I am delighted to say that the Bucks Free Press have reported on todays decision by the judge in this case. This is from their website
“A JUDGE today suspended a court order to return 11 donkeys and 18 Shetland Ponies to the farm they were seized from.
District judge, Sandeep Kainth, had originally ordered for the animals to be sent back to Spindle Farm in Hyde Heath ten days ago at a hearing at Oxford Magistrates Court.
The animals were confiscated in January in one of the biggest operations ever mounted by the RSPCA.
The farm’s owner James Gray, 44, has applied for the confiscated animals to be returned to him.
Today the judge ordered a “stay” meaning the animals will remain in the care of the RSPCA pending a high court appeal against Judge Kainth’s original decision.
As the judgement was made a packed public gallery stood to applaud Judge Kainth’s decision.
The RSPCA had planned a high court appeal in a bid to overturn Judge Kainth’s decision.
Phillip Williams, representing Mr Gray, described today’s application for a stay as ” frivolous”, adding : “The animals must be returned forthwith.”
Philip Havers QC representing the RSPCA said: “If you were to enforce the order and refuse the application you would effectively pre-empt the outcome of the appeal.” He added: ” If the animals are returned to Mr Gray in the meantime their welfare would be in jeopardy.”
Judge Kainth said: ” My original ruling on the fourth of April is to be, with immediate effect, suspended. It is for the High Court to determine how best to proceed.”
Mr Gray, who did not appear in court today, was ordered to pay £3,000 prosecution costs although his solicitor indicated he planned to appeal that decision.”
I was also pleased to receive a short email reply from the office of Chery Gillan MP, following my complaint about this case. Her email apologised for the short response but as she had been inundated by such complaints she was unable to comment further. Good to see an MP willing to respond to people and so pleased so many people took time to write in about this matter.