers visited the massage parlours where they were offered sex for up to 50 a time.

As far as I'm concerned I didn't know what the girls were getting up to

Josie Daly

Apart from the sauna parlours, Daly owns a house in Coolhurst Road, Crouch End, where her girls used to stay, the Rose View Hotel in Muswell Hill and a derelict 60-bedroom hotel in Waverley Road, Crouch End.

She owned a Rolls Royce car and was also found to have 10 bank accounts. One contained just 314 although others had up to 90,000 in them.

Daly, who turned up to court in a wheelchair, was not sent to prison because of ill health, although the judge commented: "I have misgivings as to the full extent of your incapacity."

He went on to tell her the amount to be confiscated had been reduced by a third after the Crown accepted that 30% of her business was "legitimate".

Champagne celebration

But Daly was warned a five-year jail term would be imposed if she failed to pay the 2m within a year.

Afterwards Daly was wheeled from the court, past a stack of floral best wishes left outside, and told reporters she would be celebrating with champagne.

"I was hoping for 1m which would have been easier to find, but I'll sort it.

She went on: "I am afraid I will have to retire now. I can't start again, I am too old - what a shame."

'Highly organised'

Daly insisted that despite her guilty pleas and the judge's view that the evidence against her was "overwhelming", she did not accept she had broken the law.

She said "As far as I'm concerned I didn't know what the girls were getting up to.

"I was never there because of my ill-health. They did exactly what they liked."

But outside court, case officer Detective Inspector Paul Holmes, said: "She was a significant player in the London prostitution racket."

"It was highly organised and she had been operating for a number of years."

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