Man prosecuted for paying for sexual services in Dungannon pleads not guilty

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A County Armagh man become of the first people prosecuted for paying for sexual services since a new law was introduced in Northern Ireland.

James Maloney, 23, from Drumarg Villas, Armagh, is accused of attempting to buy sexual services in Dungannon, County Tyrone, on August 28, 2016.

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

Part of the prosecution case relies on an identity parade, which would require a number of witnesses including police officers, the court heard.

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

The Public Prosecution Service (PPS) confirmed that this is the first case in which someone has ended up in court for allegedly paying for sex.

Mr Maloney’s case won’t be heard until January 30 because of the difficulties in getting all the witnesses to attend, the court was told., His pre-trial review will take place on December 6.