Animal shelter raided by police and RSPCA, owner prosecuted despite nothing wrong

This is a case of wrongful prosecution and numerous other failings by the Crown Prosecution Service in conjunction with the RSPCA and the police. The victim of this malpractice is an animal shelter owner and manager, Mr Ford in Devon, UK.

“They came, they looked around and found nothing. This has ruined our lives.”

Mr Ford was wrongly charged and prosecuted for animal cruelty
Mr Ford was wrongly charged and prosecuted for animal cruelty. CREDIT: RICHARD LAPPAS
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Stuart Ford, 58, founded an animal sanctuary, the North Devon based Society for the Protection and Rehoming of Animals which was run satisfactorily until it was raided by the RSPCA and the police. It is now closed. A veterinary practitioner accompanied the raid and found nothing wrong but despite this the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) decided to prosecute Mr Ford for animal cruelty.

Despite there being no power to do so, the RSPCA interviewed Mr Ford together with the police. Another failing was that there was no proper search warrant and that the one used had been obtained unlawfully.

The case went to court at which the judge said Mr Ford was a man of good character and the case was dismissed. Mr Ford made a complaint to the police force and the matter is being investigated. The police officer who led the fraud investigation has been disciplined but will not receive a punishment commensurate with the wrong done to Mr Ford.

Mr Ford has accused police of ruining his life and putting him through seven years of hell. His daughter is terrified of the police and the RSPCA.

“It is another compelling example of how much influence the RSPCA continues to have over decisions to prosecute, which it has been repeatedly criticised for as being at odds with its campaigning role.” – Mr Ford’s barrister.

There has been a lot of press about the RSPCA conducting unnecessary and unwise prosecutions against individuals in the UK who they had decided had been cruel to their companion animals. I recall a number of these cases falling through and subsequently there was a change in policy by the RSPCA. The chief executive resigned as I recall. Despite that this current matter has been reported by the Daily Telegraph on 22 April 2019 which is quite recent. Clearly lessons have not been learned at the RSPCA.

Source: The Telegraph.

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