Prostitution ring duo admit fraud and driving charges

Decebal Mihai.
Decebal Mihai.

Two brothers jailed for trafficking and controlling prostitutes in Banbridge and Belfast were back in court last Thursday in Banbridge.

They were Decebal Mihia (28), whose address was given as HMP Maghaberry but had an address at Kenlis Street, Banbridge, and Spartacus Ilie Mihai (21), Hydebank YOC.

Spartacus Mihai.

Spartacus Mihai.

Both admitted three charges of fraud by false representation involving insurance policies for cars.

The court heard that during the investigation into trafficking and prostitution the two defendants were seen driving various vehicles.

These were registered to people in England and Scotland.

When police contacted these people they knew nothing about the cars or insurance and did not know the defendants.

A barrister for Decebal Mihai, said they had been buying and selling vehicles and knew they were not insured and should not have been driving them.

He explained that his client was a named driver on the insurance and innocent people in England did not know anything about the cars.

The lawyer said Mihai had received four years in custody, two inside and two on licence, for the other charges. At the end of the sentence he will be deported to Romania.

He explained that his client had been in England for a number of years before coming to Northern Ireland where he had a car wash business.

After dealing in car sales was unsuccessful, added the barrister, he and other persons in the house became involved in prostitution.

A barrister representing Spartacus Ilie Mihai said he had only two previous road traffic matters on his record.

He added that the judge in the Belfast court was eager that his client remained within the Young Offenders Centre and afterwards would face immediate deportation.

District Judge, Mr Paul Copeland, said he was satisfied the custody threshold was met in this case.

He added that they were deeply involved in the fraudulent acquisition of documents and the way they were used was a matter of concern for the court.

Judge Copeland sentenced Decebal Mihai to five months in prison on each of the three offences against him.

The terms are to run concurrently with each other and concurrent with the sentence he is serving.

For each of the three charges against Sparticus Ilie Mihai he imposed a sentence of five months in custody, suspended for three years.

Both defendants were also banned from driving in Northern Ireland for five years