Category Archives: horses and ponies

Devonport, Plymouth: Haley Croshaw

#TheList Haley Marie Croshaw (aka Haley Knill), born 28/01/1986, most recent known address Poole Park Road, Plymouth PL5 – for leaving two horses to suffer with severe bite and kick wounds

Horse abuser Haley  Croshaw from Devonport in Plymouth, Devon, UK
Haley Croshaw

Mother-of-two Haley Croshaw pleaded guilty to two offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 after failing to treat painful, infected bite and kick wounds suffered by her horses.

Two horses owned by Croshaw were discovered with severe injuries after an RSPCA inspector was called to a farm in Callington by concerned members of the public on May 18, 2019.

A bay gelding, known as Spirit, was discovered with bite and kick wounds which had been caused by a stallion and left untreated.

Horses neglected by Haley  Croshaw from Devonport in Plymouth, Devon, UK

Upon further examination, the pony was found to have multiple wounds all over his body including an abscess on his neck and a large necrotic wound with fly-strike on the left thorax measuring approximately 4 inches by 5 inches.

He also had infected wounds on his right hind leg and an infected wound on his back right leg causing significant lameness to his right hind limb.

Veterinary experts concluded Spirit was suffering and had been suffering for a significant length of time, with the wounds indicating they had been left for at least a couple of weeks and that the suffering could have been avoided by appropriate management to prevent fighting among the horses.

A second horse, known as Maybelou, was found with untreated injuries that had been caused by an ill-fitting headcollar.

RSPCA inspector Jon Phipps, who investigated for the animal welfare charity, said: “These horses were left to suffer needlessly as a result of irresponsible ownership and lack of care.

“These two horses were both left with serious injuries for which no veterinary attention was sought. Owners have a duty of care to their animals and must ensure they are safe from harm and receive the care they need.”

Both horses have since recovered and found new homes.

Sentencing: 16-week prison sentence, suspended for one year; total of £415 costs and charges. Banned from keeping horses for ten years.


Whickham, Newcastle upon Tyne: David Cottrell

#TheList David Cottrell, born 09/10/1966 of 18 Sandringham Drive, Newcastle upon Tyne NE16 5ZA – caused prolonged suffering to pigs he kept in shocking conditions

Cottrell, former owner of pork and black pudding producer Medomsley Bangers, is banned from keeping pigs, sheep, poultry and horses for life.
Cottrell is now banned from keeping pigs, sheep, poultry and horses for life.

Cottrell, former owner of pork and black pudding supplier Medomsley Bangers was convicted of 31 animal welfare charges relating to animals on his site at Manor Road, Medomsley, County Durham, from March to October 2018.

They included charges of being a person responsible for farmed animals and failing to take steps to ensure they had the right conditions, and failing to comply with duty regulations 4, 5 and 7 of the Animal Welfare Act.

Catherine Hazell, prosecuting for the council, said animal health inspectors and a police officer had first visited the site at Manor Road on March 23, 2018.

They found a pen of 11 pigs living in deep slurry with no dry lying area and no water, alongside two pig carcasses.

Another pen containing one pig had no water. Piglets were crammed into a small pen with hardly any space and filthy drinking water.

Officers searched the fields and found horses with access to a large pile of debris and wood with nails and sharp pieces which could likely cause them injury, as well as sheep carcasses.

Cottrell was issued a notice to dispose of the animal by-products, but when officers returned weeks later there was still no dry lying area for 23 pigs, while sharp objects were still in the field with the horses.

During a further visit in October 2018 five underweight pigs were found with no feed available. Six adolescent pigs were crammed in a small pen and standing knee-deep in slurry with filthy water.

The council seized 44 pigs as well as piglets in November 2018. Some of the pigs have since had piglets. There were eventually about 150 pigs in total.

Cottrell only provided his consent to the council selling the pigs in June.

The upkeep of the pigs amounted to £27,765 offset by the sale of some

A probation report noted that Cottrell had decided to set up his own business sheep and pig farming more than three years after suffering serious injuries in a horse accident.

Cottrell told a probation officer that at the time of the incidents he was caring for his terminally ill mother and elderly father and it had got “too much for him”.

He added, a contractor providing him feed had also let him down.

