Former Dartmoor breeder and judge jailed after ignoring ban for second time

A former Dartmoor pony breeder and judge has been jailed after ignoring a ban on keeping all animals for a second time when the RSPCA found 72 ponies in his care.

Andrew David Calbert Hinde, 54, of Main Street, Aberdford, Leeds appeared at Leeds Crown Court on 3 May for sentencing, having been convicted of breaching a ban on keeping animals and other offences relating to ponies and poultry at an earlier hearing at Leeds Magistrates Court in March 2019.

Hinde was previously banned from keeping all animals for 12 years on 18 March 2015 but a member of the public contacted the RSPCA, who attended a farm in Kirk Smeaton, Pontefract on 23 February 2017, and found 56 ponies. The RSPCA later found 20 horses, eight cats and 30 poultry at Hinde’s home address on 6 July 2017.

A spokesman for the RSPCA said: “52 ponies came into RSPCA care in February, 20 came into RSPCA care in July and a further 16 foals have been born in RSPCA care.

“Sadly five ponies have been put to sleep under vet advice. We now have 83 ponies in our care connected to this case.”

Hinde was convicted of nine charges; two for breaching bans at properties in Pontefract and Leeds, and seven for failing to meet the needs of the ponies and poultry at the two properties.

RSPCA inspector Emma Ellis said: “Not only did Hinde breach his ban on keeping animals but he also caused suffering to a number of them. Five ponies who were living at a farm in Kirk Smeaton, Pontefract were in poor body condition, one of them had a foal at foot and was in foal again.

“The ponies had really thick wooly coats because it was winter but when you got your hands on them you could feel they were emaciated. Eleven poultry at his own address in Aberford, Leeds were also suffering – six from poor body condition and five from a skin condition.”

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Hinde was banned from keeping animals for the first time for three years on 26 September 2011 after pleading guilty to an offence relating to a horse. Hinde appealed the sentence but this was dismissed. On 13 February 2015 he was convicted of six offences, including breaching the ban imposed in 2011, relating to a horse and cats.

In mitigation Hinde stated he cared for family members. He has maintained he is not the owner of the animals involved in the case and is appealing his conviction and sentence.

Hinde has been jailed for 46 weeks, and received an indefinite ban on keeping animals (with a minimum term of 15 years). He was also ordered to pay a £115 victim surcharge.

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