James Gray threatened with arrest over non-appearance at court

  • A Buckinghamshire horse trader accused of cruelty to more than 100 horses, ponies and donkeys removed from his farm, has been told he must report to court on time for each remaining day of his trial, or face arrest.

    James Gray, 46, of Spindle Farm, Amersham, turned up late to Bicester Magistrates Court on Friday, claiming to have had a puncture, he then failed to turn up at all on Monday.

    Gray was also late to court on 22 January, claiming illness.

    Gray’s co-accused, his daughters Cordelia and Jodie and wife Julie and a teenager who cannot be named for legal reasons, did not come to court either on Monday.

    The court was told that Cordelia Gray had been rushed to hospital with suspected meningitis. But she was able to attend court yesterday (Tuesday) with the rest of her family and the boy.

    Judge Andrew Vickers told Mr Gray yesterday that a condition has been placed on his bail requiring him to be at court by 9.30am each day.

    All five defendants face 12 charges under the Animal Welfare Act in the case being brought by the RSPCA.

    Vet Peter Green, the prosecution’s expert witness, has been giving evidence to the trial since Friday.

    He told the court that one of the horses seized from Spindle Farm in January 2008 had been infested with intestinal worms.

    He said others had seemed quiet and depressed.

    The defence is due to start its case on Friday or Monday.

    The trial continues.

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