Slavery ring family busted in the UK

A British family who lived a life of luxury were also modern day slave drivers.

The Rooneys, owners of a construction company, searched the streets of Lincolnshire for the homeless and those with learning difficulties with the promise of work, food and shelter.

But the reality was the workers were forced to live in rundown, filthy caravans and work on unsafe work sites.

They were controlled, unpaid and beaten.

The 18 men lived in appalling conditions. Source: 7 News

Police described it as one of the largest, and most complex modern slavery rings ever uncovered in Britain with eighteen men kept as slave labour, mainly forced to work on building sites.

One man was held in the oppressive conditions for 26 years – his family thought he was dead.

East Midlands Crown Prosecution Service’s Janine Smith said for the 11 members of the Rooney family, “exploitation, violence and extortion were a way of life”.

One victim said the workers weren’t allowed, “to use the showers, the toilets or anything”.

“It wasn't can you do this, can you do that,” he said.

"’Go do that, go do that!’ And by the time you go over there he'd give you a job over there, ‘which one do you want me to do first?’

“‘I've told you which job I want you to do, go do that.’”

There was little access to sanitation, no water, no food and usually no pay.

The 11 members of the Rooney family will be sentenced in September. Source: 7 News

Lincolnshire Police chief superintendent Nikki Mayo said the Rooneys paid the workers in other ways in what was a “despicable crime”.

“They were more paid in alcohol and tobacco, which as we know is part of how they were controlled,” she said.

The Rooneys lived in luxury, buying BMWs, getting cosmetic surgery and going on holidays to Barbados, Egypt in Australia.

The men were freed in 2014. A family of one of the men thought he was dead for 26 years. Source: 7 News

The men were freed in 2014, but the extent of their suffering has only been revealed after four criminal trials.

The Rooneys will be sentenced in September.