Woman Escapes Couple Who Kept Her As a Prisoner

The forced labor in the prostitution trade of a lady who ran away from her pimp led to the incarceration of two people.

Prostitution control for profit carried a four-and-a-half year jail term for 27-year-old Gheorghe Bonculescu and a two-year suspended term for 27-year-old Elena Birovescu. At Hull Crown Court, the two entered guilty pleas on January 15 and were sentenced on February 13.

The victim, a lady who had been brought into the United Kingdom by human traffickers, said that she was coerced into prostitution upon arrival in Hull. She developed an addiction to cocaine, and if she resisted or confronted Bonculescu, he would threaten to harm her physically.

After venturing out to find the fugitive, Bonculescu, his wife, and Birovescu were discovered inside an Audi in the center of the city. According to the woman’s account to the police, she departed from her own country via Spain and met Bonculescu’s wife, who was involved in the UK prostitution trade. The lady said she was paid £100, although earning £500 to £1,000 daily.

The lady said that Bonculescu had threatened her and others with murder if he went to jail. Birovescu had no prior convictions, but Bonculescu had two for driving violations.

Representing Birovescu, Cathy Kioko-Gilligan said that the defendant’s bank account had funds deposited, sometimes by her and others. It had finally clicked for her: the money was from prostitution. Along with her husband, Bonculescu’s brother, and their four-year-old kid, the lady remained bond-free throughout the process. She had no financial independence or freedom of movement, and she was forced to visit numerous clients. She said she was chosen to service men who were known to have STDs.

Humberside Police’s modern slavery and human trafficking team’s Detective Sergeant Richard Kirk praised the woman’s courage throughout the inquiry and encouraged her to reach out to them if she had any concerns.