Family gets prison for keeping man as slave

Jan. 8, 2014 at 12:36 AM
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SHEFFIELD, England, Jan. 8 (UPI) -- The owner of an ice cream business in Sheffield, England, and his wife and son got prison terms Tuesday for turning another man into a slave.

A judge told David, Donna and Jamie Rooke they broke Craig Kinsella's will and treated him "like a dog," the Yorkshire Post reported. Judge Peter Kelson gave David Rooke, 44, a 6 1/2-year sentence, while his son, 19, got 4 years and his wife 4 months.

Rooke was also ordered to pay Kinsella $25,000 in compensation. The family pleaded guilty to various charges.

Prosecutors said the family kept Kinsella, described as being of below-average intelligence, prisoner for six weeks, forcing him to work 17 hours a day in return for a bed in their garage and one cold meal a day. The Rookes were arrested in July after neighbors called police to report Kinsella was being "treated like a slave."

"Craig Kinsella's will has completely been broken by the way you treated him," Kelson said. "You treated him like a dog. Man's inhumanity to man never ceases to shock."

Detective Inspector Vicky Short, who headed the investigation, said she believes if police had not been alerted to Kinsella's plight they would eventually have been investigating a murder.

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