Category Archives: Equine abuse

Cruelty to horses, ponies and donkeys

West Harptree, Somerset: Stephen Potter

#TheList horse abattoir operator Stephen John Potter, born April 1965, of Whistley Farm, Whistley Lane, West Harptree BS40 6HD

Stephen Potter and a horse being put down at one of his abattoirs
Stephen John Potter has grown rich on the back of his shoddy businesses. Photo on right shows a pony being put down at one of his abattoirs. Source: Daily Mail

Two businesses, F Drury & Sons Ltd, of Tockenham Corner, Swindon, SN4 7PF and L J Potter Ltd of Whistley Farm, West Harptree BS40 6HD together with Stephen Potter, who is the director of both companies, were found guilty of animal welfare offences following a prosecution brought by Wiltshire Council Trading Standards.

On 22nd October 2018, L J Potter Ltd transported a horse from Northern Ireland along with a consignment of other horses to Drury’s abattoir. The lorry arrived at the abattoir late at night and as the horses were being unloaded from the lorry, a grey mare was found to be lying on her side and unable to rise. CCTV footage viewed by the court showed the horse attempting to stand five times, but continually falling over until eventually she managed to stand unable to bear weight on her right fore leg and reluctant to move.

The grey mare that was the subject of the prosecution
Abhorrent cruelty: the grey mare couldn’t walk and or breathe but was left to suffer for several hours by Stephen Potter’s company

The court heard evidence from expert witnesses who viewed the CCTV footage that in their opinion, at that stage, either a vet should have been called to assess the condition of the horse, or she should have been put down. Instead, the court heard that Stephen Potter, who was not present at the abattoir but was viewing the unloading of the horses, instructed the driver to transport the grey mare on a further journey from the abattoir to his farm in Somerset.

The vehicle departed but soon returned to the abattoir as the horse had somehow managed to stand during the journey. The horse was unloaded from the vehicle and CCTV footage showed her being unable to walk on her front leg. Experts giving evidence for the prosecution were clear that the horse was suffering, needed urgent veterinary attention and was not fit to be transported.

The mare was left alone in the lairage at the abattoir overnight until she was noticed by the vet on duty at the abattoir early in the morning. He took the view that the animal was in a severe condition, breathing rapidly, distressed and therefore needed immediate destruction.

District Judge, Tim Pattinson, said that Potter ‘had made an error of judgement that had resulted in a horse suffering for several hours which could, and should have been avoided. In this country we expect high standards of animal welfare especially in commercial activity’.

Judge Pattinson also said that Potter had shown an excessively relaxed approach to the problem and had underplayed the pain and suffering of the horse.

The case, brought by Wiltshire Council Trading Standards, resulted in a total penalty of £22,170 divided between the two companies and Stephen Potter and included costs of £10,000 awarded to Wiltshire Council.

Wiltshire Times

===
In November 2010 Animal Aid exposed shocking cruelty at F R Drury. Undercover footage obtained by the group showed sheep being decapitated whilst still alive, calves slipping and collapsing repeatedly to the floor for three hours and goats leaping into the killing area to try to evade the stunning tongs.

New York, Lincoln: Tamara Lloyd

#TheList Tamara J Lloyd, born October 1969, of Chapelry Farm, Langrick Road, Lincoln LN4 4XH – failed to meet the needs of dozens of animals living in squalor at her sanctuary

Sanctuary from hell boss Tamara Lloyd

Following an RSPCA prosecution, Tamara Lloyd of The Alternative Animal Sanctuary was found guilty of 16 offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

More than 70 cats, 14 pigs, along with dogs, horses and terrapins were among the animals kept in ‘appalling conditions’ at the sanctuary.

The offences came to light after the RSPCA executed two separate warrants in May 2019 and January 2020.

Lloyd was filmed for a TV documentary shortly before the first raid, with footage showing the chaotic home and outdoor pens overrun by animals. Before the raid she spoke on the Channel 5 programme called ‘The Woman with 106 Dogs’, which aired in June 2020.

