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Suspended sentence extended for sheep farmer

By Ashbourne News Telegraph  |  Posted: January 10, 2013

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A FORMER smallholder who broke a court order banning him from keeping sheep has had a suspended prison sentence extended.

Neil Ian Johnson – also known as Najim Ud Din – of Sheffield, who kept sheep and cattle at Hognaston, near Ashbourne, was prosecuted by Derbyshire County Council in August 2011 and received a four month suspended prison sentence.

Johnson was banned from participating in the keeping of sheep for ten years after pleading guilty to eight offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

He’d failed to provide sheep with adequate feed and kept them in a harmful environment which posed a risk of injury – with the field containing rusty barbed wire, discarded bailer twine and loose sheep netting.

A vet found sheep in the flock were undersized, weak, thin and bordering on emaciation.

The county council took further action when, the month following the original ban, he was again found to be participating in the keeping sheep at Broomhall Farm, Westwick Lane, Holymoorside.

Johnson appeared at Chesterfield Magistrates Court yesterday (Jan 9) for sentencing following a guilty plea at a previous hearing to keeping sheep in contravention of the ten year ban.

His original four month suspended prison sentence was extended by a month. He was given a 12 month conditional discharge, and ordered to pay £950 court costs at a rate of £70 per month.

Councillor Kevin Parkinson, Derbyshire County Council’s cabinet member for Regeneration, said: “We work to ensure that animals and livestock across the county are properly cared for and that the correct procedures are followed.

“This case shows the thoroughness of our officers in ensuring banning orders which are handed down by the courts are adhered to. Once we received a report from a member of the public that a breach had occurred we had an obligation to investigate.”

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