Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 21 October 2014

Jail for Ulsterman who ran brothel network in Dublin

Caged: Mark McCormick

A Northern Ireland man has been jailed for running a network of brothels in Dublin - seven years after his father was convicted of organising prostitution.

Mark McCormick was netting an estimated €2,500 a month from the brothels and another €150,000 a month from internet advertising of an escort service.

McCormick (26), of Ballaghbeg Park, Newcastle, Co Down, was sentenced to two-and-a-half years imprisonment at Dublin circuit criminal court.

He was described in court as being “at the top of the ladder” in an organised prostitution ring in Dublin city.

In May 2003 his father Peter McCormick (51), a former RUC reservist, who was then living at Lawnswood Grove, Stillorgan, Dublin, but originally from Larne, Co Antrim, was given a two-year suspended sentence after he pleaded guilty to organising prostitution between September 10, 1999 and April 14, 2000.

Yesterday, Mark McCormick pleaded guilty to seven counts of acting or assisting in the management of a brothel at six locations in Dublin city centre on various dates between November 6, 2005 and April 3, 2006.

Judge Tony Hunt called it an “operation of significant sophistication and detailed advanced planning”. He noted it was a very profitable business as demonstrated by a spreadsheet found, which showed profits of €220,000 to be split between three people.

He said McCormick used his computer knowledge to set up the brothel and “structured his part in the operation to remain as much as possible in the shadows”.

A co-accused, Duane Killen (37) of Oldtown Road, Annalong, Newry, was given a suspended sentence last March for his role in renting Dublin apartments to be used as brothels.

Detective Garda Larry Duggan told Sean Guerin BL, prosecuting, that McCormick was among the subjects of a major Garda investigation, known as Operation Quest, into the online advertisement of prostitution.

On March 8 2006, McCormick was brought to Store Street Garda station after he was observed having lunch with Killen. When gardai later searched an apartment on South Lotts Road, they found items including a laptop containing spreadsheets detailing the names of prostitutes, dates and amounts of cash received.

Judge Hunt said it stood in the accused's favour that there was no human trafficking or abuse of women involved. He also took into account McCormick's late guilty plea and suspended the final 14 months of the sentence.

Latest News

Latest Sport

Latest Showbiz