A DOCTOR'S son from Portugal was jailed yesterday for running four brothels, and ordered to leave Ireland within 24 hours of completing his sentence.
Luis Delgado (43) had offered the services of two Brazilian prostitutes to hundreds of men at three addresses in Sligo town and one in the village of Gurteen between 2005 and 2008.
The father of four came from "a good Christian family", his sister Helena Maria told Judge Tony Hunt at Sligo Circuit Court yesterday.
Detective Garda Michael Carr told the court an extensive intelligence-led investigation into the prostitution ring had led to Delgado being identified as the chief suspect.
Apartments and houses in Gurteen and Sligo town were raided over a number of months, and computers, discs and memory sticks seized.
Forensic analysis had found spreadsheets giving some of the accounts of the prostitution business, he said.
"But in June 2008, just as he was about to be charged, Mr Delgado left the jurisdiction," said Gda Det Carr.
However, last year Delgado contacted Gda Det Carr from prison in Holland, where he was serving three years for cocaine and firearms offences , and offered to travel to Ireland to face the prostitution charges.
Gardai then cancelled plans to issue extradition proceedings.
Delgado later admitted organising prostitution between December 2005 and April 2008, and earning up to €1,500 a week.
There was no violence or coercion involved in the prostitution ring, the defence told the court. The defence asked the judge to consider Delgado's guilty plea and what, he said, were offences which were not as serious as other cases.
The judge rose for 15 minutes to examine a previous case in which he had jailed a Co Down man at Dublin Circuit Court for two-and-a-half years, with the last 14 months suspended.
The DPP had appealed that sentence to the Court of Criminal Appeal arguing that it was unduly lenient. The sentence was increased to four years.
"A slap on the wrist was administered to yours truly," said the judge.
However, on returning, the judge told the court that the coercion in the other case was not present in the Delgado case.
"This was a less well-oiled, less well-organised and less profitable operation," he noted, "but I do have to have regard to the Court of Criminal Appeal's view and of the damage brought about by prostitution."
He acknowledged that there was "another side to Luis Delgado" as someone who clearly came from a good family.
He sentenced Delgado to two-and-a-half years in jail and suspended the last 15 months for a period of 10 years on condition that he entered into an agreement to leave Ireland within 24 hours of finishing his jail time.
Delgado was visibly upset as he was handcuffed and led away. His sister and a cousin were allowed to visit him before he was driven away.