Rooney family appealing slavery convictions

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Eleven members of a notorious Lincolnshire family jailed for keeping and exploiting slaves are set to appeal their convictions and sentences at the High Court.

As previously reported, nine members of the traveller family based in Lincoln were given jail sentences totalling 79 years and seven months for running a modern-day slavery camp.

The family’s initial appeal failed. A final decision will be made at a hearing on Thursday, December 13.

The Rooney family tree

When they were convicted in 2017, it was deemed the biggest slavery case in British legal history at the time.

The family enslaved 19 men, many of which were vulnerable or homeless, and forced them to work while living in squalid conditions over a number of years.

One victim, whose ordeal spanned over 25 years, was made to dig his own grave.

Another family member convicted

Joseph Rooney 45 of Washingborough Caravan Site, Lincoln has been found guilty of conspiracy to require persons to perform forced or compulsory labour and two assaults. Photo: Lincolnshire Police

In April 2018 one final member of the family was convicted for despicable modern slavery offences, which saw him force a homeless man to work for him whilst living in disgusting and squalid conditions.

Joseph Rooney, 45, of Washingborough Caravan Site in Lincoln was found guilty of conspiracy to forcing a victim into compulsory labour and two assaults at Leicester Crown Court on Thursday, April 26.

Courts heard his victim, a 54-year-old homeless man, had been forced to live in shocking conditions, work for long hours tarmacking driveways, had his earnings stolen and was told his legs would be broken if he attempted to escape.