NewsCrime Desk

Sex den sword horror as man has hand nearly hacked off by pimps

Gardai at the scene of the bloodbath
Gardai at the scene of the bloodbath

A MAN had his hand almost chopped off by sword-wielding enforcer pimps at a seedy back street vice den.

The victim, a Romanian national who happened to be in the apartment at the time, suffered the horrific injury when he raised his arm to defend himself as a sword was swung at his head.

Sources say the gory injury was inflicted after two fellow Romanians broke into the property in Newbridge, Co. Kildare.

Gardaí found the injured man wandering on the street clutching his hand, which was described by one source as “hanging off”.

This week the property’s interior was being repainted when the Sunday World called and is no longer being used as a brothel. The owner of the rental property had no idea that part of it had been used as a vice den.

Incredibly, no complaint has been made and so far no-one has been arrested.

The officers who reached the bloody scene are credited with having saved the man’s life. 

He underwent surgery in St James Hospital in a bid to save his hand. Sources say medics successfully re-attached the hand, but it is not clear if he will regain full use of it.

A woman who had been in the property at the time of the attack left the country the next day, according to Sunday World sources.

On the date of the attack on December 19, there were 10 prostitutes advertising sex-for-sale services in the town.

All the prostitutes were foreigners and three are still working in the town.

The Sunday World can reveal that at least six of the women are linked to one of the biggest Romanian vice gangs operating in the country.

Outed pimp Ion Anton, a Romanian national now living in Co. Tyrone, is known to be part of the group, which moves prostitutes between vice dens in Irish towns.

However, he is unlikely to have been directly involved in the savage attack.

“This looks very like the bigger organisation was making sure no-one else would start cutting into their business,” a source said.

“The same group that has prostitutes in Newbridge have them all over the country. They are probably the biggest vice gang operating in Ireland.”

A smaller Romanian network has not been seen in the town since the brutal attack.

Anton is currently facing a possible 15-year sentence in Northern Ireland, where he is awaiting trial over blowing up an ATM in a robbery attempt. He is on bail and has to wear an electronic tag as part of the court-imposed conditions.

Last August he was refused permission to go on holidays in Europe, but is allowed to travel to Dublin each weekend to visit his family.

Anton was previously identified as playing a key role in organised prostitution across Ireland.

The thug, who has been convicted of head-butting a teenager who threw a snowball at his son, is still part of the seedy operation.

Anton has denied being involved in the sex trade, despite being caught twice on camera by an RTE investigative team as part of a gang running brothels all over the country.

He won a High Court action against the Department of Social Welfare when his dole was stopped in 2012. 

It meant that he got €35,000 of taxpayer’s cash in a back payment, despite his links to the vice trade being publicly exposed.

Despite attempts to depict the Irish sex trade as a mainstream business, the undercurrent of gang violence still raises its ugly head.

Costel Catalin Cretu died after being stabbed in a Cavan brothel in October 2012.

The 38-year-old had travelled from his native Romania with his partner, Florentina Sotir, it was revealed during a criminal trial.

She had been recruited to work as a prostitute by a fellow Romanian.

Investigators tracked down Cretu’s killer, Przemyslaw Trebacz, within hours of the murder.

The Polish national was jailed for life after being convicted of the murder, during which Cretu and his partner were robbed of their cash.

Just moments after her partner had died, Florentina was told to clean up the apartment before the Gardaí arrived. 

She had called the Romanian man who got her the vice job in Ireland and he ordered her to get rid of any evidence of prostitution.