A 25-year-old victim of sex traffickers who was picked up by police in Melksham town centre has been delivered to a safe house outside of Wiltshire.
Human trafficking officers were in court in Chippenham on Thursday last week to take the woman, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, to a place of safety.
The court was told she had been used as a prostitute and was sought by three different gangs.
She was appearing before magistrates to answer two charges of possessing offensive weapons after police allegedly found a 9cm flick knife and a sharply pointed chisel in her handbag when she was searched in Bolwell Place on March 5.
She pleaded not guilty to both and will face trial in Chippenham on July 21. She had been kept in custody for a week partly for her own protection, the court heard.
Anne Holmes, defending, said: “The police at Melksham have become aware that she is being trafficked. She is being used as a prostitute, being moved around Wiltshire.
“The night in question, police accepted she had been pushed out of a moving car.
“She spent the night in hospital,” said prosecutor Pauline Lambert, who said staying in Wiltshire would put her life at risk.
She asked for bail to be given on the condition the woman did not cross into Wiltshire except for her court appearance, which magistrates granted. Mrs Holmes said: “There are three gangs involved in wanting her to work for them.
“She has every reason to not want to come back. She says, I cannot continue to be exploited the way I am; I’ve got to get out of what I’m doing at the moment.”
- Two weeks ago, four Romanian men were discovered in abject living conditions in a commercial premises in Melksham as part of an investigation into human trafficking.