Hairdresser fined for helping to run Belfast brothel in flat
A Turkish hairdresser has been fined £500 for helping to run a brothel from his Belfast city centre apartment.
Ferhat Ekici (34) pleaded guilty to assisting in the management of a brothel and also possessing criminal property.
Belfast Crown Court heard police raided Ekici's apartment at Ashbourne Place, off the Dublin Road in the city, on May 24, 2011 as part of a European-wide investigation into prostitution.
Prosecuting counsel Philip Henry said the investigation centred on women being brought in from the Czech Republic to Belfast via Dublin to work as prostitutes.
One of two Czech women found in Ekici's flat told police that she was instructed to get a bus from Dublin to the Europa Bus Centre.
She said she was to be picked up by co-accused Bronislav Rybensky, who is currently awaiting sentence in January on brothel running charges.
Recorder Judge David McFarland said Ekici's offences were at the lower end of the scale even though he had agreed to allow his apartment to be used for prostitution.
The judge said he didn't believe an immediate custodial sentence was needed.
Speaking outside court, Ekici said: "I will never get involved with these type of people again."