Spindles Farm cruelty case James Gray's claim of unfair trial charges dismissed

Spindles Farm cruelty case James Gray's claim of unfair trial charges dismissed

On Tuesday, March 12, Lord Justice Toulson and Mr Justice Silber dismissed his pleas.

His arguments that the legal costs bill was ‘grossly disproportionate’, which has forced him into bankruptcy, were also rejected by the court.

Gray who owned Spindles Farm, in Chalk Lane, Hyde Heath, now faces ruin after being ordered to pay the £600,000 legal bill.

Witnesses described the shocking condition of a large number of horses at Spindles Farm, some of which were living surrounded by the decomposing carcasses of other equines.

During a three-day raid in January 2008, police seized 115 horses and the RSPCA said it had never before been involved in such a huge operation.

Three animals were in such poor condition they had to be destroyed and many others were taken away for their own protection.

After a 52-day trial, Gray was convicted of 11 offences in May 2009 under the Animal Welfare Act 2006, including nine counts of causing unnecessary suffering.

He was jailed for 24 weeks and was banned indefinitely from dealing in, keeping or owning horses, ponies or donkeys.

Gray was ordered to pay £600,000 towards the enormous legal costs run up by the RSPCA.

Gray’s wife, Julie, 46, was also prosecuted and was handed a community order in 2008 after being found guilty of failing to ensure that animals’ needs were met.

The marathon case left her facing legal bills totalling £200,000. However, the High Court ruled that was wrong and remitted the issue to the crown court for reconsideration.

Mr Justice Silber observed: “There is also an issue as to whether Mrs Gray is entitled to any proceeds of sale from the former matrimonial home. The trustee in bankruptcy of Mr Gray is seeking to have the transfer of Spindles Farm set aside.”