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Gray loses his horses, remains at large

May 14, 2010

by Neil Clarkson

British horse trader James Gray, who absconded before a judge imposed a prison sentence on him for horse neglect, will lose all the animals seized from his farm.

A still from the World Horse Welfare video taken at Gray's property.

Charities have spent hundreds of thousands of pounds rehabilitating more than 100 horses seized early in 2008 from the Gray family's Spindles Farm, in Buckinghamshire.

Early yesterday, the Gray family lost their appeals against sentence in the case, considered one of the worst horse neglect cases in British history.

However, Gray failed to return to court to learn his fate, where Judge Christopher Tyrer increased Gray's 24-week jail term to 26 weeks.

Gray has so far served only four days of the sentence. He was released pending the outcome of his appeals against conviction and sentence.

Gray has also been barred from keeping horses for life and must pay £400,000 in costs.

Judge Tyrer, who issued a warrant for Gray's arrest, also made an order for permanent forfeiture of the horses.

Gray had already absconded by this stage.

The judge ruled the animals could go into the possession of persons nominated by the RSPCA, which opens the door for adoption.

"They have suffered enough. He [Gray] cannot look after them," the judge said.



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