Marcel Vasile was found guilty of trafficking charges yesterday at Manchester Crown Court. The case is interesting from several viewpoints and it is worth examining, as is each story of rescue and each story of prosecution, if we are to improve the way we deal with traffickers and trafficking victims.
|| was tried and convicted for trafficking for sexual exploitation within the UK (as well as rape and controlling prostitution for gain). This is a relatively new clause in trafficking law and is vital in combatting internal trafficking (Vasile sold the victim in the UK, but did not himself bring her to the UK.)
|| will be jailed for 15 years. This is the maximum sentence – but it works out as 4.5 years on average. Is this enough of a deterrent to would-be traffickers?
|| will be placed on the sex offenders’ register indefinitely. Why not treat those who buy sex with trafficking victims the same way, and place their names on the register as well (though perhaps we should make their offence imprisonable first.)
|| was 18 when she was trafficked into the UK by a father and his son. What could be done to prevent young people being vulnerable to being trafficked from their hometowns?
|| was brought to different brothels by her trafficker and pimp. Women and men in prostitution (forced or otherwise) move or are moved constantly to serve ‘clientele’.
|| was ‘reluctant to give details of her ordeal’ when Vasile was first arrested and only testified once free from him. This led to his temporary release and her further abuse. How was she missed? How can we improve our interviewing system?
The BBC’s report on the convictions can be found here.