Appalled neighbours of a Sheffield family who treated a vulnerable man as their slave have vowed the harrowing case will unite the community.
Residents spoke out after vigilante vandals wrecked the home where David Rooke, wife Donna and son Jamie beat and starved their victim Craig Kinsella on Halifax Road, Parson Cross.
And well-wishers touched by the ordeal of Mr Kinsella, who has learning difficulties and was forced to work unpaid for 15 hours a day while living in a garage, have already started to offer financial and other help.
One local resident, who was walking past the boarded-up family home yesterday, said: “I think it has brought people closer together, so they can keep an eye on each other more.
“We do all look out for each other and it is a good community generally. Most people around here are quite angry at what has happened.”
Windows at the Rookes’ family home were boarded up after being smashed by vandals at 8.45pm on Tuesday. A police spokesman said officers are making inquiries about the criminal damage.
Nearby householders - most of whom are elderly and didn’t want to be named - said the Rookes had been reported to police many times for causing noise and nuisance in the ‘peaceful’ area.
All described the shock of discovering what horrors had really been happening just a few doors away.
One woman said: “We are all just absolutely floored by what came out, we didn’t realise it was as bad as that.”
Retired newsagent Raymond Hall, aged 79, added: “It is horrendous. We’ve been thinking about moving and we were here 40 years. I can’t believe that one family can cause so much havoc.”
Several people have contacted The Star to offer their help to Mr Kinsella, aged 34, who was found with extensive injuries sustained in ‘horrific attacks’.
One was dad Dean Bonnett, of Ecclesfield, who said: “I was in tears last night as I have a son with learning difficulties. I just want to help if I can.”
David Rooke, 44, was jailed for six-and-a-half years for false imprisonment and five counts of causing actual bodily harm. He was also ordered to pay Mr Kinsella £15,000 in compensation.
Jamie Rooke, 19, admitted affray and four counts of causing actual bodily harm and was jailed for four years.
Donna Rooke, 40, admitted a specimen count of battery and was jailed for four months.