Jailed Middleport brothel madam Maryellen Mayer could lose her home
A WOMAN jailed for running a brothel could now lose her home, in a move by police to seize the money she made.
Maryellen Mayer made around £23,000 from the brothel in Middleport before it was raided by police.
The 53-year-old had taken over Academy, in Newcastle Street, after she was forced to retire from the pottery industry because of ill health.
She was jailed in June for eight months, and following a financial investigation, police launched proceedings under the Proceeds of Crime Act to recover her ill-gotten gains.
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A full hearing is yet to be held but during a brief appearance at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court, it was revealed that Mayer's marital home could be seized.
However, Mayer's husband claims he is the rightful owner of the house.
Mayer's barrister, Jason Holt, told the court: "There is a dispute as to the beneficial interest she has in the matrimonial home. Mr Mayer says it is his and she is there in name only, on the title deeds.
"He owned the house outright before he met Mrs Mayer and it remained in his name after marriage, and then she was placed upon the title deeds."
Mr Holt also said a car and registration number are the sole property of Mr Mayer, but the prosecution claims they are registered to and belong to his wife.
Mayer worked as a lithographer for 30 years until she developed repetitive strain injury in her arm.
She claimed she was bored at home on benefits and saw the brothel as an opportunity to run a business.
She took it on in March 2008, until it was raided by police in January.
Punters would hand over £40 a time, of which £27 would go to the working girl.
Mayer would pocket £10, while £3 was set aside for "cleaning".
Mayer would receive about £500 a month, so it was estimated she had made £23,000 during her time at the helm.
Residents and business owners in Middleport say things have improved since Academy shut down.
Sharon Cornes, aged 42, who owns salon Snappy Snippers in Newcastle Street, said: "It's better for my business now it's not there.
"In the past, we had men coming in asking for a massage and we had to tell them they had the wrong place."
Sean Dawson, aged 27, lives behind Academy in Port Vale Street.
He said: "I'm glad the police are getting rid of them. It has been better since it closed."