Bail for graduate charged over vice raids on brothels
Category: Northern Ireland
Published: 9th Sep 2010 16:46:41
A Scottish university graduate-turned prostitute viewed potential brothels in Belfast for the alleged head of a human trafficking gang.
The claim was made in the High Court during a bail application by Yvonne Dawson, 22, who was arrested last Friday following police raids in Belfast.
She faces a charge of controlling prostitution following the raids in Belfast.
Bail was granted.
Ms Dawson of Tambowie Cottages, Milngavie, Glasgow, was among four people arrested during a police operation against a gang alleged to have operated brothels in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Cardiff and Belfast.
Lawyers for the 22-year-old, who was arrested as part of a UK-wide offensive against sexual exploitation, claimed that she acted in fear of the suspected gang boss.
Prosecutors said Yvonne Dawson also admitted controlling some of the banking and finances from the vice racket.
One of the alleged victims, a Bolivian woman, had been sold into prostitution, the court was told.
Up to £54,000 was spent on advertising three brothels operated in Belfast in a national newspaper and on the internet, according to the prosecution.
And it was claimed 35 flights were made in the last four months to bring prostitutes into the city to work.
Crown counsel Derval McGuigan said Ms Dawson was arrested at a brothel and later admitted her involvement as an independent escort before going to work for a co-accused charged with trafficking.
She was alleged to have paid money from her earnings to him and viewed properties for potential use as brothels.
The court heard she also accompanied one of the women into Belfast in April and arranged hotel accommodation for her.
Opposing bail, Ms McGuigan said police feared should would fail to reappear.
"The gang have the ability to transport victims into and out of Northern Ireland and throughout the United Kingdom using false identities and credit cards," she said.
Charles McCreanor, defending, argued that Ms Dawson had, on occasions, been used and at other times been afraid.
He set out how his client came from a farming family and had completed tourism and equine studies with a view to setting up an equestrian centre.
But after obtaining her degree she found herself without any money, the court heard.
"She voluntarily became engaged and acted as a prostitute," Mr McCreanor said.
It was claimed that after becoming involved with the suspected gang leader she was asked to view the apartments because others working with her at the time were transsexuals and would appear too suspicious.
Granting bail, Mr Justice Hart said: "This degrading, repulsive trade is notorious for, amongst other things, the way in which those who ultimately organise and control prostitutes bend people to their will and intimidate and frighten."
The judge said that with "very considerable hesitation" he was prepared to release Dawson.
But he ordered £20,000 sureties to be supplied and ordered that she report to police daily.
She was also told to surrender her passport and any mobile phones, and banned from contacting her co-accused or witnesses.
At 21:43:05 in SportScottish Paralympic gold medallist Aileen McGlynn is determined to prove her worth at the Commonwealth Games having lost her UK Lottery funding.
At 19:03:46 in ScotlandThere is concern that inventors and designers based in Scotland could lose out because of Europe-wide changes to patent laws.
At 15:08:27 in ScotlandA woman who claims she was injured when a seagull swooped at her during her lunch-break is suing the owners of the building where she worked.
At 14:34:53 in ScotlandA Fife hospital is still providing poor care to older people despite being criticised in a report last year, according to inspectors.
At 13:21:51 in ScotlandThe governor of the Bank of England said there was "a distinct possibility" RBS would have to relocate if Scotland votes for independence.
At 11:43:05 in ScotlandScotland's digital sector has been awarded £6.6m by the Scottish government in a bid to boost jobs and training.
At 11:22:47 in ScotlandHospital IT firm Craneware has reported a rise in profits and has said the US healthcare market shows signs of "settling".
At 10:19:41 in ScotlandBBC Scotland has learned only one traffic warden is now operating across the whole of the Scottish Borders.
At 06:17:44 in ScotlandA two-year programme hopes to reduce the number of young people being killed and injured on roads in the Borders.
At 01:56:52 in ScotlandChildren in Edinburgh may get a far shorter Christmas break in 2016 and 2017, according to the council's plan for school holidays.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2010. Bail for graduate charged over vice raids on brothels [Online] (Updated 9th Sep 2010)
Available at: http://www.edinburghwired.co.uk/news/88825/Bail-for-graduate-charged-over-vice-raids-on-brothels [Accessed 12th Mar 2014]
News In Other Categories
Imagine an office where every computer, mobile phone and tablet is connected to the internet not through an ethernet connection or via wi-fi but just through the overhead lights.
Well known as the King of the Blues, legendary B.B. King will perform three UK concerts in Manchester, Edinburgh and London in June. The three shows mark King’s first UK appearances in two years. Dates include Manchester O2 Apollo (Sat 25th June), Edinburgh Playhouse (Sun 26th June) and London's Royal Albert Hall (Tue 28th June).
Teenage saxophonist Alexander Bone has won the first jazz prize to be awarded as part of the BBC's Young Musician of the Year competition.
The airline CityJet says it is committed to Cardiff Airport and may look to expand services in the future.
The governor of the Bank of England said there was "a distinct possibility" RBS would have to relocate if Scotland votes for independence.
Scottish Paralympic gold medallist Aileen McGlynn is determined to prove her worth at the Commonwealth Games having lost her UK Lottery funding.