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  1. ITV Report

First NI prosecution for paying for sex

A twenty three-year-old man has become the first person in Northern Ireland to be prosecuted since paying for sex became a criminal offence.

James Maloney of Drumarg Villas, Armagh is accused of attempting to obtain the sexual services of a female in exchange for payment.

It is alleged the offence occurred in the Dungannon area on 28 August 2016.

The prosecution is the first of its kind in the UK and is based on a section of the Human Trafficking and Exploitation Act making it illegal to pay or attempt to pay for sexual services.

Appearing at Dungannon Magistrates Court, his defence lawyer said Maloney denies the charge.

District Judge John Meehan listed a contest for hearing on 30 January, with a pre-trial review to be held in December.

A spokesperson for the Public Prosecution Service confirmed this is the first case of its kind since the law was introduced in 2015.