Would-be sex buyer’s jail term is affirmed

Court
Court

A man convicted last year of attempting to pay for sexual services in the first case of its kind in Northern Ireland was jailed again today for three months.

James Maloney of Drumarg Villas, Armagh, appealed his conviction but last October Judge Fowler QC ruled there was “overwhelming evidence” against the 24-year-old.

Affirming his original jail term, Judge Fowler told Maloney it had been “a distressing and disturbing event” for the woman he propositioned.

The judge said Maloney was caught on CCTV offering to pay a frightened petrol station attendant for sex twice in the early morning at a Sainsbury filling station in Dungannon on August 28, 2016.

She had been cleaning the forecourt pumps when approached by Maloney in his black Audi car, who showed her a wad of money, and after opening his trousers, gestured to his groin and mouth “suggesting he wanted her to perform oral sex”.

Although he was told “to go”, Maloney was “persistent in his approach”.

The judge noted, “This is the first prosecution of its kind in Northern Ireland. This wasn’t a case of a man caught out trying to approach a sex worker. This as a man who deliberately targeted an isolated woman in a predatory fashion, by virtue of the fact she was a woman.”

In addition to his three-month sentence, Maloney was also ordered to pay his victim £500 compensation.