A COUPLE who operated a Sydney brothel forced five women to live in “conditions of slavery”, making them work more than 100 hours per week, even if they were sick, a jury has been told.
Trevor Frank McIvor, 62, and his de facto wife, Kanokporn Tanuchit, 44, have each pleaded not guilty to five counts of possessing a slave and five counts of using a slave.
The jurors, who were told the hearing is a retrial, heard that the five women were recruited from Thailand by a third party, who arranged Australian visas for them.
Crown prosecutor Bruce Levet said on their arrival in Sydney, the women had their passports and phones taken and they were housed in “restricted circumstances” at the Fairfield brothel or the couple’s house.
The women were told they had incurred a debt of between $35,000 and $45,000 and had to work it off, Mr Levet said during his opening address in the NSW District Court.
The jury was told the money the women made was split between the brothel and paying off their “artificial” debt.
He said the women, who cannot be identified, were forced to work at least 16 hours a day, seven days a week, even when they were menstruating or while they were sick. Mr Levet said the women were often locked in the premises and the couple dictated what they wore and where they went.
“(The crown submits) … these women were held and used in conditions of slavery,” Mr Levet said.
The trial continues before Judge Jonathan Williams.