Readers will remember our threefold mention of brothel investigators in Australia over the past few months. It seems their job may be more complicated than one might have thought. Thanks to a tip from Snoggeramus, an Australian reader of this blog, we learn more.
A Sydney council has lost a landmark legal battle against a massage parlour it alleged was operating as an illegal brothel, after a court ruled the council failed to prove there was enough sex being provided on the premises.
. . .
... in a benchmark decision, a judge has dismissed the case, ruling that council's evidence of sex being sold on the premises fell short of the NSW's specific definition of the term "brothel" - which requires more than one prostitute to be providing services onsite. The outcome means both Hornsby - and other councils - would have to fund multiple trips inside suspect premises to have any chance of a result.
. . .
The Sun-Herald has previously identified at least 34 illegal premises operating within a five-kilometre radius on the north shore. Last year, it revealed that least 10 metropolitan Sydney councils had hired a small band of middle-aged, male private investigators to have undercover sex, as a last resort to gain the necessary evidence that will convince a judge to close an illegal establishment down.
But according to the letter of the law, it now appears that is not enough.
. . .
While it had demonstrated that one worker was providing sex, the court found that the legal definition of a brothel involves more than one prostitute using the premises at any one time.
Hornsby Council confirmed last week its Planning Division is to lobby the NSW Department of Planning and Environment for an "urgent review" of the "legislative definitions" of a brothel.
There's more at the link.
They may, of course, be hiring the wrong type of investigator. Maybe 'middle-aged' men are the wrong demographic. Perhaps they need more fine upstanding young men . . .