One man and his cruelty to dogs

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Gwyn Jones, a British sheepdog trial champion, showed a "wicked disregard" for the suffering of five of his dogs, three of which had to be put down.

Jones, 45, from Penmachno, near Betws-y-Coed in north Wales, who won the British championship three times and is the current Welsh champion, denied the five charges of causing unnecessary suffering brought by the RSPCA. But he was found guilty yesterday by Llandudno Magistrates' Court.

All the dogs were emaciated, underweight and dirty and had skin problems.

Chris Dawson, for the prosecution, said "all five dogs were quite knowingly caused unnecessary suffering and in relation to the two older dogs (Meg and Kirk) the defendant acknowledged they were in a poor condition.

"The defendant wholly failed all five dogs and showed what can only be regarded as a wicked disregard to the suffering he forced them to ensure."

When an RSPCA inspector called at his farm, Jones said: "I feed my dogs, I fill their tins up. I have not been well and have been receiving treatment."

After fining Jones pounds 2,000 and ordering him to pay pounds 1,750 towards the RSPCA's costs, the magistrates' chairman Owain Evans said: "We feel you have been extremely negligent ... and should have known these dogs needed proper care."