Sheffield vigilantes target ice cream man who kept ‘slave’ in his garage

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
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THE Sheffield home of a family of ice-cream sellers who treated a vulnerable man like a slave has been targeted in an apparent vigilante attack.

Windows have been smashed at the bungalow where the Rooke family subjected Craig Kinsella to more than six weeks of violence.

David Rooke

David Rooke

Today, the property in the Grenoside area of the city was boarded up and a police van was parked outside, guarding the area.

David Rooke, 44, his wife Donna, 40, and son Jamie, 19, were all jailed on at Sheffield Crown Court on Tuesday by a judge who heard that Mr Kinsella, 34, endured daily attacks.

The court was told that the family beat him with a range of weapons while forcing him to work 17-hour days without pay and making him sleep in a garage with a bucket for a toilet.

Mr Kinsella resorted to feeding himself with scraps he found in bins.

Judge Peter Kelson QC said it was “almost unbelievable” and “absolutely staggering” that this kind of thing was happening in modern society.

He jailed David Rooke for six and a half years for false imprisonment and causing actual bodily harm. Donna Rooke was jailed for four months for battery and Jamie Rooke was jailed for four years for causing actual bodily harm and affray.

A South Yorkshire Police spokeswoman confirmed that officers were called to reports of windows being smashed at the property in Halifax Road at 8.45pm on Tuesday. She said the incident was being investigated as a case of criminal damage.

Earlier, a police and crime commissioner pledged to tackle human trafficking.

West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson said an event looking into the scale of the issue across the region would soon be organised to educate people about the signs that someone is being trafficked.

Human trafficking can include forced labour or services, domestic servitude, sexual offences and exploitation.

Mr Burns-Williamson said: “As the judge in this shocking court case said, prosecutions in this country are happening for slavery and I have personally pledged to work with fellow Police and Crime Commissioners and internationally to tackle issues such as trafficking and forced marriage.

“I plan to meet with more charities who work with victims of this awful practice to learn more about what we can do to help.

“I will be looking at the scale of this problem in West Yorkshire and how it can be measured accurately so we can develop ways of tackling it to ensure we are making communities safer and feeling safer.

“An operation took place in Leeds recently seeking to recover potential victims of trafficking and we have said we will use the lessons learned to inform how we deal with this shocking practice.

“As this case shows, the need for legislation and tougher sentences is there to act as a strong deterrent to those causing untold misery to victims of this practice.”

It has also been revealed that hours after the sentencing, the house in Grenoside where the offences happened was targeted by vandals.

South Yorkshire Police said officers were called to reports of criminal damage on Halifax Road at 8.45pm on Tuesday. Windows at the front of the property had been smashed.