A pimp who ran a brothel on a quiet suburban street in Fulwood has been jailed.Advertisement
Sicarius McGrath, also known as Anthony Harrington, blackmailed women and was found posing with bundles of cash from his exploitation of prostitutes.
The 36-year-old of Victoria Road, Preston, has been jailed for eight and a half years.
An eight-week trial at Preston Crown Court found McGrath guilty of conspiracy to blackmail a woman and running a brothel. He had already pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to possessing an offensive weapon, possessing Class A drugs and controlling prostitutes for financial gain.
McGrath’s cohorts were also jailed, including a prisoner who helped collect debt from his prison cell via a smuggled in mobile phone.
Suhail Patel,35, used a mobile phone in his prison cell at HMP Haverigg to conspire with Sicarius McGrath to collect a debt from a woman in Preston. Patel was sentenced to seven years imprisonment.
Paul Williams ,29, of Pilch Bank Road, Liverpool was also sentenced to 18 months imprisonment for assisting an offender, after making phone calls and supplying transport to McGrath after he stabbed a man in self -defence on Brixton Road in Preston on 19 June last year. Williams was also disqualified from driving for two years upon his release from prison.
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Detective Inspector Peter Danby from Lancashire Police said “This was a challenging and complex investigation undertaken by our Targeted Crime Unit and clearly demonstrates Lancashire Constabulary’s commitment to protecting our communities from organised crime. The sentences handed down to McGrath, Patel and Williams reflect the severity of the offending and send a clear message that it will not be tolerated in Lancashire
“Those involved in organised crime within our communities should expect that we will be pro-actively investigating their activities and working closely with the Crown Prosecution Service to bring them to justice
“A key role of the police service is protecting the most vulnerable and those living in our communities should not suffer in silence. I want to reassure them that they can come forward and speak in confidence regarding their concerns.”
Brett Gerrity, Senior Crown Prosecutor for CPS North West said: “Sicarius McGrath, previously known as Anthony Harrington, conspired with Suhail “Solly” Patel to collect a debt owed to him by a Preston woman .
“McGrath and Patel aggressively pursued the woman leaving her terrified for her own and her family’s safety. Mr Patel, who was at that time serving a sentence for violent disorder during which a firearm was discharged, passed the responsibility for collecting the debt to McGrath. Threats were made that her fingers would be cut off and the windows of her family home were smashed with bricks on three occasions. Patel was well aware that violence was to be the mechanism for this debt to be enforced . The victim has shown great bravery in coming forward and testifying against the two men enabling us to bring them to justice.
“When McGrath was arrested he was in possession of a CS gas canister and cocaine. Police examined his phone and found evidence which proved he controlled women who he employed as prostitutes at the house he rented. Numerous text messages showed how he agreed prices with clients for the women’s sexual services. He also set up a website for an escort service and sent out photographs to potential clients in order to advertise the women he employed
“Sicarius McGrath is a violent and manipulative man who was previously the subject of a gang injunction in Liverpool. He terrorised people ensuring that they lived in fear of him and willingly took on the debt of another man in order to exert power over a vulnerable woman.
“The Crown Prosecution Service and the police will continue to work together to ensure that those who aim to bring fear and misery to our communities are brought to justice. We will now seek to strip Patel and McGrath of any profits they have made from their criminal activities using proceeds of crime legislation.”