A RIBBLE Valley businessman has been jailed for running two brothels to fund his ‘lavish lifestyle’.

Former solicitor John Williams Burrows, 63, was arrested when two prostitutes offered sex to police not realising they were officers.

Burrows lived in a luxury five-bedroomed barn conversion in Hough Clough Lane, Chipping, which is up for sale for £915,000.

Steve Taylor, Senior Financial Investigator at the North West Regional Asset Recovery Team, said: "Burrows enjoyed a lavish lifestyle from the exploitation of young women.”

Burrows had already appeared in court in July 2009 when he pleaded guilty to managing a brothel.

At the time he was given a suspended jail sentence and warned it would be activited if he committed another crime.

This week at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court he was sent to prison for 18 months.

The court heard that the police officers had visited Burrows premises to take a statement on an unrelated matter when they were offered sex.

Already Burrows has been ordered to pay back £750,000 which a court said he gained because of his criminal activities.

Yesterday, villagers in Chipping spoke of their shock.

Former policeman Stuart Nellist, 55, who lives in Talbot Street, said: “He should have to sell his house.

“Everybody knows everything around here and everyone knows everyone too, but you never know what lurks behind closed doors.

“He has done his crime and now he is doing his time. I don’t agree that he should live off immoral earnings.”

Another resident said: “Chipping is a lovely village to live in. It is a complete surprise that someone around here would do something like this.”

Barry Marsden, 33, of Talbot Street, said: “It is a shock to hear something like this has happened and it is linked to this little sleepy village.”

Police launched an investigation into Burrows following numerous complaints that a health studio called the World Famous Babes Gentleman's Club in Worsley Road, Swinton, Greater Manchester was being used as a brothel. Officers raided the premises on 29 June 2007.

During the raid officers discovered two men engaged in sexual acts with women who were working as prostitutes.

A search of the club by officers also revealed further evidence it was being used as a brothel, including numerous condoms and sex toys.

Burrows admitted running the brothel and another in Bury.

Since the sentencing specialist financial investigators at the North West Regional Asset Recovery Team, part of the Regional Organised Crime Unit (ROCU), have examined all of Burrows' business dealings.

At a Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) hearing, Burrows was ordered to pay back £742,759.83.

Speaking after the case, Mr Taylor said: "This result sends a powerful message - we will take decisive action if we have evidence a brothel is being run.

"Brothels are a blight on our communities and we fully understand the concerns of residents who live in or near areas affected by the illegal sex industry.

"He has a property portfolio that will now have to be sold to fund this repayment.

"The message should be clear, with the collaboration of the North West Forces under ROCU, we will continue to target those criminals who commit serious offences, and who profit from such offences, that cross Force boundaries."

Salford Divisional Commander, Chief Superintendent Kevin Mulligan, said: "This shows that anyone who profits from criminal acts will be pursued through the courts and we will do everything in our power to seize their assets."