Preston puppy selling probe: charges against five people dropped
Charges against one woman and four men accused of involvement in an alleged illegal puppy selling operation spanning Lancashire have been dropped.
Judge Darren Preston, sitting at Preston Crown Court, ordered not guilty verdicts be recorded against the group.
Jacqueline Leadbetter (aka Scanlon), 60, of Morley Croft, Farington Moss, Leyland,was cleared of aiding and abetting someone to sell puppies without a license, unfair trading , being concerned in an arrangement which facilitated the acquisition of criminal property and two counts of possessing criminal property.
Jason Hadden, 39, of Terance Road, Blackpool, Jordan Hinds, 38, of Burton Street, Rishton, Blackburn, and Alexander Mereweather, 27, of Three Nooks, Bamber Bridge, were cleared of aiding and abetting a woman to sell pets without a licence and unfair trading.
Hinds was also cleared of selling puppies without a licence between September 25 and December 15 2020 in Blackburn, two counts of unfair trading and possessing criminal property.
Clifford Iddon, 46, of Lambert Road, Preston, was cleared of two counts of carrying on a business selling animals as pets,without the authority of a licence, unfair trading and possessing criminal property from the unlawful sale of pets.
However, charges will remain against a sixth defendant, Heather Young, 25, of Lady Acre, Bamber Bridge, who 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.
She also denies 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 people.
The court was told another hearing would take place on Friday in connection with possible amendments to those charges.
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