Computer consultant Mark Lancaster's case sent to Crown Court over sexual exploitation charges after Independent published story about SponsorAScholar website
Father-of-two is accused of running website that offered to pay women's university fees in exchange for sex
Cahal Milmo is the chief reporter of The Independent and has been with the paper since 2000. He was born in London and previously worked at the Press Association news agency. He has reported on assignment at home and abroad, including Rwanda, Sudan and Burkina Faso, the phone hacking scandal and the London Olympics. In his spare time he is a keen runner and cyclist, and keeps an allotment.
Friday 07 June 2013
A computer consultant accused of seeking to lure a woman into sexual exploitation through a website that offered to pay the university fees of female students had his case sent to the Crown Court.
Mark Lancaster, 39, who was arrested by Scotland Yard officers following an investigation by The Independent into the SponsorAScholar website, was told that his case will be heard by a judge next month at a brief hearing at the Westminster Magistrates Court in central London.
The father-of-two, from Horndean, Hampshire, is accused under the Sexual Offences Act of two offences allegedly committed during September last year. One charge is an allegation of voyeurism and the second accuses him of trafficking a woman within the United Kingdom for the purpose of sexual exploitation.
The IT consultant, who was previously employed as a sub-contractor for military computer systems run by the Ministry of Defence including software used during the invasion of Iraq, did not enter a plea to the charges against him.
He will be appear before Southwark Crown Court early next month.
The computer expert was detained in December by the Trafficking and Prostitution Unit of the Metropolitan Police at an address in Milton Keynes. He was later released on bail.
The SponsorAScholar website claimed to be able to arrange for young women to be matched with clients willing to pay up to £15,000 a year to cover tuition fees and living expenses in return for sexual relations.
It was removed shortly after The Independent published a story about its activities.
Mr Lancaster, who left the court with his face wrapped in a scarf and wearing a baseball cap, was remanded on bail until 10 July.
People are criticising Fifa World Cup sponsors with corrupt corporate logos
Natalie Portman tells Harvard graduates: 'Accept your lack of knowledge'
University league tables: Best universities for teaching standards rank Oxford, Cambridge and Coventry among top 20
Fifa corruption live: Uefa to consider pulling teams from Fifa tournaments if Blatter stays
Skull found in Spain could be the world's first-ever murder victim
EU referendum: David Cameron's rules are a 'democratic disgrace', says French-born Scottish politician set to be denied a vote
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
SNP fury as HS2 finds 'no business case' for taking fast train service to Scotland
Australian man punched in the face for defending Muslim women from abuse on train
A nation of inequality: How the UK is failing to feed its most vulnerable people
EU referendum: David Cameron to deny EU migrants and under-18s the chance to vote
- 1 Autistic adults could take pure MDMA to 'reduce social anxiety'
- 2 Natalie Portman tells Harvard graduates: 'Accept your lack of knowledge'
- 3 Before you complain about your GP, this is what you need to know about actually doing the job
- 4 Father of 12 accused of raping, beating, starving and abusing his own children in US 'cult'
- 5 Charlie Charlie Challenge explained: not a Mexican demon being summoned — it's gravity