Belfast Telegraph

First Northern Ireland man charged with paying for sex to have phones checked

By Nevin Farrell

Phones and computers are being examined by investigators in the case of a Co Antrim man - the first person accused of actually handing over money to pay for sex in Northern Ireland.

Peter David Clyde (38), of Rocavan Meadow in Broughshane, is accused of committing the offence on January 18 this year.

The particulars are that the accused "obtained sexual services from a person in exchange for payment, the payment having been made or promised by you, contrary to Article 64A of the Sexual Offences (Northern Ireland) Order 2008".

It's believed to be the first case of its kind in which an alleged payment for sex was actually made.

The defendant faces a second charge of attempted sexual communication with a child on January 18 this year.

The case was first mentioned at Ballymena Magistrates Court in early November, when the accused had a walking stick with him as he entered the dock.

On that date a police officer said he believed he could connect the accused to the charges.

A prosecution lawyer told that hearing it was possible the case could proceed to the Crown Court.

On November 8, District Judge Nigel Broderick released the defendant on £500 bail, with conditions that he was not to have any contact with anyone under the age of 16 unless approved by social services, apart from unavoidable daily contact.

He also had to live at an address approved by police and he was not to access social media or dating websites. The defendant had been excused from attending the latest mention of the case at Ballymena Magistrates Court yesterday because he was working.

A prosecution lawyer said they had requested a full file but it had not yet been received from police and was not due until mid-January.

She said phones and computers were being examined.

No other details were given to the court and the defendant has yet to enter either a guilty or not guilty plea.

Judge Broderick adjourned the case until the end of January.

While there have been two previous prosecutions in Northern Ireland under legislation introduced in 2015, both involved "attempting" to pay for sexual services.

Belfast Telegraph

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