On Tuesday 16th September 2014 a man from Holly Bush Lane in Iver has been convicted of servitude in what is thought to be the first conviction of its kind in England.
The 35 year old man was convicted by unanimous verdict at Aylesbury Crown Court sitting at Amersham Law Courts.
Between 1st January 2013 and 16th May 2013 the convicted man held a 30 year old man and a 43 year old man by coercion to make them provide work and services for him and his family.
The offence took place in Holly Bush Lane in Iver, Buckinghamshire and the victims indicated that they had been forced to work for the convicted man for over a year.
Charges were brought on 19th December 2013, the convicted man has been remanded in custody and the date for sentencing is yet to be arranged.
Detective Inspector Mark Baxter from Force CID said: ‘This is believed to be the first conviction nationally for servitude and is the result of meticulous work by the investigation team. One of the victims bravely came to police to report Rooney in July last year, which began our long and complex investigation. This was a particularly nasty case and the victims have shown great courage in giving evidence against Rooney and helping to secure this conviction. I hope the knowledge that Rooney is behind bars and will soon be sentenced will enable the victims to start moving on from this ordeal, and encourage other victims of servitude to contact police.’
Supt Steve Hockin, Area Commander for Chiltern and South Buckinghamshire police area said ‘Whilst these offences are rare the fact that they often take place behind closed doors makes them difficult to discover. I would encourage anyone with suspicions of similar activities to contact the police confidant that we will take any accusation seriously.‘
Further information can be found on the Thames Valley Police website.