Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Ice cream slavery man David Rooke's sentence 'not too lenient'

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Media captionDavid Rooke forced Craig Kinsella to live in a garage and barely fed him

An ice cream seller who kept a vulnerable man as a slave in his garage was not given a lenient sentence, appeal court judges have ruled.

Attorney General Dominic Grieve had said the six-and-a-half year prison term imposed on David Rooke from Sheffield was "too low".

Rooke forced Craig Kinsella, 34, to live in a garage and live on scraps of food at Grenoside.

Appeal Court judges said the trial judge had not "fallen into error".

Mr Kinsella suffered regular beatings and ended up scavenging in bins.

'Not fed regularly'

Rooke was sentenced at Sheffield Crown Court in January after admitting false imprisonment and a number of counts of causing actual bodily harm.

Mr Kinsella told police he had been living in the garage and had slept on a piece of carpet and used an old curtain as a blanket.

He was not paid by the family nor fed regularly and he regularly picked food from the wheelie bin to eat.

Mr Kinsella had been living in the garage for about six weeks and had also been subjected to violence and intimidation.

He had been attacked with a range of weapons including pickaxe handles, spade handles and a crowbar.

The original trial heard prosecutors say: "He became what he called a slave, working from 7:30 in the morning to 11 or 12 at night."

Rejecting the application, Lady Justice Rafferty said the sentencing judge had not "fallen into error" in what was a "difficult sentencing exercise".

She said "mercifully" cases of the kind came before the courts "relatively seldom".

Rooke, now 45, was jailed along with his wife Donna, 40, and son Jamie, 19.

Jamie Rooke admitted affray and a number of counts of causing actual bodily harm and was sentenced to four years custody.

Donna Rooke admitted a specimen count of battery and was jailed for four months.

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