Millionaire Family In Britain Keeps Eighteen Homeless People As Slaves And Mercilessly Tortures Them

Top, from left: Bridget, Gerald, John, John, Lawrence and Martin Rooney. Bottom: Martin Sr, Martin, Patrick and Patrick Rooney and Peter Doran. Photograph: Lincolnshire police/EPA

By Theodore Shoebat

A millionaire family in Britain has been jailed for enslaving eighteen homeless people and torturing them. This merciless crime was reported on by the Guardian:

Eleven members of a Lincolnshire family have been jailed for violently exploiting at least 18 victims of modern slavery in offences described as “chilling in their mercilessness”.

The Rooney family, who were based on Traveller sites in Lincoln, targeted homeless people and men with learning disabilities to work and live in squalid conditions for up to 26 years.

The victims were kept in caravans without running water or toilet facilities, Nottingham crown court heard, while their captors wore Rolex watches, drove expensive cars and lived in gleaming homes that were “palatial in comparison” with their workers’ conditions.

The judge, Timothy Spencer QC, said the difference in their lives was “akin to the gulf between medieval royalty and the peasantry” as he jailed 11 members of the family for up to 15 years on Tuesday.

Martin Rooney Sr, 58, the head of the family, was jailed for 10 years and nine months, for orchestrating what the judge described as a “criminal culture” at Drinsey Nook, the Traveller site where they were based.

His twin sons, John and Patrick Rooney, 32, were both sentenced to 15 years in prison. The judge said the pair were “clearly the most culpable” of those in the dock as their father was not leading the operation when police swooped. A further eight of their relatives were handed jail terms of up to seven years.

A series of trials heard how the Rooneys targeted men who were homeless, alcoholic or with mental health problems, often picking them off the streets outside hostels or night shelters. Their victims, who were aged between 18 and 63, were lured with promises of work, money, shelter and food, the court heard.

Once taken to Drinsey Nook, they were put up in “broken-down, ill-equipped and dirty” caravans without running water, heating or toilet facilities. Then they were put to work laying tarmacked drives, “dawn to dusk, seven days a week in all weather” and usually without a break, and only rarely were they provided food or drink, the judge said.

“Sometimes payment was not monetary but by cheap cider which promoted a dependency upon alcohol, which provided another means of control over them,” Spencer added.

Their victims lived in constant fear of violence, the court was told. One man, who was exploited by the family for at least 12 years, was brutally beaten by a “Rooney lynch mob” when a car he was driving ran out of petrol. By the time they were arrested, the family had plundered £36,000 worth of this man’s income support and disability living allowance.

Spencer told the Rooneys: “Your victims had reached a position where they were cowed into submission. Any resistance, they knew, was futile. It would have been met by you recruiting other family members and delivering more violence.

“You knew they would offer no resistance at all – nor did they. These offences are chilling in their mercilessness.”

Detectives said the Rooneys were living a life of luxury in stark contrast to the squalor of their victims. They enjoyed holidays to Barbados, Australia, Egypt and Mexico and lived in “immaculate, gleaming homes” while Patrick and John Rooney were coached at Manchester United football school.

“This was all funded on the back of the forced labour of your victims,” said the judge, “whilst your workers’ only solace was cheap cider and for some a packet of tobacco, consumed in squalid surroundings.”

Ch Supt Chris Davison, head of crime at Lincolnshire police, said: “We will not rest on this result as there are potentially other victims of modern slavery in our county. We are exploring five active investigations and we will continue to put any victims at the very heart of our investigations.

“The severity of these crimes is underlined by the sentences imposed by the judge. The victims will never get the years back that were taken away from them but I hope this provides them with some comfort that justice has been served and demonstrates that we will do everything in our power to try and stop others suffering in the ways that they did.”

The National Crime Agency disclosed last month that there were possibly tens of thousands of modern slavery victims in the UK, far more than law enforcement previously thought.

Simon York, the director of HMRC’s fraud investigation unit, said: “This was a truly appalling case. These people lived a life of luxury by exploiting and abusing highly vulnerable individuals. They stripped them of their humanity, forcing them to live and work in terrible conditions.”


