Belfast Telegraph

Man facing rape and human trafficking charges refused bail

By Staff Reporter

A judge has ordered a Hungarian man accused of the rape, human trafficking and prostituting of a female to remain in custody in one of the first cases of its kind in Northern Ireland.

The arrest of Gyorgy Orsos and that of a co-accused followed a police raid on premises in Dungannon after a member of the public reported concerns for the welfare of a young woman.

It is one of the first cases to be brought using human trafficking legislation unique to Northern Ireland introduced in 2015.

Orsos (32), of John Street, Dungannon, is facing charges including two rapes, kidnapping, human trafficking, controlling prostitution for financial gain, criminal damage, and converting and concealing criminal property.

Dungannon Magistrates Court heard Orsos is alleged to have facilitated the female victim's travel here with the view to exploiting her contrary to the Human Trafficking & Exploitation (NI) Act, then unlawfully took her away by force, before destroying her mobile phone and stealing her bank cards.

He was refused bail twice and has been in custody since his arrest.

Co-accused Evelyn Covacs, the 21-year-old partner of Orsos, of the same address is also accused of human trafficking, kidnap and controlling prostitution for gain.

Although initially remanded in custody she was later released following a High Court bail application.

A defence solicitor for Orsos yesterday made a fresh application for bail at Dungannon Magistrates Court, based on delays in the case reaching trial. A committal hearing had been scheduled for November but had to be adjourned.

A senior officer previously told the court police raided a Dungannon house in May, following a report from a member of the public expressing concern for the wellbeing of a woman.

Officers found "indications the property was being used for prostitution" and there were locks on both the inside and outside of the bedroom doors.

After rescue, the victim explained she had been brought from Hungary to Northern Ireland by Orsos and Covacs in October 2016. Her understanding was she would be working in a regular job, meaning she could send money to look after her family in Hungary.

Instead, on arrival in Northern Ireland the victim claims she was raped twice by Orsos, who smashed her mobile phone with a hammer and took her bank cards. He and his partner are then alleged to have forced her to work in the sex trade.

It is alleged Covacs took photographs of the victim, which were uploaded to escort websites, and was in charge of booking clients and arranging payments.

Rejecting the bail application, District Judge John Meehan said: "At the present time the issue of delay is far short of that which would come under fundamental human rights."

The case has been adjourned for a proposed committal on February 14 when it is anticipated both Orsos and Covacs will be returned for trial.

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