Man who attacked trans escort with knife and demanded ‘free’ sex slapped on the wrist with suspended sentence

Liam Vickers transgender sex worker

A man who attacked a transgender sex worker with a knife and demanded “free” sex has been handed a fully suspended sentence.

Liam Vickers, 23, pleaded guilty to assaulting the transgender sex worker in Dublin on 30 September, 2017, according to the Sunday World.

At an earlier hearing, Garda Sergeant Karl Colgan told the court that the transgender woman, who has not been named, received a call from Vickers on the date of the assault to ask if she was free to meet.

Vickers visited her home and once they were inside her bedroom, he pulled out a large knife and tried to stab her in the face. She sustained injuries to her face and arm when she tried to block him.

He then pointed the knife at her and demanded free sex, which she refused. The woman’s roommate then tried to stop the attack, and Vickers threatened her with the knife too.

Vickers then made the victim sit on the bed and demanded that she delete his phone number and texts.

The accused told law enforcement authorities that he had consumed half a bottle of vodka, cocaine and sleeping tablets on the day of the attack.

He found the knife while drinking in a local park and decided to take it with him.

In her victim impact statement, the transgender sex worker said that she is no longer able to trust people after the incident.

The woman, originally from Brazil, noted that violence is common in her home country, but said she had never been attacked there. This was in stark contrast to her time in Dublin, where she has been threatened with a knife on two occasions.

Vickers had previously pleaded guilty to assault causing harm at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court but sentencing was adjourned.

He was sentenced to two years in prison on Friday (22 January) by Judge Elma Sheahan, with the entire sentence suspended as long as he continues to follow instruction from the Probation Service. Vickers was also ordered to pay his victim €2,000 in compensation.

Sheahan noted that Vickers had assaulted a vulnerable person, but said that he had co-operated fully with probation services since the incident.

The court also took into consideration Vickers’ traumatic early life, which saw his mother murdered by his father. Sheahan said that Vickers was tackling his drinking in therapy and that his risk of re-offending was considered to be low.

‘Brave’ transgender sex worker applauded for speaking out.

The Sex Workers Alliance Ireland (SWAI) applauded the trans sex worker for coming forward, and said Ireland’s laws that criminalise sex work had directly contributed to the attack.

“The Sex Workers Alliance Ireland (SWAI) applauds this brave sex worker who reported the crime and we call for an end to the criminalisation and stigmatisation that leaves this vulnerable population in the shadows,” said the group’s director, Kate McGrew.

McGrew said the woman was attacked shortly after Ireland introduced new laws that criminalised “brothel-keeping”, which prevents sex workers from co-working in the same premises. The result, she said, is that sex workers must often work alone, which can increase risk.

She continued: “Were Ireland to repeal the criminalisation of brothel-keeping and the purchase of sex, we would see more sex workers engaging with the justice system. We will see better outcomes for sex workers when we have legal and vetted options within the industry. We will see better outcomes for sex workers as society begins to acknowledge the reality that sex work is an economic activity, and therefore sex workers are labourers deserving of protections afforded to all workers.

“Irish culture is moving in this direction, it is time that this be reflected at state and policy levels.”