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Man kept women as sex slaves in North, court told

A malnourished Englishwoman with severe learning disabilities was allegedly raped repeatedly and imprisoned for nearly a decade at a specially adapted house in Northern Ireland, a court has heard.

Another woman assessed as suffering chronic post-traumatic stress said she suffered 20 years of abuse after starting a second family with the man accused of a catalogue of molestation.

In the Northern Ireland High Court, prosecutors claimed one of the victims, a married woman said to have gone missing from her home in 2004, weighed just six stone after being kept locked in a sparse and unlit bedroom with no inside door handle.

Video footage of sex acts involving both women, their alleged captor, his wife and other unidentified men have been seized, a judge was told.

Details emerged as the man accused of controlling and running the lives of two vulnerable adults at an address in Co Armagh applied for bail.

The 57-year-old, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, faces charges of rape, false imprisonment and sexual activity with a person with a mental disorder.

He is further charged with indecent assault, trafficking within the UK for sexual exploitation, voyeurism, aiding and abetting rape and causing or inciting a person with a mental disorder to engage in sexual activity.

The alleged offences, committed between 2004 and January this year, are all denied.

The accused told police both women fully consented, the court heard.

His barrister also disputed any prosecution portrayal of his client was "a monster" overseeing a "house of horrors".

Police were called in last December after one of the alleged victims – identified only as M – informed a social services learning disability team that another woman in her 40s from England – referred to as C – had been living in an upstairs room at her home for the past six years.

The property consisted of two houses knocked into one.

Although the accused was not present in court, his wife claimed she and M had both lived in the house with their respective families.

As he opposed bail, the barrister claimed there was video footage of C engaged in various sex acts with the accused alone and with his wife. It was also revealed the accused's wife faces charges of aiding and abetting rape.

Turning to M, it was claimed that she and the accused became a couple after they met outside Northern Ireland when she was aged 21.

M, who has a family with the accused, told police he forced her to have sex with other men and she suffered abuse for over 20 years, the court heard.

The accused will now remain in custody until his case returns to court at a later stage.

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