A slaughterhouse boss, who has pleaded guilty to charges relating to the 2013 horsemeat scandal, could be jailed for up to two years.
Peter Boddy, 65, admitted one count of failing to abide by EU meat traceability regulations concerning more than 17 horse carcasses at Southwark Crown Court last week (28 January).
At an earlier hearing in September, Boddy who runs a slaughter house in Todmorden, West Yorkshire, pleaded guilty to selling 50 horses for meat without keeping records to show who had bought them.
Last week the slaughterhouse’s 54-year-old manager David Moss, admitted forging an invoice concerning the number of horses sold in a transaction on 12 February 2013.
The pair were released on bail and will be sentenced on 23 March in London.
Judge Alistair McCreath said: “I tell you now that I have reached no view whatever as to the right sentence, no preliminary view, no settled view, nothing.
“I say that so that you understand that by granting you bail and ordering reports, I don’t give you any indication.
“So don’t run away with the idea that I have given you any kind of hint, any kind of indication or promise, what is going to happen.”
Boddy is the first person to face jail in relation to the 2013 horsemeat scandal.
There was widespread anger in October when separate charges against the directors of an abattoir in Cheshire were dropped due to insufficient evidence. The Red Lion Abattoir hit the headlines when undercover footage emerged showing cruelty to horses was obtained by an animal rights group.
Derek Lesley Turner, 80, and his son Derek William Turner, 41, both denied seven charges of “permitting horses to sustain avoidable excitement, pain or suffering” and on 27 October the case was formally discontinued.
Ref: Horse & Hound; 5 February 2015