A heartless man has narrowly been spared from a custodial sentence after keeping malnourished and lame sheep in appalling conditions.
Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on July 13 how David Richard Grant, 45, of Smedley Street, Matlock, pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to sheep at a smallholding in Bakewell.
Investigating Police Constable Karl Webster said: “When visiting Grant’s smallholding in Bakewell on February 26 police and trading standards officers found conditions to be woefully substandard with far too many animals being kept for the facilities available.
“A flock of over 40 sheep were housed in a small shed with contaminated bedding which had led to high instances of lameness due to foot-rot.
“Others were very thin and suffering the effects of malnourishment.
“The attending vet took the decision that four of the sheep needed to be put down to end their suffering. Many more were in need of medical treatment.
“Other animals at the location were also found to be living in substandard conditions.”
The court heard how Grant failed to provide suitable living conditions, treatment and veterinary care for the animals resulting in pain and suffering.
Grant, who has a previous conviction for a similar offence, was sentenced to ten weeks of custody suspended for 12 months with 180 hours of unpaid work.
He was also ordered to pay a £115 victim surcharge and £85 costs.
Grant was also banned under the Animal Welfare Act from owning or keeping livestock for ten years but this will be suspended for one month to allow for the animals to be re-homed.
PC Webster added: “The conviction came as a result of an investigation by our Rural Crime Team and Derbyshire County Council’s Trading Standards department which began in February.
“The foundations of the case lay with members of the local community alerting the Hillside Animal Sanctuary about the conditions at the smallholding.
“This was followed by some excellent work by their operatives to obtain evidence of the conditions which was later passed to the police.”
Hillside Animal Sanctuary stated that they received reports that Grant was keeping animals in terrible conditions.
A sanctuary spokesman said that an investigator visited and filmed the terribly neglected and many lame sheep and the findings were reported to the Derbyshire Rural Crime Team who joined forces with Derbyshire Trading Standards to bring charges against David Grant.
A Hillside Animal Sanctuary said: “We were relieved to find out that David Grant was successfully convicted and received a lifetime ban from keeping farm animals and a suspended prison sentence.”
Anyone with information about rural crime is urged to call Derbyshire police on 101 or they can call Crimestoppers in confidence on 0800 555 111.