RSPCA case of Denton family must go to a re-trial

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A family accused of animal welfare offences face a retrial after their case was halted yesterday (Thursday).

Peter Holland, together with his wife Karen and son Paul, were accused of keeping dogs and rabbits in filthy conditions at their home in Denton.

But on the second day of their trial at Lincoln Magistrates’ Court, District Judge John Stobart ended the hearing for legal reasons.

The family now faces a new trial to be heard later this year at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court.

Earlier, a police officer told the court he felt “sick” after he discovered the dogs during a raid carried out as part of an inquiry into allegations of badger-baiting.

The six-hour raid carried out at Denton revealed that the pens housing the 17 animals were covered in dog mess. Police Sgt Kevin Pulley, who was involved in the raid, said: “I thought the conditions were very, very poor. It actually made me feel quite sick.

“Going out to the animal pens I saw the excrement on the floor. It was the smell and the condition.”

Sgt Pulley said officers had obtained a warrant to search the premises following allegations made under the Protection of Badgers Act. He said: “My brief was to obtain evidence in relation to badger-baiting. There was alleged or believed injuries to dogs connected with that.”

Sgt Pulley said he was not aware of any animal welfare issues until the discovery of the dogs along with two rabbits during the raid.

Peter Holland, 48, his wife Karen Holland, 48, and son Paul Holland, 23, all of Harston Road, Denton, have each denied two charges under the 2006 Animal Welfare Act of failing to take steps to ensure the needs of animals were met between 1 and 28 July 2011.