Former school friends of Sheffield slavery victim Craig Kinsella have rallied to offer a helping hand after his horrifying ordeal.
Well-wishers have also indundated The Star with offers of financial assistance for the vulnerable 34-year-old, who was beaten, starved and forced to live in a garage while working 15 hours a day unpaid.
David Rooke, his wife Donna and son Jamie, of Halifax Road, Parson Cross, were all jailed last week.
Dad-of-two James Magennis, of Hackenthorpe, was a former friend of Craig’s at Notre Dame High School, Ranmoor.
The 34-year-old said: “I used to get quite badly bullied at school and Craig was always there sticking up for me.
“He was such a nice guy and wasn’t afraid to be friends with you in case he got picked on.
“I thought what happened to him was absolutely horrendous – it’s some of the worst violence I have seen.
“A group of us from school have been saying since it happened that it is a shame we lost touch with Craig.
“It would be good for him to know there are people who do care about him and we would love to see him again or help by taking him out.”
Some The Star readers said they had been moved to tears by the plight of Craig, who has learning difficulties, after watching CCTV footage of him being attacked.
Others offered to contribute to any fund that was set up in his name.
Event promoter Kevin Roberts, of Thorpe Salvin, Rotherham, said: “I was sickened at that video – it shocked me to the core not only by the level of violence, but to think how many people are suffering that type of behaviour.
“I felt Craig will need some kind of rehabilitation fund. If I could help by donating or maybe do an event at Sheffield City Hall we could help him in that recovery.”
A South Yorkshire Police spokesman said: “The support and kind words provided by the public is truly touching and heartfelt.
“We are liaising with Mr Kinsella and his family on how to facilitate the generous donations offered.”