Ireland Nine Irish jailed for keeping slaves 'like medieval peasants'

13:00  13 september  2017
13:00  13 september  2017 Source:   Independent.ie

Rough sleeper found dead on Dublin street was registered sex offender

  Rough sleeper found dead on Dublin street was registered sex offender A rough sleeper whose tragic death reignited a debate around homelessness was a convicted sex offender. Stephen 'Jack' Watson was discovered unconscious on Suffolk Street in Dublin's South Inner city in the early hours of last Thursday morning. He was removed to hospital where he was pronounced dead a short time later.His death sparked an outpouring of grief and anger from homeless groups and politicians.Now Independent.ie has learned that Watson, who went by a number of different names, was a registered sex offender.

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Video: Family members jailed for 'truly shocking' modern day slavery crimes (Provided by PA)

Apollo House vigil planned after death of rough sleeper cancelled

  Apollo House vigil planned after death of rough sleeper cancelled A vigil planned for a rough sleeper whose tragic death reignited a debate around homelessness has been cancelled after it emerged the man was a convicted sex offender. Stephen 'Jack' Watson was discovered unconscious on Suffolk Street in Dublin's South Inner city in the early hours of last Thursday morning. He was removed to hospital where he was pronounced dead a short time later.His death sparked an outpouring of grief and anger from homeless groups and politicians.Now Independent.ie has learned that Watson, who went by a number of different names, was a registered sex offender.

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Nine members of an Irish Traveller family convicted of "completely unacceptable" slavery offences have been jailed, after a judge likened their victims' plight to that of medieval peasants.

The head of the UK-based slavery ring, 57-year-old Martin Rooney, was jailed for 10 years and nine months after being convicted of wounding and conspiracy to require a person to perform forced or compulsory labour.

Two family members got suspended sentences.

A caravan which the victims had to live in. Photo: Lincolnshire Police/PA © Provided by Irish Independent A caravan which the victims had to live in. Photo: Lincolnshire Police/PA Sentencing Rooney, of Drinsey Nook, Saxilby, Lincolnshire, Judge Timothy Spencer contrasted the family's wealth, foreign holidays and expensive cars with the dirty caravans and squalid conditions in which their victims lived.

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The judge noted the UK-based Irish Traveller family's lifestyle and "spotless" living conditions.

He said the comparison with the lives of their victims "was akin to the gulf between medieval royalty and the peasantry".

A total of 11 defendants were convicted of offences following a series of linked trials relating to modern slavery and fraud at Nottingham Crown Court.

Six people were initially arrested in September 2014 with seven warrants executed in Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire and London as part of inquiries into modern slavery.

All the victims of the offences - including a man kept in "truly shocking" conditions for decades - were described as extremely vulnerable, with some having learning disabilities and mental health issues.

The victims were forced to work either on Travellers' sites or for the defendants' businesses repairing properties and paving driveways.

Prosecutors said that although food was promised, the victims, aged 18 to 63, were poorly fed and were paid little or nothing.

Superintendent Chris Davison, head of crime for Lincolnshire Police, said: "The severity of these crimes is underlined by the sentences imposed by the judge.

"The victims will never get the years back that were taken away from them but I hope this provides them with some comfort that justice has been served."

Prisoner dies after being found unresponsive, probes launched .
An inmate has died after being found unresponsive in an Irish prison, it has been confirmed. Sources have said that the deceased man is Thomas Stokes (23), who was jailed for four and a half years in February for robbery and possession of an imitation weapon.A spokesman for the Irish Prison Service told Independent.ie that the man received medical attention in Wheatfield Prison before he was transferred to hospital over the weekend.He said: "The inmate became unwell on Saturday morning and received medical attention from prison staff.

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