Farmer Jailed For Animal Cruelty

More than 40 animals found dead at Nottingham Farm.

A Nottingham farmer has been jailed for 12 months after scores of animals were found dead and decaying at his farm.

Rotting carcasses of pigs, cows, poultry and a donkey were found by trading standards officers when they visited Keith James Littlewood's farm in Bestwood last June, Nottingham Crown Court was told. A number of animals were also found starving, with no access to food or water, and feeding off the carcasses of the dead animals.

Sentencing him for animal cruelty and breaching animal by-product laws at Nottingham Crown Court, Judge Michael Stokes QC, the Recorder of Nottingham, said: ``I've never in my life seen anything as appalling that what I saw on the DVDs and photographs shown to me.''

The DVD and pictures were from an inspection carried out by Nottinghamshire County Council trading standards following a complaint from a member of the public over concerns about the welfare of the animals on the farm.

Littlewood pleaded guilty to four breaches of animal by-product regulations, which related to the non-disposal of eight bovine, one donkey and an unquantified number of pig and poultry carcasses when he appeared at an earlier hearing at Nottingham Magistrates Court.

He also admitted eight breaches of the Animal Welfare Act, relating to cruelty and causing unnecessary suffering to three pigs, three bovine, 17 pigs and a dog.

Sentencing Littlewood, Mr Stokes said: ``I hear that you are extremely skilful and experienced in the care of animals, in particular poultry and water fowl, where you have won awards and where you are a resulting judge - and then I look at these photographs and DVDs and the condition of your establishment in March of last year.

``I am not one to appropriate rights to animals but human beings have a duty to care for animals. You have betrayed that duty towards your own animals.''

Littlewood was sentenced to 12 months in jail for breaching animal by-product regulations. He was also handed a six-month concurrent term for breaches of the Animal Welfare Act. 

The judge told him he would serve half the sentence before being considered for release.

An application to ban Littlewood from keeping animals was adjourned until March pending further information and an update on the condition of White Haven Farm.