A father and son are facing a possible prison sentence after being convicted of running an illegal slaughterhouse on their farm.

Harold Gray, 62, and his son Michael, 31, allowed sheep to be killed in squalid conditions at their Upper Austby farm at Langbar, North Yorkshire, Harrogate Magistrates' Court heard.

The court was told the slaughterhouse had an open sewer running through it, and rusty meat hooks.

Conditions at the slaughterhouse were exposed when animal welfare activists secretly filmed the sheep being killed using Muslim-style slaughter techniques, in 2003.

The video was handed to North Yorkshire's Trading Standards Department. A month later, its staff were joined by police, vets, environmental health officers and the Meat Hygiene Service in a raid on the farm.

Both father and son, and a slaughterman, Sumaullah Patel, 41, pleaded guilty to cruelty charges on Monday.

Patel, of Sunningdale Road, Bolton, admitted three offences of causing avoidable suffering to sheep during slaughtering filmed by the animal welfare activists.

The Grays pleaded guilty to three offences of causing unnecessary suffering to sheep but denied having run an unlicensed slaughterhouse.

They were bailed to appear at Harrogate Magistrates' Court on March 23.