#TheList John Michael Humphrey, born 15/11/1985, of Sandway Drive, Thorpe Willoughby, Selby YO8 9NF – caused suffering to 33 horses and donkeys
Humphrey pleaded guilty to 25 offences under the Animal Welfare Act. The offences related to 33 animals which were being kept at fields in Gowdall, Gateforth and near the A63 Selby bypass.
Two of the horses had to be put to sleep on welfare grounds and one died while giving birth.
RSPCA inspector Alice Cooper, who investigated with colleague Claire Mitchell, said: “This was a complicated case involving a large number of equines being kept at three different locations.
“Many of them were suffering and needed urgent attention, and some of them had to be immediately hospitalised.
“Those who weren’t suffering were likely to if their circumstances didn’t change, due to the dirty or hazardous environments they were living in.”
The animals had no access to clean, fresh drinking water and no suitable food source. Many were in an extremely poor physical condition
Inspector Cooper said: “Many were very nervous and seemingly hadn’t had much handling.”
In mitigation, the court heard that the horses kept at Gowdall Ponds had only been there for a short time because of localised flooding and that the animals at Gateforth had come to him from a dying farmer and had arrived in poor condition.
Of the horses at the third site, Humphrey said that there was a stream and the water troughs were filled daily, with supplementary feed provided. He said he had had horses all his life and never had any problems.
He signed all the horses over to the RSPCA, for rehoming when they are ready, and the donkeys were signed over to The Donkey Sanctuary.
Inspector Cooper said: “We are, as always, extremely grateful to all those who helped with this difficult case, including World Horse Welfare and The Donkey Sanctuary, who sent officers to the scene and took on some of the animals, who are doing great and are going up for rehoming soon.”
Sentencing: Humphrey was sentenced to 17 weeks in prison and ordered to pay a £115 victim surcharge. Banned from keeping animals for life.