Where did it all go wrong for Sandy Superstars

What is Sandy´s superstars? 

Sandy´s Superstars was two brothels, used for prostitution, which had been opened for over 12 years in Manchester. One was based in Prestwich, on 464 Bury Old Road. The other was based in Northenden on 375 Palatine Road.  They had the reputation of being the best and most organised brothels in England. Providing a safe working environment for prostitutes in Manchester. The owners of Sandys Superstars were a married couple, Sandra ‘Sandy’ Hankin and her husband, Christopher ‘Mark’ Hankin. 

Allowed to operate 

Greater Manchester police turned a blind eye for years! Throughout the 12 years they were open and operating, Manchester police worked with the brothel owners and prostitutes to gain their trust. This meant that Sandys Superstars brothels had been allowed to thrive in Manchester. There was a tolerance for the two brothels from Greater Manchester police. Providing there were no underage girls, no criminal activity such as drugs, no coercion and no trafficked girls; there was a mutual understanding, “an agreement” between GMP and those who ran the brothels. 

Where it all went wrong 

Sandy’s Superstars brothels, in Prestwich and Northenden, were raided by armed police officers and immediately closed down following a string of complaints to Greater Manchester Police from an ‘investigative journalist’ named Richard Carvath. It is claimed that he first emailed the chief of police at GMP in October 2010. This email was to become the first of many emails regarding Sandy’s Superstars which would pass between Richard Carvath and various GMP officers in the following 18 months.“Your email has been forwarded to the Serious Crime Division for further investigation…” It is claimed that the journalist went on a personal crusade to eliminate sex work from Sandys Superstars brothels. 

Manchester Magistrates Court 

Ten people faced charges after the closure of Manchester massage parlours ‘Sandy’s Superstars’. They were accused of keeping brothels and laundering the profits, dating back 12 years. All were released on unconditional bail ahead of a crown court  

The married couple and their webmaster Adrian ‘Merv’ Burch – who was arrested by armed police – and administrator Alison Sutton, all got suspended sentences at Manchester’s Minshull Street Crown Court last month after pleading guilty to keeping brothels to use for prostitution between 2008 and 2016. 


The owners and their associates who ran Sandys superstars all got six months suspended sentences at Manchester’s Minshull Street Crown Court after pleading guilty to keeping brothels to use for prostitution between 2008 and 2016. Charged with brothel keeping, Sandy Hankin, Mark Hankin and their webmaster Adrian “Merv” Burch were issued with a Proceeds of Crime Act and ordered to pay in total 460,000 pounds. The judge said that both of Sandys brothels were well run and known to the police, hence why no police action was taken for over a decade! There are still many brothels, escort agencies, adult clubs who are operating in the Manchester area. Manchester escorts and brothel owners no longer have the confidence to confide in the local police or report any problems. Rumours suggest that they have since re opened one of the Sandys Superstar brothels under a different name.