Call to review ‘lenient’ sentence in Sheffield slavery case

Halifax Road, Sheffield, where a man was held as a slave
Halifax Road, Sheffield, where a man was held as a slave
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The Attorney General has been asked to review the sentence received by a Sheffield man who held another man as a slave.

David Rooke, aged 44, forced 34-year-old Craig Kinsella to live in his garage and repeatedly beat him in attacks captured on CCTV cameras at Rooke’s home in Halifax Road, Parson Cross.

Sheffield Crown Court heard Rooke and his son Jamie, 19, treated Craig, who has ‘learning difficulties,’ as a ‘punchbag’.

Rooke senior, who admitted false imprisonment and causing actual bodily harm, was jailed for six years and six months.

Rooke junior, who admitted affray and assault, was jailed for four years.

However, a member of the public was so incensed at the ‘unduly lenient’ sentence handed to Rooke senior, a complaint has been lodged to the Attorney General.

A Crown Prosecution Service spokeswoman said: “We continue to consider all aspects of the sentencing in this case for the Attorney General’s Office, which has been asked by a member of the public to consider an application for an unduly lenient sentence for Rooke.”

It has emerged the CPS and South Yorkshire Police had differing views on whether the case should have been treated as a disability hate crime.

The CPS claims the case should have been ‘treated as a disability hate crime,’ which can be viewed by judges as an aggravating factor.

However, South Yorkshire Police said, although ‘extremely vulnerable’, there was ‘no evidence’ the victim suffered from a disability.

A CPS spokeswoman said a breakdown in communication meant when the case reached court the offence was not referred to as a disability hate crime.

A South Yorkshire Police spokesman said: “The medical background of the victim in this case was fully explored and considered by the prosecution during the investigation and there was no evidence to identify he suffered from any disability.

“All available evidence was put before the court which identified that the victim did not have a disability nor was he perceived by any persons involved in the investigation to have a disability.

“This victim was identified through evidence as being an extremely vulnerable individual and therefore the defendants were convicted of the most appropriate offences in the circumstances.”