Northern Ireland

Court told woman was 'raped and forced into prostitution'

Strabane courthouse
Image caption Strabane Magistrates' Court was told the accused couple both strongly denied the charges against them

A woman rescued by police said she was raped and forced into prostitution after she arrived in Northern Ireland from Hungary, a court has heard.

A police officer outlined the case as a man and woman appeared before Strabane Magistrates' Court on various charges.

Gyorgy Orsos and Evelyn Covacs, both of John Street, Dungannon, were charged with kidnapping and human trafficking for sexual exploitation.

Mr Orsos, 32, was also charged with two counts of raping the woman.

The couple, who are originally from Hungary, were also jointly charged with controlling prostitution.

'Locks on bedroom doors'

The police investigation began after concerns were raised about the safety of a woman in Dungannon, County Tyrone, two days ago.

A detective constable told the court that when officers visited a house on Tuesday it was in a poor condition.

They noticed locks on bedroom doors, both inside and out, and found boxes of condoms.

The court heard there were signs that one room was being used for prostitution.

When officers spoke to the alleged victim, she said she had been brought to Northern Ireland from Hungary seven months ago by the two defendants.

She told police she thought she would be getting a regular job with income to help look after her family back home.

'Escort websites'

However, she claimed that Mr Orsos raped her on two occasions when she arrived and then she was forced to work in the sex trade.

The woman also told police that he smashed her mobile phone and stole her bank cards.

The court heard that his 20-year-old co-accused exploited the woman as a prostitute.

It was alleged Ms Covacs took her photo, placed adverts on escort websites and organised clients.

The woman told police all this was done against her will and both defendants were made aware of this but continued to use her in this way.

In addition to the kidnapping, human trafficking and controlling prostitution charges, Ms Covacs is further charged with concealing criminal property that was the proceeds of crime, namely money.

'No criminal records'

Mr Orsos faces additional charges of stealing the alleged victim's bankcard and destroying her mobile phone.

A defence solicitor said his clients had no criminal records and both strongly denied the offences.

He said they were a couple in a three-year relationship who arrived from Hungary without passports just over a year ago.

He said both had made prepared statements to police.

Bail was refused.

Both defendants will appear again in court in Dungannon on 14 June.