Prostitutes working for Northern Ireland’s worst, most predatory pimp had to have unprotected sex with him and with a multitude of customers, a court has heard.
‘Mucky’ Martin Heaney would secretly record the trysts and it was when those videos were uncovered that many of his vulnerable victims were identified by detectives.
The 59-year-old is due to be sentenced on Friday and prosecutors are also seeking to seize £150,000 in his bank account, branding it ill-gotten criminal profits.
Heaney, once described in court as the “Deliveroo of sex”, pleaded guilty to a catalogue of charges last November including human trafficking, controlling prostitution, and voyeurism.
His crimes spanned eight years, with the victim count totalling 12.
Craigavon Court was told Heaney “corrupted’’ many of the young women.
“It is apparent that a number of common features exist between the stories of the women,” said a barrister.
“While some were willing prostitutes, a number of the women had wished to engage only in dancing and stripping but were turned eventually to prostitution.”
Heaney was in charge of advertising arranged appointments with the women, and drove them to appointments on both sides of the border.
“He would also take them to his house in Dromore to have sex with customers, and some he would take to a ‘sex cinema’ in Dublin where they would have sex with more than one man,” the barrister added.
Heaney also suggested the women “do web-cam work — performing sexual acts on a web-cam and sometimes one woman would be required to work with another”.
The court was told his cut of the money made was anywhere between 20 to 50%.
The voyeurism charges arose because Heaney would sometimes film the sex with the customer “without the woman’s consent”.
As well as having sex with multiple customers, including unprotected sex at the behest of Heaney, the women were required to have sex with him “to satisfy his particular perversions”.
The court was told when one of the women stopped working for him, she was paid a visit by three men who “shoved” their way into her house and told her not to use any of the pervert’s contacts.
When Heaney was arrested in 2019, he did his best to play down his role, claiming that he would drive “a couple of girls” and they would “throw him a couple of pound for the fuel and wear and tear”.
But given his guilty pleas, the barrister said “the enterprise was on a significant scale, with significant financial gain”.
Heaney’s solicitor said that while the pimp “has been portrayed as a monster, he is not”.
“There was never any violence, or threat of violence, in any of his contacts,” said the lawyer, adding that he should be given substantial credit for his guilty pleas.
Heaney, he told the court, has been in custody since his arrest almost three years ago, so he is close to having spent the equivalent of a six-year sentence behind bars.
It was revealed that, in all that time, the pimp, whose mother died giving birth to him, “has not had one single visitor”.
The defence disputed claims that the £150,000 in Heaney’s bank account was from the proceeds of crime, but rather from the sale of his father’s house.
Heaney was remanded into custody and will find out his fate on Friday.