Brothel charge

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A WIGAN woman has pleaded not guilty to running a brothel.

Ava Swift, 52, denied a charge of keeping or managing a brothel at a preliminary hearing before Liverpool Crown Court yesterday.

The defendant, of Liverpool Road, Ashton, was released on unconditional bail prior to a trial due to start in June.

Swift stands accused of keeping or managing a brothel at the D2 unit on the Eastside Industrial Estate, Jackson Street, St Helens, between January 2007 and May 2010.

Police used legislation recently added to the Sexual Offences Act 2003 to close the unit following raids in May and October last year. Signs had described it as a massage parlour and sunbed shop.

The closure was a culmination of a long-term police investigation.