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Belfast Brothels accused denies a total of seven charges over prostitution

By John Cassidy

Published 01/06/2016

In court: Paul Ervine
In court: Paul Ervine

A Co Antrim man has denied running a number of brothels in Belfast and managing the activities of prostitutes for financial gain.

Paul Ervine appeared at Belfast Crown Court for an arraignment hearing on a total of seven charges. The 61-year-old, of Ballymacash Park in Lisburn, pleaded not guilty to two counts of controlling prostitution for financial gain between October 1, 2014 and June 1, 2015.

Ervine also denied three counts of brothel-keeping at addresses in Kitchener Street, Connsbrook Avenue and University Court, which are all in Belfast, between January 31, 2014 and December 31, 2014.

He further pleaded not guilty to possessing criminal property, namely £3,210 in cash, on May 25, 2015.

Defence barrister Ian Turkington asked that a charge of causing or inciting a female to become a prostitute not be put to Ervine at this stage.

This charge relates to an undercover female reporter with a Sunday newspaper.

The defence barrister told Judge Gordon Kerr QC that the charge related to an "audio recording made by a journalist in relation to Mr Ervine".

Mr Turkington added he was awaiting a "transcript of the audio recording" from the prosecution before he could give further instructions to his client.

Judge Kerr QC released Ervine on continuing bail ahead of his trial, which has a provisional date of August 16 this year.

Belfast Telegraph

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