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Man accused of controlling prostitution in Belfast claimed he was merely acting as an agent for escorts, court hears

By Alan Erwin

Published 26/05/2015

Primary school teacher wins her appeal against being convicted of a classroom assault on an eight-year-old pupil.
Primary school teacher wins her appeal against being convicted of a classroom assault on an eight-year-old pupil.

A man accused of controlling prostitution in Belfast claimed he was merely acting as an agent for escorts, a court heard today.

Paul Ervine, 60, faces charges of involvement in the sex trade following his arrest in the east of the city on Monday.

He is alleged to have run a brothel, controlled prostitution for gain, and caused or incited prostitution.

The charges relate to a period between February and September last year.

Appearing in the dock at Belfast Magistrates' Court, Ervine, of no fixed address, nodded to confirm he understood the allegations against him.

A detective constable said he could connect the accused to the charges.

Defence solicitor Charlene Graham said her client was not seeking bail at this stage due to issues over a possible address.

But she asked the detective: "Can you confirm that Mr Ervine advised police at the outset of his interviews that at all times he acted as a commissioned agent for escorts only."

The officer replied: "That was his quote."

Ervine was remanded into custody to appear again by video-link next week.

An application for bail is expected to be mounted at that stage.

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