Suspended prison sentences handed out to farm workers

Three farm workers who admitted abusing pigs on a Lincolnshire farm have been handed suspended prison sentences.

Gavin Hardy, 39, of South Killingholme, Troy Wagstaff, 30, of Grimsby, and Artirs Grogprkevs, 32, of Goole, had all pleaded guilty at Grimsby Magistrates’ Court to causing unnecessary suffering to animals. They were secretly filmed hitting the animals and prodding them with a pitchfork at Fir Tree Farm, in Goxhill, in 2018.

Sentenced on February 28, they each received an eight-week suspended prison sentence and a community order of 100 hours of unpaid work. The men, who had been warned they could face jail, were also banned from working with commercial livestock in the future. They were ordered to pay court charges.

District judge Daniel Curtis said the footage was ‘sickening to watch’. “These were deliberate and gratuitous attempts to cause suffering. It was ill-treatment in a commercial context,” he said.

The owners of the farm sacked the men after an investigation, describing their actions as ‘abhorrent behaviour that does not represent our business’.

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Editor of LBM titles Pig World and Farm Business and group editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer. National Pig Association's webmaster. Previously political editor at Farmers Guardian for many years and also worked Farmers Weekly. Occasional farming media pundit. Brought up on a Leicestershire farm, now work from a shed in the garden in Oxfordshire. Big fan of Leicester City and Leicester Tigers. Occasional cricketer.