Wrexham farmer jailed for animal cruelty

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A PENSIONER farmer has been jailed for a series of animal neglect charges.

William Thomas Lloyd Jones, 73, was sent down for 22 weeks after Flintshire Magistrates’ Court heard he had been convicted of the same type of offence on three previous occasions.

He was also banned from keeping any animals for 10 years.

The Mold court heard he had been subject to a cattle-owning ban previously but animals were kept at the farm in his partner’s name.

District Judge Andrew Shaw told Jones, of Hafod y Bryn Farm between Llandegla and Coedpoeth, the farming of animals involved an assumption that he would be prepared to look after their welfare.

“They depended on you,” the judge said.

He had been to prison for such offences on three previous occasions and had now been found guilty of 14 offences.

His partner, Lynn Elizabeth Smith, 66, of the same address, had been convicted of six offences.

She was placed on a community order and must remain indoors between 9pm and 6am for the next two months.

Smith was also banned from keeping all animals – apart from dogs – for a decade.
Lloyd Jones and Smith denied all offences but were convicted after a trial at Wrexham last month.

Lloyd 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.

Smith was convicted of five counts of failing to provide suitable environment and diet and one of failing to provide a dry lying area, but was cleared of other charges.

The animal ban has been put on hold for a month so the remaining sheep, horses and a goat at the farm can be sold.

The cattle subject to the charges had previously been removed following an investigation by Wrexham Council.

The judge told Smith she had been Lloyd Jones’ partner for a long time and was aware of his previous history.

She knew what he was like and had been willing to register cattle at the farm in her own name but he accepted she had been a subordinate to Lloyd Jones.

Lloyd Jones, he said, had an established history of cruelty against animals and both had shut their eyes to what went on at the farm.

The court heard the animal ban imposed did not simply prevent him from owning animals but from keeping them or being involved in their care in any way.

Louise Edwards, prosecuting, told the trial animals were kept in filthy conditions with no dry bedding.

Cattle were not provided with food and water and horned cattle were not segregated to prevent ‘bulling’.

Animals were also allowed to roam into areas where there were hazards, exposing them to the risk of injury.

Paulinus Barnes, for Lloyd Jones, said any court should hesitate long and hard before sending a man of his age to prison.

It was clear his actions had not been deliberate, she said.

Improvements had been made and he had done his best, although it was accepted that was not good enough.

Despite severe weather, he had attempted to clear the yard of muck and water.

He had blamed factors outside his control, including flooding from the highway, and since the trial, workmen had unblocked drains adjoining the farm which he owned in equal shares with two sisters. Lloyd Jones had farmed his entire life and had looked after animals for getting on for 60 years, the court was told.

“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,” Mr Barnes said.

His accounts had been lost in a fire but it was his case that he made a £4,300 loss last year and was living on his pensions.

Keith Sutton, for Smith, said she was a woman of no convictions who had been primarily responsible for other animals, not the cattle, and there was no complainant about their condition. She also had health problems, he added.

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