Two rogue horse dealers and a vet have been sentenced to 2.5 years each yesterday! They will serve half their sentence behind bars and the remainder on licence, reports Emma Mennell.
They were found guilty of conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation at Maidstone Crown Court.
The two horse dealers and the vet were convicted after they colluded to sell ill or dangerous horses to unsuspecting buyers. The two horse dealers would recommend vet Smith to undertake the pre-purchase vetting, who would give the horses a clean bill of health. Horses were sold between £1,950 - £5,700.
Due to the number of complaints received, Kent police, Trading standards and the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons joined forces to investigate the trio. When the police executed a warrant and searched the Vets where Smith worked they found poor record keeping , in particular relating to the drug Modecate, which is a long acting sedative. Text messages between the trio were also uncovered by the police throughout their investigations, which suggested they were drugging horses to cover up their bad behaviour or lameness.
His Hon Judge Joy said “the evidence is so serious that a non-custodial sentence cannot be justified”
The courts have taken a hard line with this matter and have held them accountable for their wrongful ways. Their actions could have resulted in serious implications for their victim’s safety as the horses they sold were reported to be “unexploded bombs” by Judge Joy, and their activities could also be detrimental to the public’s opinion of vets, dealers and the equine industry as a whole.