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Stud farm fined £90k over illegal medicines
8:00am Thursday 10th January 2013 in News
A COUPLE who ran a respected horse stud farm have been ordered to pay a total of more than £90,000 for their involvement in Europe’s largest ever veterinary medicine scam.
Management consultant Richard Jones, aged 61, and June Connelly, 70, of Winchcombe Road, Sedgeberrow, both appeared at Croydon Crown Court to hear the outcome of Proceeds of Crime Act proceedings on Monday.
Each was ordered to pay £37,950 within six months or face 15 months’ imprisonment and Jones must pay an additional £15,000 costs. The hearing follows their convictions last year.
They were running the Henry Field Stud, Naunton Beauchamp, Pershore when they were arrested as a result of a huge investigation by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).
Jones denied, but was convicted on 19 charges and was sentenced to six months imprisonment, suspended for two years. He was also ordered to perform 200 hours community service.
Connelly admitted possession and importation of illegal medicines and was sentenced to four months, suspended for two years and ordered to perform 140 hours’ community service.
“You worked as a team. The jury found as much and they were right,” Judge Ainley told them when he originally sentenced them.
DEFRA’s senior investigating officer in the case Derrick Price told the court last year: “They both exhibited a cavalier attitude towards the welfare of horses and knew exactly what they were doing in selling illegal drugs in the Worcestershire and Warwick areas.”
They bought illegal anti-inflammatories, anabolic steroids, tranquilisers, antibiotics, sedatives, painkillers and other products administered to horses, pets and farm animals.
Jones was convicted by a jury of buying £61,000 worth of illegal medicines from the disgraced French-based 'Eurovet' wholesalers, which bought products form India and Australia He told the court the 50-horse stud was his retirement plan, insisting his animals and those of his clients were not given illegal medicines.