Sheffield ice cream man’s slave is police chief’s son

David Rooke
David Rooke
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THE father-of-two kept as a slave by a Sheffield ice cream company owner is the adopted son of a senior police officer who helped draft the government’s anti-slavery policy, it emerged today.

Craig Kinsella, 34, was regularly beaten by David Rooke and his family and forced to scavenge in bins for extra food. Rooke, his wife Donna and their son Jamie were jailed for a total of nearly 11 years on Tuesday.

The home of David, Donna and Jamie Rooke on Halifax Road, Grenoside, Sheffield

The home of David, Donna and Jamie Rooke on Halifax Road, Grenoside, Sheffield

Last night, the garage of the house in Grenoside where Mr Kinsella was forced to live was last night set on fire. It is the second case of vandalism at the house this week.

Today it emerged that Mr Kinsella is the adopted son of Nick Kinsella, a retired senior police officer who was appointed head of the UK Human Trafficking Centre in Sheffield, in 2006.

Mr Kinsella, who lives in Sheffield, adopted Craig when he was 12.

He was completely unaware Craig had fallen victim to David Rooke, 44, his wife Donna, 40, and their son Jamie, 19, who hit him with pick-axes, shovel handles and a crowbar, and made him work for 12 hours a day.

Mr Kinsella told The Star newspaper in Sheffield: “This came out of the blue. We had no idea it was happening to Craig.

“I’ve never doubted this could happen to any family – I used to say that when I gave talks. It’s just ironic it has actually happened to us.

“And unfortunately it re-enforces the message I’ve spent years trying to get across.”

Mr Kinsella said the first he knew about it was when he got a telephone call.

He said: “I got a phone call when I was on the M1 to say Craig had been assaulted.

“We went straight to the hospital and were shocked by what we saw.

“He looked dirty, he looked hungry. I think he had just eaten three dinners straight in a row.”

Sheffield Crown Court heard that Craig, who has learning difficulties, was adopted when he was 12 after an ‘abusive’ childhood.

Mr Kinsella said: “You can give your children advice and guide them, but you can’t be with them 24 hours a day. Craig was a grown man who had jobs, had been married, had children and lived independently.

“We are so sad this happened to Craig. It’s sad that it happens to anyone. There’s not enough being done on this issue.”

Police were this morning investigating last night’s arson attack. A South Yorkshire Police spokeswoman said: “Emergency services were called to a fire at an address in Halifax Road, Sheffield, at around 10.30pm last night. The garage at the property was alight and completely destroyed by the fire.

“Residents at neighbouring properties were advised that they may need to be evacuated for their own safety but this did not become necessary. It is believed the fire was started deliberately.

“Two vehicles at the property were also found to have been damaged. This follows a reported incident of criminal damage earlier this week at the same property where windows at the property were deliberately broken.”