#TheList Edward ‘Eddie’ George Bath, born 04/06/1961, of 97 Arrael View, Abertillery NP13 1SU – for failure to care for a large number of horses, goats and poultry.
Bath pleaded guilty to four animal welfare offences after the RSPCA found significant failings in his care of 42 horses at a farm in Old Blaina Road, Abertillery
Two horses were found collapsed and were sadly put to sleep on the advice of a vet.
RSPCA inspector Christine McNeil said: “Sadly these animals were not cared for appropriately.
“The horses outside were not given enough food and were not provided for. The stables were filthy and it was just appalling to see these numbers of animals poorly being cared for.”
Inspector McNeil added: “We issued warnings to improve the conditions at the premises, which included a large number of horses, two goats and poultry.
“Sadly this advice was not taken on board and in March we returned and through a warrant, we removed 37 horses. One of these horses was put to sleep due to its condition on the advice of a vet. On this occasion, we also removed 20 poultry and two goats – one of which was pregnant.”
All animals are now signed over to the RSPCA and are being placed into the rehoming process.
Sentencing: 18-week custodial sentence for each offence (to run concurrently) suspended for 18 months; 10-day rehabilitation activity requirement; total of £1,675 costs and charges. Banned from keeping all animals for life.
#TheList Carl Kawka, born c. 1962, of 19 Channing Court, Rochdale OL16 4QG – for shocking neglect of ten ponies, only two of whom survived
Kawka pleaded guilty to two animal welfare offences.
The court heard how the RSPCA investigated Kawka over concerns about ten horses he had in his care in stables off Duchess Street in Oldham.
Inspector Danni Jennings and officers from World Horse Welfare found eight horses had severely overgrown and deformed hooves which had left them crippled.
Five of the horses were in such a suffering state that an independent vet decided the kindest thing was to put them to sleep.
Three more horses were sent for emergency veterinary treatment, but they were in such poor condition the independent equine vet also decided these needed to be put to sleep to end their suffering.
All the horses were found in a stable block which was piled high with faeces.
The conditions were so bad two horses had to be dug out of the stable as the filth had piled up so high rescuers were unable to open the stable door.
The court heard the horses had not had a farrier to trim their hooves for at least 12 months, when this should take place about every six weeks. This had caused the hooves to grow out of control leaving the horses crippled and struggling to walk.
Inspector Jennnings said: “Because of the filth in the stables it was difficult to see how bad the hooves were but then it soon became apparent when we led them outside.
“This is the worst case of horse neglect I have seen in my 11-year career as an RSPCA inspector.
“The horses were clearly suffering and were crippled, they were struggling to walk, and it was obvious they had not seen the light of day for a long period of time.
“The way they were neglected was horrific – it was a really sad and depressing day for all involved.”
Following lengthy treatment, two of the horses are on the road to recovery; one, called Ronnie, has now been rehomed, and another, Celine, is recovering well and will be due for re-homing soon.
Sentencing: 18-week custodial sentence suspended for 12 months; five-month curfew; total of £515 costs and charges. Banned from keeping all animals for life.
#TheList horse breeder Nicola Jane Haworth, born 4 February 1961, of The Sycamores, Jubilee Lane, Marton, Blackpool FY5 4ER – kept horses in such squalor that 11 had to be put down
Haworth was convicted of causing unnecessary suffering to 24 horses and failing to meet the needs of 31 horses.
Carmel Wilde, prosecuting for the RSPCA, said that the charity’s inspectors had found the animals living in dilapidated stables – some without doors or missing wooden panels.
The horses’ bedding was covered in months of urine and droppings, the court heard.
Ms Wilde added: “The evidence shows the conditions were horrendous. Six animals were such an appalling condition they had to be put to sleep by the vet immediately.
“Five more were euthanased later. Others have behaviour problems and will never be ridden as they are dangerous.
“These were the worst conditions the vets and RSPCA inspectors have ever seen. Basics tasks were not carried out for a prolonged time. It was neglect.”
