Northern Ireland

First NI charge since sex law change

Generic photo of women walking along street in short skirts Image copyright PA
Image caption Paying for sex became illegal in Northern Ireland in 2015

A Co Armagh man has become the first person to face prosecution for allegedly paying for sexual services since a law prohibiting it was introduced in Northern Ireland.

James Maloney, 23, from Drumarg Villas, Armagh, is accused of attempting to buy sexual services in Dungannon, County Tyrone, in August 2016.

His defence lawyer told Dungannon Magistrates Court he denies the charge.

Paying for sex became illegal in 2015 after the assembly passed the Human Trafficking and Exploitation Bill.

Image caption The Human Trafficking and Exploitation Bill was the first of its kind in the UK

The Public Prosecution Service (PPS) confirmed that this is the first case in which someone has been charged over allegedly paying for sex.

Mr Maloney's case is due to be heard at the end of January, following a pre-trial review taking place in December.

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