A MAN has been banned from keeping animals for ten years after housing pets on a cramped and squalid allotment.

Terry Patterson, 51, caused unnecessary suffering to dogs, ponies, sheep, goats and cockerels on the small plot near Station Road, in West Cornforth, near Ferryhill, County Durham.

Darlington Magistrates’ Court heard on Tuesday (November 13) that Patterson, of Sycamore Road, West Cornforth, allowed the animals to suffer for weeks, leaving one Shetland pony skeletal, sheep and goats emaciated, and dogs with eye injuries.

Patterson pleaded guilty to 29 charges, including 23 of failing to looking after the animals, and six of causing unnecessary suffering, after RSCPA inspectors discovered the allotment on May 22.

He told the court the poor conditions were caused by his sudden loss of an adjoining field, which he had used to allow the animals to roam free.

All of the animals survived after treatment from vets and many have been re-homed.

Kevin Campbell, prosecuting on behalf of the RSCPA, said: “These were appallingly bad conditions; the animals had no freedom to express their normal behaviour and were not protected from diseases.

“A vet said two ponies were inadequate, one of the animals’ feet were overgrown, and another pony must have been virtually skeletal and had alopecia.

“The sheep and goats were emaciated and the cockerels had problems with their legs.”

Patterson, representing himself, said: “The animals previously had more space and could run around, but I fell out with the man renting the field and he took it off me.

“I had to move everything into the allotment, but I was always down there before and after work to look after the animals.

“I was also in the process of making pens for two of the dogs, and would like to look after animals in the future.”

After banning Patterson from keeping animals, chairwoman of the bench, Lynette Harrison, also ordered him to carry out 150 hours unpaid work.

Speaking after the sentencing, Kristina Raine, an RSPCA inspector, said: “I’m happy with the ban because it is the best way of preventing others from suffering in future.

“Happily, most of the animals have been rehabilitated and re-homed and are now enjoying a second chance at life with new owners.”