Some of the horses’ hooves were so overgrown the animals could hardly move because they were in so much pain, the court was told.
There was evidence that some had not been out of their stables for some time to use nearby sand and grass paddocks.
The remaining 20 horses were taken away for care and re-homing.
Writing about the case, which he said was the culmination of over 10 months of hard work and dedication by the RSPCA, World Horse Welfare, HAPPA, Lancashire Constabulary and others, RSPCA inspector Carl Larsson said:
In September 2018 a magistrates warrant was executed and I walked onto a stable yard in Blackpool. I was horrified by the scale and level of suffering one individual could cause to so many horses.
I saw 31 horses in stables which had not had the doors opened in months. Dirty bedding was stacked half way up the doors. Once opened they wouldn’t close again because months worth of muck spilled out.
There were horses with such crippling lameness from overgrown hooves that their legs were shaking with pain. They were unable to step down off the pile of muck out of their stables. One collapsed as it reluctantly made the step off.
Of these horses 6 were immediately euthanised on veterinary advice to end their suffering. Since then a further 5 have been euthanised on welfare grounds. Despite reports to the contrary none of the horses were killed because the RSPCA didn’t know how to handle them. Every decision to euthanise was made on Veterinary advice using police powers.
Since that time the individual involved has offered no defence for her deplorable actions. She actually hasn’t turned up to court yet. Instead she has taken to the internet and launched a smear campaign against the RSPCA and more specifically myself.
I personally will never lose any sleep over what she or her friends may think of me however I will always defend my charity!
Unfortunately, until this point I have been unable to respond to posts on forums, Facebook or wherever else lies have been spread due to the matter being an active case.
However with today’s verdict I can now say that the conditions at this yard were the most horrendous I have ever seen in my time investigating animal cruelty. Furthermore the severe and obvious pain visible in many of these horses was sickening.
Today the overwhelming evidence was presented to a District Judge who had no hesitation in find the defendant guilty on all charges.
Sentencing: £4,000 in legal costs; six-month curfew. Banned from keeping animals for 10 years.
#TheList Nigel Jeremy Nicholas Ward, born c. 1957, of Ceidrim Court Farm, Penygarn Road, Ammanford SA19 3PH – for cruelty offences involving three horses, one of which died
Ward admitted one offence of causing unnecessary suffering to three horses by failing to address their poor condition.
The court heard that back in January 2019, in the Mountain Road area of Glanaman, concerns were raised about the welfare of three horses, with the defendant causing unnecessary suffering to them by failing to adequately explore and address their poor condition.
RSPCA inspector Keith Hogben said: “It was very clear that these three horses’ needs were not being met.
“They were in a poor condition and were noticeably thin.
“The field they were being kept in was totally unsuitable and they were very exposed from the mountain side.”
The three horses were seen by a specialist vet at the location.
Despite remaining under the care of the vet, one of the horses, a tri-coloured horse, was unable to be saved and died.
The court heard in mitigation that the horses had had foals which caused a drop in their condition and the defendant thought the field would be sufficient for them.
He admitted this had been a bad decision and also accepted misjudging the weather.
The court also heard that he attended every day but after 14 days it became clear that they were losing condition.
The court heard that since the incident, Ward has been able to rehome half of the horses which were in his care.
Sentencing; 24-month community order with 25-day Rehabilitation Activity Requirement. Total of £607 fine and costs. Deprivation order on one horse. No ban.
#TheList horse trader and kitten breeder Andrew David Colbert Hinde, born 07/01/1965, of Becca Farm, Aberford, Leeds LS25 3AH – flouted a ban and continued to abuse animals in his care
Former international horse show judge Hinde, who bred Dartmoor ponies at Pumphill Stud, immediately ignored a 12-year ban on keeping animals imposed in March 2015 and went on to neglect 50 horses and two foals.
The 2015 conviction related to cruelty to horses and also cats after dozens of pedigree British short-haired cats being bred for sale were found at the property Hinde shared with parents Raymond and Cynthia. They were also convicted of animal cruelty at that time.
