herald

Friday 15 December 2017

Brothel owner must fly home or face prison

A WOMAN who ran a brothel in a west Dublin suburb has avoided a jail term on the condition she returns to her country within a week.

Romanian national Florentina Gerea (29), of Parkgate, Verdamount Apartments, Blanchardstown, pleaded guilty to operating a brothel in the Westend Village apartments, Blanchardstown, in July 2009.

Sgt Aaron Gormley told Colm O'Briain, prosecuting, that investigating gardai obtained a search warrant after observing a number of men "coming to and fro" at the apartment.

He told Dublin Circuit Criminal Court that gardai raided the apartment on the July 7, 2009, and found Gerea and another woman working there.

During the search, gardai found items linking Gerea to the apartment, including an ESB bill in her name and the letting agreement.

Sgt Gormley said a laptop, which was open on Gerea's online escort profile, and a sex toy were also found. He said Gerea admitted that the two women were working as prostitutes and that she was in charge.

Nurse

Defence counsel Breffni Gordon told the court that his client has no previous convictions and had come to Ireland "in search of a better life".

He said that it hadn't been a good experience for her and that her only wish was to return to her country because her father is seriously ill.

The court heard that Gerea wants to enroll in a third-level course in Romania to become a qualified nurse and that a conviction would cause her "great difficulty".

He added: "The embarrassment of this will stay with her for life and it is worse than any sentence the court could hand out."

He said she had been living in "poverty" and that she got involved in prostitution "purely as a means to an end".

The court also heard that another man had been involved with the running of the brothel but that Gerea has severed all ties with him.

Judge Patrick McCartan told Gerea that she has seven days to leave the country and adjourned the case until January next year to make sure she has remained away from Ireland.

hnews@herald.ie

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