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Anger at sentencing in ‘pimping’ case

29 March, 2007


Sinn Féin North Belfast MLA Carál Ní Chuilín has said that the sentence given to Michael Hill, who admitted controlling prostitutes for gain, is a total disgrace and called for a review of sentencing in such cases and a wider review of all sentencing involving the abuse of women and violence against women.

Ms Ní Chuilín said:

"Clearly the fact that Michael Hill pleaded guilty in a Magistrates court first meant that there was a constraint on the sentence that should have been handed down for this serious crime. If this case had been handled properly then he could have faced a 7 year sentence. It raises serious questions about how this case was brought before the courts.

"Prostitution is a serious crime and women involved are often coerced and live with violence. Prostitution is also a prime area where the trafficking of people operates. Sentencing must be part of the drive against those who exploit women and profit from the exploitation of women.

"We need to see sentencing in cases involving the exploitation, abuse or violence against women reflecting just how serious an issue this is and our commitment as a society to challenging these activities.

"There must be not just a review of sentencing in such cases but a wider review of all sentencing involving the abuse of women and violence against women." ENDS

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