A vulnerable man who was forced to live in a garage where he suffered regular beatings and ended up scavenging for food in bins was treated by a family "like their slave", a judge has been told.
Ice cream business owner David Rooke, 44, admitted falsely imprisoning and attacking Craig Kinsella, 34, during a hearing at Sheffield Crown Court today.
CCTV footage of various members of the Rooke family assaulting Mr Kinsella was shown to Judge Peter Kelson QC.
Prosecutor David Brooke said the victim's life was completely controlled by the Rookes using casual violence and intimidation.
Mr Brooke said one neighbour told police: "He was like their slave.
"They talked to him like a dog.
"They used 'horrible' words. He never retaliated."
Mr Brooke said David Rooke, his wife Donna, 40, and their 19-year-old son Jamie, used "unpleasant and casual" violence to leave Mr Kinsella so terrified he would work from 7.30am to midnight for no money cleaning their garden and vans.
He ended up living in their garage, eating occasional cold meals left out for him and using a bucket for a toilet.
Mr Brooke said the attacks on Mr Kinsella involved weapons like pick-axe handles, spade handles and a crowbar.
David Rooke admitted false imprisonment today and a number of counts of causing actual bodily harm.
Jamie Rooke admitted affray and a number of counts of causing actual bodily harm.
Donna Rooke admitted a specimen count of battery.
All three defendants live on Halifax Road, Grenoside, Sheffield.
They will be sentenced later today.
Mr Brooke told the court how Mr Kinsella lived in the garage at the side of the family home for about six weeks before police intervened in July last year. He was not allowed into the house.
The prosecutor said: "He went on to explain that he'd been living in the garage and that he'd slept on a piece of carpet and used an old curtain as a blanket.
"He wasn't paid by the family nor fed regularly and he regularly picked food from the wheelie bin to eat. He was obviously emaciated."
Mr Brooke said the victim initially told officers he deserved one of the beatings because he had been stealing food from a wheelie bin.
He said Mr Kinsella began to work for the family a number of years ago and was paid £40 a week so he could keep claiming benefits.
But the Rookes took him to the post office to withdraw his money and took control of his finances, the prosecutor explained.
He had a flat in the city and was occasionally driven there to have a bath, although the prosecutor said it was in a terrible state. He was spotted washing his few clothes in a bucket.
Mr Kinsella eventually told police what happened to him after officers were called to the bungalow following an incident in which Jamie Rooke produced a knife during an altercation with a neighbour.
Mr Kinsella was taken to hospital after an officer spotted a range of injuries and he eventually told his story.
Mr Brooke said Mr Kinsella told police he was regularly threatened by David Rooke who told him he would be a "dead man" if he escaped.
He said Rooke told the victim: "I'll hunt you down."
The prosecutor added that Mr Kinsella was clearly scared about whether the Rookes would track him down, even after he was with the police.
Mr Brooke told the court this was a "disturbing and unpleasant" case.
He said: "He became what he called a slave - working from 7.30 in the morning to 11 or 12 at night."