A landlord exposed by the Jeremy Kyle show has become the first person to be convicted of a ‘sex for rent’ offence in England and Wales.

Christopher Cox (pictured), 53, from Cranleigh, was jailed for 12 months after admitting a charge of controlling prostitution for gain and two counts of inciting prostitution for gain relating to three women.

Guildford Crown Court (pictured) heard that he deliberately targeted vulnerable young women who needed a place to stay, including one who was homeless, unwell and desperate.

Cox posted adverts on Craigslist, including one which stated: “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.”

Room

In return, 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 was featured in an episode of the Kyle Files in 2019, where a female producer posed as a vulnerable prospective tenant then handed a dossier to Surrey Police. However, even after he was confronted by TV cameras, Cox continued posting his adverts.

Defence lawyer Rupert Hallowes said that when the landlord set up his explicit renting scheme and had sex with one of his tenants, he “was of the belief that this arrangement being consensual was lawful and that a ‘friends with benefits’ arrangement was not illegal”.

In January 2019, legal guidance was changed to make this kind of exploitation punishable by a seven-year jail term. Earlier this year, the House of Lords approved tougher laws by amending the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill to create a new offence of arranging or facilitating the requirement or acceptance of sexual relations as a condition of rental accommodation. However, its passage is not certain in the Commons.

Pic credits: ITV/Google

1 COMMENT

  1. While his actions are disgusting, it does show just how badly Local Authorities manage the needs of vulnerable people. If the LAs took responsibility for the problem, these women would not be so desperate.

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