Scenes of animal suffering at Tamara Lloyd's sanctuary

During the first warrant, 14 Vietnamese pot-bellied pigs were found housed in an area dirty with faeces and urine accumulation and cluttered with debris and hazards.

Seventy cats did not have a suitable environment in which to live. They were surrounded by urine, faeces and ammonia and some had no access to a suitable diet and fresh drinking water

Two cats were found to have suffered failing to seek appropriate veterinary care to explore and address painful ear infections.

Five more cats were found to be suffering with chronic dental disease that not been treated.

A boar had a severely in-grown tusk. This had penetrated through his face and into the oral cavity.

Sanctuary from hell boss Tamara Lloyd

Three dogs were found with untreated infected wounds on their bodies. Another dog, named Flo, had a ligature injury to her leg – again this had not been treated

One dog had matted fur, heavily contaminated with mud, faeces and plant matter. This took two hours to remove while under a general anaesthetic.

Following the first warrant , the RSPCA served Lloyd with several improvement notices. The charity attempted to work with her over several months to reduce the number of animals on the site and to improve the welfare of those remaining. While initially cooperative, Lloyd went on to acquire more animals.

After further welfare concerns and complaints, another raid was carried out in January 2020. The RSPCA confirmed that one dog was found dead and another was put to sleep by the owner’s vet.

Witnesses described the conditions on site as ‘appalling’. Dead rats were found in the animals’ accommodation along with overflowing litter trays, stagnant dirty water and hazardous objects.

Eleven dogs were found inside the main living quarters of the house, which was described as uncomfortably warm with a strong smell of ammonia and pools of urine on the floor. There was heavy faecal and urine soiling throughout the downstairs with dirty bedding, empty food containers, a lack of sufficient water, and hazards such as general clutter, rubbish and exposed nails.

A three-legged dog was found in a dark kennel with little ventilation, which was soiled with faeces and urine.

Lloyd also did not take reasonable steps in all the circumstances to meet the needs of seven cats for a suitable environment in which to live.

No provision of clean drinking water
Seven cats were kept in a poorly ventilated area littered with the bodies of dead rats. Again there were overflowing litter trays, and faeces and urine over the floor. The area was cluttered and hazardous. .

Two pigs had not been provided with a suitable diet including access to drinking water or a suitable environment in which to live.

The adult Vietnamese pot-bellied pigs were found to be obese and living in an area where faeces and urine had accumulated as well as debris and hazards, and dead rats, one of which was being chewed by the pigs. There was no provision of clean drinking water for the pigs and the feed for them was not suitable as was evidenced by their obese state.

Ten terrapins were found in an environment detrimental to their health and well-being. A vet noted that “slime and sludge covered the surface of the stagnant water, dead maggots were seen in excessive numbers floating on and under the water” The vet described the smell from the water and building as “putrid” and said that all had suffered for some considerable time due to their squalid environment, and were severely immuno-suppressed.

Vets deemed the animals to be suffering with obvious signs of disease and ill health and the animals were removed.

In his verdict, District Judge Peter Veits said:

“I find that [Lloyd] started with good intentions and clearly believed in the sanctity of life for her animals, but her issue here has been that she simply cannot say no.

“She needed to recognise that as a sole owner of the premises that her capacity to meet the needs of animals was limited. She either needed staff or less animals and by choosing to carry on she has undermined her sole purpose in that her failures have contributed to the suffering of animals.”

Lloyd was convicted of 16 offences and acquitted on one charge.

Sentencing: two-year conditional discharge; costs and victim surcharge. Banned from keeping animals for 10 years. Lloyd has lodged an appeal.

