Animal cruelty appeal thrown out

JONO GALUSZKA
Last updated 13:34 18/12/2013

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A Dannevirke couple's long-running battle to clear their names after being found guilty of animal cruelty has once again failed.

Former animal breeders David and Daryl Balfour were found guilty for failing to prevent the suffering of dogs and cats, and ill-treating cats.

The couple were sentenced in July last year, and banned from owning any cats, dogs, puppies or kittens for 20 years.

They are also unable to run a business like they previously had for 20 years.

The couple went to the Court of Appeal earlier this year to try to have their convictions overturned, but failed.

However, they were let off paying nearly $28,000 in costs to the SPCA.

They then went to the Supreme Court to once again try to have their convictions struck out.

In their judgment released today, Chief Justice Dame Sian Elias, Justice Susan Glazebrook and Justice William Young said the Balfours' reasons for appealing further were not good enough.

The Balfours said the trial did not exclude illegally obtained evidence, being charged representatively was unjustified, and two expert witnesses should not have been used as on was impartial and the other did not disclose their notes.

But the judges said those reasons were not good enough.

"We are not satisfied that it is necessary in the interests of justice that we hear and determine these appeals."

They said there was no risk of a substantial miscarriage of justice, and the Court of Appeal had already addressed the Balfours' issues in detail.

"We are not persuaded that any material error in the Court's analysis has been identified."

The Balfours' convictions stem from March 5, 2007, when SPCA inspectors raided their property.

They found 161 cats and 87 dogs living in poor conditions, many of which had to be destroyed.

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- Manawatu Standard

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