A Chinese trafficking victim forced to work as a prostitute was advertised as "Leicester's sexiest Japanese tantra babe".

In 2018 the 48-year-old woman travelled to the UK with the promise of a job in the garment industry so she could send money to her husband and son back home.

But when she arrived she was taken to a flat in London and told she would have to work as a masseuse offering sexual services in order to repay the money for her airfare and upkeep, Leicestershire Live reports.

Andrew Howarth, prosecuting, told Leicester Crown Court the woman was given a week's training before being put to work in various flats, where she was supervised by men who would oversee clients and handle money.

The case was heard at Leicester Crown Court

Last September she was sent to work at a flat on Burgess Street in Leicester city centre, which had been rented by a member of an organised crime group.

Leicestershire Police investigated an online ad offering the services of 'Leicester's sexiest Japanese tantra babe' and an undercover officer made an appointment over the phone.

The detective was directed to Burgess House and was met by a man, 26-year-old Wenxin Wu, who began escorting him to the fourth floor flat where the victim was waiting.

However, in the lift the officer identified himself as the police and alerted his back-up team, arresting Wu after he attempted to make a phone call.

The officer was let into the flat where the "frightened" victim was found.

The woman was forced to work as en erotic masseuse in Leicester for almost a year

Mr Howarth said: "The defendant was occupying one bedroom containing male clothes but also items associated with the sex trade - women's lingerie, a mask and some high heels.

"There was also a two-foot long axe under the bed. He wasn't there to just manage the prostitute, but for protection purposes if needed.

"The second bedroom was where the activity took place, with a bed covered with a single sheet, a light draped with a red cover, condoms, lubricant and wipes."

The woman said she worked in the clothing industry in China and had seen an advert offering the same work in the UK with better pay and hours, so contacted the organiser who called herself Mrs Hong.

She was told her visa would be sorted out for her but she would have to pay £11,000, half of which she borrowed from family and the other half was loaned by Mrs Hong.

Wu was jailed for 20 months and placed on an indefinite sexual harm prevention order

In November 2018 she was met by a Chinese man at Heathrow Airport, taken to a flat where she was told she was not allowed out and would have to be a masseuse to re-pay what she owed. She was moved to a different location every two to three weeks.

The prosecutor said: "Each of the premises was controlled by a man she referred to as a 'nanny' who would arrange clients and take the money, initially used to re-pay the debt to Mrs Hong.

"Thereafter some of the money was given to her."

She arrived in Leicester earlier on the day of the police intervention, with the first client not staying because he wanted "someone younger."

Wu pleaded guilty to controlling prostitution on the day he was due to stand trial, having initially denied the offence.

"He told the officers he was homosexual, which caused 'difficulties' in his country and with his family," Mr Howarth said.

Wu was jailed for 20 months and placed on an indefinite sexual harm prevention order.

The victim was helped by a charity organisation and is currently still in the UK, the court heard.

If you or somebody you know has been affected by this story, contact Victim Support for free, confidential advice on 0845 30 30 900 or visit their website, www.https://www.victimsupport.org.uk.