Man remanded on human trafficking and rape charges

The case was heard at Londonderry Magistrates' Court
The case was heard at Londonderry Magistrates' Court

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

Florin Gheorghe, of Meadowbank Court, Strand Road, Londonderry, 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 Londonderry Magistrates’ Court she believed she could connect the defendant to the charges.

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

It is alleged he had €610 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 Gheorge, 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.