ONE of the prostitutes who is part of a Co Down 'sex circuit', which includes Dromore and Banbridge, has defended her work in an exclusive interview with the Leader.

And the prostitute, who is from London, just like Billie Piper's character in the new hit television series Secret Diary of a call Girl, has argued that her business prevents men from committing rape.

The Leader first broke the story of the district's sex trade in August.

At that time we revealed that sex agencies based in Dublin and Dundalk were leasing houses and flats in the town where call girls spend a short time before moving on to other locations.

We also reported that other prostitutes were independent from agencies and work a circuit of towns throughout Down, Armagh and Antrim.

The prostitutes had advertised their services on adult porn websites and an English daily tabloid - but after our story broke this stopped temporarily.

When the adverts began to reappear in some of the tabloid press The Leader tracked down one of the women who works as a prostitute in Banbridge.

Pamela (not her real name) revealed that she is based in London and comes to Banbridge once a month for a week at a time.

She said: "I live in London but some people told me I could come over here so that's what I did."

Pamela said she has not been forced into prostitution, but that it is her own choice.

"It's not as though I'm out working on the streets," she said.

Pamela said she doesn't believe her story is of interest to local people – but she defended her choice of work, arguing that she is providing a necessary service for local men.

She said: "Not all the men are married. Some of them just don't have any other way of having sex. I'm actually providing a service."

She argued that the existence of prostitutes provides an outlet for men who may otherwise commit sexual offences.

"What would people prefer? That men go out and rape someone?" she asked.

When our reporter suggested that working as a prostitute may affect her mental or physical health, she laughed and disagreed.

"There's nothing wrong with my mental health," she said.