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Finsbury Park massage parlour closed

17:48 12 December 2012

Islington Town Hall

Islington Town Hall

Archant

A massage parlour where police allegedly found a woman providing a sexual service has applied for permission to reopen – despite only being closed down on Friday.

Plain clothes officers said they discovered a naked man and woman when they forced their way into a closed room at Sauna 2K in Seven Sisters Road, Finsbury Park, in September.

In his report to Islington Council, Pc Donald Stewart said: “The door opened and I could see a naked male standing beside a table. I could also see the naked bottom half of a female who was lying on the bed. She jumped off the bed and slammed the door closed, shouting she was busy.”

While the Polish man insisted he was only having a £35-pound massage, the Romanian woman told Pc Stewart she had given a £60 “hand job”.

Sauna 2K boasts online of “offering London’s gentlemen an oasis of relaxation” with an “unrivalled selection of international girls” – and just £15 entry fee.

But on Friday police officers and Islington Council’s licensing team visited it again – together with three other saunas, seven betting shops, an off- licence and five bars.

Sauna 2K was temporarily closed because it had no special treatment licence – which it needs for services such as massage.

Islington Council will decide today (Thursday) whether to issue a new licence.

Conditions would include “decent and properly attired employees” and no “indecent or disorderly” acts.

The applicant’s solicitor, Richard Barca, of Wilson Barca Solicitors, said: “It’s been licensed for about 10 years so this is not an application for a new licence, it’s for a late renewal.

“It should have been submitted in September last year but I think it got lost in the post.

“The assertion that people in the area have objected is false. I could say people are equally delighted to have a functioning business in Finsbury Park.”

With regards to the alleged “hand job”, Mr Barca continued: “I wouldn’t describe it as prostitution but I accept it would be in breach of the licence.

“But I do not accept that my client knew what was going on.”

No residents have submitted official objections to the licence, which lapsed in September 2011 after being in force since 2000.

But Labour-run Islington Council is trying to clamp down on the number of massage parlours in the borough.

On Friday, Aqua Sauna in Hornsey Road, Holloway, was found to have no licensed masseuses on duty – although it did have a special treatment licence – and was also temporarily closed.

Pleasure Garden, in Caledonian Road, Islington, was closed earlier this year after council officers found it was operating without a licence.

Cllr Paul Convery, Islington Council’s executive member for community safety, said: “We are not turning a blind eye to this any more.

“This sort of thing should be removed from the neighbourhoods of decent law-abiding people.”

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