Little Meadow Animal Rescue owner appeals his jail sentence

An animal sanctuary boss has been imprisoned for putting animals in shocking situations.

However, Graham Stephens, owner of the registered charity Little Meadow Animal Rescue, walked free from court as he launched an immediate appeal against his prison sentence.

As previously reported, owls, dogs, rabbits and donkeys were among the animals cramped and without adequate drinking water at the Tenbury Wells Nature Reserve.

After the horrific situation came to light, Stephens of Broad Street in Bromyard was arrested and charged, and the RSPCA opened charges against him.

At Worcester Magistrate’s Court on Nov. 18, Stevens pleaded guilty to six counts of causing needless suffering to a rescued animal when he appeared in Worcester Magistrate’s Court on Friday (Nov. 18). He pleaded guilty to two counts of dereliction of duty by those responsible for ensuring the welfare of animals. .

Worcester News: Cruelty: Graham Stephens, owner of Little Meadow Animal Rescue, faces prisonCruelty: Graham Stevens, owner of Little Meadow Animal Rescue, faces prison. (Image: Sam Greenway/Newsquest)

The Court decided that from 17 January to 17 March this year, four gray donkeys, one alpaca, one Chinese crested dog, two rabbits, one guinea pig and one gray squirrel were found on the Stoke Bliss nature reserve. , was said to have caused four tawny owls needless suffering. .

Cruelty to animals includes neglect of dental care, failure to address severe louse infestations, failure to treat bacterial infections, failure to provide veterinary care for eye conditions and dental diseases, and failure to provide drinking water. It included negligence.

Animals were kept in filthy cages covered with feces and placed near predators when animals had to stay away.

Linda Meyer, who prosecuted on behalf of the RSPCA, said a warning was given to Stevens for dog abuse in 2020, but less than two years later, the public had called police “multiple “Complaints of

Police, accompanied by the RSPA, acted on a warrant and visited the reserve, leading to the arrest of the 62-year-old.

“The situation was appalling,” the prosecutor said.

“There were signs that animals living in small areas were under a lot of stress.

“He was entrusted with money by the public to care for these animals.”

Stevens returned to court to deliver judgment on Friday, December 9.

A magistrate imprisoned him for eight months because he found the crime so serious “because of the harm to animals and the number of animals involved.”

Read more: Owners of Little Meadow Animal Rescue kept animals in appalling conditions

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Stevens was also banned for life from owning, raising, or transporting animals. He was told the earliest he could challenge the ban is 2023.

At the end of the hearing, Stevens promptly appealed his prison sentence.

He was released on conditional bail, under which he lives and sleeps at his home address. A date for his appeal has not yet been set.

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