Category Archives: horse traders

Shepperton, Surrey: Maurice Smith

#TheList traveller and habitual criminal Maurice Smith, born c. 1988, of Hawthorn Way, Shepperton TW1 – subjected a horse to prolonged neglect and mistreatment

Traveller Maurice Smith from Shepperton, Surrey, subjected horse April to neglect and ill-treatment

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.

Surrey Police
Eagle Radio

Chapel Allerton, Leeds: Robert Michael Hunter

#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

Horse trader Robert Michael Hunter from Leeds allowed this pony to become very poorly while in attendance 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.

Heart FM News
BBC News

Chichester, West Sussex: John Henry Brazil

#TheList Gypsy John Henry Brazil, born 24/06/1998, of The Hawthornes, Clayton Lane, Chichester PO20 8JQ – failed to look after a bay mare

Convicted animal abuser John Henry Brazil, is banned from keeping horses for three years

Brazil admitted causing unnecessary suffering by failing to address the cause of the horse’s “poor bodily condition”.

160 hours of unpaid work; 20 rehabilitation sessions; total of £385 in costs and charges. Banned from keeping horses for three years.

The Argus

Shirenewton, Cardiff: Tony Israel Price

#TheList Tony Israel Price, born c. 1962, of 6 Shirenewton Caravan Site, Wentloog Road, Cardiff CF3 2EE – neglected three ponies

One of the three piebald mares left to suffer by her gypsy owner Tony Price

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.

Horse & Hound

Paulsgrove, Portsmouth: Joshua Pedelty

#TheList Joshua ‘Josh’ Pedelty, born c. 1988, of Allaway Avenue, Paulsgrove, Portsmouth PO6 – left pregnant mares and a stallion to fend for themselves at a ‘dumping ground’

Horse abuser Joshua Pedelty pleaded not guilty to cruelty charges but was convicted at Portsmouth Magistrates Court and banned from keeping horses for just three years.

A black stallion Friesian named Eli and two bay thoroughbred pregnant mares, Sophia and Duchess, were so under-fed their ribs were clearly visible and their bodies skinny.

Both Eli and Sophia had misshapen and overgrown broken hooves. The mares both gave birth but one foal was stillborn, leaving only foal Zazoo.

Sophia was later put down after an independent vet found she had contracted incurable colic.

All three had been left on land to fly graze on the Causeway, off Sussex Road in Petersfield by notorious horse abuser Joshua Pedelty, who has finally been convicted of neglect following an RSPCA prosecution.

Sadly Joshua Pedelty has reproduced …

Speaking about the prosecution case against Josh Pedelty, RSPCA deputy chief inspector Sandy Barlow, who investigated for the animal welfare charity and worked alongside field officers from World Horse Welfare to rescue the horses, said: ‘Fly-grazing of horses is a big issue, and can lead to welfare problems. Often the land used for fly-grazing is unsuitable for horses.

‘In this instance the area where they had been left had become a dumping ground for horses, and is totally unsuitable.

‘This case is a reminder that owning horses is a huge responsibility and owners have to make sure they can assure the welfare of the animals dependent on them.

‘Keeping horses in good condition and meeting their welfare needs can be difficult if an owner is moving them from place to place in this way without always guaranteeing the appropriate environment, such as suitable grazing, access to water and shelter, so we believe fly-grazing horses often experience welfare problems.’

Eli, Duchess, and Zazoo the foal, have fully recovered and will soon be rehomed.

Sentencing: total of £1,300 fines and costs. Three-year ban on keeping any type of horse. His ban was suspended for 28 days.

The News


We understand that Pedelty and his girlfriend Hannah Outen also keep around 20 horses in a run-down yard in Frogmore Lane in Horndean, Waterlooville. The horses are said to be in poor condition with overgrown, cracked hooves.

Pedelty and Outen, who apparently have a less than harmonious relationship are also prolific dog breeders. Again, animal welfare ranks low on their list of priorities and their main concern is always making money. Outen insists she is an animal lover but this FB post from January 2018 would appear to contradict that:

Otley, West Yorkshire: Brooke Lee

#TheList fraudulent horse dealer Brooke Lee, born c.1987, of 113 Weston Drive, Otley LS21 2DT –  mis-sold horses with “catastrophic consequences”

After an investigation by City of York Council’s trading standards team,  Lee pleaded guilty to four counts of fraud and one of money laundering, at York Crown Court.

Lee had sold as rideable a lame horse she had said she would keep for life, falsified a horse’s passport and claimed a 14-year-old mare was seven.

She had previously been investigated by trading standards for obtaining horses fraudulently and mis-describing them when they were sold at auction, for which she was given a nine-month suspended prison sentence in 2012.

