A former farmer lost his bid to overturn convictions for breaching livestock-movement regulations.

Martin Hall, 39, claimed to have repeatedly told Oxfordshire County Council officers investigating alleged breaches of the rules by KC Hall and Sons that he was not involved in the running of Piddington-based family business.

And he rejected suggestions that he had ‘only once’ told Trading Standards officers that he was nothing to do with his father Kevin’s business, that he had requested livestock documentation from the council, or that he had been seen several times doing business for the family firm at Thame cattle market.

But in the end it was Recorder John Ryder KC and two magistrates who, hearing the two-day appeal at Oxford Crown Court last week, rejected Hall’s version of events.

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The judge also praised the work of the county council investigator who had brought the case against Hall to court, saying: “We felt the manner of her evidence and her approach to the case generally was of the highest imaginable standards of professionalism. She has the commendation of each individual member of this court as well as our gratitude.”

Martin Hall, of Upper Heyford, was found guilty last year of 11 offences, including illegally moving cattle to 14 different counties, without conducting pre-movement bovine tuberculosis tests, and failing to report cattle movements within three days. He failed to keep records of pig movements and was also convicted of moving livestock without being an authorised transporter. Kevin Hall, his father, admitted the 11 offences.

Richard Davies, defending, said it was his client’s case that it was ‘not correct’ he was trading as KC Hall and Sons but, if he gave the impression he was involved in running the business, ‘the conduct is effectively a favour to his father rather than him trading as this business’.

Oxford Mail: Michael Hall outside Oxford Crown CourtMichael Hall outside Oxford Crown Court (Image: Oxford Mail)

Closing the council’s case, prosecutor Michael Forster suggested that the first time Hall said anything about not being involved in running the firm was when he realised the net was closing in.

“If Michael Hall had said ‘it’s not me’, [the investigating officer] would have recorded that in the way she did when he eventually did say ‘it’s not me,” Mr Forster said.

“He gave the impression for a long period of time during the investigation he was involved in the running of the business; then changed his mind when invited for interview under caution.”

The barrister claimed of the appellant: "What he’s saying is a pack of lies.”

Hall was ordered to pay costs of over £13,000. Fines and costs imposed at the magistrates’ court of more than £9,000 remain outstanding.