Lincolnshire Family Members Sentenced in Modern Slavery Case

Lincolnshire Family Members Sentenced in Modern Slavery Case

 

(Clockwise from top left) Patrick Rooney ’85, Martin Rooney Snr, Martin Rooney, John Rooney ’85, John Rooney ’64, Peter Doran, Lawrence Rooney, Gerard Rooney, Bridget Rooney)

Tuesday 12 September 2017

Members of a notorious traveller family have been sentenced for running a modern-day slave camp. Several of the Rooney family from Drinsey Nook in Lincolnshire were jailed for a total of more than 50 years at Nottingham Crown Court on Tuesday.

The family travelled the country recruiting unemployed vulnerable men, setting them to work for meagre wages labouring for their various businesses.

Almost all of the 18 victims had problems with drink and drugs or mental health issues.

Extraordinarily, one of the men was held by the family for 26 years.

In sentencing, Judge Timothy Spencer QC called it the “wholesale exploitation of vulnerable men”.

He told the family: “Violence is a consistent theme in this case. “Your victims had reached a position where they were cowed into submission. They knew that any resistance to you was futile – it would have been met by you recruiting more family members to deliver more violence. “These offences are chilling in their mercilessness.”

The victims were forced to live in “squalid” caravans or stable blocks often with no toilet or running water. Some of the victims had been allowed to leave and were later traced as part of the police investigation.

One victim told police officers how he felt he was sometimes treated no better than one of the family’s dogs. On one occasion he was given leftovers to eat that were just tossed to the ground for him to pick up.

John Rooney, 31, was jailed for 15 years six months for conspiracy to require a person to perform forced or compulsory labour, conspiracy to defraud, fraud and theft

Patrick Rooney, 31, was jailed for 15 years nine months for conspiracy to require a person to perform forced or compulsory labour, fraud by abuse of position, actual bodily harm and theft

Bridget Rooney, 55, was jailed for seven years for conspiracy to require a person to perform forced or compulsory labour

Martin Rooney Sr, 57, was jailed for 10 years nine months for conspiracy to require a person to perform forced or compulsory labour and unlawful wounding

Martin Rooney, 23, was jailed for six years nine months for conspiracy to require a person to perform forced or compulsory labour and actual bodily harm

John Rooney, 53, was jailed for five years 10 months for conspiracy to require a person to perform forced or compulsory labour

Peter Doran, 64, was jailed for six years for conspiracy to require a person to perform forced or compulsory labour

Gerard Rooney, 46, was jailed for six years for conspiracy to require a person to perform forced or compulsory labour

Lawrence Rooney, 47, was jailed for six years for conspiracy to require a person to perform forced or compulsory labour

Martin Rooney, 35, sentenced to two years suspended for two years for conspiracy to defraud and converting criminal property.

Patrick Rooney, 54, sentenced to 12 months suspended for two years for converting criminal property

Unconcerned with legal requirements or employment standards the Rooney family viewed the men simply as their workers.

But Lincolnshire police are adamant they were modern day slaves.

Senior investigating officer Chief Superintendent Nikki Mayo said: “The victims, whose identities will remain anonymous, were all adults aged between 18 and 63.

“Over time the victims became completely institutionalised and isolated from society.”

She added: “While their ‘labourers’ were suffering, this family were taking luxurious holidays to Barbados, Australia, Egypt and Mexico, the purchase of high performance BMWs, spa days and even cosmetic surgery.

“The greatest positive of this case is that so many of the victims have now got their lives back, they’ve got a real second chance at some peace and happiness and to grow and flourish in their communities – it’s very much deserved.”

The sentencing marks the end of one of the largest modern day slavery cases the UK has ever seen

http://news.sky.com/story/lincolnshire-family-members-jailed-in-modern-slavery-case-11031868

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