Horse trader Tom Price jailed for cruelty and Asbo breach
- 5 July 2013
- From the section Wales
A horse trader has been jailed for eight months and banned from keeping horses for five years after being found guilty of 57 animal welfare and cruelty charges.
Tom Price, 48, from Wick in the Vale of Glamorgan, caused unnecessary suffering to 18 horses and received a six month sentence at Cardiff Magistrates' Court.
It will run concurrently with an eight month sentence he received for a breach of an anti-social behaviour order.
The RSPCA believe he has 2,500 horses.
The horses were found at five locations in south Wales and the court heard 12 animals had been "left to die" in a Bridgend barn.
Price's 26-year-old son, Thomas Hope Price, was also found guilty in June.
'Shocking and horrendous'
On Friday, district judge at Cardiff Magistrates' Court Bodfan Jenkins ordered the pair to pay £43,000 each in court costs.
It comes after the RSPCA found evidence of neglect and unnecessary suffering to horses in five locations across Bridgend and the Vale of Glamorgan.
Mr Jenkins said both men had both been involved in a large and wealthy concern breeding gypsy cobs and the conditions they were kept in were shocking and horrendous" and almost beggared belief.
Thomas Hope Price received a shorter sentence of 23 weeks because he had pleaded guilty to the offences before the trial.
The five year disqualification for keeping horses was suspended for six months to give the Prices and their company, Glamorgan Horse Traders, time to sell or dispose of their stock.
Speaking after the case, the RSPCA said it did not have the facilities to re-home the huge numbers of horses involved and was looking for a partnership between local authorities and the Welsh government to address the problem.
Price was sentenced separately for the breach of the Asbo between the 6 and 22 December, 2012 by District Judge John Charles.
He was fined £1,000 in costs and the judge told him: "There was a harassment of landowners targeted by you. You've not shown a shred of respect for anybody and not shown any remorse.
"Landowners were powerless to deal with your fly-grazing activities and they were virtually intimidated by you."
After sentencing, Acting Supt Marc Lamerton from South Wales Police said he hoped the sentence would bring an end to the illegal practice of fly-grazing and Asbo breaches are taken seriously.
Principal trading standards officer for the Vale of Glamorgan Council Christina Roberts-Kinsey said: "His actions have caused a great deal of suffering to his horses. But in allowing the horses to fly-graze, straying onto public roads and residential areas, he could also have risked the safety of the public."
She said Price had repeatedly denied ownership of the horses and failed to cooperate with the council's requests.
Ms Roberts-Kinsey added: "Despite the terms of the Asbo, Tom Price has continued with his illegal practices and has breached the order several times."