OAP slams law over pig feeding row

Pictured is George Lomas with one of his son's pigs.
Pictured is George Lomas with one of his son's pigs.

A FURIOUS pensioner has given the law a right roasting after police wrongly accused him of helping to run a business without correct vehicle insurance just for driving out to feed his family’s beloved pigs.

Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard how police arrested 73 year-old George Lomas, for having no business insurance on his vehicle which he had driven to feed his son’s pigs at a nearby field.

But Mr Lomas, of The Knoll, Tansley, was found not guilty after a four hour trial on Tuesday after magistrates heard the field did not operate as a business and the pigs were treated like pets.

He said: “It’s ludicrous. I can’t understand why the legal system has spent so much time and money dragging me through the court when all I was doing was feeding my son’s pigs.”

The retired miner and tarmac fitter, who has survived cancer and a hip replacement, told the court his only pleasure is feeding pigs and he keeps one at home named Sally after his granddaughter.

He told the court: “I love feeding the pigs and I don’t get a penny. I stroke and tickle them and don’t need business insurance so I can’t understand how things got this far.

“I’ve even got a pig at home named after my granddaughter and she follows me around like a dog and gets chocolates.”

Mr Lomas had gone to feed the pigs in June when he approached police checking a water spring on his son John’s field on Allen Lane, Tansley, at former Blakelow Farm, over drainage concerns.

The court heard how Mr Lomas urged them to stop before they noticed his trailer packed with pig feed and carried out a vehicle check, seized his Daihatsu 4x4 and arrested him for not having business insurance on his NFU Mutual policy.

Prosecuting solicitor Michael Treharne said police formed a view Mr Lomas was involved with pigs and farming after they saw animals in the field and found pig pellets and vegetables in his trailer.

But Mr Lomas told the court the pigs helped clear overgrowth and his son John is not in business but is an engineer and is like Greengrass out of Heartbeat and “would not hurt a fly”.

John Lomas told the court the pigs were a ‘hobby’ not a commercial operation and he had only sold so many because it was too expensive to keep feeding them.

The court heard how George Lomas had his policy altered within two hours at no cost to satisfy police, but still had to pay to have his vehicle released.

Defence solicitor Joe Harvey said: “The animals in question are pets. The Crown claimed this was a business but if so it is the worst possible conceived business model.”

Mr Lomas’ son John said: “It’s been an over-handed, over-zealous and disproportional reaction when my dad’s innocent.

“We feel the police seized the vehicle before they knew the facts and it makes you lose confidence in them.”

A spokesperson from CPS East Midlands said: “The decision to charge this case was made by the police, as they have the right to do. When the defendant entered a not guilty plea, the case was reviewed and discussions held with the police about the facts of the case.

“Because using a vehicle without insurance is a serious motoring offence, it was considered that there was arguable legal and factual issue, so the case proceeded quite properly to a magistrates court trial.

“Having considered the evidence and arguments from the prosecution and the defence, the magistrates decided that the defendant was not guilty of the offence because the case had not been proved beyond reasonable doubt.” Police were also asked to comment but have not yet responded.