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Woman accused of forcing Hungarian into Northern Ireland sex trade granted bail

By Alan Erwin

A woman accused of kidnapping another Hungarian woman and forcing her into the sex trade in Northern Ireland has been granted High Court bail.

Evelyn Covacs, 20, placed adverts and made arrangements with clients after the alleged victim was put to work at a house with locked bedrooms in Dungannon, Co Tyrone, prosecutors claim.

But a judge ruled that her 32-year-old partner and co-accused, Gyorgy Orsos, must remain in custody.

The couple, originally from Hungary but with an address at John Street in Dungannon, are jointly charged with kidnapping, human trafficking and controlling prostitution for gain, along with concealing and converting criminal property.

Orsos faces further allegations of twice raping the complainant, stealing her bank cards and smashing her mobile phone with a hammer.

Police arrested the pair after being alerted to the safety of the alleged victim on May 16.

The court was told officers discovered a house in poor condition with locks on both sides of bedroom doors.

At least eight boxes of condoms were located, with one room said to show signs of being used for prostitution.

The woman claimed Orsos and Covacs brought her to Northern Ireland seven months previously to work off a debt built up by her family, according to the prosecution.

She told police she thought she would be working in a regular job and would be given enough money to look after her family.

But when she arrived it was claimed that was she instead forced to work in the sex trade.

Covacs allegedly helped to run the woman as a prostitute, took photographs of her and placed adverts on escort websites.

Prosecutors claimed she answered calls from clients, agreed prices and discussed services on offer.

Mr Justice Deeny was told the woman brought from Hungary believed she earned around £13,000 from the sex work, but didn't see any of the money.

Detectives are also continuing investigations into three other potential victims, it was revealed.

Lawyers for Orsos and Covacs confirmed they denied all charges against him.

They sought release from custody to stay at a privately-run hostel in Co Antrim.

Ruling on the applications, the judge drew a distinction between the two defendants, citing the difference in ages and rape charges against Orsos.

He held that Covacs can be bailed on conditions once £1,000 cash surety is lodged.

However, refusing Orsos' application, Mr Justice Deeny said: "As well as the risk of flight, there's a risk of interference with witnesses, particularly the injured party."

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