A BOGUS vet who lied his way into a job at a Taunton practice has been jailed.

Patrick Keniry, who has several previous convictions for similar offences, admitted faking his cv to get work at Priory Veterinary Practice, in Taunton.

Keniry, 59, who stole the name of a qualified vet to get the job, was employed there for almost two years before he was rumbled.

He admitted a charge of fraud and one of practicing as a veterinary surgeon without being registered when he appeared at Taunton Crown Court this morning (Tuesday).

He was taken on in 2015 and continued to work there until his crimes came to light in May.

Neil Treharne, prosecuting, told the court that Keniry, whose most recent address was Crosslanes, Purton Stoke, Swindon, was taken on after e-mailing a reply to a job advert.

He was described as "a bit rusty" at first and on one occasion the practice had to compensate a client after a cat died during an operation.

"Apart from that procedure, the practice was reasonably happy with his work," said Mr Treharne, who added that Keniry worked on various animals, including cows and horses.

During his time at Priory, he earned £40,680 and lodged rent-free in a flat above the practice - which was worth £7,680.

The court was told that Keniry had two convictions for fraud and impersonating a vet in his native South Africa and four convictions for practising as an unregistered vet in the UK, as well as convictions for fraud.

Keniry, who represented himself, said: "There's nothing much really to say. I'm guilty as charged.

"I must bear the brunt of my actions."

He claimed he had qualified as a vet in South Africa but had been expunged from the register.

Judge David Ticehurst sentenced him to three years in prison for fraud, with no separate penalty for practising as a vet without a certificate.

He will be subject to a proceeds of crime action.

The judge told him: "You have four different dates of birth on your record of previous convictions in this country, four different names and these proceedings under yet another name.

"You deceived the veterinary practice you worked for and all of the clients. You're not a professional vet.

"You have caused the veterinary profession great harm professionally and financially."

The judge dismissed Keniry's claims that the practice was to blame for not checking his credentials.

He added: "You're a recividist and can't help yourself. You're a fantasist."

Michael Hepper, chief investigator at the RCVS, told the County Gazette: “Peter Keniry’s modus operandi is to steal the identity of properly registered members to obtain work as a veterinary surgeon.

"As he impersonates members of the college whose names are legitimately on the register, this can make it extremely difficult, even for practices that do check prospective employees credentials, to identify him. 

“He is well known to the college and to the police having been convicted in 1998, 2001, 2005 and 2011 and has served custodial sentences for practising as a veterinary surgeon and fraud.

“Peter Keniry is a repeat offender and we suspect that he will continue to re-offend."