Now the serial animal abuser has finally been sent to jail and banned from keeping animals indefinitely with the crown court recorder Gavin Doig telling him it was “time to pay the price for your behaviour”.
The court heard heard Hinde kept 20 horses at his own farm with more than 50 other ponies kept in fields he rented at Westfield Farm at Kirk Smeaton near Pontefract.
The court heard in February 2017 RSPCA inspectors went to Westfield Farm and found some of the ponies were in poor condition with their her ribs, hips and spines. showing.
One of the ponies was emaciated and was suffering from hunger, was infected with lice and had overgrown feet.
Another pony, which was exhausted and suffering from hypothermia, was put to sleep.
The court heard that the pony was infested with worms and was infected with salmonella.
In July 2017 RSPCA inspectors went to Becca Farm at Aberford and seized 20 horses after finding that some were being kept in conditions that didn’t meet their needs.
Many of the animals had been left to fend for themselves with one suffering hypothermia
The horses and ponies were left without adequate food or shelter and were “skin and bone” with one so badly emaciated and infected with disease he had to be put down.
The judge told Hinde he had a “cavalier attitude towards the animals, a cavalier attitude to orders of the court; you showed complete disrespect”.
“Now you must face those consequences,” he added.
Shila Whitehead, defending, said Hinde had “issues on wanting to have animals”.
Sentencing: jailed for 11 months and banned from keeping animals indefinitely.
RSPCA Cymru had long been monitoring the welfare of a number of horses, located at fields off Tan-y-Fron Road in Abergele.
Despite repeated warnings and the provision of advice – the welfare of a number of the animals started to decline sharply over the autumn of 2018.
In October 2018 officers removed three mares and a filly from the site, all of whom were very underweight and had severe diarrhoea. Three foals belonging to the mares were also removed, because they were too young to come away from their mothers.
A further three mares, a filly and a stallion were removed in December 2018, many appearing thin, and living in muddy conditions. One was found to be suffering, while the remainder were not having their needs sufficiently met.
Two horses had to be euthanised after becoming seriously unwell. A post-mortem examination of them showed they had serious liver damage thought to be caused from ragwort as well as internal damage caused by parasites.
RSPCA inspector Jenny Anderton said: “This was a really difficult case to work on, given the repeated attempts and efforts we made to support this individual with caring for the horses.
“We worked closely with World Horse Welfare to help these horses, and we’re very grateful, as always, for their support, assistance and expertise.
“Sadly, the man’s failure to provide proper care was long-running, and some of the treatment these horses endured was appalling.
“Many were very thin, and living in wholly inappropriate muddy conditions. Others were struggling with severe diarrhoea and urgently needed help.
“Owning equines should be a privilege – but despite repeated warnings and attempts of help, this individual repeatedly failed to give the equines the care they so desperately needed.
“I hope this incident highlights to people how important it is to give equines appropriate treatment for parasites, be vigilant against the toxic plant ragwort as well as consulting your vet at the first sign of any illness.
“Horses have complex needs, are expensive to keep properly and time-consuming to look after.
“I would urge anyone considering taking on a horse to ensure they have the necessary financial means and specialist knowledge before they do so.”
Sentencing: curfew; ordered to pay £250 towards costs. Ten-year ban on keeping animals.
#TheList traveller and habitual criminal Maurice Smith, born c. 1988, of Hawthorn Way, Shepperton TW1 – subjected a horse to prolonged neglect and mistreatment
Maurice Smith, who has a previous conviction for conning a 92-year-old woman out of her life savings, pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to an animal.
Gypsy traveller Smith, formerly of Littleton Lane Caravan Park in Shepperton and a drug and alcohol abuser, was charged under the Animal Welfare Act after evidence emerged of how he had subjected the horse, named April, to prolonged neglect and ill-treatment, which had left her in extreme distress.
A number of witnesses initially contacted police in April 2018 to report that the horse was in distress. She had been left double rugged in temperatures of 24 degrees without shade and was sweating profusely.
Police attended the location and decided that April needed immediate medical care and seized her under the Animal Welfare Act.
