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  1. ITV Report

Suspended jail term for man who tried to make 'quick buck' smuggling puppies

35 puppies were found at the port of Holyhead. Credit: RSPCA

A man who was caught illegally smuggling puppies into Wales has been handed a suspended prison sentence.

Ben James Illidge was caught - in November 2016 - seeking to smuggle 35 puppies through Holyhead Port in hugely inappropriate conditions.

The puppies underwent medical checks. Credit: RSPCA

Illidge of Northwich in Cheshire was sentenced at Caernarfon Magistrates' Court having previously pleaded guilty to a series of charges.

He was identified as part of Operation Delphin, a multi-agency operation tackling the scourge of the undercover dog trade, led by the RSPCA.

The pups were travelling in very poor conditions, without ventilation, in the dead of night, with the RSPCA outlining how the man sought to make a "quick buck" by "subjecting innocent, defenceless puppies to misery".

Illidge was sentenced to three 18-week prison sentences, which will run concurrently, and are suspended for a one-year period.

He was also ordered to do 200 hours of unpaid work, handed four £400 fines totalling £1,600 and told to pay costs of £1198.98 and a £115 victim surcharge.

Prosecution activity was taken forward by the Isle of Anglesey Council.

Ian Briggs, chief inspector of the RSPCA's special operations unit, said: "This prosecution makes an important statement that agencies will not stand-by while unscrupulous puppy dealers seek to make a quick buck while subjecting innocent, defenceless puppies to misery."