Belfast Telegraph

Friday 25 July 2014

Husband’s £50k bail bid for his prostitution-accused wife

The husband of a Chinese woman accused of running a vice ring in Northern Ireland will lodge £50,000 life savings to secure her release, the High Court has heard.

Lawyers for Rong Chen (33) also rejected prosecution claims that her marriage to an English-based chartered accountant was a sham.

Chen, of Crestwood Avenue, Kidderminster, Worcestshire, faces charges of people trafficking and controlling prostitutes following a UK-wide operation against the illegal sex trade.

She is alleged to have recruited women by placing advertisements in the Chinese press for nannies and receptionists.

Victims would travel from Britain to Northern Ireland before being put to work as prostitutes at brothels in Belfast, Londonderry and Newry, according to the prosecution.

Her co-accused, former PSNI officer Simon Dempsey (39) of East Street, Newtownards, was granted bail earlier this week but banned from leaving Northern Ireland.

Crown counsel Barry Valentine opposed her application for bail, claiming she has used a number of aliases and has children, property and other assets in China which, he said, increased the risk of flight.

Defence barrister Mark Farrell rejected allegations that his client's relationship with her husband Jason Hinton, who attended court along with his parents, was a sham.

He further disclosed: “Mr Hinton has been married to the applicant for two years... and he is prepared to lodge a cash surety of £50,000 with the court. That would represent Mr Hinton's entire life savings.”

However, Mr Justice Gillen adjourned the application after being told that only a copy of Chen's Chinese passport was seized.

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