COURT LATEST: Woman ‘too afraid to tell officers she was trafficked’

CASE: Police raid the address on Longworth Street, Preston
CASE: Police raid the address on Longworth Street, Preston
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A woman has told a court she was afraid to tell officers she had been trafficked into the country to work as a sex slave when they raided a brothel in Ribbleton.

The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told Preston Crown Court she was forced to send text messages to potential clients offering her services and had to be “extra nice” so they would pay her.

One man, who did not expect sex when she took him to a room in the house on Longworth Street, said he would give her money to send back to her sick mother in Romania, the court heard.

Adrian Mattei, 34, and Marius Petre, 26, deny trafficking the woman and another young woman into the UK to use for prostitution. They also deny raping the women.

A third man, Ion Ionut, 36, denies helping in the running of the brothel following a police raid at the house they shared in Longworth Street, Preston, on July 27 last year.

The woman told the court she and her friend were subjected to threats and were not able to ask for help.

But when police came to the house and arrested the defendants the woman said: “At this time, somebody came to speak to us. We looked at each other and we didn’t know what to do - to tell the truth, and then we wanted to stay one beside the other. We sat next to each other and then we told the truth.”

Defence lawyer Joe Boyd said: “Were you very frightened by the threats that were made to you?”

The woman replied: “Yes, We were told we should see what would happen if we said anything.”

Mr Boyd added: “I suggest to you that neither Adrian Mattei or Marius Petre threatened you about anything.” The woman said: “Yes, they did.”


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