Wales

Great Orme farm tenancy win 'became nightmare'

Daniel Jones
Image caption Daniel Jones denied all charges at Llandudno magistrates court

A shepherd who won a National Trust farm tenancy said the "dream" became a "nightmare", a court heard.

Daniel Jones beat competition from 2,500 applicants to run Parc Farm on the Great Orme in Llandudno, Conwy, in 2016.

He faces 11 charges of mismanagement brought by Conwy Council, which includes an offence of failing to dispose of three dead sheep.

Mr Jones, 40, denies the charges at Llandudno Magistrates' Court.

Council trading standards officers visited the £1m farm following a complaint from a member of the public about dead sheep in January 2018.

Charlotte Walker Williams, a trading standards officer, said Mr Jones cleared the carcasses but told officials he had developed a stress-related condition since taking over the 145-acre farm.

She said Mr Jones, in an interview, had described getting the farm as a "dream" but it had proved a "massive step up".

Image caption National Trust says some of the rare habitats and species on the land do not exist anywhere else on Earth

Mr Jones is accused of failing to dispose of three sheep carcasses, failing to keep a register of animal movements and nine charges of failing to notify the authorities of animals.

His solicitor David Kirwan claims the defendant had been told by a trading standards officer: "Farmers around here think we are a joke and we need to show them we are not a joke."

That, Mr Kirwan claimed, showed the motive behind the decision to prosecute Mr Jones.

He added: "Mr Jones has gravely suffered as a result of this case. It has put him through 17 months of a nightmare."

John Wyn Williams, prosecuting, told district judge Gwyn Jones the case was not a "witch-hunt" and the authority had acted "reasonably" in bringing the case.

The court was told there was no concern about the welfare of the farm's 500 sheep and lambs.

The trial continues.

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