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Eleven members of Traveller family convicted of modern day slavery jailed in England

They were all found guilty earlier this year.

rooney The 11 were sentenced today. Source: Lincolnshire Police

MEMBERS OF A Traveller family convicted of modern day slavery were today jailed for their crimes.

Members of the Rooney family in Lincolnshire were found guilty of enslaving at least 18 victims – some of whom had disabilities, mental health difficulties or alcohol addictions – in order to fund their lavish lifestyle, police said.

All victims were aged between 18 and 63; one of the victims had been working for the family for 26 years.

If they tried to escape, they were chased and brought back to the Traveller site, the court heard. The family would sometimes use alcohol or drugs to placate their victims.

All defendants were sentenced at Nottingham Crown Court after a series of linked trials which began in late 2016.

The 11 people were convicted of offences relating to modern slavery and fraud are:

  • John Rooney (31) of Drinsey Nook, Sheffield Road, Saxilby received 15 years 6 months
  • Patrick Rooney (31) of Drinsey Nook, Sheffield Road, Saxilby received 15 years 9 months
  • Bridget Rooney (55) of Drinsey Nook, Sheffield Road, Saxilby received 7 years
  • Martin Rooney (35) of Sainfoin Farm, Gatemoor Lane, Beaconsfield received 2 years suspended for 2 years
  • Martin Rooney (57) of Drinsey Nook, Sheffield Road, Saxilby received 10 years 9 months
  • Martin Rooney (23) of Drinsey Nook, Sheffield Road, Saxilby received 6 years 9 months
  • Patrick Rooney (54) of Sainfoin Farm, Gatemoor Lane, Beaconsfield received 12 months suspended for 2 years
  • John Rooney (53) of Chantry Croft, Pontefract received 5 years 10 months
  • Peter Doran (36) of Washingborough Road, Lincoln received 6 years
  • Gerard Rooney (46) of Washingborough Road, Lincoln received 6 years
  • Lawrence Rooney (47) currently in prison, received 6 years

Judge Timothy Spencer described the offences as “chilling” as he handed down sentencing this afternoon.

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He described Drinsey Nook as “the hub of wholesale exploitation of vulnerable men made to perform forced labour” and that the Rooney family “preyed on men who were vulnerable and easy to manipulate”.

linc A caravan one of the victims was housed in. Some of the family's victims were homeless and promised accommodation in exchange for work. Source: Lincolnshire Police

Chief Superintendent Chris Davison, Head of Crime for Lincolnshire Police, said the severity of the crimes was underlined by the sentences imposed by the judge. He added that the victims will never get the years back that were taken away from them but that he “hopes this provides them with some comfort that justice has been served and demonstrates that we will do everything in our power to try and stop others suffering in the ways that they did”.

Read: UK family enslaved addicts and people with disabilities ‘to fund lavish lifestyle’ >

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