Horse dealer James Gray charged with breaching bail conditions

  • James Gray has been charged with breaching his bail conditions.

    The horse dealer at the centre of Britain’s worst equine abuse case appeared before Aylesbury Magistrates Court on Friday 17 July. He had handed himself into Amersham police station earlier that day.

    James Gray from Spindle Farm, Hyde Heath, was released on bail in June after appealing against a six-month jail sentence.

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

    But two weeks ago Gray was pictured in The Sun newspaper at a horse fair near Slough in Berkshire. His son, James Gray junior, was also pictured — despite under similar bail conditions.

    Police at Amersham arrested him on Friday morning, on suspicion of four bail breaches. During the afternoon hearing he was found guilty of two breaches of bail, but cleared of two others.

    He was granted bail on the condition that he does not keep any equine, nor goes within 100 yards of any equine except at his home, where his family are entitled to keep equines while appealing their convictions. He is not allowed to attend any venue used to house horses — such as a horse fair.

    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. He served four days before being released on bail, provided he had no contact with equines and pending appeal.

    An appeal date for James Gray has yet to be set. He 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.

    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.

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