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Convicted pimp Martin Heaney abandons release bid after authorities take steps for him to serve further jail time


Martin Heaney

Martin Heaney

Martin Heaney

A convicted pimp accused of defying a ban on accessing sex websites has abandoned a bid to be released again amid moves to revoke his licence.

Martin Heaney, (59), was due to apply for bail at the High Court on Wednesday on a new charge of breaching a Slavery and Trafficking Prevention Order (STPO).

But proceedings were adjourned indefinitely because the authorities have taken steps aimed at recalling him to serve a further period behind bars for his original offences.

Defence barrister Peter Coiley confirmed: “Events have overtaken us. We are not in a position to make the application.”

Heaney, originally from Maypole Park in Dromore, Co Down, received a five-year sentence last month for a catalogue of offences against vulnerable young women he exploited and coerced into controlled prostitution.

Due to time already served on remand he was freed on licence but made subject to an STPO for seven years.

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The order includes a prohibition on accessing any sites advertising personal sexual services.

Heaney was arrested again at his hostel accommodation in south Belfast on July 26 for allegedly flouting that ban.

A previous court heard PSNI checks on his mobile phone revealed websites advertising strippers, kissograms and “companionship services” had been accessed.

Police claimed he had shown complete disregard for the STPO by visiting sites similar to those used in the past to contact some victims.

At that hearing Heaney’s lawyer insisted there was an innocent explanation for any content on his phone, with viewings done through YouTube not believed to have breached the order.

However, it was also disclosed that probation services contacted Parole Commissioners last week in a bid to have Heaney’s licence revoked because of the risk he is believed to pose.

That process is understood to have resulted in his bail application being put on hold.

The former taxi driver previously admitted a total of 28 charges spanning a period from June 2011 to September 2019.

Those offences included 10 counts of controlling prostitution in expectation of gain, 10 human trafficking charges and seven counts of voyeurism.

The victims had been lured into prostitution and made to have unprotected sex with Heaney and other men.

Women were driven to meet customers on both sides of the border — with some incidents involving multiple clients on the same night.

Many of them were recorded engaging in paid sexual activity without their consent, and one was instructed to continue working as a prostitute when she was pregnant.

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