  • AnthonyM

    ” Then he will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it not to one of the least of these, you did it not to me.’ “

    • Marie Halligan

      The Rooneys are likely to be baptised and confirmed members of the R.C.C. so they SHOULD be aware of this.Many Travellers are illiterate because their culture traditionally does not value education, however, they would have been taught Catechism and Scripture before their Sacraments so I don’t think they have an excuse and they DO know right from wrong anyway!

      • AnthonyM

        You showing your ignorance and anti-Catholic bigotry to the world.

        • Marie Halligan

          I AM a practising Catholic!!! I live in Ireland and like all of us, I am only too aware of the anti-social behaviour of some Travellers.I also didn’t say ” ALL Travellers” and stated I felt for the law-abiding ones so I am neither ignorant nor bigoted.As far as I am concerned,Travellers are Irish like me! It’s the anti-social and criminal behavoiur and the complete disregard for the rest of us that SOME of the Travllers display that I object to! Can you REALLY,HONESTLY state with your hand on the Bible that ALL Travellers behave perfectly? Can you deny the Dundon/McCarthys are Travellers and they terrorised Limerick and murdered Roy Collins and Shane Geoghan?? No!

          • AnthonyM

            The Daily Star UK called them a Gypsy family.
            I’ve met some gypsies and they did not seem very religious, Catholic or Protestant, and not from any specific place.
            Apologies if I jumped to incorrect conclusion.

          • Marie Halligan

            It’s OK Anthony!it is an contentious subject here in Ireland and there is a lot of argument and a lot of anti-Traveller feeling- in fairness, founded on the bad behaviour of a visible minority of them- so,although I personally don’t tar all Travellers with the same brush, a lot do and in a way, I get where you were coming from! I live near Limerick and like a lot of people I can get fair emotional about what went on there for nearly a decade because it was absolutely dreadful and the violence and criminal activity did spread out here to the villages! We are just not able for that sort of level of violent crime out here! For instance, an old fella dropped down dead of a heart attack when he came home to find his house being burgaled by two Travellers; then a young fella was stabbed to death in the village where all my deceased relatives are buried and that was all to do with the drug trade ran by the Dundon/McCarthys! It was like they had let loose pure Chaos and people started to feel very unsafe!
            I am aware that Romany gypsies sometimes get mixed up with Irish Travellers but are not the same people at all.The Romanys originated from India and don’t tend to be religious which Irish Travellers do tend to be,(or at least give the appearance of it-in some cases, a false appearance!).The Star was probably trying be politically correct in the same manner of the British MSMs that call the Muslim rape gangs in Britain ” Asian”instead of Muslim!

  • Marie Halligan

    I remember this and there was a documentary about it last year,in which they let the victims themselves tell their stories.It made me cry for them and filled me with disgust for their captors! The Rooneys are Irish Travellers who live in England; Travellers are notorious both there and here in Ireland for criminal behaviour,mainly large-scale drug-dealing and importing.There was a decade-long gang war between two drug gangs in Limerick City during the 2000s and one gang was a large clan of “settled” Travellers, the Dundon/McCarthys. At least 2 law-abiding citizens were murdered by that mob because they got in their way and they had the whole place terrorised! Most of them are locked up now, thank God!
    Travellers have Minority staus now in R.o.I.but they are not genetically different from settled Irish people as far as I am aware.They are the descendants of Irish Catholics who were evicted by Protestant English planters about 400 years ago who took to the road, so in a way,Protestant Imperialism is to blame for the problems they cause. Not all Travellers are criminals or behave anti-socially but the element that does is very visible and makes the whole Travelling community look bad! I feel sorry for law-abiding Travellers because most settled people have no trust in them whatsoever because of the behaviour of this criminal element!

  • Indian Christian Crusader

    What has being white /European got to do with this? It can happen anywhere

  • Marie Halligan

    They are Irish Travellers,the descendants of Irish Catholics who had their lands stolen by English planters about 400 years ago and took to the road!