BTL landlord jailed in UK’s first ‘sex for rent’ prosecution

Christopher Cox
Christopher Cox

A landlord from Surrey has become the first person to be convicted for “sex-for-rent” offences in England and Wales.

Guildford Crown Court heard that Christopher Cox, 53, “targeted vulnerable young women” who needed a place to stay including one female who was homeless, “unwell and desperate”.

Cox, who previously pleaded guilty to a charge of controlling prostitution for gain and two counts of inciting prostitution for gain, has been jailed for 12 months.

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”.

The judge said the offending has now become “colloquially known as sex-for-rent” and “this is the first such prosecution that has been brought”.

Cox posted adverts online seeking young or homeless women to live with him at his home in Cranleigh, Surrey.

He sought “a girl in need”, adding, “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”.

He requested photos of the prospective tenants and said they should wear bikinis and also provide sexual services in exchange for a room.

The case concerned three women and offences committed between May 2018 and November 2018.

Cox’s adverts attracted the interest of ITV, who launched an undercover investigation, involving TV presenter Jeremy Kyle who confronted the landlord Cox and told him that “what he was doing in targeting young vulnerable women for sexual favours was morally wrong and criminal”, prosecutor Ross Talbott said.

Despite being confronted by TV cameras, Cox continued sending out his adverts.


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  1. Robert_May

    I REALLY hope cases like this give those  who’ve perpetrated sex crimes, who’ve stood by and watched sex crimes swept under their corporate carpet or coerced HR departments into taking a company line a very unpleasant ulcer knowing they’re complicit and part of the problem too.


    The law needs changing so people like this are detected much earlier and those who help cover up their crimes are called to account as well.

    1. A W

      The law is fine, it simply needs to be enforced more vigorously.

      A common misconception is that “something needs to change”, all that needs to happen is that the available powers need to be used/enforced.

      Happy that this scum has been successfully prosecuted, however I am somewhat disappointed he wasn’t handed a heavier sentence.

      1. Robert_May

        There are dark corners where wrong doing exists and because of that  something do need to change.

        Being very specific; where there is  misconduct in the workplace policing should not be permitted for HR staff to be  investigating officer, judge and jury to look into allegations and then decide the outcome  based on what’s best for the company, their own position with  the company and the seniority of staff involved in the incident


        If all cases of  sexual  misconduct were police notifiable events proper impartiality would be the result and the deterrent much greater than it is presently.

        1. A W

          While I appreciate that “something” needs to change, but it isn’t the law. The same with section 21’s, “something” needs to change it is not the law… it’s that more properties need to be built.

          The mindset of “the law needs to change” is what needs to change, the law is all encompassing. If you want specific examples then you simply need to look at case law, not legislation.

          Unfortunately your example is not applicable due the lack of impartiality by the investigatory party. An internal HR investigation is not remotely comparable to a police investigation. Indeed you can report employers or colleagues to the police should you feel it necessary. To say something as blasé as “if all cases were police notifiable” simply opens up the system to abuse i.e. people lose their jobs over an unproven allegation. However that is entirely off topic.

  2. Mike Stainsby

    Shocking case! Amazing that it was so overt, very worrying how much might be going on that is hidden.


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