A WOMAN who says she was raped and forced into prostitution by a violent pimp has categorically denied making up the allegations.

Junior Bryan is accused of raping, beating and living off the earnings of sex workers during a two-decade long campaign of abuse.

The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was giving evidence in his trial at Teesside Crown Court today via a videolink.

During cross examination, defence barrister, Jason Pitter QC questioned the woman about the contents of a number of letters she wrote to his client while he was serving a prison sentence for drug dealing in 2007.

In the prison correspondence, the QC said she had told Bryan that "she was looking forward to going out on the game so she could earn some dollar".

He asked: “Are you still saying that Mr Bryan forced you to work as a prostitute?” She replied: “By then I was a prostitute, my life had been ruined, I wanted it, I did it.”

The barrister said: “This is something that you were involved in voluntarily?”

“No,” she replied.

Turning to the complainant's claims that Bryan forced her to work as a prostitute in London, Mr Pitter said: “Mr Bryan didn’t force you to work as a prostitute, did he?”

She simply replied: “Yes he did.”

Mr Pitter asked if she had been working as a prostitute for someone else while she was in London and whether Bryan had "come to her rescue" after she called him for help.

She admitted working in a brothel but maintained that she was already "on the game" because of Bryan and just wanted to try to earn her own money but didn’t like it.

He asked: “Were you operating as a prostitute before any involvement with Mr Bryan?” “No,” she replied.

The Northern Echo:

Earlier in the trial, jurors heard that the pair had met in the Club Bongo nightclub in the 90s and Bryan got the woman addicted to crack cocaine, forced into to prostitution to pay for her drugs and he would beat her if she refused.

Turning to the woman’s accusations of being beaten by Bryan, he said: “Whilst there may have been fights between you, in the various stages, he only slapped you, is that right?”

She replied: “No, he slapped, punched, kicked and suffocated me.”

The 63-year-old, of Marton Road, Middlesbrough, is facing 32 charges, including multiple alleged rapes, false imprisonment, dealing Class A drugs and living off the earnings of prostitution.

Amongst the complainants due to evidence during the trial are two women from the Darlington area and a 14-year-old girl from the Teesside area.

It is alleged that one of the women from Darlington was severely beaten over a drug debt she owed to the defendant.

The Northern Echo:

Another victim will say that Bryan took her to an isolated area near the Blackwell Grange Golf Club where he forced her to dig her own grave and on another occasion dunked her head in a pond up to nine times while threatening her.

The court also heard how Bryan was arrested as part of a Cleveland Police operation targeting drug dealers in 2007 and he served a prison sentence as a result.

The trial continues.