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4 days ago | Pop Culture

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In UK: Family convicted of Modern Slavery on homeless, disabled persons

The Rooney's

The victims reportedly lived in dilapidated caravans with no water, toilet facilities, or heating.

A family of 11, The Rooneys, has been convicted by a UK court, of fraud and modern slavery offences against about 18 persons made up of homeless persons and disabled for about 26 years.

The crown court sitting in Nottingham heard that the victims were mostly from eastern Europe, Vietnam and Nigeria.

A sister to one of the victims’ who spoke to the police in an interview released during the trial, said her brother has been “psychologically damaged”

She added that the time he overslept, he was beaten with a rake, saying that his teeth were smashed with a concrete slab.

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She said: “He was asked to sign a contract by John Rooney – a contract would have been out of his understanding. And John Rooney said to him: ‘You’re going to work for me for the rest of your life.’ My brother replied: ‘Oh, I don’t know about that.’

"Prior to that conversation, John Rooney had actually made him dig a hole. And my brother said to him: ‘How much further do you want me to dig down?’ And he (Rooney) said ‘keep digging’ and at the end of the conversation said to him: ‘If you don’t sign this contract, that’s where you’re going, in that hole.’ We think he was captured for up to 26 years.”

The Guardian reports that the victims worked for little or no pay and that the suspects who were based on Traveller Sites, used their money to pay for holidays to Barbados, cosmetic surgery and coaching at a Manchester United football school.

 

The victims reportedly lived in dilapidated caravans with no water, toilet facilities, or heating.

They were forced to work either on the Traveller sites or for the convicts’ businesses. The victims were supplied with alcohol and drugs to the victims in a bid to keep them under control.

During an interview, Janine Smith of the Crown Prosecution Service said some of the victims passed on.

She said, “These members of the Rooney family lived lives of luxury at the expense of their victims, condemning them to live in fear, misery and squalor.

"For them, exploitation, violence and extortion were a way of life. The defendants have caused serious harm to the people they exploited, some of whom have now passed away,” Smith said.

Find the list of the convicted offenders according to The Guardian:

John Rooney, 31, of Drinsey Nook, Saxilby, Lincolnshire – conspiracy to require a person to perform forced or compulsory labour, conspiracy to defraud, fraud by false representation and two counts of theft.

Patrick Rooney, 31, of Drinsey Nook – conspiracy to require a person to perform forced or compulsory labour, fraud by abuse of position, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, and two counts of theft.

Bridget Rooney, 55, of Drinsey Nook – conspiracy to require a person to perform forced or compulsory labour.

Martin Rooney, 35, of Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire – conspiracy to defraud, two counts of converting criminal property.

Martin Rooney, 57, of Drinsey Nook – conspiracy to require a person to perform forced or compulsory labour and unlawful wounding.

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Martin Rooney, 23, of Drinsey Nook – conspiracy to require a person to perform forced or compulsory labour and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Patrick Rooney, 54, of Beaconsfield – converting criminal property.

John Rooney, 53, of Pontefract, West Yorkshire – two counts of conspiring to require a person to perform forced or compulsory labour.

Peter Doran, 36, of Lincoln – conspiracy to require a person to perform forced or compulsory labour.

Gerard Rooney, 46, of Lincoln – conspiracy to require a person to perform forced or compulsory labour.

Lawrence Rooney, 47, currently in prison – conspiracy to require a person to perform forced or compulsory labour.

Bob Alash Photo

Bob Alash is an Chief Editor at Meets Media, a digital journalist who reports on Pop Culture and some other section of our website.

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