Eleven traveller family members convicted following slavery trials

Eleven members of a traveller family have been convicted following a series of trials for modern slavery offences.

The 10 men and one woman ran a driveway resurfacing company which used workers housed in caravans without running water or toilet facilities.

Their victims worked long hours to fund what police said was a “lavish lifestyle”. One had worked for the family for 26 years.

The defendants will be sentenced in September.

Police began operations against members of the Rooney family in September 2014, when seven warrants were executed in Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire and London.

A number of victims were found during the raids or were later traced and the UK Human Trafficking Centre concluded 18 men had been illegally trafficked to the sites.

Ch Supt Nikki Mayo said Lincolnshire Police was aware “through intelligence” the workers at two travellers sites were being kept in poor conditions and worked for little money.

“The extent of these conditions soon became apparent – the victims were accommodated in caravans without running water or access to toilet facilities,” she said.

The victims were all described as vulnerable adults, aged between 18 and 63, who were often homeless and had been picked up by the defendants from across the UK.

Ch Supt Mayo said: “They were being completely exploited – working long hours on driveways and block paving for the family.

“They were not given training for the manual labour and although not physically trapped, they were financially, emotionally and physically abused making any escape seem impossible.

“This exploitation was illegally funding a lavish lifestyle for the defendants.

“While their ‘labourers’ were suffering, company profits helped to fund luxurious holidays to Barbados, Australia, Egypt and Mexico, the purchase of high performance BMWs, spa days and even cosmetic surgery.”

She said the victims had become completely institutionalised and were only fed when they worked and at times that was restricted to the family’s leftovers.

The investigation also found around £100,000 worth of stolen goods and that some members of the family had targeted elderly homeowners, getting them to sign over properties into their names.

A total of four trials relating to the 11 defendants took place between November 2016 and August 2017. Ten of the 11 were released on bail ahead of the sentencing.


Those convicted:

  • John Rooney, 31, of Drinsey Nook, Sheffield Road, Saxilby – Conspiracy to require a person to perform forced or compulsory labour, conspiracy to defraud, fraud by false representation, two counts of theft
  • Patrick Rooney, 31, of Drinsey Nook, Sheffield Road, Saxilby – Conspiracy to require a person to perform forced or compulsory labour, fraud by abuse of position, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, two counts of theft
  • Bridget Rooney, 55, of Drinsey Nook, Sheffield Road, Saxilby – Conspiracy to require a person to perform forced or compulsory labour
  • Martin Rooney, 35, of Sainfoin Farm, Gatemoor Lane, Beaconsfield – Conspiracy to defraud, two counts of converting criminal property
  • Martin Rooney, 57, of Drinsey Nook, Sheffield Road, Saxilby – Conspiracy to require a person to perform forced or compulsory labour, unlawful wounding
  • Martin Rooney, 23, of Drinsey Nook, Sheffield Road, Saxilby – Conspiracy to require a person to perform forced or compulsory labour, assault occasioning actual bodily harm
  • Patrick Rooney, 54, of Sainfoin Farm, Gatemoor Lane, Beaconsfield – Converting criminal property
  • John Rooney, 53, of Chantry Croft, Pontefract – Two counts of conspiracy to require a person to perform forced or compulsory labour
  • Peter Doran, 36, of Washingborough Road, Lincoln – Conspiracy to require a person to perform forced or compulsory labour
  • Gerard Rooney, 46, of Washingborough Road, Lincoln – Conspiracy to require a person to perform forced or compulsory labour
  • Lawrence Rooney, 47, of no fixed address – Conspiracy to require a person to perform forced or compulsory labour

Two others, Eileen Rooney, 32, of Drinsey Nook, Sheffield Road, Saxilby and Nora Rooney, 31, of the same address, were both acquitted.


Let’s block ads! (Why?)

BBC News – Home

About

Leave a Reply

Scroll To Top