James Gray Appeal Verdict
    Aylesbury Crown Court


Wednesday 12th May 2010 10am Aylesbury Crown Court
Jamie Gray and family will be sentenced
A peaceful gathering of Animal Rights protesters will be gathering outside the court at 9:30am to greet the family

It’s been a long and laborious wait but the original verdict in the Amersham animal cruelty case has been upheld today, All five people who were convicted in an animal cruelty case on Friday 8th May 2009, have had their appeals against charges dismissed at Aylesbury Crown Court this morning.

James Gray (46), his wife Julie Gray (42), and daughters Jodie Keet (27) and Cordelia Gray (21) were also unsuccessful in their appeals. James Gray Junior (17) was acquitted on two charges, but convicted of the rest.

In a judgement delivered at Aylesbury Crown Court today by His Honour Christopher Tyrer, Recorder of Aylesbury said: "We are satisfied that these horses were neglected and starved. It follows that the appellants [James Gray and James Gray Junior] failed to exercise reasonable care and supervision in respect of their protection and they knew or ought reasonably to have known that this would have that effect.

We have found that all the appellants were responsible for all these animals and that they knew what was happening on the premises and took no action to alleviate the problems."
Referring to James Gray, he added: "We are satisfied that, at the time (the RSPCA) visited Spindle Farm in January 2008, these animals were not being fed or watered adequately or at all, he (James Gray) sought neither assistance nor veterinary attention to his animals and was still acquiring even more animals from outside, despite being unable to look after them or those he had already brought to the premises."

The court case and appeal has so far cost the RSPCA more than £1million, including veterinary treatment and care of the rescued horses. The investigation has been one of the RSPCA's biggest ever.

The verdict on the appeal against sentence will be held at 10am on Wednesday 12 May 2010 at Aylesbury Crown Court.

In May 2009 James Gray (46) and James Gray Junior were found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to 40 equines after a 12-week trial, brought by the RSPCA. Along with James Gray's wife Julie and daughters Jodie and Cordelia, they were also found guilty of failing to meet the welfare needs of a further 114 equines.

James Gray, his wife Julie, son James Gray Junior and daughter Cordelia are from Spindle Farm, Hyde Heath, Amersham, Buckinghamshire. Cordelia's sister Jodie Gray is from Park Road, Ashford, Middlesex.

The operation to remove the animals to safety was a difficult but successful joint effort between many animal welfare agencies and the police. The RSPCA would like to thank them all - and in particular the Horse Trust, Redwings, and World Horse Welfare - for helping us provide ongoing care for the huge number of deprived horses, ponies and donkeys removed from Spindles Farm in January 2008.

All five members of the family were granted bail ahead of their next court appearance on Wednesday May 12, when they will be sentenced.

James Gray senior's bail conditions ban him from being within 100 yards of any horse or equine, being at any stable, being at any horse fair and from keeping horses. He is also subject to a curfew between 11pm and 5am and has surrendered his passport.

What Katy Did
Animal Welfare
My Silent Protest outside Spindles Farm

James Gray Appeal
James Gray Animal Cruelty Trial

Spindles Farm for sale
James Gray flees Court Wed 12/05/10

The Gray family arriving at Aylesbury Crown Court
to hear their verdict Thursday 6th May 2010

(Photos © David Armitage)

RSPCA Inspector Kirsty Hampton
(Photo © RSPCA/Andrew Forsyth)

RSPCA Inspector Kirsty Hampton said it was 'the correct result'. Insp Hampton, who was the first on the scene, said: "We are pleased that the extent of cruelty and suffering endured by these animals has been recognised.

This case was distressing beyond measure and what we were confronted with on arrival was grotesque. To see so many animals in such conditions was overwhelming and those that were alive were shown no care or consideration. Most had been left to starve and the smell of rotting flesh was overpowering."

Me outside Spindles Farm January 2010

Nick White, a field officer for the international horse charity World Horse Welfare, was one of the first at the scene. He said: "There were dead horses on the ground in front of me, and to the right.

"I looked across and there was a dead horse in the stalls. It was like walking into another world."