Vil­lager forced men to work for his fam­ily

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS -

A MAN from Iver has been found guilty of servi­tude – forc­ing peo­ple to work – in what is thought to be one of the first con­vic­tions of its kind in Eng­land.

John Rooney, 35, of Holly Bush Lane, was con­victed by unan­i­mous ver­dict at Ayles­bury Crown Court sit­ting at Amer­sham Law Court on Tues­day.

The court was told that, be­tween Jan­uary 1 and May 16 last year, he held a 30-year-old man and a 43-year-old man by co­er­cion to make them pro­vide work and ser­vices for him and his fam­ily.

The of­fence took place in Holly Bush Lane and the vic­tims in­di­cated that they had been forced to work for Rooney for more than a year.

He was charged on De­cem­ber 19 last year and has been re­manded in cus­tody un­til sen­tenc­ing on Fri­day next week. Com­ment­ing after the court hear­ing, De­tec­tive In­spec­tor Mark Baxter said: “This is be­lieved to be one of the first con­vic­tions na­tion­ally for servi­tude and is the re­sult of metic­u­lous work by the in­ves­ti­ga­tion team.

“This was a par­tic­u­larly nasty case and the vic­tims have shown great courage in giv­ing ev­i­dence. I hope the knowl­edge that Rooney is be­hind bars and will soon be sentenced will en­cour­age other vic­tims of servi­tude to con­tact po­lice.”

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