A bogus vet inflicted excruciating pain on animals by carrying out botched operations for which he was unqualified, a court was told.

Jayson Wells administered unknown medications to animals, leaving cats, dogs, rabbits and birds so ill they had to be put down. He had no proper training as a vet and had worked only as a herdsman, but conned owners into paying for his services all over the country.

Grimsby Crown Court heard Wells, 30, from Grimsby, seemed to delight in seeing animals’ innards and recommended controversial treatments, such as a syringe of syrup of figs, to improve pets’ health.

He admitted two offences of causing unnecessary suffering to animals, three of fraud by pretending to be a fully qualified veterinary surgeon and another of practising as a vet without a licence.

He was jailed for 19 months and banned from owning or keeping animals for seven years.

Edward Bindloss, prosecuting, said Wells started committing the offences within a week or so of being released from prison in August 2012 for similar offences. They included causing suffering to a pony that had to be put to sleep after a bodged castration.

Wells was originally given a six-month suspended prison sentence by Boston magistrates in Lincolsnhire, but he was later jailed for breaching the terms of the order.

Wells had a sweatshirt with his name on it, business cards and employed a woman who was supposedly a veterinary nurse. He did not have any premises of his own.

In September 2012 Wells became friendly with a woman who at the time had been running a small cat rescue scheme, called Under The Paw Cat Rescue, since 2008. One cat, called Martha, was injected by Wells on several occasions after being examined. Martha was euthanised by him in November 2012 after he claimed she had a stomach tumour.

In December that year, Wells offered to treat a Yorkshire terrier, owned by Paul Whitelam, but told him the dog had liver failure and should be put to sleep. Mr Whitelam agreed and because he believed Wells had done him and the dog a good service, paid him £20 instead of the £10 fee requested.

The court heard Wells had examined a pregnant cat and given it injections. He also gave injections to kittens owned by Lisa Dove. Some of the pets later had to be put down. The injection of one of the cats belonging to Miss Dove went wrong and the needle snapped or bent, causing blood to spray out.

The cat became very distressed and was “literally coughing up its guts”, the trial was told. Miss Dove believed the cat “must have suffered horribly” before it died and the sight would stay with her always, said Mr Bindloss.

She claimed Wells later “seemed to delight in what he was doing” in showing her the cat’s innards.

Wells also admitted failing to attend a previous court hearing. Humberside police had enlisted the help of the RCVS to publicise its appeal to help locate Wells. He later handed himself in at a police station in Torquay.

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