Cottrell, who is selling the land, is now working as a private contractor providing security and as a takeaway driver.

Sentencing: 12-month community order with 300 hours of unpaid work with 15 probation activity days. He was ordered to pay £24,919, including costs of looking after the pigs and legal costs. Disqualified from owning or keeping pigs, sheep, poultry and horses for life.

Northern Echo

Padgate, Warrington: Jackie Hunt

#TheList Jackie Louise Hunt (aka Jackie Wright), born c. 1984, of 22 Marsh Street, Padgate, Warrington WA1 3QA – for cruelty towards three horses.

Horse abuser Jackie Hunt from Padgate, Warrington
Horse abuser Jackie Hunt from Padgate, Warrington

Hunt pleaded guilty to five counts in breach of the Animal Welfare Act.

The charges included failing to investigate and address the causes of two horses’ poor condition and a failure to provide the horses with adequate shelter.

Horse abuser Jackie Hunt from Padgate, Warrington

The 35-year-old also admitted failing to ensure a third horse was provided with a suitable diet and/ or protected from pain, injury, suffering or disease.

Sentencing: ordered to pay £300. Banned from owning horses for five years.

Warrington Guardian

Peterhead, Aberdeenshire: Gary Stevens

#TheList Gary Stevens, born 13/07/1966 of Hallmoss Farm, near Peterhead AB42 3BP – for cruelty to livestock, a Shetland pony and a donkey

Gary Stevens from Peterhead caused suffering to livestock, a donkey and a pony.
Gary Stevens was jailed over the ‘extreme neglect’ of a pony and a donkey. A total of 45 animals, including horses, pigs, sheep, lambs, cats, dogs and terrapins, were removed from his Peterhead farm by the Scottish SPCA.

Stevens pleaded guilty to three of eight criminal charges raised against him under the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006.

He had all his livestock seized by Aberdeenshire Council’s Animal Health and Welfare Service in August 2018, following a series of visits by inspectors, prompted by public concerns.

A vet deemed it necessary for the animals to be removed due to concerns over their poor condition, lack of veterinary treatment and the dreadful conditions in which they were kept.

A pig was euthanised to end its suffering and the remaining livestock were taken to a place where they could be restored to health. Aberdeenshire Council subsequently sought a disposal order at Peterhead Sheriff Court which was granted in February 2019 allowing the animals to be sold.

Senior council animal health and welfare inspector Pauline Anderson said: “We welcome the strong sentence that has been imposed in what was a very distressing case.

“As well as the wholesale suffering of the animals, the poor conditions at the farm meant there was a risk of disease spreading outwith the premises. The animals were kept in shocking conditions and we would like to thank Police Scotland and the Animal and Plant Health Agency for their support to allow us to remove them from the site.”

Mr Stevens was also found guilty of ‘extreme’ neglect of a Shetland pony and donkey.

The Scottish SPCA had visited Hallmoss Farm in June 2018 after concerns were raised to the charity’s animal helpline. The vet in attendance then said the state of the Shetland pony was ‘the most extreme case’ he’d come across in 34 years of practising. Her front feet were so badly deformed that they were deemed in-correctable, while her poor body condition was attributed to pain and stress, and she was subsequently put to sleep.

Inspector Fiona McKenzie said: “In my 12 years as a Scottish SPCA inspector, this is one of the worst cases I’ve ever dealt with and I’ve never seen such a disregard for animal welfare.

“We made every attempt to work constructively with Stevens and his family, including issuing statutory care notices to improve the welfare of their animals.

“They rebuffed this offer of support and were uncooperative. Ultimately, they attempted to hide the animals under the guise of them having been rehomed.

“This left us with no choice but to make a report to the procurator fiscal. From this investigation we took ownership of over 45 animals including horses, pigs, sheep, lambs, cats, dogs and terrapins.”

She added: “We worked closely with Aberdeenshire Council’s Animal Health and Welfare team who took their own case to the procurator fiscal. We are very pleased the sheriff exercised the maximum punishment available to Stevens. We hope this will act as a deterrent to others and be just one of many examples of more consistent sentencing for those who are cruel to animals.”

Sentencing: 18 months in prison, reduced to 14 because of the guilty plea. Lifetime ban on keeping all animals.

