Chelmsford man sentenced for prostitution, drugs and extreme pornography offences

A man has been sentenced after being found guilty of controlling prostitution for gain at Chelmsford Crown Court today (Monday June 24).

Guo Liu, 56, of Anchor Street, Chelmsford, denied denied the charge relating the the period between 2020 and 2021, but was found guilty by a jury at the same court on Wednesday May 22.

He previously admitted possession of an extreme pornographic image and possession of a Class B drug.

The court was told that in 2021 adverts for sexual services in the Chelmsford area were posted from an account paid for by Liu.

In March 2021, a warrant was executed at New Fortune House takeaway in Anchor Street, Chelmsford. A phone being used as a sex line was recovered, along with documents connected to another address in Chelmsford. This address matched the appointments being made on the phone.

Liu was arrested in High Street and a phone in his possession was seized. In custody a further search uncovered a bag containing amphetamine.

Information downloaded from this phone revealed an email address connected to the account advertising sexual services. It showed £15,000 had been sent to the account and it also contained extreme pornographic content.

Bank statements showed that Liu had been paying rent at a flat connected to the sex line and being used by a sex worker.

When questioned Liu said that he rented the flat as somewhere he could go to rest and invite friends for a drink. He said he had nothing to do with the sex work.

The jury didn’t believe him. He was sentenced to 21 months in prison, suspended for two years. The judge also ordered him to complete 240 hours of unpaid work and given a rehabilitation activity requirement.

Detective Constable Georgette Beckett, who led the investigation, said: “Victims forced into the sex trade are often too afraid to talk to police about their treatment.

“Prostitution is a lucrative business for those who are running these types of services and it’s important that we protect the women who are working in the industry by convicting those who are controlling them.

“We would urge anyone who is, or has been, a victim of this type of crime to reach out to Essex Police.

“You will be listened to, and we will thoroughly investigate any allegations.”

Essex Police is now in the process of applying for a confiscation order to recoup some of the money accrued by Liu.

At the May trial, a 31-year-old woman from Chelmsford was found not guilty of assisting in the management of a brothel used for prostitution.