A landlord in the UK has become the first person to be convicted for “sex-for-rent” offences in England and Wales having been jailed for 12 months.
Christopher Cox, 53, “targeted vulnerable young women” who needed a place to stay including one female who was homeless, “unwell and desperate”, Guildford Crown Court heard.
Cox previously pleaded guilty to a charge of controlling prostitution for gain and two counts of inciting prostitution for gain.
Judge Robert Fraser told Cox that his behaviour was a “cynical attempt to take advantage by dangling a carrot to those who had little choice” and that he was involved in “very deliberately targeting homeless women who were vulnerable”.
Cox posted adverts on Craigslist looking for women to stay with him at his home in Cranleigh, Surrey.
His advert, aimed at “a girl in need”, said: “If you are a young girl 16-plus who is stuck at home and wants to get away or maybe you are homeless seeking a safe route out, I have a room available in my home for a young girl.”
In return for a place to stay, they were expected to “cook, clean, do laundry and possibly more”.
He asked them to send him photos of themselves, said they should wear bikinis and provide sexual services in exchange for a room.
Cox asked women to wear bikinis around the house and wanted them to take part in BDSM, spanking and to sleep in his bed.
The charges, between May 2018 and November 2018, relate to three separate women.
Upon meeting the women, Cox soon became aware that they had triggered the interest of two undercover reporters who launched a sting operation.
The allegations were passed to Surrey Police in 2019 following an investigation by ITV researchers and the force identified a woman who said she entered into a sex-for-rent arrangement with Cox.
Cox was sentenced to six months on each of the two charges of inciting prostitution for gain which relate to two women between August 21 and September 6 2018 and November 4 and 7 2018.
He was also jailed for 12 months for controlling prostitution for gain between May 17 and June 27 2018.
All sentences are to run concurrently.