Thetford: Two men who were cruel to pigs at Harling Farm could face prison

Two men who caused cruelty to pigs by hitting and throwing them have been told they could face prison.

Geoffrey Towell, 54, of Eccles Road, East Harling, was charged with five counts of causing unnecessary suffering to sows and piglets and one charge of failing to protect pigs from suffering.

James Dove, 27, of Arundel Road, Wymondham, was charged with two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to sows and piglets and two charges of failing to protect pigs from suffering.

Both men, who worked at Harling Farm, near Thetford, pleaded guilty at Norwich Magistrates Court today (Thursday).

Towell’s defence lawyer, Jamieson Plummer, said “dispatching” of pigs by hitting them with a blunt instrument was not uncommon, but said his client was “ashamed” at the way it had been carried out.

Ian Fisher, defending on behalf of Dove, added that his client had originally been hired as a tractor driver on the farm and that there was “no suggestion” he had killed any pigs.

The case was adjourned until August 17 for reports to be prepared but district judge Peter Veits warned the pair he could not rule out a custodial sentence.