A COMMUNITY councillor from Cilcennin who stood in the Welsh Assembly elections campaigning on animal welfare issues has appeared in court alongside his wife charged with six counts of causing unnecessary suffering to dogs, cats and a horse in their care.

The charges were brought against Iain James Sheldon, 71, and his 67-year-old wife, Joan, by the RSPCA following a warrant executed at their Cefn-y-Gaer home.

Iain Sheldon is a councillor for the Dyffryn Arth Community Council and was Popular Alliance candidate in the last Assembly elections and a Veritas candidate in the 2005 General Election.

The ongoing trial at Aberystwyth Magistrates’ Court heard how RSPCA officers were ‘over-powered’ by the stench of urine, faeces and rotting meat when they inspected the Sheldons’ home between 1 and 4 August last year.

John Tarrant, prosecuting, asked RSPCA Inspector Simon Evans to describe the scene when he inspected a number of outbuildings and caravans containing dogs and cats. Mr Evans said: “There was a strong smell that suggested there was something rotten in the area. My first thought was that there may be something dead at the scene.”

The Sheldons deny all charges.