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Family who ran modern slavery ring jailed

Squalid: Caravan where men were forced to live PICTURES: PA

NINE members of a traveller family who kept workers in ‘truly shocking’ conditions in caravans and stable blocks have been jailed for modern day slavery offences.

The head, Martin Rooney, 57, was jailed for more than ten years while the other eight were given sentences ranging from six to 15 years. Two others received suspended prison terms.

Sentencing, judge Timothy Spencer QC said the exploitation and abuse were ‘chilling’. The victims were estranged from their families and many had drink and drugs or mental health issues, Nottingham crown court was told.

Ch Supt Chris Davison, of Lincolnshire Police, said: ‘The severity of these crimes is underlined by the sentences.’

A total of 11 family members were convicted after a series of trials relating to modern slavery and fraud. They followed police swoops in Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire and London in 2014.