Wanstead man who ran ‘sex empire’ from brothels in Newham jailed for 13 years

PUBLISHED: 20:45 19 May 2017 | UPDATED: 21:52 19 May 2017

Archer ran three brothels in Newham Picture: Met Police

Archer ran three brothels in Newham Picture: Met Police


A man who ran a string of brothels, trafficked women and controlled their profiles on adult websites has been jailed.

David Archer, 53, of Northumberland Avenue, Wanstead was sentenced to 13 years’ imprisonment at Snaresbrook Crown Court on Friday.

He had previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to control prostitution for gain, two counts of human trafficking, possession of an identity document with improper intention and concealing criminal property.

In March, Archer was also found guilty of three counts of sexual assault following a four-week trial.

Det Sgt John Kirby, of the Met’s Sexual Offences Exploitation and Child Abuse Command, said: “Archer had no option other than to plead guilty to a number of offences.

“However, he thought that he could escape justice with regard to the assault. This was not the case.

“Archer exploited vulnerable women to build his lucrative empire in the sex industry over a number of years.

“The vulnerability of the women and his position of strength created an imbalance which he exploited again and again - financially, emotionally, and in some cases sexually.”

Police were first contacted in January 2016 by one of the victims, a sex worker, who was concerned for the safety of another woman locked inside a bedroom at Archer’s Northumberland Avenue address.

Officers attended and found a young woman trapped inside one of the rooms, as well as evidence that the premises were being used as a brothel.

Officers seized mobile phones, cameras, and laptops following a search of the property.

Whilst officers were conducting the search, Archer arrived at the property and he was arrested on suspicion of controlling prostitution for gain.

Detectives from Newham launched an investigation and quickly established that Archer owned three other properties; a house and a hotel in Romford Road, Forest Gate and a hotel in Barking Road, Plaistow.

These properties were searched following Archer’s arrest and there was clear evidence that they were operating as brothels.

Archer advertised rooms in these properties for sex workers to operate from and he often charged an inflated rate for room rental, or took a significant percentage of the income generated by prostitution.

He also trafficked women into the United Kingdom to work as prostitutes.

In many cases, he himself took sexually explicit pictures of the women to be used on profiles he ran on adult websites advertising their services.

A number of victims also came forward to report that Archer sexually assaulted them when he took photographs of them.

The Wanstead man had assets of nearly £16 million, with the four brothels making around £1.6m a year.

Officers also found more than £142,000 in cash hidden at one of the premises.

Archer’s accomplices Emma Cox, 41, of New Timber Avenue, Worthing and Zobia Taqi, 29 of High Road, Ilford, both admitted on 10 February to conspiracy to control prostitution for gain.

Both were sentenced today to 12 months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years, 150 hours’ unpaid work and 20 days’ rehabilitation.

As the inquiry progressed, the involvement of Cox and Taqi became evident and they were both arrested in August 2016.

Cox was involved in managing the profiles of the sex workers created by Archer, and Taqi was responsible for overseeing some of the financial side of Archer’s businesses and managing Archer’s hotels.

During the trial, Archer was also found not guilty of seven counts of rape and one count of sexual assault.

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