Page last updated at 20:27 GMT, Tuesday, 16 June 2009 21:27 UK

Court bails neglect horse trader

Rescued horse
One of the horses rescued from Spindle Farm

A horse trader jailed after dozens of animals at a farm suffered neglect has been released after serving just four days of a six-month sentence.

James Gray was imprisoned on Friday for leaving the animals to starve to death in a "horror scene" at Spindle Farm in Amersham, Buckinghamshire.

But he has been granted bail by a judge at Oxford Crown Court while the court considers his appeal.

He was found guilty of 11 charges of neglect in relation to the animals.

Gray, who was sentenced along with four members of his close family, has lodged an appeal against his conviction and prison sentence.

Last week District Judge Andrew Vickers handed him the six-month sentence and ordered him to pay £400,000.

Relatives convicted

But during the hearing at Aylesbury Magistrates' Court, his barrister announced his intention to appeal.

His wife, Julie, 42, daughters, Cordelia, 21, and Jodie, 26, and his son, James junior, 16, were also appealing against lesser convictions under the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

During Friday's hearing, James Gray junior was banned from keeping equines for 10 years and placed under an 18-month supervision order.

Julie Gray was given a 150-hour community service order and told to pay costs of £750. Both daughters were ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work and pay £500 costs.

Gray, 45, who comes from a family of horse traders, was released from prison on Tuesday on the condition he does not keep, deal or transport horses.

A spokesperson for the RSPCA said: "The bail is a matter for the court but the conditions should ensure that for the time being he is not able to deal in horses."

An appeal date has yet to be set.

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