Buckinghamshire horse trader James Gray has been sentenced to six months in prison and banned from keeping horses, ponies and donkeys for life.

He was also ordered to pay £400,000 by Aylesbury Magistrates Court, where he and his family appeared for sentencing today.

On 8 May, Bicester Magistrates Court convicted James John Gray, 45, of Spindle Farm, Chalk Lane, Hyde Heath, and his son James Gray Junior of nine charges of causing unneccessary suffering to animals and two charges of failing to protect animals from pain, injury, suffering and disease.

Gray’s wife, Julie, and daughters Cordelia and Jodie were found guilty of the two charges of failing to protect the animals.

RSPCA officers found 31 dead horses, ponies and donkeys at the farm when they attended in January 2008. A further 115 were removed alive but in poor condition.

This morning, James Gray Junior, 16, was given an 18-month supervision order and has been banned from keeping equines for 10 years. He cannot appeal this ban for five years.

Julie Gray, 42, and daughters Jodie Gray, 26, and Cordelia Gray, 21, have also been banned from keeping equines for 10 years, which they cannot appeal for five years. They have been given 150 hours community service each over 12 months.

Julie Gray has also been ordered to pay £750 in costs, and Cordelia Gray and Jodie Gray £500 each.

RSPCA inspector Kirsty Hampton described the conditions the horses were kept in as “grotesque”.

Speaking after the sentencing, Hampton said: “The RSPCA is pleased the district judge has recognised the extent of the cruelty, neglect and the suffering endured by the animals in this case.

“We see the disqualifications from keeping horses as an effective measure to prevent animals suffering in future.”

If anyone would like to help contribute towards the costs of rehoming and rehabilitating the Spindle Farm horses, visit www.rspca.org.uk/amershamhorses