DIS­GRACED VET JAILED OVER PUPPY FARM­ING CASH

Uxbridge Gazette - - Front Page - By KATHER­INE CLE­MEN­TINE kather­ine.cle­men­tine@reach­plc.com Twit­ter: @KC_Journo

AN Uxbridge vet who helped a puppy farm­ing gang to sell il­le­gally bred pup­pies must now serve time be­hind bars af­ter his sen­tence was in­creased at the Court of Ap­peal.

Daniel Do­herty, who runs MyVet24/7 surg­eries in Hillingdon and Uxbridge, was orig­i­nally spared jail de­spite pock­et­ing cash-in-hand pay­ments from a gang, who made millions selling sick and dy­ing pup­pies to un­sus­pect­ing mem­bers of the pub­lic.

The dis­graced vet is one of four men who had their sen­tences in­creased af­ter the So­lic­i­tor Gen­eral, Robert Buck­land QC MP, per­son­ally pre­sented their cases to the Court of Ap­peal on Thurs­day (July 19) un­der the Un­duly Le­nient Sen­tenc­ing scheme.

Simon O’Don­nell, Thomas Stokes, Ed­ward Stokes, and Daniel Do­herty were part of a puppy-farm­ing con­spir­acy thought to have raised around £2 mil­lion.

O’Don­nell, Thomas Stokes and Ed­ward Stokes were in­volved in im­port­ing farmed pup­pies from abroad, while Do­herty pro­vided them with mis­lead­ing wel­fare doc­u­ments, in­clud­ing im­mu­ni­sa­tion cer­tifi­cates, which were used to re­as­sure the peo­ple who bought the pup­pies.

Many of the sup­pos­edly healthy pup­pies sold by this group be­came un­well, leav­ing their own­ers with sig­nif­i­cant vet­eri­nary bills, or even the trau­matic de­ci­sion of whether or not to have them eu­thanised.

Do­herty, 49, for­merly of Wood Lane, in Iver Heath, had been con­victed at Isle­worth Crown Court in April of con­spir­acy to com­mit fraud and was sen­tenced on May 22 to a 12-month prison sen­tence, sus­pended for 12 months, along­side 80 hours of un­paid work.

Now he will be locked up for three years and six months af­ter his sen­tence was in­creased.

Speak­ing af­ter the hear­ing, the So­lic­i­tor Gen­eral Robert Buck­land QC MP said: “This group not only sub­jected thou­sands of pup­pies to atro­cious liv­ing con­di­tions, but also caused im­mense dis­tress to fam­i­lies who had to watch their new pets suffer from se­ri­ous ill­ness. I am pleased that the Court of Ap­peal has to­day agreed to in­crease all four sen­tences, and hope this will bring some com­fort to the vic­tims of their crimes.”

Simon O’Don­nell, 30, pre­vi­ously of Braden­ham Road, Hayes, and Thomas Stokes, 26, pre­vi­ously of Cold­har­bour Lane, Hayes, pre­vi­ously both re­ceived prison sen­tences of three years for the same charges, as well as four-month con­cur­rent terms for an­i­mal wel­fare of­fences.

Ed­ward Stokes, 35, pre­vi­ously of Rosedale Av­enue, Hayes, re­ceived a two year sus­pended sen­tence.

At the Court of Ap­peal, Thomas Stokes’ sen­tence was in­creased to four years eight months, and O’Don­nell’s sen­tenced was in­creased to four years im­pris­on­ment.

Ed­ward Stokes will also be locked up as his sen­tence was in­creased to four years and eight months in jail.

Mar­garet McDon­agh, 27, Simon O’Don­nell’s wife, re­ceived an 18-month com­mu­nity or­der.

Thomas O’Don­nell, 29, pre­vi­ously of Bed­well Gar­dens, Hayes, was sen­tenced to two years in prison, sus­pended for two years.

PHOTO: DAILY MIRROR

Daniel Do­herty pic­tured at Isle­worth Crown Court be­fore be­ing found guilty by the jury

PHOTO: RSPCA

The gang sold thou­sand of farmed pup­pies to un­sus­pect­ing mem­bers of the pub­lic

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