A convicted puppy farmer from High Wycombe who was caught with three puppies in the boot of his car when stopped by police has been jailed again after a judge accused him of “trading in animal and human misery”.

Thomas Stokes, who was one of the men at the centre of the RSPCA’s biggest ever puppy farm investigation – along with Iver Heath vet, Daniel Doherty - has been thrown in jail again this week for continuing to sell sick puppies to unsuspecting members of the public.

Stokes, who now lives in Hughenden Road, but previously lived in Hayes, moved to his new address and set himself up as a seller again, even though he was already being investigated as part of a puppy farming gang.

His ruse was uncovered when police stopped Stokes in High Wycombe while he was in his car – as part of a separate inquiry – and they found three dogs were found in the boot of his car.

He was sentenced at Isleworth Crown Court in May for being part of a gang who made an estimated £2.5 million selling more than 5,000 dogs over five years.

At the time, he admitted one offence of conspiracy to commit fraud and one animal welfare offence, and was jailed for three years and disqualified from keeping dogs for life.

But he was hauled up in front of a judge again on Tuesday, August 7 – this time at Aylesbury Crown Court – after RSPCA investigators found he was continuing to sell sick puppies up until January this year.

Stokes was sentenced to an extra 27 months to run consecutive to the sentence he is already serving - which takes his total prison sentence for both cases to six years and 11 months.

The judge also renewed Stokes’ disqualification order, banning him from keeping dogs for life.

RSPCA inspector Kirsty Withnall, who led both investigations, said: “We were already looking into a gang of puppy dealers in West London which included Mr Stokes, when he was stopped by police and three puppies were found inside his car.

“This prompted a search of his new address on January 18 and we discovered evidence that Mr Stokes was, once again, selling puppies.”

She added: “Mr Stokes was part of a major investigation by the police and our officers into puppy farming in London. While our investigations into him and his co-defendants were ongoing, Mr Stokes decided to move to a new address and set himself up as a seller again.

“It goes to show how much money there is to be made in this trade that people will take the risk and continue selling, despite being investigated.

“Unfortunately, puppies - particularly those of certain ‘fashionable’ breeds and crossbreeds - can attract hundreds if not thousands of pounds today so it’s a lucrative business for people who want to make a quick buck.

“I hope these investigations send a strong message to others that we will not allow this sort of animal abuse or fraud to continue.”

The three cockerpoos found in the boot of the car were seized by police and placed into RSPCA care. They have now all been successfully rehomed.