Rooney denies forcing slaves to work for him

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A Lincoln man accused of holding homeless people on a Lincolnshire travellers site has denied forcing them to work and claims they were free to leave.

As previously reported, Joseph Rooney, 45 of Washingborough, was accused of deliberately targeting homeless alcoholics and holding them against their will on the Washingborough Road travellers site.

A homeless man previously told Leicester Crown Court how he was fed on takeaway meals scraps and was too scared to try to escape.

Mr Rooney, however, told the court he never forced anyone to work for him and they were free to leave, according to BBC reports.

He denies one count of conspiracy to require persons to perform forced or compulsory labour.

He also denies three counts of causing actually bodily harm.

The trial continues.