Boston Standard
RSPCA News
Lincolnshire Reporter

Barnstaple, Devon: Lindsey Sim

#TheList Lindsey Sim, born c. 1986, of Shearford Close, Barnstaple EX31 1AG – failed to care for three horses

Lindsey Sim (right) alongside Ann Sim, who was herself banned from keeping horses for 10 years in February 2020
Lindsey Sim (right) alongside North Devon Equine Rescue owner Ann Sim, who was herself banned from keeping horses for 10 years in February 2020


Lindsey Sim, who was involved with shambolic horse welfare charity North Devon Equine Rescue alongside relative Ann Sim, has been banned from keeping horses for five years after vets found three of her animals had not been cared for properly.

Sim admitted charges relating to horses Kelly, Malibu and Blaze, following a prosecution by the RSPCA.

Lindsey Sim failed to feed or care for her horses
Lindsey Sim failed to feed or care for her horses

Vets found Kelly to be in an emaciated state as a result of insufficient nutrition and an untreated parasite infection.

Sim also admitted to failing to meet the needs of Blaze, a foal, and Malibu, a grey pony.

Sentencing: six rehabilitation days; total of £240 in fines, costs and charges. Banned from keeping horses for five years, but can appeal after three (expires August 2025).

DevonLive

North End, Portsmouth: Derek Jennings

#TheList football hooligan Derek Jennings, born c. 1967, of Laburnum Grove, Portsmouth PO2 0EU – punched a police horse on the nose then swung at her two more times

Derek Jennings outside court

Jennings pleaded guilty to a charge of violent disorder after attacking police horse Luna before a local derby football match on 24 September 2019.

The court heard a police commander had noticed Jennings becoming aggressive towards officers and rival fans during the build-up to the match.

The officer riding Luna headed towards Jennings, who clenched his first and punched the horse on the nose. The mare shied away from the attack, but Jennings swung at Luna twice more before he attempted to run away. He was quickly arrested, however, and taken into custody

Luna was uninjured in the attack and able to remain on duty.

Derek Jennings police mugshot

DCI John McGonigle of Hampshire Constabulary said: “For a grown man to act in this way was deplorable, especially against an animal, who was simply there to help protect people who wanted to enjoy the game and get home safely. We hope this sentence sends a clear message that we will not tolerate this type of behaviour or any disorder at any public event. Action will be taken and those responsible will be investigated.”

“We’d like to thank the public for the outpouring of support we received for Luna, it was very much appreciated,” he said.

Sentencing: 20 months in prison. Six-year football banning order.

Horse & Hound

Borth, Ceredigion: Peter Bourne

#TheList Peter Bourne, born June 1987, of Cliff Road, Borth, Ceredigion SY24 5NN – sexually assaulted two horses with a paintbrush

Sick pervert Peter Bourne, who was caught on CCTV sexually assaulting two horses
Sick pervert Peter Bourne was caught on CCTV sexually assaulting two horses

Peter Bourne, who is a company director of a holiday lettings business, was caught on CCTV on September 19, 2019, approaching two horses – named Hannah and Urani – from behind, before sexually assaulting them.

Video footage then showed him sniffing the paintbrush he had used in the attack.

Bourne’s interference with the horses was confirmed by vets to have caused both animals to suffer unnecessarily.

Sexually abused horse Hannah, whose owners moved away following the attack
Sexually abused horse Hannah, whose owners moved away following the attack

RSPCA inspector Keith Hogben said: “Hannah and Urani are two horses who have been put through a horrific ordeal, which this individual must reasonably have known would cause them suffering.

“Fortunately, CCTV footage meant we could detect these crimes and take action.

“It must have been exceptionally distressing, too, for the horse’s owners to know a man targeted and interfered with these animals in such a manner. Thankfully, we have secured justice for the suffering these horses were caused by this man’s actions.”

The two horses have recovered from the incident and remain with their two owners.

Peter Bourne Facebook image

Sue Neville, owner of Hannah, said: “This has been such an emotional time for me, and the whole family. It was such a disturbing incident, that was really the last thing we expected to happen.

“If it wasn’t for the RSPCA, we would have been completely lost. They have helped secure justice for Hannah; and have been supportive and amazing throughout.