The first fraud concerned a mare called Remedy, owned by two sisters, who could no longer be ridden owing to lameness and “numerous medical conditions”.

The sisters, while looking for another horse in April 2014, saw an advertisement for a gelding called Storm, who was being sold by Lee, under the alias Kate Jones.

It was agreed that the sisters would buy Storm, and Lee would give Remedy a retirement home.

“As part of the arrangement, the sisters made it abundantly clear to ‘Kate Jones’ that Remedy was lame and could not be ridden and their vet had also made a note of this condition in Remedy’s horse passport,” said a spokesman for the council.

On the day Storm was due to go to the sisters, Lee told them the horse had “suddenly and unexpectedly” had to be put down, but they still handed Remedy over, believing Lee would give her a home for life.

“Remedy’s former owner contacted Brooke Lee several times enquiring as to the horse’s welfare but did not receive any responses,” said the spokesman. “The former owner posted on various social media sites asking for information about Remedy.”

On 25 April 2014, Lee sold Remedy through York Auction Centre. She told the buyer, who wanted to compete the mare, that she was fit to be ridden.

She tampered with the passport to remove the vet’s note, and altered details of the mare’s previous owner.

“At her new home and as a consequence of being lame, Remedy threw off her new owner who sustained broken ribs,” said the spokesman.

The second fraud involved a mare called Summer, sold through the same auction centre in July 2015. Lee described the mare as seven years old, safe, and with experience at riding club level.

Once the horse was at her new home, the buyer became concerned and discovered Summer was 14, had previously been in RSPCA care and had not been ridden before.

It was also found that Lee had applied for a new passport for the mare three days before the auction, had falsified the mare’s details and forged a vet’s signatures. The original passport was found at Lee’s home.

Sentencing, Judge Stubbs QC said: “Eventually, you pleaded guilty to all offences, once at plea and trial preparation hearing, and then you strung out these proceedings entering dishonest ‘not guilty’ pleas that has incurred the delay.

“Horses destined for retirement were thereafter ridden with catastrophic consequences. You knew that. Still, your greed and desire for money led you to sell that horse on.

“You have done it before and behaved in a despicable way. You have shown a lack of remorse throughout proceedings. I hope anyone who employs you in the future hears of these offences.”

Lee was given a 20-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, and ordered to complete 200 hours’ community service and repay £2,362.50.

Horse & Hound

Antrim, County Antrim: Robert and Conor Mcaleenan

#TheList Robert James Mcaleenan, born c. 1959, and son Conor Mcaleenan, born c. 1986, of 210 Lisnevenagh Road, Antrim BT41 2JT – jailed for a catalogue of animal cruelty offences against dozens of horses, ponies and donkeys

Robert and Conor Mcaleenan were jailed for allowing horses and ponies to suffer horrifically
Robert and Conor Mcaleenan were jailed for allowing horses and ponies to suffer horrifically

Travellers Robert and Conor Mcaleenan were  jailed after police  discovered a ‘scene of horror’ at their farm, with decomposing dead horses among those still alive.

The case was triggered by a tip-off from a member of the public. The scene that confronted vets and PSNI officers on November 22, 2011, was one of horror.

Robert and Conor Mcaleenan were jailed for allowing horses and ponies to suffer horrifically
Conor Mcaleenan

Cruel horse traders Robert and Conor Mcaleenan from Antrim

They were faced with an overpowering stench of dead animals which had been dumped in a heap on the farm, with numerous other standing around in filth, starving and left to fend for themselves.

One vet said: “The scale of what I saw was unbelievably large. The father and son had fundamentally failed to protect the animals, failed to address the most basic health and husbandry requirements.

“Some of the animals were in such a pitiful state of suffering that they had to be euthanised on humane grounds.”

Judge Desmond Marrinan told the Mcaleenans: “This is one of the worst cases of animal cruelty that I have encountered and you should be thoroughly ashamed of your callous behaviour.”

The judge said he was unimpressed by the men’s defence and found no substance in claims the pair had not set out to deliberately cause suffering or distress to the animals.

He told the court the case photographs were “horrific… almost unbelievable”, and said: “The evidence bore testimony to the fact they treated these poor animals in a pitiless manner without the slightest regard for their welfare. In my view they are unfit to be carers for any animal.”

Conor Mcaleenan, who had owned the animals, was jailed for 14 months.

Robert James Mcaleenan, who owns the farm between Antrim and Ballymena, was given nine months.

The pair were banned from keeping animals for 25 years.

Belfast Telegraph
Irish Mirror

In January 2018 the pair reappeared in court accused of breaching their ban on keeping animals. The outcome of their latest court case is unknown, however.



