Lincolnshire is a relatively safe place to live, especially when compared to other parts of the UK. One of our districts has been named the safest place to live England and Wales for a fourth year running. However, that does not mean that there is no organised criminal behaviour or acts of extreme violence in the county.
In this round-up, we take a look back at the 10 crimes and criminals that shook our county in 2017.
Infamous Lincolnshire family ran slavery ring
Fifteen members of the notorious Rooney family based in Drinsey Nook west of Lincoln were handed jail sentences totalling almost 80 years for running a modern-day slavery camp.
The vulnerable victims were kept in caravans on traveller sites without running water or access to toilet facilities, and in some cases the electricity to them was dangerously obtained from a nearby pylon.
One man is believed to have been kept for an incredible 26 years.
Group tortured and waterboarded drug addict
Five people who imprisoned and tortured a drug addict after he went to a house in Gainsborough looking to buy MCat were given jail sentences totalling 50 years in November.
Aivaras Sepronas, Egidijus Zukauskas, Vidas Aleksandravicius, Andrius Svetickas and Jurgita Makaroviene were jailed for kicking, punching and waterboarding the victim Lee Torrance.
During a two hour ordeal a hand gun was also put into his mouth and then rammed against his head.
Man beat and drowned his ex-wife
Gytis Griskevicius, 32, was jailed in April for a minimum of 23 years for beating and drowning his estranged wife, Marina Erte.
Her body was discovered at an address on Elizabeth Road in Boston, showing signs of traumatic brain injuries.
The judge described the attack by Griskevicius as “brutal”.
Pensioner murdered one-legged neighbour
Lithuanian Vidmantas Svedarauskas was jailed for life in June after murdering his wheelchair-bound neighbour Manfred Jaedke inside his victim’s home in Boston.
The two men had been drinking together.
His victim was later found dead on the floor of his bungalow after another neighbour went to check on him when he failed to respond to her text messages.
Man murdered mum-of-two after luring her home
Skegness man Casey Scott was jailed for life in January after murdering mum-of-two and sex worker Lenuta Haidemac at his home in Drummond Road in the town.
She was found dead on the bathroom floor of Scott’s flat after the alarm was raised when she failed to return from the appointment.
The Romanian woman had been living in Boston with her partner and their two children after moving to the UK in 2015.
Couple stabbed man to death after argument at wake
Wainfleet couple Sean and Sarah Booth were each jailed for 10 years in March after stabbing a man to death at a wake.
Wayne Baxter, who was a friend of the Booths, drove his car at Sarah Booth in the pub car park narrowly missing her following an earlier incident in The Woolpack Inn in the village.
After smashing up her Ford Focus, Baxter returned to their house but the Booths emerged from their kitchen armed with knives and stabbed him to death.
Man strangled 16-year-old girl during sex
Newark man James Morton was jailed for 12 years in July after being found guilty of the manslaughter of 16-year-old Marston girl Hannah Pearson.
Morton said he and Hannah had began kissing after he got into bed with her and that she had allowed him to strangle her lightly, describing the pressure as ‘two or three out of ten, before increasing the pressure to around four or five’.
He said he became concerned when he could not hear her breathing.
Robber threatened to stab pensioners in their own homes
Armed robber Clinton Sentance was sentenced to life in prison in June for carrying out three knifepoint robberies in Gainsborough within one month.
He threatened to stab his victims unless they handed over their valuables and then tied them up before fleeing with cash, bank cards and other property.
The judge described his behaviour as “outrageous” and “chilling”.
Former Lincolnshire Police officer belted and raped young boy
Former Lincolnshire Police officer William Wright was jailed in July for raping and sexually abusing a young boy.
The victim was only aged 11 when the abuse started.
Wright was placed on the sex offenders’ register for life.
Men carried out hour-long sex attack on underage girls and boy
Paul McDowall and Alistair Evison were each jailed for 14 years in August after committing an hour-long sex attack on underage girls and a boy.
The pair offered two 15-year-old girls and a 14-year-old bout a lift home after speaking to them outside the Gas Lamp Lounge in Louth.
They then proceeded to attack them in two isolated rural places, carrying out numerous sexual assaults.