“We’ve moved house on the back of this incident, to protect our horse. It’s caused us a great deal of anxiety and worry.

“Hannah was always such a friendly and trusting horse; but she is now nervous and anxious to strangers. We are just so relieved justice has been served.”

Peter Bourne Facebook image

Urani’s owner Pippa Wells added: “It’s been a really difficult time for us – and this is certainly not something you’d ever expect to happen.

“Without the RSPCA taking this forward, we wouldn’t have secured justice for Urani. This has totally transformed my opinion of the work of the RSPCA.

“Fortunately, Urani is now fine – but this is obviously something no horse should have to face. Thankfully, a positive outcome was secured at court.

Sentencing: 150 hours of unpaid work; ordered to pay £390 in costs and charges plus £150 compensation to each of the two horse owners. Eight-year ban on keeping animals (expires July 2028).

LeaderLive
North Wales Live

Knowle, Bristol: Naomi Knapp

#TheList Naomi Rachel Knapp, born April 1960, of Wingfield Road, Knowle, Bristol BS3 5EQ, but with links to the Somerset village of Congresbury – for cruelty to a Shetland pony

Naomi Knapp
Naomi Knapp is banned from keeping equines until 2025

Knapp, who’s a founder/director of a Bristol-based Christian homeless charity, admitted causing unnecessary suffering to a Shetland pony gelding at Moor View Farm, Congresbury, between January 22 and February 14, 2020.

The fate of the pony is unknown.

Sentencing: community order. Disqualified from keeping equines for five years.

Bristol Post

Hereford, Herefordshire: Ian Reidy

#TheList Ian Mark Reidy, born 10/01/1989, of 32 Springfield Avenue, Hereford HR2 7JH – left his horse to suffer with a broken leg for two months

Ian Reidy's 11-year-old gelding, known as Brownie, was found unable to bear weight on the affected leg, with pressure sores from lying down, and muscle wastage
Ian Reidy’s 11-year-old gelding, known as Brownie, was found unable to bear weight on the affected leg, with pressure sores from lying down, and muscle wastage

The court heard Reidy failed to act on veterinary advice in relation to his 11-year-old horse, Brownie’s, broken leg between July 26 and September 19, 2019.

RSPCA Inspector Suzi Smith investigated after the animal welfare charity received a call about a horse with a severe untreated leg injury.

Ms Smith said: “Initially it appeared Brownie had collapsed. He seemed unable to get up. The foot was worn at the toe from the continued dragging of it over the weeks. He was wearing a thick rug in warm weather.

“Once we did get him up, he was non-weight bearing on the front leg. Upon removal of the rug it showed he was underweight with muscle atrophy to the broken leg where the muscle had wasted away over the weeks from his inability to use the leg. He had a pressure sore on his hock from the excessive time he had been spending laid down due to the pain.

“An x-ray showed his elbow to be in three pieces and vets found it was too late to perform any surgery to help.

“Reidy had initially called a vet when the injury occurred but refused to follow their advice before putting them off when they called to request a check-up of Brownie on eleven occasions, instead telling them he was getting better, rather than seeking the help Brownie desperately needed.”

Sentencing: 12-week custodial sentence. Ordered to pay a £122 victim surcharge. Banned from keeping any equine for life.

The court also made a seizure order for the remaining horses Reidy owned, but he told the court he had given them away.

Hereford Times
Horse and Hound

Malton, North Yorkshire/Hunslet, Leeds: Michael Price and Shannon Hanrahan

#TheList Michael Patrick Price, born 07/05/1991, of 24 Lime Tree Avenue, Malton YO17 7BZ, and partner Shannon Hanrahan (aka Shannon Price) born 04/06/1993, of Kidacre Park travellers site, Kidacre Street, Leeds LS10 1BD – abandoned several animals at Appleby Horse Fair

Animals abandoned and mistreated by gypsies Michael Price and Shannon Hanrahan
Gypsies Michael Price and Shannon Hanrahan mistreated animals and birds in their care

RSPCA inspectors were alerted after a passer-by saw that a pony had been left tethered beside the A685 just outside of Kirkby Stephen while two dogs were running loose near to two empty kennels.

