Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Monday 24 September 2018

Farmer faces jail after he admitted to falsely selling his eggs as expensive and free range

Stock photo of a brood of hens.
Stock photo of a brood of hens.

A farmer who sold his eggs as expensive and free range may face jail due to fraud charges.

James Gigg admitted to fraud which is estimated to be in the region of £230,000 and £290,000.

Mr Gigg is also accused of over packing his hen houses with 3,000 more chickens than he is allowed to house at his farm in Dorset.

He is accused of falsely representing the eggs he sold to the Traditional Free Range Egg Company as free range.

He also admitted to furnishing false information to a person acting in the execution of the Eggs and Chicks Regulations in 2009. 

The egg productions, records and sales he provided did not correctly reflect actual egg production and sales for the period.

Mr Gigg failed to adhere with EU provisions in that he marketed eggs as class A free range from 5,500 hens in House 1 and 8,500 hens in House 2.

Mr Gigg's lawyers argued Gigg is a farmer with no previous convictions who in a probation pre-sentence report 'strenuously disputes the financial gains he has made'.

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His lawyers argued that the value of the fraud was £86,700 - and the amount would affect the sentencing.

Prosecutor Ian Fenny said: 'I am not in a position to agree with this, there may be no dispute.' 

Judge Evans told Mr Gigg that he could not sentence him on 'a mistaken basis' and the 'value of the fraud has to be decided'.

Mr Gigg was bailed, with the conclusion of the trial next expected next month.


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