Tuesday 23 July 2019

First man convicted for buying sex is fined €200

Stock photo
Stock photo
Robin Schiller

Robin Schiller

A 65-year-old man has become the first person convicted of paying for sex under new legislation following a raid on a west Dublin brothel.

Bryan Mason appeared before a sitting of Dublin District Court yesterday morning where he was fined €200 after being convicted of paying for a prostitute.

The accused, of Moatlands in Ratoath, Co Meath, has become the first person convicted under new legislation which criminalises the purchasing of sex. He was arrested following a raid on a brothel in Blanchardstown, Dublin 15, on March 30, 2018, by gardaí.

Mason was charged under Section 25 of the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act 2017 and fined at Dublin District Court today.

His conviction was welcomed by Irish charity Ruhama, which supports women affected by prostitution.

Chief executive Sarah Benson said criminal gangs profited from the sex trade.

"This case sends a clear message to Irish society that it is not acceptable to pay for access to another person's body for sexual gratification," she said.

"Sex buyers have been operating with impunity in Ireland for far too long, and we are hopeful that more convictions will be achieved under this legislation.

"Evidence has shown that tackling 'demand' is a key mechanism for preventing the sexual exploitation of the most vulnerable in our society.

"While the sex trade continues to thrive due to buyer's demand, the criminal gangs running it are profiting.

"We know that buyers don't care about the welfare of the person they are seeking so-called 'sexual services' from, even when they are victims of trafficking.

"Women we work with have reported countless incidences of physical and sexual violence experienced at the hands of sex-buyers."

The legislation was introduced in April 2017 and criminalises sex buyers, while decriminalising individuals who sell sex.

Irish Independent

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