None of the animals were being supervised or looked after, and the pony had no access to drinking water. Another dog – found in a cage without bedding – had no clean drinking water.

RSPCA inspector Claire Little said: “On Friday 31st May, whilst on duty in Kirkby Stephen, Cumbria, my colleague and I received a request from the police to help with some animals.

“As we arrived at the location I saw a brindle lurcher-type dog and what appeared to be a collie-type dog amongst the traffic and the police were trying to catch them.

“We pulled over and I managed to secure the dogs and get them into our van for safekeeping whilst we approached the police officers.

“It was explained to us that the owners of the dogs were believed to be the occupants of a caravan on the side of the road and that they were in Bradford.

“The dogs were wearing collars but there was no tethering equipment of any kind and a small caged area measuring approximately 2 ft x 2 ft x 2 ft with no lid was the only possible living area I could see for them. There was no shelter available for the cage.

“The police were concerned regarding some birds in cages they had seen inside a van next to the caravan so my colleague went to look at those – they turned out to be wild goldfinches.

“I then saw a small cream Lhasa Apso-type dog that appeared young, inside a metal cage at the side of the road. The cage had a lid that was secured but there was no shelter and the dog was laying on wet grass with no access to water. As the weather was wet I was concerned about the dog as they appeared to be shivering.

“A grey shetland pony tethered with a length of blue nylon rope tied around their neck was nearby. The rope was so tight that I couldn’t get my finger between the rope and the neck and I was concerned that this may start to injure the pony if they remained in this situation. The rope was tied to a nearby branch of a hedge that was quite flimsy. The pony’s hooves appeared overgrown.

“The police took the three dogs and pony into possession and placed them in RSPCA care.”

Michael Patrick Price admitted not ensuring the needs of the pony were met, and the same charge for a lurcher dog and a collie cross.

He also admitted having two goldfinches.

His co-accused Shannon Hanrahan admitted failing to ensure the proper care of the caged dog, and illegally having the two goldfinches.

A deprivation order was placed on the pony and two dogs who will now pass into RSPCA care and be rehomed. The birds were released back into the wild.

Sentencing:
Price was given 60 hours of unpaid work and ordered to pay costs and charges totalling £690. He was banned from owning or keeping any animal for four years.

Hanrahan was given a 14-day curfew at an address in Byker, Newcastle. She must pay also £250 costs and a £32 victim surcharge.

News and Star

West End, Southampton: Michael Edward Levy

#TheList Michael Edward Levy, born 08/05/1988, formerly of 22 The Drive, West End, Southampton SO30 3AN, but gave his address in court as 35 Metherell Avenue, Brixham, Devon TQ5 9QB – left horses in a field without clean water and shelter

Pictured is convicted animal abuser Mike Levy from Southampton
Convicted animal abuser Mike Levy is only banned from keeping equines for six months

Gypsy Michael Levy, who runs a company called Forest Falconry and Pest Control Ltd and has a previous conviction for fly-tipping, was found guilty of failing to ensure the needs of animals he was responsible for.

The father-of-five was also found guilty of transporting a pony in a way that was likely to cause injury.

The court heard that RSPCA inspectors were called by the police after Levy allowed his ponies to fly-graze on land at Botley Road, West End, Southampton.

The land, which was littered with several hazards, did not have clean water, shade or shelter.

The fencing was also deemed inappropriate fencing for horses, which resulted in one horse getting trapped and losing a shoe.

RSPCA Inspector Tina Ward described the scene.

“A metal gate between two paddocks was hanging off its hinges,” said Inspector Ward. “The paddock also had a hidden dangerous hazard; a cesspit covered by grass and rubble.

“There was rusting metal and car parts as well as partly buried plastic blue piping. All of these had the potential to cause serious harm and injury.”

