Five members of an international brothel gang were jailed for up to 13 years each today for forcing terrified teenage girls into a life of sexual slavery.
Having been lured to Britain with the promise of well-paid jobs, the eastern European youngsters found themselves held prisoner and forced to "entertain" dozens of men a week at brothels in London and the West Midlands.
Disobedience was met with threats. One 16-year-old who dared beg for her freedom was viciously beaten and promptly put back to work. Another, who was 19, was warned her "life would be finished" and her sister would suffer if she ever tried to escape.
London’s Southwark Crown Court heard the operation - described by judge Peter Testar as "highly organised and profitable" - embraced a string of luxury brothels across the capital as well as one on the first-floor of a Wolverhampton pub.
With takings of up to #5,000 a day, it is estimated those involved pocketed more than #1m between them.
In the dock were gun-toting Lithuanian national Mantas Dumasius, a 22-year-old drug dealer and "prostitute supplier", of Chapter Way, Wimbledon, south-west London (13 years); and fellow countryman Grazuydas Rudaitis, 24, of Troy Court, High Street, Kensington, west London, who arranged the rent on some of the brothels (seven years).
Also before the court were the brothel operation’s accountant Yaokang Huang, 27, of Keats Avenue, Woolwich, south-east London (two years), and brothel manager Karrong Jiang, 26, of Westbourne Terrace, Westminster (five years)- both Chinese - and British national Edward Hui, 34, of Woolwich Church Street, Woolwich, who owned the London brothels (six years).
They all admitted controlling prostitution for gain on or before December 12, 2006.
Dumasius also pleaded guilty to having a prohibited handgun and ammunition.
In addition, he, Hui, Jiang and Rudaitus variously admitted to drug possession and supply charges involving cocaine, Ecstasy and cannabis worth nearly #80,000.
All four non-UK nationals were recommended for deportation.
Two other men, Petra Aleknavicius, 24, Walfrey Gardens, Dagenham, Essex, and Virginijus Suchodolskis, 32, of Abbey Mills, Wimbledon, will be dealt with later.
Both admitted controlling prostitution while the latter also pleaded guilty to falsely imprisoning the 16-year-old.