9th June Stuart found NOT GUILTY AND AQUITTED OF ALL CHARGES!
Thank you Andrew Keeble for printing an accurate account of the court findings and giving us the opportunity to put our thoughts to print.
Fleur and I would like to say how relieved we are for the positive outcome to a three year ordeal reaching to the lowest depths of despair. It is difficult to watch family and friends suffer with you as a result of allegations, the most difficult was the bullying of our daughter Lilly who was six at the time, whilst Aaron quietly defended us in the back ground.
We would like to sincerely thank the unwavering support of the charities trustees, our neighbours particularly Mrs Harris, Tracey Hollands and family, our family, friends, and all our loyal volunteers that have stood strong, facing derogatory remarks and threats. Throughout we have managed to continue re-homing, and offer help to owners and their pets, this made possible by the continued support of financial donors, donations of food and goods for our shops to sell and loyal customers, without that support we would have been unable to continue. I am in the process of thanking everyone who has sent letters of support, made statements and put their own reputation at risk for what they believed in, too many to name (priceless).
Obviously this has had a financial impact on the charity reducing the number of animals we could assist, but now looking forward to a breath of Cornish air, a little good will on all sides, and getting on with the job in hand.
We would also like to thank our legal advisors Sara-lise Howe, Nigel Weller and Co, Bill Pope, and Jenifer Law, who between them kept our sanity, fortunately almost all of the cost being covered by legal aid, without it we would have lost our home and our own animals.
Love and devotion has kept Fleur and I together through this difficult time affording us the opportunity to receive a rib crushing hug from Lilly and the words “Daddy it’s all over”
Sincere thanks to all Fleur & Stuart
May the stray produced these very cute kittens on Monday 1st June just in time for May to have her breakfast. One of the tabbies was a little slow to come round but with a little help caught up with the others. They will be ready for re-homing in about ten weeks time after their first vaccination, If you are interested in giving one or more a home please contact us as soon as possible so the pre re-homing check can be carried out in plenty of time.
Independand Press Standards Organisation
In relation to your complaint against the North Devon Journal, we have conducted an assessment and decided that this falls within our remit and discloses a possible breach of the Editors’ Code of Practice. I should however emphasise that we have not reached any decision as to whether the Code has in fact been breached – any decision in this regard would be made by the Complaints Committee.
In line with IPSO’s complaints procedure, we have therefore sent a copy of your complaint to the publication. This is to provide it with the opportunity swiftly to resolve the matter to your satisfaction, directly, if possible. You should expect the publication to contact you in due course in response to your complaint. If the publication is able to satisfactorily address your concerns, and you consider that the matter has been concluded, please contact us within 14 days, to notify us of the outcome.
If the matter cannot be resolved to your satisfaction, IPSO is able formally to consider your complaint after the publication’s internal complaints process has been exhausted or, at the latest, 28 days from the date of this letter, unless we determine that our earlier involvement is essential. The publication may also request IPSO to begin its investigation of the complaint sooner.
One of our Complaints Officers, James Garmston (cc’d into this email), has been assigned to your complaint while it is with the publication. You should feel free to contact James should you have any questions or require any assistance.
You should contact us immediately if you feel that your correspondence with the publication has been exhausted, or if you do not receive any response from the publication within seven days. We will then contact the editor to ensure that the complaint has been received and is under investigation. You should also contact us if you have any difficulties in addressing your complaint with the publication, or if you would like any advice or assistance in relation to your complaint or the Code. We are here to assist you in dealing with the publication directly, and you should not hesitate to contact us for advice.
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With best wishes,
BBC Response to complaint
Thank you for getting in touch about our coverage of your court case.
As you point out, we have made changes in the light of the bad character material being retracted.
When we report on a court case, we may not carry all the detail of each day's proceedings but will naturally provide a balanced account over the course of the trial.
Given that this case appears to have been adjourned for some weeks, we have added defence material to the report we have published to ensure we carry a balanced account during this period of recess.
We hope this addresses your concerns.
BBC News website
Police and RSPCA exposed in court!
In response to the article on the North Devon Journal please read the following statement?
The retained freelance reporter did not write the truth and is misleading the public, forwarding the article to a number of other press offices. The first article headed “charity worker kicks puppy” has been removed from The North Devon Journal web site as NDJ were in breach of press standards because the Judge ruled that this evidence is inadmissible in court and should not be in the public domain. The North Devon Journal has been reported to the Independent Press Standards Organisation. The reporter quoted inaccurately responses to questions put to Mr Ford. All newspapers have a duty to report fairly and accurately, having been notified of previous inaccuracies, have a further duty to investigate material from that known source.
