Page last updated at 15:01 GMT, Friday, 21 August 2009 16:01 UK

Drugs woman forced into sex ring

High Court in Belfast

A Chinese woman arrested when a cannabis factory was raided, claimed she was made to have sex with workers locked in the premises 'day and night'.

Mei Lin Yun, 40, told police she had been forced into prostitution at an address in Londonderry where drugs were being grown on an industrial scale.

A Crown lawyer said 600 plants worth an estimated £300,000 were discovered in the house in the Templeard area.

Ms Yun was refused bail due to the risk of fleeing if she was released.

She faces charges of cultivating and possessing cannabis with intent to supply in connection with the police searches stretching back more than a year.

The discovery of the cannabis was said to be linked to similar alleged operations at properties in Limavady and Magherafelt.

'Locked inside'

The Crown lawyer said Yun was one of three people detained after the cannabis factory in Derry was uncovered in January.

"She said she was forced to go to work in the cannabis house on a prostitution basis to have sex with the gardeners who are locked inside this establishment all day and all night," the lawyer said.

A defence lawyer said Yun had co-operated with police, telling them that she had been working at the house against her will.

"She made the case that she was effectively under duress, was at the very bottom of the enterprise and had no choice, particularly in relation to prostitution. There were a level of threats made," he said.

Rejecting the bail application, Mr Justice McLaughlin said: "The objection to bail includes the fact that there's a risk of her absconding.

"In view of the seriousness of the offence, I consider that there is such a risk which, together with her uncertain immigration status, outweighs the presumption in favour of bail."

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