Jailed animal-cruelty farmer spared lifetime ban

DEATH SENTENCE -- this emaciated young cow was in such a poor condition it had to be put down
DEATH SENTENCE -- this emaciated young cow was in such a poor condition it had to be put down

THE FARMER from the Dispatch district who was jailed for a horrific catalogue of animal cruelty has escaped a lifetime-ban from keeping livestock — and will be out of prison in weeks.

Keith Littlewood (47), of White Haven Farm, Goosedale Lane, Bestwood Village, was imprisoned for a year in January after admitting 12 offences, including animal neglect and failure to dispose of rotting carcasses.

An investigation found emaciated cows and animals feeding off the dead bodies of livestock at the farm.

Littlewood appeared at Nottingham Crown Court this week to hear a judgement on a call for him to be banned for life from keeping animals.

But Judge Michael Stokes, the Recorder of Nottingham, issued an eight-year ban on him keeping pigs and cows. He will still be allowed to have dogs and poultry.

The court also heard that Littlewood is likely to be let out of jail at the end of April after serving three months of his sentence. He will be fitted with an electronic tag.

Judge Stokes told Littlewood: “Although this was an appalling case of neglect and failure to dispose of carcasses, there is evidence that, over a period of time, you had sunk into a depressive state.

“Instead of asking for assistance, you tried to hide your difficulties. That resulted in animals suffering enormously.”

Previously, the court heard that 34 cattle, 31 pigs, 600 to 700 poultry, ten donkeys, two horses and three dogs were found at the 24-acre farm.

Trading standard officers investigated after a member of the public reported seeing a dead donkey at the site.

Marcus Rickard (defending) said Littlewood had been a farmer of some note, with references to prove it, before he became depressed. He was being treated in custody.

The eight-year ban covers owning, keeping, dealing in or transporting pigs and cattle. Notts County Council says that once Littlewood is released, it will be conducting regular unannounced inspections of the farm.