Former madam refuses to pay back millions

Author: By Gareth Llewellyn, Press Association

Diane Jones is enjoying the sunshine of northern Cyprus in a three-bedroom
villa after failing to return from a holiday to the island.

The 46-year-old grandmother is believed to have made £4m managing The
Ambassador Health Suite, Twice As Nice and Heaven, all in Cardiff, and St
Tropez, in Swindon, with the help of four other women.

The Twice As Nice brothel was previously called A Touch Of Class and was where
Plaid Cymru assembly member Dr Phil Williams died of a heart attack at the
age of 64 in June 2003.

The original court case heard how the brothels typically took a combined total
of £11,000 cash per week.

Jones, of Pwll Du, Llangain, Carmarthen, west Wales, was sentenced at Cardiff
Crown Court in January last year and was given a 12-month jail sentence
suspended for two years. She admitted running the brothels and concealing
criminal property.

She then became the focus of a proceeds of crime investigation by the Regional
Asset Recovery Team (Wales).

At Merthyr Crown Court last week, Jones was ordered to pay back £2.6 million
of her illegal earnings within six months in a hearing that went ahead in
her absence.

If she fails to pay within six months, Jones will be liable to serve a
four-year prison term and will still owe the money.

The authorities are unlikely to be paid the cash according to Jones who spoke
to the Glamorgan Gazette newspaper from her villa, complete with swimming
pool, on the Turkish part of the island.

“I don’t want to do four years in prison and I haven’t got £2.6 million, so
I’ve got to sit tight,” she told the newspaper.

“I could have got a lot worse. I was expecting maybe six years and the amount
to repay could have been as bad as £4m. I’m 47 in December. I would be
stupid to come back,”

The former Bridgend pub landlady said she now plans to live on her savings and
may even write her memoirs on the island. She also plans to release the
ashes of her son Jeffrey into the Mediterranean Sea after he died from
heroin abuse a year ago.

She also said she has finally turned her back on prostitution: “I’m
sunbathing, swimming and reading. I’ve no work permit but I might do a
course to teach English to adults as a foreign language.

“I want to use my brain instead of my body. I might write my memoirs.”

After the court hearing last week, Det Chief Insp Chris Dodd, head of the
Regional Asset Recovery Team (Wales) said: “The extent of Jones’ offending
bought her a significant lifestyle which we will now dismantle.

“Our colleagues in South Wales Police identified the original offences; the
expertise of Regional Asset Recovery Team officers traced assets, restrained
properties and obtained the confiscation orders.

“The Regional Asset Recovery Team will now assist the Courts Service to
enforce the orders and ensure that Jones pays what is owed, or serves the
additional sentence.

“This end-to-end co-operation will continue to be focused on those who seek to
profit from such criminality.”

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