Ex-accountant avoids jail over brothel charge; Defendant was nabbed in press sting.
Byline: MICHAEL DONNELLY
A FORMER accountant turned brothel keeper was handed a six-month suspended jail sentence and fined PS2,000 yesterday.
Paul Ervine admitted seven charges including managing three brothels, controlling a prostitute, having more than PS3,000 in criminal property and "inciting" a woman to become a prostitute.
Unfortunately for the 62-year-old ex-tax advisor, the woman he was trying to recruit was a reporter who secretly recorded him boasting of the thousands of pounds to be made as a call girl. The report by ex-Sunday Life journalist Patricia Devlin led to a police inquiry into his activities.
Ervine later claimed he thought he was doing nothing illegal and believed he was acting as an agent for the girls, in contrast to those acting as a pimp or operating a brothel.
Antrim Crown Court heard he was involved in the management "or assisted in the management" of brothels in Kitchener Street, CUBa Connsbrook Avenue and University Court in South Belfast on between January and December 2014.
Officers also recovered PS3,210 in cash when Ervine, of Ballymacash Park, Lisburn, Co Antrim, was first arrested and which he accepted was "criminal property".
PSoLfap JUDGE GORDON KERR told him that in determining the appropriate sentence the court had to look at the nature of his offending, hat t in particular if any young women being trafficked so they could be exploited.
However, in this case he was told the woman Ervine "intentionally controlled" was already an established prostitute.
Nevertheless, he said, Ervine was operating for "pure profit", organising clients and running brothels.
The judge said the appropriate sentence was six to 12 months but suspended the term given Ervine's co-operation with police, guilty pleas and limited record.
He imposed a six-month prison term, suspended for two years.
Ervine was operating for pure profit, organising clients and brothels JUDGE GORDON KERR antrim court yesterday
SHAMED Paul Ervine outside Antrim court yesterday