5:34pm Thursday 28th August 2008
By John Davies »
A Slovakian miner has gone on trial accused of being part of a rape gang which was responsible for five attacks on Bradford prostitutes.
A jury at the city’s crown court heard today that while one of the sex workers was being subjected to a series of rapes in the back of a people carrier, 33-year-old Lubomir Kora filmed part of it on his mobile phone.
Kora, a married father-of-six, has denied a charge of conspiracy to rape relating to a spate of attacks between February 7 and March 13.
Prosecutor Stephen Wood told the court that five prostitutes aged between 19 and 34 had been lured into the distinctive vehicle and subjected to serious sexual assaults by a group of men.
“The aim of group was to get a girl, picked up from the street, for their own sexual gratification,” said Mr Wood.
“Each of them knew that in all likelihood violence would be used against the women in order to subjugate them and make them compliant. There was no question of any of these women consenting to what happened to them.”
Mr Wood described how each of victims, who cannot be identified, were approached by a man who initially asked for sexual services for himself or a second man.
The jury heard that after the prostitute had got into a Kora’s Toyota Previa she would be driven to a secluded location where other men would either come out of their hiding place in the vehicle or from a separate car.
Mr Wood described how the first two prostitutes managed to escape from the gang after they had been picked up in the city’s red-light district four days apart.
In March a 19-year-old sex worker was approached by two men with Czech accents and driven to Arthington Street, a cul-de-sac.
“Once at this location two further males actually climbed over the rear seats. They had been hiding in the back and immediately started to attack her,” said Mr Wood.
“She was struck in the face and they began to try and rip her clothing from her. With the exception of the driver, who watched what unfolded, the other three males raped her.”
The teenager suffered bruising to her face, upper body and legs in the attack and her mobile phone was stolen from her.
A week later a 33-year-old prostitute was again approached by two males in a people-carrier vehicle.
“The prosecution’s case is once more that the driver was Kora,” alleged Mr Wood.
“The driver engaged her in conversation and agreed a price for each man. The people carrier then drove off to Long Lane at Heaton and pulled into a lay-by.’’ Mr Wood said the driver had consensual sex with the prostitute, but after she refused to have sex with his passenger two other men appeared from their hiding place and pinned her down.
While she was being raped by the passenger Kora took photographs of the attack on his mobile phone.
Kora later told police that it was one of his cousins who had asked him to take the pictures and he had been forced into it.
The prostitute was repeatedly raped during her ordeal and had her phone taken from her before she was allowed to leave the vehicle.
She was picked up by a passing ambulance crew in a distressed state.
“She said that she knew she was a working girl and that people would think that she deserved it, but she went on to say no-one deserves this,” said Mr Wood.
Two days later a 34-year-old prostitute was also picked up by two men in a people carrier as she worked alone on Gaynor Street.
After it was driven to the same cul-de-sac in Arthington Street three other men arrived on the scene.
“Four of these males became aggressive in demeanour towards her. She was punched. They began to remove her jeans and rifle through her handbag. Whilst this was occurring the driver watched,” alleged Mr Wood.
The prostitute was raped by all the men including the driver during an ordeal which lasted about 40 minutes.
“The people carrier was then driven off to Long Lane while she was physically held down in the back of the vehicle,” said Mr Wood.
“On arrival there the male she describes as being the most violent demanded sex again. She was restrained by the other males whilst this man raped her again.’’ Mr Wood said the semi-naked and injured woman managed to escape from the vehicle during a lull in the attack and managed to flag down a passing motorist.
The next day detectives found the Toyota parked outside a hostel on Idle Road where Kora was living with his family.
During a series of police interviews he admitted driving his cousins round in the vehicle because they were “bored”.
He said on one occasion they had picked up a girl, but he had let her out of the car after they had been fighting in the back.
Kora said the others had chastised him for letting her go because she was “nice, beautiful and they could have done stupid things with her”.
Kora claimed he had just gone along to help the others who had threatened to tell his wife if he did not drive them.
He denied having sex with any of the women, but admitted had become sexually aroused by watching what his cousins were doing.