Prostitution ring leaders appeal jail terms

Margaret Paterson. Picture:Julie Bull

Margaret Paterson. Picture:Julie Bull

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THE two crooks who were caged last month for operating a lucrative Edinburgh based prostitution racket are appealing against their convictions.

Businesswoman Margaret Paterson, 60, and Robert Munro, 61, were handed five year prison sentences at the High Court in Edinburgh last month.

A third man - Ian Goalen, 59, - was ordered to perform 150 hours community service. He acted as a driver for the two criminals.

The crooked duo pocketed hundreds of thousands of pounds from a criminal enterprise which operated across the United Kingdom.

During a ten year period beginning in October 2002, Paterson - whose nickname is Madame Moneybags - and Munro provided prostitutes for sex crazed punters all over Scotland and the North of England.

Their racket was eventually rumbled when officers raided their brothel in Edinburgh’s Haymarket area - stunned cops discovered sex toys, designer shoes and evidence which showed that Paterson had gone on a £461,604 spending spree in some of the Scottish capital’s most exclusive shops.

They also discovered a whopping £204,660 in cash and evidence that they had laundered £700,000 of ill gotten gains.

Now lawyers acting for the pair have lodged papers at the Justiciary Office in Edinburgh’s Court of Session indicating their intention to appeal.

A staff member at the Justiciary Office said on Thursday that both Paterson and Munro were appealing against conviction and sentence.

The duo’s legal teams are now set to go to the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh to argue that they should be both freed.

A source close to the pair said they believed they were the victim of a miscarriage of justice.

The insider added: “They are convinced that they have done nothing wrong. They want to have their convictions quashed.

“Both Paterson and Munro feel that they haven’t broken the law and they hope that the Appeal Court will agree with them.”

The date of the Appeal Court hearing is yet to be arranged.