Scottish Farmer
STV News

Newent/Quedgeley, Gloucestershire: Tanya and Jeffrey Taylor

#TheList horse abusers Tanya Michelle Taylor, born 28/04/1966, of Oak Crest, Stoney Road, Kilcot, Newent, Gloucestershire GL18 1PB, and Jeffrey Frederick Taylor, born 08/09/1968, of 10 Uxbridge Lane, Quedgeley, Gloucester GL2 2EY

Tallie was neglected by Tanya and Jeffrey Taylor formerly of Drybrook, Gloucester, and had to be euthanised.
Tallie was neglected by Tanya and Jeffrey Taylor formerly of The White House in Drybrook, Gloucester, and had to be euthanised.

Horse Tallie was found in an appalling condition due to neglect by her owners Tanya and Jeffrey Taylor.

Tallie was treated by Three Counties Hospital for multiple health issues in December 2017 but was too poorly and had to be euthanized.

A prosecution was brought against the Taylors by Forest of Dean District Council’s legal team following an investigation and the pair were convicted of causing unnecessary suffering to Tallie.

In his summing up, the Magistrate said: “Tallie could not have been saved by early vet intervention, but it could have reduced her suffering.

“We find you jointly responsible for her care, and jointly responsible for failing to seek treatment for her, which caused her unnecessary suffering.”

Sentencing: ordered to pay fines totalling £1,010 and court costs of £800. No ban.

Gloucestershire Live

South Killingholme, Lincolnshire: Jodie and Paul Fairbrother

#TheList for multiple cruelty charges Jodie Annabel Fairbrother (aka Jodie Lewis), born 30/09/1978, and husband Paul Jack Fairbrother, born 10/07/1969, formerly of Immingham, Lincolnshire, but now said to be living in Nar Fokak, Cyprus, with daughter Libby-Jo Fairbrother who was also initially charged.

Former owners of Lincolnshire animal shelter 4Paws Jodie and Paul Fairbrother are banned from keeping animals for just 5 years.
Jodie Fairbrother ran the 4Paws boarding kennels and veterinary clinic in South Killingholme, North Lincolnshire, for three years, while husband Paul Fairbrother carried out maintenance

Mother-of-four Jodie Fairbrother, whose last known UK address was Aberdovey Drive, Eaglescliffe, Stockton-on-Tees TS16 9EZ admitted 10 offences of animal cruelty at 4Paws veterinary clinic – six which related to causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal.

Former owners of Lincolnshire animal shelter 4Paws Jodie and Paul Fairbrother kept animals in squalor
The Fairbrothers kept dogs, cats and horses in filthy and overcrowded conditions.

Her husband, Paul Fairbrother, admitted three offences of animal cruelty, including one charge of causing unnecessary suffering to a British bulldog and two charges relating to animal welfare.

Former owners of Lincolnshire animal shelter 4Paws Jodie and Paul Fairbrother are banned from keeping animals for just 5 years.
Jodie and Paul Fairbrother are now living in Cyprus

The charges were brought by the RSPCA after it conducted one of its largest raids in March 2018 at 4Paws in Killingholme, North Lincolnshire.

Former owners of Lincolnshire animal shelter 4Paws Jodie and Paul Fairbrother kept animals in squalor
One of the 144 dogs rescued during a raid on 4Paws in March 2018.

More than 60 staff from multiple agencies worked throughout the day to remove 160 animals.

4Paws, which imported 4,600 dogs from overseas over a 15-month period, operated an unlicensed boarding kennels and veterinary clinic after their licence expired.

The animals were found in “abhorrent” conditions.

Some animals were left unattended in baskets and cages for up to 95 hours. Many were kept in cramped kennels with no access to food or water.

They also had untreated health conditions such as respiratory problems or ear infections and untreated wounds.

The body of a deceased dog was found at the clinic and it was later discovered the dog had distemper, a lethal viral disease.

One dog was kept in a cage for four days without food and water and then ‘euthanised’ by Fairbrother, who had no veterinary qualifications.

Three dogs had to be put to sleep and two had Brucella canisa, a serious contagious disease that can be passed onto humans. Another tested positive for distemper.

A total of 144 dogs and 16 cats were then taken in by the RSPCA and Dogs Trust.

