Villager forced men to work for his family
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.”