A DOG breeder has been found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to animals.

Following a trial at Darlington Magistrates' Court, Steven Hutchinson, 34, of Evenwood Gate, in County Durham, was found guilty of ten animal welfare charges relating to the 44 dogs and six puppies kept at his property, which he had denied.

Magistrates delivered their verdict yesterday (Tuesday) and adjourned the case for the preparation of pre-sentence reports.

Hutchinson will reappear before South Durham Magistrates Court, at Newton Aycliffe, for sentencing, on Thursday, May 8.