Prison for man who trafficked girlfriend into prostitution

4 November 2009

A Hungarian man, who forced his girlfriend into prostitution in London, has been jailed for five years for trafficking offences.

Bertalan Lakatos, 27, first travelled to Austria and Netherlands with his 35-year-old girlfriend and forced her to work as a prostitute after the pair fell into financial trouble. He eventually brought her to the UK where he she continued to work as a prostitute on the streets of London.

For more than two years he regularly beat and raped his girlfriend, as well as taking all of her earnings. He was arrested in April last year after she finally reported him to the police.

Following an investigation by London’s Metropolitan Police Human Trafficking Team, Lakatos was sentenced to five years in jail after being found guilty of two sex trafficking charges, two charges of controlling prostitution and a charge of actual bodily harm.

Detective Inspector Steve Wilkinson, head of the Met’s Human Trafficking Team, said: “We hope that this result will encourage any other victims to come forward and speak with police who may have felt that they couldn’t do so before.

“It is only by the bravery and courage of those who have experienced such a horrendous crime coming forward that we are able to secure results. In doing so, the Met’s Human Trafficking Team has successfully brought to justice someone who strives to violate and exploit others for their own greed.”

Klara Skrivankova, Trafficking Programme Co-ordinator at Anti-Slavery International, said: “I am pleased to see yet another success of the Human Trafficking Team. This shows that specialised anti-trafficking policing is needed to ensure that traffickers are brought to justice. In future, we need to see more teams like this working across the country.”