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Confessions of Belfast brothel madam Angela Cosgrave

By Patricia Devlin

Published 29/09/2015

Meet middle-class madam Angela Cosgrave — the brothel queen behind one of Northern Ireland’s biggest prostitution rackets.

Sunday Life can reveal how the well-groomed Banbridge-born businesswoman has been raking in a fortune running a network of sex dens in Belfast.

Sunday Life secretly recorded the pretty redhead revealing “she looks after the business side of things”, employs office staff at a house on Belfast’s Malone Road and continues to see clients herself as a call girl.

In a year-long undercover inquiry into the Belfast sex trade, our reporter first encountered 31-year-old Cosgrave — also known as Angela Boyle — at a brothel in south Belfast.

Confident Angela showed the reporter around a makeshift dungeon and massage room, revealing how she was leading a double life by keeping her career as a call girl secret from her family, friends and partner, a Co. Antrim businessman.

But earlier this month, Cosgrave happily presented herself as a successful boss running a team of girls selling sex seven days a week from smart apartments.

Our reporter met her in a south Belfast hotel after replying to an online advert posted on an adult website looking for office staff for a “busy escort agency”.

From the outset, well-spoken psychology graduate Angela made it clear what the escort agency was all about — selling sex.

She explained how our reporter’s duties would include screening calls from clients and she would have to know what each of the girls would and would not do.

“None of our girls do anal... we all think it’s disgusting,” explained Angela.

Angela Cosgrave leaving the hotel in Belfast following a meeting with a Sunday Life reporter.
Angela Cosgrave leaving the hotel in Belfast following a meeting with a Sunday Life reporter.
Angela also services clients as well as running the business.
Angela also services clients as well as running the business.
Angela Cosgrave with her partner.

“And one doesn’t do domination. So that would be on her list.

“One of the girls won’t see men over 45. You will know what the girls will and will not do.”

As she spoke to our reporter in the lobby of the hotel the busy businesswoman’s phone constantly rang and she received notices of a string of missed calls.

Angela spoke openly about some creepy clients as she attempted to recruit our undercover reporter to join her “established, upscale and female-owned” agency office team.

And although she is clearly controlling prostitution for gain — a criminal offence in Northern Ireland — she insisted her ‘Premier Escorts NI’ agency is legitimate because her sex workers haven’t been trafficked.

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She advised our reporter how to spot timewasters, who are the scourge of the escort business.

“How you know they are going to be a timewaster is, like, they keep calling you. And sending you dirty messages. All they are looking for is a free f******  w***. They get a thrill out of it.”

Posing as ‘Suzanne’, she spoke of the stresses of running an agency while still seeing clients herself but said after four years she felt she was now finally on top of things.

The pretty, chatty businesswoman made it clear there was more to the office role than just answering phones.

She told our reporter: “The clients basically need to think that you are one of the girls.

“We’ve been going for four years and by this stage some of them [clients] know that they aren’t talking to the girls. To be honest, not many of them really care.”

She added: “There’s a wee bit of flirting involved, maybe swapping one or two messages is fine. Some of them like to text and say, what are you going to do to me?

“One or two but that’s it, because we would get a lot of timewasters.”

Describing how the agency is run mainly by herself, Angela said: “We have two teams. Now if you were starting you would be on Anne’s team, which needs extra staff.

“At the minute she has four girls — five this week because there is a new girl starting. The other girl who looks after a team is Claire.

“I still see some clients a day, and obviously I also look after the business side of things so that’s why I have staff to look after the girls.”

Telling our reporter she would get paid up to £125 a shift as a receptionist, Angela said the role would involve working between the hours of 10am to 10pm.

“The office you will be in is up the Malone Road and there’s plenty of parking,” she said, adding that there was free parking at a nearby church.

She added: “The girls you are booking clients in for aren’t in the same house — they will be somewhere else.

“So you won’t be able to finish your shift until the girl lets you know the client has gone.”

Detailing how she would be booking in clients, Angela explained: “We only take clients from 10am to 10pm, if a guy seems drunk on the phone, he is told there are no appointments. If the guy comes drunk, he is turned away.

“There’s wine, whiskey and vodka in the apartment and the client can have a glass, and the girl too if she wants.”

Keen to sign our reporter up for her first trial shift, Angela told her: “For your first couple of training sessions we will book a room in [a named hotel].

“After a few months you will probably be on the laptop, updating the girls’ profiles online.”

Our reporter previously encountered Cosgrave at a south Belfast separate sex den that was dismantled by police last year.

Just months after the footage was taken, a man linked to Cosgrave was arrested and charged over the Belfast brothel.

Angela was well aware of the risks of being arrested or exposed in the media.

While interviewing our reporter recently she suddenly appeared to realise that she had met her previously.

The job interview ended with Cosgrave asking to see the would-be receptionist’s identity.

Sunday Life attempted to seek comment from Cosgrave last week about her brothel-running activities but through her solicitor she declined to give an interview or issue a statement.

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