“I cut myself thinking that it’s better to take my own life before he takes mine.”
Those were the words of an alleged victim of human trafficking who told police officers she harmed herself in the bathroom of a Preston brothel after a man she believed was her boyfriend turned on her and forced her to work as a prostitute.
In a video interview shown to Preston Crown Court the woman, wearing jeans and hoodie, spoke through an interpreter to police as she sat on a cream sofa.
The woman, who cannot be identified, said she and her friend - the second alleged victim - met defendants Marius Petre, 26, and Adrian Matei, 34, both of Longworth Street, Preston, in a Romanian discotheque.
She agreed to go to the UK to work as a maid to give her mum, who was poorly, support.
Speaking through an interpreter she said: “I went out with them a few times just for a cup of coffee or a soda and they were telling us to come with them in UK to work in hotels as maids.”
She said the day after they arrived he “took us aside and he told us that what we were expecting to work is not real, basically we’ll work as prostitutes and have clients.
“At first I refused and said I don’t want to do that but then because I was quite afraid for him not to beat me up I said OK.”
She said he had been violent, adding: “I got so upset, I was so upset because of my mum because she’s not well.
“I didn’t know how to act, what can I do to be OK?
“He told me there’s no point to leave because he’ll find me anyway.”
The jury heard two young women were raped and forced to work in the brothel after arriving in the UK by ferry.
Prosecuting, Bob Golinski, said their ‘services’ were offered to punters online.
Petre and Matei, both of Longworth Street, deny two counts of rape, intentionally arranging or facilitating entry into the country of a person with a view to their sexual exploitation, and causing or inciting prostitution between July 10 and 27.
Ionut Ion, 35, of Longworth Street, Preston, denies two counts of rape and assisting in the management of a brothel.
The case resumes Monday.