A YORKSHIRE slaughterhouse boss is the first person to face jail after admitting criminal charges connected to the horsemeat scandal which rocked British supermarkets in 2013.
Peter Boddy, 65, admitted one count of failing to abide by EU meat traceability regulations concerning more than 17 horse carcasses.
The charge carries a maximum sentence of two years’ imprisonment.
At an earlier hearing, Boddy - who runs a slaughterhouse in Todmorden, West Yorkshire - pleaded guilty to failing to comply with food traceability regulations which state the source of meat should be traceable from field to fork.
He admitted selling 50 horses for meat but failing to keep proper records to show who bought them.
There is no suggestion that buyers did not know they were purchasing horse meat.
Prosecutors said they did not know where the meat might have ended up.
Wearing a khaki hunting jacket and clutching a deer-stalker, Boddy stood in the dock at London’s Southwark Crown Court and pleaded guilty to the second count.
The slaughterhouse’s 54-year-old manager David Moss, admitted forging an invoice concerning the number of horses sold in a transaction on February 12 2013.
But he denied failing to comply with food traceability requirements for more than 17 horse carcasses between July 2012 and February 2013, and the charge was left to lie on file, as well as a charge of failing to comply with EU meat traceability regulations.
The pair will be sentenced on March 23 at Southwark Crown Court.
Judge Alistair McCreath released them both on unconditional bail, saying: “I tell you now that I have reached no view whatever as to the right sentence, no preliminary view, no settled view, nothing.
“I say that so that you understand that by granting you bail and ordering reports, I don’t give you any indication.
“So don’t run away with the idea that I have given you any kind of hint, any kind of indication or promise, what is going to happen.”
In a separate prosecution, slaughterhouse bosses Dafydd Raw-Rees and Colin Patterson, from Wales, will stand trial on charges arising from the horsemeat scandal.
They both deny 19 counts of selling goat falsely labelled as lamb shanks, lamb trim and mutton.
The pair, who worked at Tyne Parc, Llandre, in Dyfed, Wales, also deny failing to comply with food traceability requirements.
Their company, Farmbox Meats Limited, is believed to have gone into administration and stopped operating.
The pair will stand trial at Southwark Crown Court on May 18.