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Bogus vet faces jail

A MAN who posed as a vet and dosed dogs with illegal drugs has been told he could face two years in jail.

Leonard French, 69, is said to have made more than £170,000 from dog owners, companies and foxhunts for providing fake veterinary services.

French, of Tattershall Bridge, Lincs, admitted 20 charges involving importing and selling drugs not registered for use in the UK. He will go before Lincoln Crown Court after Grantham magistrates last week said their sentencing powers were insufficient.

The court heard French's £400,000 home, where he kept up to 120 Lurcher dogs, was raided by police and officers from the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) in October 2004.

Documents found at the house showed he was importing drugs from companies in Russia, France and the US for sale to British customers.

An undercover investigation by a BBC reporter more than a year after the first raid showed French still offering drugs for sale. He even pretended to be a vet and was caught on camera illegally vaccinating a dog with his own medicine.

French also faces an application to strip £170,000 of his assets and also more than £50,000 in costs.

Clive Rees, defending, told the court the medicines French had imported were not dangerous but were simply not registered for us in the UK.

French admitted six counts of supplying medicines, four of attempting to import medicines, three counts of possessing unregistered medicines and another three counts of selling the medicines to members of the public.

He also admitted two charges of possessing criminal property, one of administering a medicine and a further charge he ‘held himself out as a practising vet or as being prepared to practise veterinary surgery without being registered’.