Family which ran puppy farm set to be sentenced today

Zoe Rushmer wearing a balaclava at Norwich Crown Court. Picture: Archant

Zoe Rushmer wearing a balaclava at Norwich Crown Court. Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant

A family which made thousands of pounds from duping dog lovers into believing their new pets were from a loving home are due to be sentenced today (Monday).

Michael Rushmer, 27, of Low Road, Thurlton and his sister Zoe Rushmer, 25, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty in February of conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation from 2016 to 2018.

The puppies were sold from a farm on Low Road, Thurlton, often using adverts on Gumtree, using false names and gave buyers the impression the puppies were home bred and treated for worms and fleas.

The adverts also gave the impression that the puppies were microchipped and vaccinated and given a full health check, but some owners were left with huge vet bills.

After being arrested for the first charge, Mr Rushmer continued the crime. On Monday he pleaded guilty to a second charge of conspiracy to commit fraud between July 2018 and March 2019.


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Ms Rushmer's partner Jacob Murphy, 26, of no fixed address and family friend Jean Boyes, 67, of The Street, Bramerton, also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation between 2016 and 2018.

The four are being prosecuted by the RSPCA, which alleges the puppy farm turned over £300,000.

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The defendants, however, said the figure was much lower at around £150,000.

All four were meant to be sentenced at Norwich Crown Court on Monday morning, but the case was delayed until this afternoon.

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