“Bizarre” statements made to a social worker have caused a court to delay sentencing of a Tayside man who admitted causing unnecessary suffering to cattle and sheep on his farm.
George Pattullo, 67, pled guilty to animal welfare charges at the second day of a trial at Forfar Sheriff Court last month.
Inspectors found more than 50 decomposing sheep in fields, sheds and a trailer — and one in a domestic wheelie bin — on G&A Pattullo’s land in Lintrathen, Angus, in 2013.
Mr Pattullo was due to be sentenced at Forfar Sheriff Court yesterday and a criminal justice social work report had been prepared for Sheriff Gregor Murray.
Sheriff Murray said the contents of the social work report contradicted evidence heard at trial.
He asked depute fiscal Robbie Brown to prepare a narration of the events for Mr Pattullo and his defence agent to consider.
He said: “I may have ordered the report prematurely because what I think needs to be done is that is that Mr Brown needs to put forward a narration and then you need to tell me if that’s accepted.
“It may be the case that we have to have a proof of mitigation.”
Mr Pattullo’s defence agent Brian Bell said he had recently received the narration but hadn’t had a chance to go through it with his client.
Sheriff Murray said he wished to know the total number of dead animals found at the farm and the proportion of the total number at the farm that represented.
The sheriff told Pattullo: “I am going to defer sentence for three weeks. Please keep in close touch with Mr Bell.
“Some of the things you told the social worker are completely inconsistent with the lines of inquiry that Mr Bell put forward in the trial.
“Some of it flies in the face of clear evidence led by the Crown.
“Some of them are frankly bizarre.
“I want you to speak to Mr Bell about what points are accepted and what are not. At the end of that I will order a new report.”
Mr Pattullo’s wife Allison had appeared on all charges but her not guilty pleas were accepted by the Crown.
Mr Brown said he had received a report from James Munro, animal health inspector for Angus, who said he had received an anonymous tip that the Pattullos were farming again.
An investigation into the flock of sheep in Tealing found they were tagged with the G&A Pattullo tags.
Mr Bell explained that it was Mrs Pattullo that was tending to the 64 sheep though Mr Pattullo had helped out.
The case will call again on March 9.