The reporter has failed to report the rest of the case, especially when the police were giving evidence. PC Kerry Witting based at Torrington Devon lied to the court and Jo Daniel of the RSPCA based at the West Hatch Taunton Somerset animal re-homing centre, is employed by the charity to investigate cruelty cases. She refused to admit her inaccurate statement having being called a liar by Mr Ford’s Barrister, both were exposed when four tape recordings of conversations were played in court. Mr Ford whilst being cross examined was shocked to find the transcript of his voluntary interview was not an accurate record of that interview, and had to leave the court room to compose himself. It is believed that the family are pursuing PC K Witting with the Professional Standards Department and not fully decided the action to be taken regarding the RSPCA employee. The Ford’s have made 41 serious complaints to the Professional Standards Department regarding local police officers, some of which have been proved in court this week. Further complaints are to be made due to the evidence given in court. It is alleged the PSD have failed to deal with their complaints lawfully, under the IPCC statutory guidance to Police forces and the Independent Police Complaints Commission has advised the Ford’s to take legal action against the PSD.
They have also made complaints regarding the conduct of the Devon & Cornwall Police Chief Constable, Shawn Sawyer and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner has received a directive from the Independent Police Complaints Commission to investigate the complaints using an outside force. Previously the OPCC failed to carry out their investigation using statutory guidance.
The two witnesses Lee Walter and Rita Witney gave their evidence but the NDJ failed to print their response to cross examination giving an unbalanced reflection. The case has been adjourned for another date for their defence witnesses to give evidence, as time ran out. A bad character witness application was rejected by the Judge. One of these witnesses, Sarah Davies, their neighbour, is said to be the source of these rejected, outrages allegations which have always been strongly denied. The family are now pursuing using Legal Action against her.
The moral of this story, don’t believe all you read until you have all the facts!!!
Also, don’t leave home without a voice recorder!!
Mary and Bert have been on a holiday to RHS Rosemoor Gardens Torrington, we were asked by the events team if we would allow Mary and Bert to spend Easter at Rosemoor as part of the Easter, Lindt Gold Bunny hunt. Mary and Bert were a huge success, they behaved impeccably being handled and stroked by staff and visitors. As a result they have found a lovely new home with a family who run a B&B and a small menagerie of animals. Our sincere thanks to all the staff and events team at Rosemoor. Mary & Bert clearly thought the RHS apple branches are the best.
Ariel & Michael have been re-homed at last! They have been with for months; rabbits are probably one of the most difficult pets to re-home, so we were delighted when their new guardians came forward. They are now enjoying a huge hutch and run with loads of fresh vegetables, their own supply of apple branches and a walled garden just in case they decide to go walk about. Great news!
Wilma came to us because of an alleged incident with a kitten, the previous owners were considering putting her to sleep, usually a decision made as a result of a kneejerk reaction to a situation. Often animals are brought to us because of what would appear to be unavoidable occurrence.
Well! It’s a good job that someone kept their nerve and hung on to that old fashioned term common sense, and looked for an alternative. Wilma after sitting on my wife’s lap beside two cats, Daisy our Shih Tzu cross, Milo and Cherry that decided to join us due to the fireworks going off, then took up residence behind me, as you can see.
Wilma is a really friendly little dog that has a greater dislike for rain than adult cats, I don’t know many terriers that I would trust with a kitten, so I think it’s safe to say we will not be re-homing her with kittens, but seems to get on with other dogs and adult cats. Wilma is two and a half years old and will be great company for the lucky new guardian she has a very sweet nature.
Gem has been successfully re-homed with a retired farmer, having the space a few sheep to check on every day, Gem has really fallen on her feet. She has a couple of other dogs for company as well and enjoys the comforts of living indoors. The guardians are delighted with her, living in a remote area Gem is very quick to let them know visitors have arrived, what more could a Border collie ask for? Pride of place in front of the wood burner I expect.
As we watched Smokey getting bigger and bigger, the time line was getting smaller and smaller and it was coming up very close to the day we picked her up. She must have become pregnant only a few days before trapping her. It became a bit of a race every morning to check in on any arrivals, but still no kittens! Finally on Thursday 20th June she had her three kittens in the cat litter box of all places! All three kittens and mum doing fine.
Drewid has found a new home, it’s always a pleasure to re-home an older dog, Drewid is seven years but due to her breeding appears much older, being a local dog and a celebrity it was great to see her new guardian again and catch up with Drewid’s progress. Well no surprises Drewid has got both new guardians pretty much where she wants them, including the use of the sofa. I’m sure Drew’s as she in now known previous owner would be as pleased as we are to see her settled and enjoying home comforts.
Is an 18 month old Rottweiler we have taken him in, because he had been in three homes in as many weeks and about to be put to sleep? Being still young we are not seeing his full character. He has no history of being aggressive and the reason given for re-homing is that he does not like being left. We think one of the previous owners had taken Diesel everywhere with them, which may be the reason he is troubled. We have had Diesel for a couple of weeks now and found him to be very responsive to training, now settles from 10.00 pm to 7.00am without becoming anxious. So far so good! A far cry from where it all started having us up every half hour.
We are now starting to look for a home for him; his new guardian will need knowledge of the breed and posses or be prepared to learn good handling skills. We will not consider young families, or anyone wanting a dog for personal protection.