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Horse trader fined for failing to dispose carcasses properly

A horse trader from Dartford narrowly avoided jail after being found guilty of failing to dispose of dead horses properly.
Tom Bonner, 75, of Oak Farm, in Darenth Hill, appeared before magistrates in Dartford where he was found guilty of failing to ensure horse carcasses on land in the area.
The horse remains were found by officers from Kent County Council’s (KCC) trading standards in September 2011.
After a lengthy investigation to prove that Bonner, was responsible for the remains, a legal notice was issued to him by officers from KCC requiring him to dispose of them correctly, but he failed to take any action.
Bonner denied the charge against him, but was found guilty by magistrates and given a 60 day suspended sentence for 12 months and was also ordered to pay £4,000 court costs.
It is not known how the animals died, but trading standards officers found at least seven dead horses on the land.
In 2008, Bonner was slammed with fines totalling thousands of pounds after he sold horses with false ages without the right paper work.
Despite claiming he was broke, he was ordered by magistrates to hand over £16,000 and £6,950 in costs.
Bonner was convicted after pleading not guilty to seven offences under the Trade Description Act, relating to the ages of the horses and two counts of failing to provide a horse passport.
The case has cost Kent Trading Standards £8,000 to bring to court.
Bonner later successfully appealed against two of the charges of supplying a horse without a passport and using false details relating to the date of birth of a horse.
He ended up having to pay a total of £18,950 at £1,000 per month.
After the latest court case, Richard Strawson, trading standards manager at KCC, said: “We were disappointed that Mr Bonner repeatedly denied having any responsibility for the appropriate disposal of these animal carcasses. We take legal action as a last resort but in this case we were left no option than to instigate proceedings.”

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