Gravesend. Kent: Jon Dunn, Bridget Saunders and Ronnie Vine

#TheList for horrific horse neglect – career criminal Jonathan Levi Dunn (DoB 20/12/1983) and partner Bridget Linda Saunders (DoB 25/11/1986) both of the Denton gypsy traveller site at Dering Way, Gravesend DA12 and Ronnie Vine, aged 46, of Havengore Avenue, Gravesend DA12

Gypsy travellers and horse abusers Jon Dunn and Bridget Linda Saunders of Gravesend
The offences related to 13 horses which were part of a large group kept in appalling conditions in a field near Denton Caravan Site, Dering Way, Gravesend.

The horses were kept in a field which did not have enough grazing to sustain the numbers, and it was riddled with litter and hazards such as barbed wire, plastic bags and plastic netting.

The main water source was a dyke contaminated due to decaying horses’ remains and was green and full of rubbish.

The RSPCA had also discovered a large number of dead and rotting horse bodies littering the field.

There was a drain with the manhole cover removed, which led to a 6ft drop which the horses could have fallen into.

Speaking about the case RSPCA inspector Rosie Russon said: “Many of the horses taken were just youngsters and had probably only known a life of misery, sickness and riddled with worms, in a field far too small for them, with no grazing, and a lack of supplementary feed.

“It is such an awful shame that in this day and age, we are still seeing cases of animal cruelty of this scale.

“I was truly horrified at the sheer number of horses being kept in such terrible conditions in one small location, the horrors were clear for all to see – yet despite this the owners failed to make improvements for them.

“This is one of the largest number of horses that the RSPCA has taken into its care in the Kent area in recent years, and I am pleased to say that almost all of the horses are now doing exceptionally well.”

Sentencing:

Dunn – 26 weeks in prison; disqualified from keeping any equines for 10 years (expires July 2028).
Saunders – two-year conditional discharge; total costs and charges of £130; a mere three-year ban on keeping all horses (expires July 2021) .
Vine – total costs and charges of £1,430; banned from keeping any equines for just one year (expires July 2019).

Kent Online

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Our image shows Jonathan Levi Dunn and partner Bridget Linda Saunders. Dunn is from a notorious family of travellers based at Barnfield Park Caravan Site, Ash, Sevenoaks, Kent, who between them have multiple convictions for theft and driving offences, not to mention horse cruelty. In February 2017 three members of Jon Dunn’s family – brothers Harry and Matthew and  cousin Tommy Tucker Dunn – were also banned from keeping horses after they left sick animals in the same field as a rotting carcass and poisonous ragwort. See also here.

This conviction was preceded by a similar one in August 2012 when Tommy Dunn Senior and Tommy Dunn Junior were sentenced to pay £5000 in costs each and Shirley Dunn was ordered to pay £500 in costs after pleading guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to horses and failing in their duty of care under the Animal Welfare Act.