A 53-year-old landlord, who is the first person to be convicted for “sex-for-rent” offences in Wales and England, has been jailed.

Guildford Crown Court heard recently heard that Christopher Cox “targeted vulnerable young women” who needed a place to stay. The list included one female who was homeless, “unwell and desperate," reported Evening Standard.

Daily Star reported that at the court, he was jailed for 12 months on a charge of controlling prostitution. He was also given a six-month prison term for two counts of causing or inciting prostitution which will run concurrently.

Judge Robert Fraser said that the offending has become “colloquially known as sex-for-rent” and “this is the first such prosecution that has been brought."

According to BBC, Cox posted adverts on Craigslist looking for young or homeless women to stay at his Cranleigh home in Surrey. His advert said if you are a young girl aged more than 16 and is 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." In return, the women were expected to "cook, clean, do laundry and possibly more."

He also asked the women to send him photos of themselves. He said that they should wear bikinis and provide sexual services in exchange for a room. He asked them to wear bikinis around the house and wanted them to take part in spanking and to sleep in his bed.

The charges, which were between May 2018 and November 2018, are related to three women. On meeting the women, he soon became aware that they had triggered the interest of two undercover reporters. They launched a sting operation. The reporters were working on a show fronted by presenter Jeremy Kyle who confronted Cox and told him that “what he was doing in targeting young vulnerable women for sexual favors was morally wrong and criminal."

Cox continued sending out his adverts even after he was confronted by TV cameras. In 2019, the allegations were passed to Surrey Police after an investigation by ITV researchers and the force identified a woman who claimed that she had entered into a sex-for-rent arrangement with the landlord.

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