Lancaster man alleged to have illegally sold puppies is wanted on a warrant
Magistrates have issued a warrant for an alleged illegal puppy trader after he failed to attend court.
Daniel O’Connor, aged 23, of Sefton Drive, Lancaster, failed to attend Lancaster Magistrates’ Court yesterday to face charges under the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018 and the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.
The proceedings are being brought by Animal Protection Services, a registered charity that investigates and prosecutes organised animal cruelty.
Their prosecution follows intelligence-led investigations into the unlicensed sale of puppies in the Lancashire area.
Several other people are also charged.
Heather Young, 25, of Lady Acre, Bamber Bridge, is alleged to have sold puppies and dogs without a licence between February 25, 2020 and April 7, 2021.
She is accused of unfair trading by doing so, and three counts of money laundering by allegedly transferring money from the sales to co-defendants Scanlon, Iddon and Hinds.
She also faces five counts of committing fraud in June, July and December 2020 by dishonestly making false declarations to the Pets-4-Homes website in which she allegedly gave the details of other women and two co-defendants, Hadden and Mereweather, while setting up seller accounts.
Jason Hadden, 39, of Terance Road, Blackpool, and Alexander Mereweather, 27, of Three Nooks, Bamber Bridge, are both accused of aiding and abetting her to sell pets without a licence and unfair trading by doing so.
Jordan Hinds, 38, of Burton Street, Rishton, Blackburn, is accused of the same charges, as well as selling puppies without a licence between September 25 and December 15 2020 in Blackburn, unfair trading by doing so, unfair trading by giving the impression the sale of them was lawful, and possessing criminal property - the proceeds of the unlawful sales by Young.
Clifford Iddon, 46, of Lambert Road, Preston, is accused of two counts of carrying on a business between February 25, 2020 and April 7, 2021, selling animals as pets,without the authority of a licence, unfair trading by giving the impression the sale of the puppies was lawful, and possessing criminal property from the unlawful sale of pets by Young.
Jacqueline Leadbetter (aka Scanlon), 60, of Morley Croft, Farington Moss, Leyland, is accused of aiding and abetting Young to sell the puppies without a license, unfair trading by doing so, being concerned in an arrangement which facilitated the acquisition of criminal property and two counts of possessing criminal property - money from the sales of pets.
All are due to appear before Preston Crown Court on May 28.
Any information on the whereabouts of O’Connor should be forwarded to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or Lancashire Constabulary.
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