"Goat Man" of Truro - Michael Chester - back in court for breaching animal welfare regulations
The "goat-man" of Truro has been hauled before the courts once again after breaching a ban on keeping goats.
Michael Chester, 65, of Malabar Road, Truro – known as the goat man - and William Rowland, 42, of Chapel Terrace, Carharrack appeared before Truro Magistrates Court on Wednesday.
Mr Chester pleaded guilty to keeping goats whilst banned under the Animal Welfare Act 2006. Mr Rowland pleaded guilty to failing to safeguard the welfare of goats by keeping them in dangerous housing.
Mr Chester was originally banned from keeping goats in 2009. This ban was then confirmed by Truro Crown Court in 2010 following his appeal. However, Mr Chester chose to ignore the ban, resulting in a complaint to the Council's Public Health and Protection Service.
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It was proved that Mr Chester was actively involved in keeping goats on his secluded land at Trefullock, Fraddon, even though Mr Rowland had become the legal owner of the animals since the ban.
The Court heard that the goats were being kept in a ramshackle shed made of corrugated iron and scaffolding poles.
Jonathan McCulloch, an animal health inspector in the council's public health and protection service, said: "The shed was constructed of scaffolding poles and had a corrugated iron roof. The scaffolding poles were not set in concrete or even anchored down, a strong gale would have blown down the shed and caused serious injury to the goats.
"The goats were allowed out of their housing into what could only be called a scrap yard. The yard was littered with broken glass, nails, and sharp jagged metal; all these items gave great potential to injure the goats."
Mr Rowland was given a conditional discharge for two years and banned from owning and keeping farm animals for 12 months. He was also ordered to pay costs of £250.
Mr Kernick, chairman of the bench, told Mr Chester that "his breach of the Court Order was very serious and the Court took a very dim view". Mr Chester was given a six months curfew for seven days a week between 12 noon and midnight at his home address. He was also ordered to pay £250 in costs.
Speaking after the case Allan Hampshire, head of Cornwall Council's public health and protection service said: "This case is the first instance of a person in Cornwall who was been banned under the Animal Welfare Act then being prosecuted for deliberately breaching his ban. The Council will never turn a blind eye to such behaviour and is pleased that Magistrates recognised the seriousness of breaching the court order with this sentence.
"In court Mr Chester stated he no longer has any intention of keeping goats. I am pleased he has finally realised that animal welfare standards matter and that this type of court order cannot just be ignored. Thanks must go to Hillside animal sanctuary, in Norfolk, for rescuing the goats."