A MAN whose ambition was to be a farmer has been banned from keeping animals for ten years.

David Lorraines, 19, of St Cuthbert's Walk, Liverton Mines, near Saltburn, east Cleveland, admitted four counts of animal cruelty and one count of failing to dispose of animal carcasses when he appeared before Guisborough magistrates yesterday.

He was disqualified from having control over animals for ten years, ordered to pay pro-secution costs of £225 and made subject to a community rehabilitation order for a year.

RSPCA Inspector Laura Glover visited allotments off Graham Street, at Liverton Mines, on January 19. She found numerous hen carcasses and a strong smell from a bonfire where carcasses were being burnt.

A further search revealed 19 hens left with no food or water, and three living sheep with three carcasses.

Natalie Wortley, prosecuting for the RSPCA, said: "Post-mortems confirmed the dead chickens and sheep had died from starvation and a vet criticised the fact there was no fresh bedding, water or food."

David Scourfield, mitigating, said Lorraines kept animals because he wanted to be a farmer.

"He thought the chickens were suffering from a viral infection and he attempted to dose them himself, but they kept dying," said Mr Scourfield.

He said the sheep could have suffered from twin lamb disease, but admitted this could be controlled by additional nutrition and treated by a vet.

District Judge Walker said: "In this case the cruelty was largely due to ineptitude and there is no reason to believe they suffered from deliberate cruelty. But they suffered a miserable death nonetheless."

He said he was concerned that the defendant showed no remorse but that this might be because he did not understand the seriousness of the neglect and his ineptitude.