Family jailed for keeping and beating slave
Family jailed for keeping and beating 'slave'

A vulnerable man with learning difficulties was beaten and treated like a slave in a case that has shocked a British judge.

Craig Kinsella, 34, was held captive by the Rooke family in Grenoside, Sheffield, made to live in their garage and forced to work long hours without pay and with little food.

Icecream seller David Rooke, 44, was sentenced in the Sheffield Crown Court overnight. He has been jailed for six and a half years for imprisoning Mr Kinsella and treating him like a slave.

Rooke's wife Donna, 40, was jailed for four months for battery and their teenage son Jamie, 19, pleaded guilty to affray and assault and was sentenced to four and a half months in jail.

The court was told police were called to the Rooke home after a fight was reported between the family and a neighbour in July. An officer noticed Mr Kinsella's injuries and police investigated.

Craig Kinsella was held in 'slave-like' conditions. Photo: CCTV

The BBC reports the injured man had been living in the garage for about six weeks and was sleeping on piece of carpet, using an old curtain to keep warm.

Prosecutor David Brooke told the court: "He wasn't paid by the family nor fed regularly and he regularly picked food from the wheelie bin to eat. He was obviously emaciated."

Mr Kinsella had been regularly beaten, including with pickaxe handles, spade handles and a crowbar.

The Daily Mail newspaper said Mr Kinsella, described as having learning difficulties, had started working for the family several years ago. The Rookes paid him £40 a week so he could keep claiming social security but they took him to the post office to withdraw his money and took control of his money, the court was told.

Mr Kinsella had no control over his own money, it was alleged. Photo: CCTV

Judge Peter Kelson QC said it was "staggering" such abuse of another human could be carried out in our society.

He ordered Mr Rooke to pay Mr Kinsella £15,000 in cash found by police officers raiding the family home.

Judge Kelson said: "Quite clearly this in no way reflects the pain and suffering inflicted on Craig Kinsella but it’s better than nothing.

"His will had been completely broken by the way you treated him. You treated him like a dog. Man’s inhumanity to man never ceases to shock."

The West Australian

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