Sheep farmer fined for cruelty

CRUEL Suffolk farmer David Tallowin's sheep were found so malnourished their protruding spinal bones could be used to pick them up.Today Tallowin is having to pay the price for his cruelty.

CRUEL Suffolk farmer David Tallowin's sheep were found so malnourished their protruding spinal bones could be used to pick them up.

Today Tallowin is having to pay the price for his cruelty.

However despite magistrates hearing evidence on the sickening condition of five of his sheep the 36-year-old remained unrepentant as he left South East Suffolk Magistrates Court in Ipswich.

Just minutes after receiving an 80-hour community punishment order and a ten-year ban on keeping animals, Tallowin said: "There is just no justice anymore.


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"Basically it was a waste of the court's time and mine. They did have something to eat - they were grazing."

Tallowin pleaded guilty to four charges of causing unnecessary suffering to his animals between February 8 and March 8 this year by failing to give them proper care.

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He also admitted another charge of failing to dispose of a deceased animal at South East Suffolk Magistrates' court.

RSPCA inspector David Podmore discovered four sheep close to death and another that had died from starvation on Tallowin's Blue Barn Farm home, in Otley, on the afternoon of March 8.

The sheep were being kept in a paddock with limited grazing and one was so weak that it was unable to stand, said Hugh Rowland, prosecuting for the RSPCA.

Mr Rowland added that the back bones, ribs and the pelvis' of the sheep were all clearly visible and there was very little "palpable" fat or muscle beneath the skin.

Vet Sarah Morgan examined the sheep and described three of the four sheep as being "severely emaciated" with the other in a "very poor condition". The court heard that there was no evidence of any food that the sheep could feed on.

A fifth sheep, found dead in the paddock and thought to have been there for at least a week, had no eyes and smelt of decomposing flesh.

On March 9, the sheep were taken into the care of the RSCPA and made dramatic weight gains. By April 19, after a diet of hay and sheep nuts, one of the sheep had gained 78 per cent more weight.

Defending, Graham Skippen said the offences that Tallowin had committed were on the "very bottom edge of the scale for this particular offence."

"We are not looking into a case of actual beating or kicking," he said. "One has to see this for what it is worth; four sheep who were suffering from a lack of hay. They were taken away and given some hay and now they are all right."

But Marc Niepold, East Suffolk RSPCA inspector, said: "Even though the defence portrayed this as being a case that wasn't that severe in nature, the magistrates obviously realised it was extremely severe.

"The dramatic weight gain shows how easy it would have been to keep them in good condition and the penalty reflects that. Just because they are sheep, it doesn't mean they don't suffer."

Tallowin was also ordered to pay £1,350 costs and £308 compensation with chairwoman of the bench Sue Humphries calling it "a serious case of cruelty".

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