Libby-Jo Fairbrother, daughter of   convicted animal abusers Jodie and Paul Fairbrother, escaped prosecution.
Libby-Jo Fairbrother

Other charges against the Fairbrothers were dropped at an earlier hearing and all 17 charges were dropped against daughter Libby-Jo Fairbrother.

A former volunteer at 4Paws told the local newspaper about the horrors she had witnessed during her time there. She described how animals at the veterinary clinic were kept in “disgusting” conditions, with 10 to 15 dogs being kept in any one kennel.

Former owners of Lincolnshire animal shelter 4Paws Jodie and Paul Fairbrother kept animals in squalor
Many of the animals were sick or injured and left untreated by Jodie Fairbrother.

The volunteer also said that the animals had been “living in their own filth” as the kennels were never cleaned properly, and the animals were never looked after, with around 80 new dogs arriving at the kennel every week.

They said: “I used to help out at the clinic and some of the things that I have seen were just disgusting.

“There were 10 to 15 dogs all into one pen, and just roaming about. There was not one bed for a dog.

“Thursday is delivery day, when they get usually around three vans full of dogs from Romania brought to the site. But the most horrible thing is to see them left outside the clinic, sometimes for over a day, just sitting in those vans howling.

“The animals are always getting out and running loose about the place.”

Former owners of Lincolnshire animal shelter 4Paws Jodie and Paul Fairbrother kept animals in squalor

Other local residents hit out at the treatment of horses at the centre, saying they had been left in a field during the heat of the summer without food or water. Residents said they had intervened to feed the animals themselves claiming that clinic staff had informed them they were “too busy”.

Numerous other residents alleged that after speaking out about the conditions at 4Paws, they received threats.

Sentencing: Jodie Fairbrother – jailed for 18 weeks, suspended for 12 months. Paul Fairbrother – jailed for 12 weeks, suspended for 12 months. Both were ordered to pay £500 costs and a £115 victim surcharge each. Both were banned from keeping or trading in animals for five years.

BBC News

Abertillery, Monmouthshire: Edward Bath

#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.

Eddie Bath from Abertillery in Wales is banned from keeping animals for life after failing to look after a large number of horses, poultry and goats in his care.
Eddie Bath from Abertillery is banned from keeping animals for life after failing to look after a large number of horses, poultry and goats in his care.

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.

Eddie Bath from Abertillery in Wales is banned from keeping animals for life after failing to look after a large number of horses, poultry and goats in his care.
Eddie George Bath (Facebook image)

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.

South Wales Argus

Oldbury, West Midlands: Annette Nally

#TheList Annette Nally, born 18/03/1969, of Pryor Road, Oldbury B68 9QJ – kept rescued horses in filthy ‘death camps’

Annette Nally of Oldbury, West Midlands, UK, was jailed for 26 weeks for the neglect and starvation of multiple horses

In a case brought by the RSPCA, Annette Nally was found guilty on four charges, three of causing unnecessary suffering and one of failing to take reasonable steps to care for an animal. The charges related to eight horses found at a yard off Astwood Lane in Stoke Prior, Worcestershire on July 14, 2018, and others at another yard in Solihull.

Nally had worked with charities and organisations to provide homes for neglected and retired thoroughbreds.

Annette Nally of Oldbury, West Midlands, UK, was jailed for 26 weeks for the neglect and starvation of multiple horses

Inspectors found one dead horse and 12 emaciated animals in Stoke Prior. Two of the emaciated horses were later put down.

The RSPCA later visited two other sites in Nally’s control in Lapworth, Warwickshire, and Old Green Lane, Solihull. Seven more horses were found there in a poor condition.

District Judge Ian Strongman told the court how a mare called Ruby and her foal Rebecca were found in a barn by concerned members of the public.

He said: “The floor was made up of urine and faeces, it was a filthy stinking mess.

“In the stable next door a stallion Rocky, who a year before was a fine stallion in prime condition, was in the same situation, skin and bone, living in absolute filth.”

The court was told Ruby, who was starving to death, was put down 24 hours after being found at Stoke Prior and Rebecca had survived because she had still been feeding from her mother.

