Hi Jo, many thanks for your helping me today.
The charge was Sheep worrying by my dog - however the sheep were trespassing on my land - the Dogs (Protection of Livestock) Act 1953 - clause 3 states that if the sheep were trespassing in my land then I am not guilty.
My dog chased the sheep off my land into a disused quarry, heavily forested.
The cps produced (on the morning of trial) evidence that this forest was in fact registered as agricultural land.
On this basis my barrister told me I had no choice but to plead guilty, even though I told him this was not possible, as the land did not belong to the person that the farmer had a tenancy agreement with nearby.
My barrister obviously failed me here.
I have since found out that the land where my dog chased the sheep is owned by 2 separate people. They both have never registered the land as agricultural, plus have never had a tenant.
The farmer (the complainant) has fraudulently registered someone's land he had no right to. Both land owners will come to court to verify this. He has also defrauded the government to obtain a grant on this land. It came out in the prosecutions statement that the farmer himself had registered the land. He has further defrauded the government because the number of trees per hectare (50) is far exceeded meaning it cannot be registered as agricultural land.
With the prosecution furnishing this evidence only on the day of trial, my barrister told me I had to plead guilty. He was told by the court we could not adjourn and the trial was going ahead as all the witnesses were there.
The whole case rested on this land being a forest, that was not part of the farmers tenancy agreement. My barrister knew at this point the land did not belong to my who was renting his own land to the farmer.
The farmer knew on 26.03rd from the land agent that the land he claimed to be renting from my neighbour was not so. The police did not obtain the evidence of registration from the government agency till 01.04th, the case being heard on 8th.04th. Therefore this is the concrete proof that the complainant was in full possession of the fact that the land in question had been falsely registered. By continuing this pretence he is without doubt guilty of perjury?
The magistrates stated that they believed my version of events but still punished me severely, they even tried to destroy my dog, who had done nothing wrong, but eventually allowed her to live as long as she does not come 1 mile of my home.
I just want to know that when I appeal the sentence (I understand my guilty plea means I cannot appeal the verdict) -- can I go for an absolute or conditional discharge, which my barrister tried to obtain on the day? I have no criminal convictions or cautions ever.
The issue of perjury by the complainant is clear - I have an email from the land agent on 26.03rd confirming that the farmer was told that the land in question was NOT part of his agreement with my neighbour....he was still misleading the police after this because they did not have the document until 01.04th.
Can I go for an absolute discharge at appeal at crown court please?
Many, many thanks for your help Jo.
I have to get the appeal in today Jo, so I need your advice very urgently please.
Your sincerely ***** *****