Pictured is convicted animal abuser Mike Levy from Southampton
Levy runs his own ‘pest control’ company

Police body-camera footage recorded a Shetland pony being unloaded by Levy from a white van.

Inspector Ward said the pony “had been travelling with a rope headcollar on that was loose. There were no windows giving light or ventilation, no partition to support the pony’s body, which is particularly important.”

She said: “If the pony was to lose its balance when the vehicle went round a corner or stopped suddenly, he could have injured himself significantly.”

Inspector Ward added where the pony had been standing was a number of items including a tin of paint and metal ladders.

“These also had the potential to cause the pony serious injury had he had fallen over. The method of transporting the pony was highly dangerous and would have also caused significant distress,” she said.

Inspector Ward concluded: “There were no windows giving light or ventilation, no partition to support the pony’s body. The method of transporting the pony was highly dangerous and would have also caused significant distress.”

Sentencing: Levy was ordered to pay a total of £1,233. He was banned from keeping equines for six months.

Horse and Hound
Daily Echo

Heysham, Morecambe, Lancashire: Daniel Brockhill

#TheList Daniel Brockhill, born 21/02/1968, of 16 Robin Crescent, Heysham LA3 2WG – for cruelty to two ponies

Daniel Brockhill from Heysham and one of the two horses he neglected
One of Daniel Brockhill’s neglected horses was underweight, depressed and riddled with lice

Brockhill, a Romany gypsy and alleged backyard breeder of diseased Staffordshire bull terriers, admitted causing unnecessary suffering to two ponies

The first animal, a dark brown cob mare, was left with a ‘stinking open wound’ caused by the tight bridle rubbing her, as well as a small cut to her nose, and areas of fur missing on the face.

The second animal, a black and white piebald cob mare, was spotted wandering in the field “aimlessly” in a dull and depressed state.

The weak and malnourished pony was not very responsive and had an elevated heartbeat and temperature. She was riddled with lice and eggs that had been present for at least 10 days, and had fecal staining on her hind legs indicating serious diarrhea.

The court was told Brockhill had only bought this pony three weeks earlier.

Prosecuting, Paul Ridehalgh told the court that a worker from World Horse Welfare had attended a field in the Twemlow Parade area of Heysham where 13 horses were kept. Most were in good body condition, but one had a bridle that was “clearly too tight” around her nose.

Mr Ridehalgh described how the worker went to loosen the bridle and discovered “a red raw open wound” under the pony’s chin. The collar had become embedded within the hair and skin and a bad smell was emanating from the wound.

The charity worker alerted the RSPCA, and when another inspector attended they became concerned about the other horse who looked too thin.

Mr Ridehalgh added: “It was displaying extremely worrying behaviour and clearly was extremely unwell.

A veterinary surgeon who examined the animals concluded both had been caused suffering by Brockhill’s failure to act.

Despite her painful injury, the first horse was bright, alert and responsive But the second was scored just one out of five on her body condition – zero being emaciated.

Brockhill agreed to sign over both horses to the RSPCA.

The thin horse gained 8kg in the four weeks she boarded with the charity

Horse abuser Daniel Brockhill

During an interview, Brockhill admitted he owned both ponies but claimed he had only owned the malnourished one for three weeks.

He said he had when he arranged transport to a field in Skipton the horse was weak and could barely walk, and that he was “appalled” by her condition.

When it was pointed out that she should have been referred to a vet, Brockhill said he was experienced in keeping horses and it was his opinion the horse just needed a ‘good feed’.

The court heard Brockhill had a conviction for animal cruelty from 2002, but of dissimilar nature.

District Judge Paul Clarke said there had been a “high level of suffering”, but recognised Brockhill had co-operated with the RSPCA.

He remarked it wasn’t “deliberate cruelty”, adding: “It comes down to competence and horse husbandry.”

Sentencing: curfew; a total of £690 costs and charges. No ban.

Lancaster Guardian