The shocking evidence included post mortem reports showing animals starved to death. In one case string was found in a gelding’s small intestine which the judge concluded may have been eaten in desperation.

The animal was found dead in a barn at Stoke Prior and the court heard marks in filth on the floor by its head indicated it had thrashed as it struggled to get to its feet during its final hours.

The judge told Nally: “You saw animals deteriorating in front of you and did nothing to stop it.”

Annette Nally of Oldbury, West Midlands, UK, was jailed for 26 weeks for the neglect and starvation of multiple horses

He added that RSPCA inspectors had been so traumatised by what the had seen at the yard they were unable to continue working on the investigation.

Nally, who had denied all the charges, claimed the horses in her care had been unable to eat properly because the hot summer had cause grass in the fields not to grow.

She also denied the animals had been left without water and claimed three horses had been affected by a mystery illness which caused their faeces to become bright yellow.

The judge dismissed her explanation as “entirely bogus and untrue”.

Annette Nally of Oldbury, West Midlands, UK, was jailed for 26 weeks for the neglect and starvation of multiple horses

In mitigation her solicitor, who wished only to be known as Ms Whitehead, told the court her client has debts including a £2,000 vet’s bill, now works a courier and “just about manages to survive”.

Ms Whitehead added Nally was of previous good character and described the case as a “blip”.

The judge said Nally’s reputation for caring for horses meant the public and the Retraining of Racehorses charity send animals to her in good faith and the breach of trust was an aggravating feature of the case.

Carolle Lee-Jones, of High Horse Showing Society, was at the stables when the horses were first found.

“I do rescue work and I have never seen such a horrific sight,” she said.

“The judge gave the maximum sentence possible which we’re grateful for.”

Sentencing: jailed for 26 weeks. Banned from keeping any animal for life.

Dudley News
BBC News
Solihull Observer

Ipswich, Suffolk: Stacy Humphrys

#TheList Stacy Humphrys (aka Boogile Lee), born c. 1987, of West Meadows Travellers Site, Ipswich IP1 5NU – kept 17 dogs, 23 poultry and a young pony in terrible conditions

Serial animal abuser Stacy Humphrys from Ipswich
Serial animal abuser Stacy Humphrys from Ipswich is now banned indefinitely from keeping animals.

Humphrys admitted seven offences under the Animal Welfare Act. These included four counts of causing unnecessary suffering to a filly and seven dogs, and three of failing to meet the welfare needs of 17 dogs, 23 poultry and the filly pony.

Some of the neglected animals found at the travellers site where Humphrys resides
Some of the neglected animals found at the travellers site where Humphrys resides

The RSPCA were called to Humphrys’ home at the West Meadows travellers encampment in April 2019, following reports of an underweight whippet.

When Inspector Jason Finch arrived he discovered another dog with fur loss and two dogs in a room covered in old and fresh faeces.

After being shown around the rest of the location, Inspector Finch was concerned and alarmed for a number of animals he saw.
He then contacted police, a vet and other RSPCA offers for assistance.

Serial animal abuser and gypsy Stacy Humphrys

Speaking after the case, Inspector Finch said: “It was extremely disturbing to see so many animals living in such terrible conditions.

“As we proceeded round the property more and more dogs were found in runs that were too small. All were filthy with faeces, and had little or no water.

“Some of the dogs, particularly those with long coats, were also filthy with faeces, some dogs had fur loss, and live fleas could be seen on many of the dogs. Two dogs which were extremely thin, nervous and covered in faeces frantically drank a bowl dry when they were given fresh water at the vets.

“We and other organisations have tried to work with this defendant in the past in a bid to help him improve the welfare of all his animals.

“But despite the help and advice he has been given in the past, he failed to do what was right for these animals which led them to suffer.”

All the animals taken from the property were signed over by the defendant and have made a good recovery with many already in loving new homes.

Julie Harding, senior field officer of horse sanctuary Redwings, said: “We were hugely shocked and appalled to discover the unnecessary suffering of the little black filly, as we have previously worked with the owner in a bid to help him improve the welfare of his horses.

“When the young filly arrived at the sanctuary she was so weak and underweight that she couldn’t stand up without our help. Luckily, thanks to the dedication of our vets and care team, she has gone on to make a full recovery and she is guaranteed a safe home in Redwings’ care for the rest of her life.”

