Equine charities blast James Gray for breaking bail conditions

  • Horse charities have condemned the actions of disgraced horse dealer James Gray, who has been seen breaking terms of his bail.

    Buckinghamshire horse trader James Gray was released on bail last month after appealing against a six-month jail sentence.

    He was granted bail on 17 June by a judge at Oxford Crown Court on the condition that he does not keep, deal or transport horses.

    But today, Gray has been pictured in The Sun newspaper at a horse fair near Slough in Berkshire. His son, James Gray junior, is also pictured — despite under similar bail conditions.

    A source told The Sun that father and son were “totally engrossed” with horse dealing at the fair, and were “right in the thick of the action”.

    World Horse Welfare took in some of the horses from Spindle Farm in January 2008.

    The charity’s chief executive, Roly Owers, said: “It beggars belief that having been convicted of the worst case of horse cruelty in UK history and just a matter of days after being released from prison, James Gray is so blatantly abusing his bail conditions.

    “World Horse Welfare was one of the first charities to be involved in this case and our Field Officer will never forget the horrific cruelty that James Gray inflicted on his horses.

    “Anyone like us who cares for horses has to ask, what will it take to stop this happening?”

    Redwings Horse Sanctuary has 29 ponies and donkeys from the Amersham rescue in its care. Chief executive Lynn Cutress said the organisation “felt extremely disappointed” to see the pictures of Jamie Gray at a horse fair recently.

    “I know our loyal supporters and the public at large will be very angry to see these images,” she said. “It’s a very defiant attitude to take against the courts and the legal system, showing absolutely no respect for the process.”

    James Gray and four members of his family lodged appeals against their sentences and conviction of causing unnecessary suffering to and failing to provide protection for animals on 8 May.

    On Friday, 12 June, Aylesbury Magistrates Court sentenced James John Gray, 45, to six months in prison, ordered him to pay £400,000 costs and banned him from keeping horses, ponies and donkeys for life.

    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.

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

    While the case is ongoing, the fate of the animals removed from the farm is still undecided.

    An appeal date has yet to be set.

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