After a full medical examination by a vet, April was found to be undernourished, with multiple sores, was wearing ill-fitting handmade shoes which were causing her foot pain, and was suffering from worms or a viral infection. The vet said that she had been subjected to poor management and undue suffering.
Smith was identified as April’s owner but initially denied that she belonged to him when he was interviewed. However, he later admitted that she was his and said that he had asked a vet to examine April and that she was being treated with antibiotics. However, he could not provide any details in relation to the treatment April received.
The court heard evidence from a number of witnesses in relation to the lack of care given to April, to which Smith was also unable to provide any explanation.
Investigating officer PC Chloe Hodgkinson said: “This was a complex investigation which took many months to bring to fruition.
“I was called to deal with the incident and was shocked by the pitiful state April was in. Due to her condition, I decided to seize her under the Animal Welfare Act so that she could immediately begin receiving the medical treatment that she needed.
“From speaking to a number of witnesses, it soon became apparent that April had been suffering over a prolonged period. I put a case together against her owner, Maurice Smith, which resulted in him being charged with causing unnecessary suffering to an animal and being brought before the court last week.”
PC Hodgkinson added: “April has since received the care and treatment that she needed and is making a good recovery. I hope that this case will deter other owners from neglecting their animals and send a strong message that if you are caught, you will be dealt with.”
Sentencing: 12 month community order involving 120 hours of unpaid work; total of £485 costs and charges.
#TheList Robert Michael Hunter, born c. 1984, of Scott Hall Road, Chapel Allerton, Leeds LS7 – banned from keeping equines after his pony was found severely exhausted and dehydrated at Appleby Horse Fair
RSPCA inspectors intervened after the cob gelding was seen breathing heavily and dripping with sweat on June 6 2018, and struggling badly again the following day.
Only after negotiation and police intervention did owner Robert Michael Hunter allow his animal to be examined by a vet.
She found the animal to be severely exhausted, dehydrated and with a dangerously raised heart rate.
The vet went on to say that without veterinary treatment the horse would have been at serious risk of collapse and, subsequently, death due to the severity of exhaustion seen.
The horse was treated and has since made a full recovery.
H orse trader Hunterwas prosecuted and initially denied three charges. But ahead of trial he admitted two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal both by overworking the pony and failing to provide him with routine dentistry for the previous six months.
He also admitted failing to ensure the horse’s worming and dentistry needs were met during a two-year period up to June 2018.
Hunter, a married father-of four and “experienced horseman”, said of the family pet: “I would never ever cause that horse any unnecessary suffering that I’d have known of”.
But, jailing him for 90 days, District Judge Gerald Chalk said: “Put simply, that horse had been severely overworked and was suffering from dehydration.
“That, in my view, is either deliberate ill treatment or neglect by you, and a high level of suffering was caused to that animal.”
Sentencing: jailed for 90 days. Banned from owning or keeping any equine animals for six years.
#TheList Tony Israel Price, born c. 1962, of 6 Shirenewton Caravan Site, Wentloog Road, Cardiff CF3 2EE – neglected three ponies
Gypsy traveller Tony Israel Price was found guilty of three horse cruelty offences after failing to take advice from the RSPCA about their care.
In July 2018 RSPCA inspectors Christine McNeil and Simon Evans attended a field off Redway Road, Bonvilston and found 13 horses with “very poor grazing” with ragwort present, and one mare in particular in “very poor condition”.
“During this visit a vet examination was carried out and advice was passed onto the owner as well as a warning notice issued for the poor body condition of the mare,” said inspector McNeil.
“We then re-visited in August and I attended with chief inspector Elaine Spence and the mare’s condition had deteriorated. A vet on site was of the opinion that she was suffering and the two other mares did not have their needs met and would be likely to suffer if their circumstances did not change.
“Sadly our advice had not been taken on board and we had to take action. Further advice was also issued for the remaining horses at the location.”
The three piebald mares were signed over to the charity and will be made available for rehoming.
Sentencing: 18-month conditional discharge; £1,000 costs and a victim surcharge.