Sentencing: 16 weeks in prison. Total costs and charges of £989. Banned for an indefinite period from keeping all animals – with a condition of not being able to apply for the disqualification to be removed for five years.

Ipswich Star

In March 2014 Stacy Humphrys was jailed for two years after his horses wandered onto the A14 at Sproughton in Suffolk, causing the death of a driver when four vehicles ploughed into them.

Three horses were killed and 23-year-old Thomas Allen of Soham, Cambridgeshire, died a couple of days later.

St Mellion, Cornwall: Michael McNamara

#TheList farrier Michael Francis McNamara, born c. 1979, of Island Gate Stables, Saltash PL12 6RJ – violently attacked a horse to make the animal show him respect

Horse abuser Michael McNamara of Saltash, Cornwall

An experienced farrier kicked and punched a horse and jabbed him several times with a metal object because he wanted the animal to “show him some respect”.

McNamara pleaded guilty to one charge of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal.

Prosecutor Lindi Meyer, on behalf of the RSPCA, said the incident happened in the presence of a child at some stables in the south east Cornwall area on the afternoon of January 4, 2019.

McNamara is a fourth generation farrier with 24 years of experience. He was clipping a Bay Gelding horse’s hooves when he “lost his temper” and began beating the animal.

In CCTV shown to the court, McNamara could be seen harshly picking up the horse’s legs, kicking and punching him and also jabbing him with a metal tool several times, all while shouting angrily at the terrified animal.

The horse attempted several times to swing away from McNamara, but was unable to as he was being held by a rope.

A vet concluded that the attack caused the horse pain lasting several days, with injuries including bruising and inflammation, as well as fear, anxiety and a future lack of trust.

Horse abuser Michael McNamara of Saltash, Cornwall

“The horse was showing signs of fear and anxiety,” Ms Meyer said. “He offered the horse no reassurance. The horse was in fear and not understanding what was expected.”

In total McNamara punched the horse once, kicked him twice and struck him 18 times with the metal object, connecting each time.

In interview, McNamara admitted he was “heavy handed” and said the horse was “trying his patience”.

Ms Meyer said: “He said his bad back was causing him pain that day, and that he was just trying to get the horse to show him some respect.

“He didn’t agree with the vet’s opinion that the horse was fearful, but agreed he overreacted and lost his rag.”

Defending McNamara, who has no previous convictions, Tracey Baker said: “Hindsight is a wonderful thing and looking back at what happened, this defendant shouldn’t have gone to work that day.

“He made his decision and he has to live with that. He made full and frank admissions and he has been nothing but very genuinely remorseful.

“His prime concern is for his family and the impact on his father’s reputation, his father is very well known in the industry.

“As I say he has no explanation for his behaviour. It is deplorable, he knows that, and he is thoroughly ashamed of himself. This court case and the consequences are going to stay with him for a very long time.”

A number of yards have withdrawn McNamara’s services, meaning he is no longer working full-time.

Sentencing McNamara, District Judge Diane Baker said it was “gratuitous violence” on his part.

Aggravating factors were the presence of a child, abuse of a position of trust and the length of the beating, she said.

Judge Baker told McNamara: “I’ve read a very moving letter from your partner talking about you as a man and not just a farrier.

“You also deserve credit for working 24 years following a profession that’s important to you, and satisfying a large number of clients for a long period of time.

“All your references talk about the caring way you dealt with horses, and I have no doubt you are very remorseful and had unusual things to deal with in your personal life [at the time].

“But you are a professional man with a professional responsibility and despite that, you didn’t treat that pony in the way you were supposed to. I have seen frankly quite gratuitous violence while you were in a professional position.

“You should have calmed that pony. You kicked, punched and jabbed it numerous times with a weapon. I’ve seen the CCTV and the pony is simply standing there, clearly extremely frightened and it can’t get away.”

Judge Baker said she was considering sending McNamara to prison but took several factors into account, including because his actions were “severely out of character”.

Sentencing: six-month community order, including a curfew barring him from leaving his home between the hours of 7pm and 5am. Total of £385 costs and charges. Disqualified from working with equines for a period of three years, unless under adult supervision with the right of appeal after two.

Plymouth Herald