Shipley, West Yorkshire: Henry Brewer

#TheList Henry Brewer, born 18/09/1969, of Esholt Lane Caravan Site, Shipley, Bradford BD17 7RJ – for a catalogue of sickening horse neglect

Photo of foal Tom Jones
This photo of Tom Jones sparked outrage on social media in 2016. Amazingly he survived his ordeal.

Gypsy traveller Henry Brewer was found guilty of three offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 at a hearing at Bradford and Keighley Magistrates’ Court.

The court heard that between February 2016 and March 2016, Brewer caused unnecessary suffering to a 10-month-old skewbald filly called Juliette, also known as Trixie, a 10-month-old bay colt called Tom Jones, also known as Sea Biscuit, and a three-year-old piebald mare called Lily.

Photo of Juliette as found on Esholt Lane Caravan Site
Juliette as found on Esholt Lane Caravan Site. She has also recovered in the care of the RSPCA.

This was by failing to investigate their poor body conditions and weight loss.

Brewer was also found to have kept the three horses in filthy conditions, failing to provide them with adequate bedding, clean water and suitable food.

In his defence, the court heard he had always kept his horses like that and he did not think there was anything wrong with it.

After his conviction, Brewer did accept he had fallen short of the necessary standards required by law.

Photos of Tom Jones trussed up using a makeshift rope harness and wearing a bit sparked widespread outcry on social media in 2016.

The RSPCA stepped in and seized the colt along with two other horses from the travellers site.

“The photos of Tom Jones seen last year on social media still haunt us, as I’m sure they do many other animal lovers,” said RSPCA inspector Carol Neale following the sentencing.

Tom Jones at the time of his rescue from the hellhole for animals at Esholt Lane Caravan Site in Shipley
Tom Jones at the time of his rescue from the hellhole for animals at Esholt Lane Caravan Site in Shipley

“We acted as quickly as we could within the remit of the law to get access to the caravan site and find this foal.”

She added they then discovered the two other horses who “were also suffering”.

“Brewer had tried to hide them from us, but with the police and a vet present we were able to locate them,” said Inspector Neale.

“This has been a long and testing case, and is a good example of how our work investigating cruelty takes a great deal of caution and care.

“It’s taken many months of our team working with the foals to get them to a healthy weight and the difference in them is obvious to see.”

Tom Jones after his recovery
Tom Jones after his recovery

Photo of Juliette after her recover
Juliette now

Sadly Lily had to be put down due to “major issues” with her mouth, which she was born with.

The two foals were taken into RSPCA care and made available for rehoming following their remarkable recovery.

Brewer was ordered to carry out 180 hours of unpaid work within the next 12 months and pay costs of £1,500 plus a £85 victim surcharge.

Horse and Hound

Allegations of endemic animal cruelty at Esholt Lane Caravan Site – Bradford Council deny there’s a problem

In 2016 members of the public raised concerns about the welfare of horses and dogs on the the council-run travellers site in Esholt Lane, near Baildon, Shipley.

Image result for esholt animals

Animal lovers had obtained several photos pertaining to show appalling conditions at the site:

Image of alleged animal cruelty at Esholt travellers site

Image of alleged animal cruelty at Esholt travellers siteImage of alleged animal cruelty at Esholt travellers siteImage of alleged animal cruelty at Esholt travellers siteImage of alleged animal cruelty at Esholt travellers site

On 18 January 2016 RSPCA officers visited the site to investigate but said they had no concerns about the animals.

At the time RSPCA spokesman Leanne Plumtree said: “Two officers from the RSPCA visited Esholt travellers site, Bradford, to check on the animals there after a number of complaints from members of the public over the past few days.

“There are three horses at the site which are all in normal bodily condition, are stabled and have hay and water.

“There are seven dogs at the site which are all in normal bodily condition, have kennels, bedding, food and water.

“An eighth dog was signed over to the RSPCA for rehoming. We do not have concerns about these animals at the present time.

“Officers from the RSPCA regularly visit this traveller’s site after complaints are received and give advice as they see fit on each visit.

“The site has been visited on several occasions this winter and this will continue as long as there are on-going issues.”

Bradford Council also reported that it was looking into allegations of unlicensed dog breeding at the Esholt site but some months later reported they had found “insufficient evidence” of any breaches of reeding rules.

In March 2016 as a photograph of mistreated foal Tom Jones began to circulate on social media causing public outrage the local newspaper reported that the RSPCA had revisited the site. A group (since disbanded) was set up on Facebook to campaign against animal cruelty at Esholt and the failure of the local authority to admit there was a problem.

The group organised a petition to the council and, in May 2016, held  a noisy  demonstration at the travellers site where there was something of a stand-off between the protestors and the travellers.

A court protest at Henry Brewer’s trial was also arranged, though this proved difficult to organise due to constant delays in his case being heard.