Convicted Horse Trader Absconds


By Lauren Turner, Press Association

A horse trader convicted of the worst case of animal cruelty ever seen by the RSPCA absconded from court today as he awaited sentence. James Gray, 46, neglected more than 100 animals on his family farm, with horses found crammed into pens ankle-deep in their own faeces and carcasses littering the fields.

Gray attended Aylesbury Crown Court, Buckinghamshire, to appeal against his 24-week prison sentence today, having lost an appeal against his convictions last week. But when the court resumed after adjourning for the judge to deliberate, Gray was nowhere to be found.

It is thought he walked past security guards and into the town centre, despite being told by Judge Christopher Tyrer not to leave the court building for the hour-long break. A warrant for his arrest was issued.

Michael Fullerton, representing Gray, was asked by the judge where his client was, and replied: "I have no idea. I haven't seen him from the time the court rose."
Gray, who was convicted along with his wife and three of his children following the neglect at Spindle Farm in Amersham, Buckinghamshire, was sentenced in his absence to 26 weeks in prison.


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