Sheffield & South Yorkshire

David Rooke 'slave' case: Call to review 'unduly lenient' sentence

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Media captionCraig Kinsella was told if he tried to escape, he was a "dead man"

The attorney general has been asked to review the sentence of a man jailed for treating a man with learning difficulties "like a slave" following a complaint it was "unduly lenient".

David Rooke was jailed for six years six months in January for abusing Craig Kinsella at his Sheffield home.

The 44-year-old's son and wife were also jailed for abusing Mr Kinsella.

A member of the public has requested the review, complaining Rooke was given an "unduly lenient" sentence.

Rooke's son Jamie, 19, was sentenced to four years six months in prison, while his wife Donna, 40, received four months.

At the trial of the three, Sheffield Crown Court heard Mr Kinsella had been living in the garage, sleeping on a piece of carpet and using an old curtain as a blanket.

'Disability hate crime'

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) had considered the abuse of Mr Kinsella as a disability hate crime, but South Yorkshire Police took a different view.

In a statement, the CPS said: "When the reviewing lawyer considered this case, they decided it should be flagged and treated as a disability hate crime.

"The decision was made because the reviewing lawyer considered that the offending could at least in part be explained by the fact that the defendants took advantage of the victim's learning difficulties, therefore demonstrating a degree of hostility.

"We continue to consider all aspects of the sentencing in this case for the Attorney General's Office."

A spokesman for South Yorkshire Police said the force did not agree with the CPS view of the charges.

He said the "medical background of the victim was fully explored and considered by the prosecution during the investigation and there was no evidence to identify he suffered from any disability".

He added that as a result, a charge under section 146 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003, which deals with disability hate crimes "was not considered".

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