Romanian man accused of human trafficking

Derry's Courthouse on Bishop Street. 3003JM66

Derry's Courthouse on Bishop Street. 3003JM66

A Romanian national has appeared in court accused of human trafficking.

Florin Gheorghe, of Meadowbank Court, Strand Road, also faces charges of rape and causing or inciting prostitution.

The 29-year-old is further charged with false imprisonment and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

The offences were allegedly committed between June 19 and July 24.

An investigating officer told Derry Magistrates Court she believed she could connect the defendant to the charges.

She said that a substantial amount of money was seized from he Gheorghe at the time of his arrest.

It is alleged he had 610 Euro and £935 in his possession.

The officer said the complainant claims this money was earnings she made through prostitution.

She told the court the woman has only made a verbal complaint to police at this time as she was being forensically examined.

Paddy MacDermott, defence solicitor, said his client denies the offences.

He told the court Gheorghe, who has lived here for five weeks, claims the complainant is his partner and she is pregnant.

The defendant also claims that the woman had discovered an infidelity on his part which caused her to make the complaint to police.

The solicitor said the 29-year-old, who gave a prepared statement to police, also claims that he earned he money as a labourer north and south of the border.

There was no application for bail and Gheorghe was remanded in custody until Monday, August 1.