May 24 2013 Latest news:
Friday, November 16, 2012
A mother-of-two was acquitted today of controlling prostitutes for gain by running a high class escort agency.
Marie McKinlay was accused of setting up The Allure Agency, recruiting and interviewing prostitutes and renting a flat in the London Bridge area for clients to meet them.
She was alleged to have made more than £350,000 in less than two-and-a-half years by providing girls to clients who would pay up to £300 an hour for their services.
The 40-year-old was alleged to have charged the prostitutes 30 per cent commission on everything they earned and between December 2008 and May 2011 had £354,579.71 paid into her account.
The trial at Southwark Crown Court heard McKinlay paid £1,500 a month rent for her house in Southampton and put her children through private school with the money she earned.
But the jury unanimously found her not guilty of a charge of controlling prostitution for gain and of a charge of converting criminal property.
Wearing a brown jumper and black trousers, McKinlay, of Lewisham, held her hand up to her mouth and looked relieved as the verdicts were read out.
When giving evidence during her defence, McKinlay told jurors: “My two favourite things in the world are money and sex, I absolutely love both of them, and a job that allows me to put them both together, why wouldn’t I?”
After her arrest, she was said to have told police she had created a “new type of agency” - a “new business model thought up over a couple of bottles of Chardonnay at Selfridges”.
McKinlay said it was “not an appropriate” time to talk as she left the court.