A family who ran an animal sanctuary in Oxfordshire have been found guilty of 16 offences of cruelty.

More than 100 animals, including 14 horses, were removed from Crunchies Animal Rescue Sanctuary, near Abingdon, in January 2012.

Eight people — Angela Russell, her carer Daniel Bunyan, father Fred, son Robert, daughters Kirsty and Louise, her brother Peter and niece Abigail McHugh — went on trial in April at Bicester Magistrates Court. They were charged with 16 offences, including failing to provide adequate nutrition and veterinary care.

On Monday (24 June), all bar Peter Russell and Daniel Bunyan were convicted of all 16 offences at at Bicester Magistrates Court.

District judge Tim Pattison said: “I echo the words of RPSCA inspector Douglas Davidson that Crunchies was ‘an animal welfare disaster’; a sea of mud and faeces and, in short, a rescue centre from which animals needed to be rescued.”

This news story was first published in Horse & Hound magazine (27 June 2013)