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Saturday, 12 August 2017

11 members of a UK family convicted of Modern Slavery on homeless, disabled persons including Nigerians

Convicted gang members (top row, L-R): Bridget Rooney, 55, Gerald Rooney, 46, John Rooney, 53, John Rooney, 31, Lawrence Rooney, 47, Martin Rooney, 35; (bottom row, L-R): Martin Rooney Sr, 57, Martin Rooney, 23, Patrick Rooney, 54, Patrick Rooney, 31, and Peter Doran, 36. Photograph: EPA/Lincolnshire police/Handout/ via The Guardian
A UK court has convicted 11 members of a family – The Rooneys – accused of fraud and modern slavery offences against about 18 persons made up of homeless persons and those with disabilities for about 26 years.

Nottingham crown court heard that victims were predominantly from eastern Europe, Vietnam and Nigeria.




One of the victims’ sister who spoke to the police in an interview released during trial said her brother has been “psychologically damaged” adding that the time he overslept, he was beaten with a rake.

She added that at one time his teeth was smashed with a concrete slab.

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 adding 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 interior of a caravan in which some of the gang’s workers were forced to live. Photograph: Lincolnshire police/PA via The Guardian
The victims were forced to live in dilapidated caravans with no water, toilet facilities, or heating.
Speaking in an interview Janine Smith of the Crown Prosecution Service said some of the victims have passed on.

“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.

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

See 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.

• 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.





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