|CLLR SHELDON TARGETED BY RSPCA|
Aberystwyth magistrates found 82-year-old Iain James Sheldon and Joan Sheldon, 68, of Cefn y Gaer, guilty of failing to meet the welfare needs of 57 animals following a four-day trial.
The couple were each handed a 24-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay £2,500 costs following an RSPCA raid in August last year in which officers were “over-powered” by the stench of urine, faeces and rotting meat.
But despite the guilty verdict, magistrates did not ban the Sheldons from keeping animals, and the RSPCA expressed concern that the animals may now be returned to them.
The court heard that RSPCA officers visited the defendants’ property on three occasions in August 2011 and conditions inside were described as “horrific” and “disgusting”.
The animals, including 36 dogs, 16 cats, four brown hens and a horse, were housed in a variety of kennels, caravans and outbuildings on the 4.5 acre smallholding.
DESPITE RSPCA "CASE" A CONDITIONAL DISCHARGE IS ORDERED
In England and Wales, a conditional discharge is a sentence vitiating the finding of guilt in which the offender receives no punishment provided that, in a period set by the court (not more than three years), no further offence is committed. If an offence is committed in that time, then the offender may also be re-sentenced for the offence for which a conditional discharge was given. Pursuant section 14 of the [[Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000]   and R v Patel  EWCA Crim 2689 the conditional discharge does not constitute a conviction unless the individual breaches the conditional discharge and is re-sentenced.