North East Wales

Farmer jailed for fourth time for animal cruelty

A Wrexham farmer has received his fourth jail sentence for animal neglect.

William Jones, 73, was jailed for 22 weeks after being convicted of 14 charges, including six of causing unnecessary suffering.

Flintshire magistrates heard Jones, of Hafod y Bryn Farm, has been to prison three times for similar offences.

District judge Andrew Shaw said prison was inevitable and also banned Jones from keeping animals for 10 years.

The court heard Jones had previously been banned from owning cattle, but animals were kept at the farm in his partner's name.

No food or water

Louise Edwards, prosecuting, said animals were kept in filthy conditions with no dry bedding.

Cattle were not provided with food and water, horned cattle were not segregated to prevent bulling, and animals could roam into hazardous areas.

Jones was convicted of 14 charges - six of causing unnecessary suffering, five of failing to provide a suitable environment and diet, and three of failing to provide a dry lying area.

His partner, Lynn Smith, 66, was convicted of three counts of failing to provide a suitable environment and diet and one of failing to provide a dry lying area, but was cleared of other charges.

Smith was placed on a community order under which she must remain indoors between 2100 BST and 0600 BST for the next two months.

Smith was also banned from keeping all animals - apart from dogs - for 10 years.

'Eyes shut'

Both had denied all charges, but were convicted after a trial at Wrexham in May.

The judge said Jones had an established history of cruelty against animals, and both he and Smith had shut their eyes to what happened at the farm.

The case was so serious that despite his age, only an immediate prison sentence was appropriate, he said.

Paulinus Barnes, for Jones, had told the court: "He did his best to look after these animals but the sad reality is that in this day and age, as far as the authorities are concerned, it was not good enough."

The neglected cattle have been removed from the farm. The court heard the animal ban will remain on hold for a month to allow the remaining animals to be sold.

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