Belfast Telegraph

Court first as Northern Ireland man who offered cash for sex is jailed

By Staff Reporter

An Armagh man who became the first person in the UK to be convicted for trying to pay for sexual services has been jailed and ordered to pay his victim compensation.

James Maloney (23), of Drumarg Villas, who denied the charge against him, committed what District Judge John Meehan described as "abhorrent, predatory sexualised stalking of a woman".

Last month, Dungannon Magistrates Court heard that the victim, a Lithuanian woman, was at her place of work in a Dungannon petrol station at 6.20am on August 28, 2016, when Maloney approached in a car and spoke out through the passenger window.

He showed her a roll of money and make an obscene sexual gesture.

The vehicle drove off, but it returned five minutes later and Maloney repeated the gesture, the court was told.

After around an hour, the defendant again returned and stared at the victim whose supervisor called the PSNI.

Police, whose actions were commended by the judge, viewed CCTV footage and traced the car to Maloney.

When eventually interviewed, he remained silent in response to all questions, a position he retained at contest.

The defence contended there were issues over the original summons, but then conceded that an amendment had been made.

Judge Meehan said the "whole horrible incident" had significantly impacted on the victim.

"This is the first prosecution of its kind in Northern Ireland," he added.

"This wasn't a case of a man caught out trying to approach a sex worker.

"This was a man who deliberately targeted an isolated woman in a predatory fashion, by virtue of the fact she was a woman."

The defence urged the judge to impose a community order or a fine on the accused.

Judge Meehan, however, rejected this. He told Maloney: "This is a very serious offence. It features abhorrent, predatory, sexualised stalking of a woman.

"You heartlessly put her though a contest and you show no remorse."

Handing down a prison sentence of three months, the judge also ordered Maloney to pay his victim £500, stating: "This is to reflect the impact your selfish, calculated behaviour on the victim, whom you sought to have satisfy your egotism."

Belfast Telegraph

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