Cornwall

Ex-UKIP candidate David Evans jailed for animal cruelty

David Evans
Image caption David Evans admitted a series of animal welfare charges

A farmer who was set to stand as a UKIP candidate in Cornwall has been jailed for four months for animal cruelty.

David Evans, from Week St Mary, near Bude, was also banned from keeping sheep and ordered to pay costs of £714.

At Bodmin Magistrates' Court, he admitted six charges of causing suffering and improperly storing carcasses.

Animal welfare officers described conditions at Evans' 40-acre holding as the worst they had seen.

On 6 February, inspectors found 145 sheep in such a poor condition that they had to be put to sleep.

Image copyright Cornwall Council
Image caption Animal welfare officers discovered 145 sheep which had to be put down
Image copyright cornwall council
Image caption Bodmin Magistrates' Court heard Evans failed to prevent sheep becoming emaciated

They also found 119 carcasses in various states of decay scattered across the farm.

The court heard Evans had ignored help and advice by both Cornwall Council and The Animal and Plant Health Agency in 2012.

After Thursday's hearing, Jonathan McCulloch, who investigated the case, said: "In 15 years as an animal health inspector, this case is by far the worst I have ever experienced.

"Dead sheep were scattered across the farm, new born lambs had died after getting stuck in mud.

"Mr Evans had done very little to ensure the safety of his sheep."

Image copyright cornwall council
Image caption The court heard Evans' sheds were so full of junk that sheep had nowhere to shelter

In October, when the case came to light, Evans was de-selected as the UKIP candidate for Camborne and Redruth, a marginal parliamentary seat held by the Conservatives.

Conservative MP George Eustice won the seat by 66 votes more than the closest Liberal Democrat rival in 2010.

UKIP views the constituency as key to the party's electoral performance in 2015.

Evans has previously told BBC News he was "disappointed but not surprised" to be de-selected.

He said he felt he had not had a chance to tell his side of the story.

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