A MAN who ran a brothel in Bracknell for six years has been ordered to pay back more than £150,000.

Michael Drinkwater, 69, from Windmill Avenue, Wokingham, must pay £156,163 after a successful confiscation order was brought against him by the Economic Crime Unit (ECU).

HHJ Richard Parkes QC made the order at Reading Crown Court on Thursday (Dec 19), and Drinkwater must pay the money within three months or be jailed for two years.

Following a search warrant at a house in Ogden Park, Bracknell, in March, Drinkwater was arrested on suspicion of keeping a brothel and Wei Yi Wang, a 53-year-old Chinese woman living at the address, was arrested on suspicion of being an immigration overstayer.

The search revealed £5,000 in cash at the premises and Drinkwater admitted he had rented it for the previous six years to be used as a brothel.

He had been having a relationship with Wang during this time.

Drinkwater was charged on May 23 of one count, and Wang was deported back to China.

In July Drinkwater pleaded guilty to one count of keeping/managing a brothel, and he was sentenced in August to eight months imprisonment suspended for 12 months.

During the investigation, accredited financial investigator (AFI) Steve Tedder, from the ECU asset Rrcovery team, established Drinkwater had benefited over the six years he had run the brothel by £156,163 and he had sufficient assets, including cash, property and vehicles, to satisfy a confiscation order in this amount. AFI Tedder said: “This is another example of how the work of the Asset Recovery Team is proving to criminals that crime does not pay, and showing members of the public that we will tackle criminality in their communities and take the case from those who live off the proceeds of crime.”