Selkirk man guilty of sex-trade charges

Robert Munro

Robert Munro

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A Borders businessman is facing a lengthy jail term after being convicted of operating a lucrative prostitution racket in Edinburgh.

Robert Munro, 61, who hails from Selkirk, was found guilty of proceeds of crime and immoral earnings charges at the High Court in Edinburgh on Monday, along with Margaret Paterson, 61, and 59-year-old Ian Goalen.

The trio operated a brothel and nationwide escort business from a house in the capital’s West End.

During a nine-year period, Paterson and Munro provided prostitutes for clients all over Scotland.

Their associate, Goalen, was a former bank manager who acted as a driver for the working girls while they plied their trade in Edinburgh, West Lothian, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Newcastle.

But their lucrative scam came to an end when police raided their premises in Edinburgh’s Grosvenor Street in September 2011.

Officers found sex toys, designer shoes and evidence which showed that Paterson had gone on a £461,604 spending spree in some of Edinburgh’s most exclusive shops.

Detectives then discovered that Paterson and Munro had a business bank account. Prosecutors found that it contained £544,601.

Sentencing on Paterson, Munro and Goalen has been deferred in order for the court to obtain reports about their characters.

Munro, of Grosvenor Street, Edinburgh, along with Paterson and Goalen, had originally pleaded not guilty to a total of seven charges, but Goalen pleaded guilty to living off the earnings of prostitution on the last day of the Crown case and then gave evidence against his former bosses.

Temporary judge Michael O’Grady granted bail to Paterson and Munro, but on the condition they both surrendered their passports.

Munro is a former piper in Selkirk Pipe Band and was also well known for running a chip shop in Selkirk High Street.