The travesty of Justice - 4th April 2008
Oxford Magistrates Court
Deputy District Judge - Sandeep Kainth

I am totally disgusted and dismayed at the decision of Deputy District Judge Sandeep Kainth At a plea hearing at Oxford Magistrates Court on Friday 4th April 2008, to accepted the application made by James (Jamie) John Gray, Julie Gray, Cordelia Gray and Jodie Gray, all of Spindles Farm, Hyde Heath, Amersham, Buckinghamshire, to have 29 of the 111 equines, rescued from Spindles Farm returned to them forthwith, as the Gray family considered these animals to be family pets, and the Judge felt there was no evidence to show they are in any danger whatsoever, Despite the fact that Mr. Gray and his family are yet to attend court and answer a total of 12 charges brought against them by the RSPCA relating to section 4 and section 9 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 that covers causing unnecessary suffering to, and failing to meet the welfare needs of a total of 125 horses, ponies and donkeys in their care.

Has he forgotten or totally disregarded altogether the fact that 32 animals were found dead on this farm on 4th January, and is he not moved or slightly uneasy about the fact that a vet working for the RSPCA had to put 3 horses which were far too weak to be saved, to sleep at the scene. I can only imagine the pain and suffering that these animals must have been subjected too, having been starved and kept in the most appalling conditions where they were covered in excrement, mud and living alongside other dead animals.

Why has Deputy District Judge Sandeep Kainth not taken into account the statement of RSPCA chief inspector Rob Skinner who attended the rescue of the equines who said on the BBC news that day, that it was a very serious case of animal cruelty and neglect, and that the dead animals had been dead for some considerable time, also that 14 of the animals were judged to be in such poor condition that they had to be removed immediately and taken to The Horse Trust in Speen for their safety. RSPCA staff and vets described the scene at the time as the worst they had ever encountered, one telling BBC News that "it was utterly horrific".

In fact Deputy District Judge Sandeep Kainth only appears to be interested in the account of a local retired vet Mr. John Parker, who make a living acting as a defence expert witness, and only saw the horses 11 days after they were rescued and were undergoing rehabilitation from the conditions they were rescued from at Spindles Farm, Surely this is a great misjudgement, things couldn’t be worse if the magistrate was totally bent on doing all he could for Mr. Gray and his family the perpetrators. And nothing for the victims who are the horses in their care.

I understand that his decision is not reversible and that the RSPCA cannot appeal against his decision, I am not sure why. Surely sending the 29 ponies, donkeys and Shetland ponies back to Mr. Gray when five members of his family had been served summonses for animal cruelty by the RSPCA, and are due to appear at a court hearing on 28th April 2008, and he has pleaded guilty to criminal damage to a RSPCA vehicle, and not guilty to assaulting a member of the Thames Valley Police who came to arrest him is totally beyond belief to me.

Also Deputy District Judge Sandeep Kainth, has ordered that the remaining horses be sold at the next market in May at Henley in Arden and that the proceeds of the sale are to go to Mr. Gray and his family. This is an unbelievable act of stupidity by Deputy District Judge Sandeep Kainth, and an insult to all the people like myself who helped “operation Esther” with donation of money, goods for the charities who took in the horses and the time given.

The horses will obviously now fetch a much better price as they have been looked after by the horse charities very well for the last few months. I really don’t know how Deputy District Judge Sandeep Kainth can sleep at night, he seems to be aiding the Gray family in every way possible, and bending over backwards to see that the case brought before him ignores the welfare of the animals concerned, he appears to not have a clue how to handle this type of case.

To send these poor animals back to the same place where they were so horribly treated is a huge mistake, and with total disregard for the professionals who carried out the rescue of the horses in the first place. I really feel that this judgement needs to be overturned somehow, and a more competent person be asked to handle the case from now on, perhaps somebody who is interested in upholding the law and adheres strictly to the Animal Welfare act of 2006.

 Deputy District Judge Sandeep Kainth, has not as far as I know ever visited any of the sanctuaries where the horses and ponies and donkeys are been cared for, (I have many times.) I would have thought that this would have been essential before making this judgement. The future wellbeing of the equines should be his priority not doing all he can he help Mr. Jamie Gray and his family in his horrid meat trade business.

World Horse Welfare (formally called The International League for the Protection of Horses) Chief Executive Rory Owers comments: "This is the worst possible outcome for the horses but is by no means the end of this matter. In addition to the legal efforts to try to reverse last week's decision by the courts Mr. James Gray, and co-defendants, will be appearing at Oxford Magistrates Court again on Monday 28th April 2008 for another pre-trial hearing for the criminal case being brought against them by the RSPCA, where a date for a trial will be set."

World Horse Welfare took 11 of the Spindles Farm horses  and after lots of care and rehabilitation by them, are recovering well.



What Katy Did
Animal Welfare
My response to the return of the animals