A MAN caught keeping animals in “appalling” conditions three months after he was given an animal ban will do a two-day punishment, York magistrates decided.

The RSPCA first prosecuted Keith Lewis, 68, when they found 60 animals living in “filthy, squalid and cramped conditions” at his home in former agricultural buildings in Barlby, Phil Brown, prosecuting for the charity, said.

After he admitted neglect offences in relation to about 30 of the animals, mostly poultry and rabbits, one bench of magistrates banned him on May last year from keeping caged and other animals for ten years and ordered him to do a 12-week curfew.

Three months later on August 25, police and an RSPCA inspector found two ferrets at Lewis’ house in “frankly appalling” conditions with no water, piles of faeces and dirty bedding and three rotting rabbit carcases, said Mr Brown.

Lewis pleaded guilty to breaching an animal ban and failure to care for animals.

A different bench of magistrates ordered him to do a community order with two days’ rehabilitative activities.

They heard he is currently doing a different community order.

They also imposed a second ten-year animal ban starting on the day of the second sentencing and ordered him to pay £150 prosecution costs and a £85 statutory surcharge.

For Lewis, Steve Munro said: “This was not a deliberate attempt to avoid the order at all.”

The ferrets were the last of about eight that Lewis’ young son had found in a tree.

Lewis had initially refused to let him keep them but had then given in and allowed them onto the premises.

“He thinks the world of his son. His son is his life,” said the solicitor.

The ferrets were only being kept until they could be sold.

Mr Brown told magistrates Lewis had used a similar mitigation during his original court case by saying that his son, then eight, had prevailed on him to keep the animals in that case.

“The son can never have legal responsibilities for these animals,” said Mr Brown. “The defendant is the adult, not the son.”