Man faces jail over brothel in upmarket city centre flat

A THAI man is facing jail after he allowed his upmarket Edinburgh city centre flat to be used as a brothel.

Tanasak Sopatai let women use his home on Castle Terrace to provide sex and sexual services. But the 27-year-old’s flat was raided after a surveillance sting by police.

Almost 700 condoms, sex toys, mobile phones and cash were found at the address by detectives, Edinburgh Sheriff Court heard.

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Today the flat, which is two doors down from Caledonia Youth sexual health clinic, looked deserted. Names had been blacked out on the brothel’s buzzer.

One woman, who is staying in the same block, explained that a couple of flats in the building were rented on short-term lets.

Sopatai pleaded guilty to allowing the flat to be used for the purposes of habitual prostitution on June 23 this year.

Fiscal depute Melanie Ward said “directed surveillance” was being carried out on the address. Police officers were watching the outside of the property when, at about 5pm, they saw a woman looking out of the window, the fiscal said. She then left in the direction of nearby Lothian Road.

Two minutes later a man approached the block of flats. He was on his mobile phone attempting to gain access to the stairwell.

“Two minutes after that the police saw the female who had just left the address return and meet with the male and told him she was called Joanna,” the fiscal added.

“The female then described that she was wearing very little and told him she wanted £140 for one hour of sex.

“This was now within the property and as she undressed the male relayed that he only had £60 and therefore the sexual services offered was less than full sex.”

Police officers then saw the woman opening the door for the man as he left the premises. Officers then identified themselves and said they had a warrant to search the property.

The fiscal said: “It was noticed that the female was wearing only a towel and standing behind the door. When they entered they found Mr Sopatai and two other females within.

“The search of the premises then took place.

“It was discovered that Sopatai had just rented the property and it’s also confirmed that he was aware the females within the premises were using it for the provision of sexual services.”

Sopatai had also faced claims he lived off the earnings of prostitution between March 1 and June 13 this year at five addresses, including the Castle Terrace flat. But that charge was dropped after Sopatai pleaded not guilty.

Sheriff Paul Arthurson QC deferred sentence until later this month.

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