Brothel-keeper fails to keep £2m from Soca


THE HEAD of a multi-million euro prostitution network operating across the Republic and the North has failed in his bid to avoid paying the authorities in the UK £2 million or face an extra 10 years in prison.

Thomas J Carroll, Bagenalstown, Co Carlow, is serving seven years in a Welsh jail for offences relating to brothels he kept in Ireland.

A confiscation order was granted against Carroll (51) at Cardiff Crown Court for £1,902,496, which was sought by the UK’s Serious Organised Crime Agency.

The money is the proceeds from Carroll’s prostitution ring which he ran from a house in Castlemartin, a hamlet in Pembrokeshire.

Three senior UK judges yesterday ended his lengthy legal battle to keep the money after rejecting claims the court order violated his human rights.

Mr Justice Irwin told London’s Criminal Appeal Court that Carroll was arrested in Wales after a long-running police investigation into the brothel ring which spanned the Irish Sea.

The court heard Carroll attempted to switch legal teams before the confiscation hearings but, in actions a judge found were intended to “disrupt the proceedings”, he failed to show up to sign the necessary papers.

He eventually lost his public funding and had to represent himself. When he was handed a bundle of evidence by the prosecution he threw it in a bin, the judge said.

Carroll’s lawyers came to the appeal court claiming his lack of legal representation breached his right to a fair hearing and led the judge to wrongly find he had substantial “hidden assets”.

However Mr Justice Irwin, with Lord Justice Moses and Mr Justice King, rejected the complaints and backed the confiscation order. It will see 10 more years added to Carroll’s sentence if he fails to pay.

“We are quite satisfied that if this appellant finds himself in the position he is, it is entirely through his own fault,” the judge said. “He was deliberately attempting to derail the proceedings and delay them.”

Carroll ran dozens of brothels across Ireland. He moved women around his network of brothels to disorientate them and to offer clients “variety” in the choice of women they could pay for sex. Some of those found when his brothels were raided were minors. The women were mainly from Africa, South America and parts of Europe.