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Police still looking into potential of further victims in human trafficking and prostitution case

Craigavon Magistrates Court

A man charged with offences linked to prostitution and human trafficking has been denied bail as police are still looking to identify further potential victims, a court has heard.

The 57-year-old had been refused High Court bail last month, with the judge ruling on this occasion that little had changed in the case.

Martin Heaney, of Maypole Park in Dromore, appeared facing three counts of human trafficking, three counts of controlling prostitution, acquiring criminal property, paying for sexual services and brothel keeping at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Friday, via videolink from Maghaberry.

The prostitution and human trafficking offences are alleged to have involved three separate women.

Heaney is also accused of acquiring criminal property worth £139,000.

Listed for a bail application, defence barrister Peter Coiley stated: “High Court bail was refused on November 5, the central reason it was refused was the risk of interference with witnesses as there was an indication the investigation was still live”.

District Judge Steven Keown commented: “Are you telling me categorically that was the only objection to bail”.

Mr Coiley replied: “There was also the risk of further offences and the risk of flight but the interference with witnesses was the main concern.

“That issue, I submit, is closed, persons have come forward after Mr Heaney was remanded, there have been six complainants all of which have submitted ABE’s and statements”.

A constable stated: “No that is not correct, the human trafficking part of the investigation is complete but items which were seized include a large number of photographs and video on the defendant’s computer.

“It is our belief that there is the potential to identify further victims from this evidence.”

Judge Keown said: “I am ruling that there has not been a change in circumstances, the police investigation is still ongoing, further victims could be identified and it is just one month on from bail being refused in the High Court”.

Bail was refused and the case was adjourned until January 3 for an update.

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