Holywell, Flintshire: Joy and Phillipa Edwards

#TheList Joy Veronica Edwards, aged 61, and daughter Phillipa Edwards, aged 26, both of Cherrywood,  Gwespyr, Holywell CH8 9LT – kept dogs, cats and horses in ‘eighteenth century conditions’ on their smallholding

Joy and Phillipa Edwards said animals were their lives, but failed to properly look after them

Joy and Phillipa Edwards were banned from keeping dogs, cats and horses after the discovery of appalling animal neglect at their smallholding.

The RSPCA seized ten horses, three dogs and 15 cats from the property having been alerted to the conditions by a  council pest controller.

One horse named Binka and a dog named Ben had to be put down and two cats were also later put down.

The animals were said to have been found in “18th or 19th century conditions”.

Horses in poor bodily condition were in a paddock which was wet and muddy and more like a pond. Outbuildings were dirty and had clearly not been cleaned for some time.

Cats were kept in cages in cluttered rooms.

Joy Edwards admitted causing unnecessary suffering to a Palamino mare known as Binka by failing to provide adequate veterinary care for a problem to her mouth, and for a problem with her fetlocks.

She also admitted causing unnecessary suffering to a collie dog known as Ben by failing to provide adequate veterinary care for his poor body condition and ulcerated skin.

She also failed to protect four cats by not providing veterinary care for ear mites and failing to provide adequate diet, especially ready access to fresh water.

Phillipa Edwards admitted failing to provide a Jack Russell terrier type dog known as Raven with a suitable environment and causing unnecessary suffering to one horse named Duckie

The court heard that the environment in which the animals were kept was not suitable and there was concern the defendants did not have the financial means or the physical ability to care for their animals.

Bob Vickery, defending, said that Joy Edwards was in a state of distress that one of her horses had been shot and the carcass left for her to dispose of. That had caused a huge amount of hurt, he said.

She accepted she should have had the horse put down earlier.

Binka had a genetic problem with her fetlocks and had a problem walking but she had bred the horse and had her a long time which coloured her judgement over when she should be destroyed.

She had been reluctant to have Ben the dog put down and had been away and had not been fully aware of his worsening condition.

Mr Vickery said “The animals are their life. They live in an isolated rural location.”

Their difficulties had been made worse by one of the worst winters on record and they were unable to move them to other sites because there were none available.

He said they had indicated a huge degree of remorse and were anxious to co-operate with the RSPCA.

A probation officer said that Joy Edwards completely disputed the RSPCA case against her despite her guilty pleas and said that as a result of bad press following the previous appearance they had lost a lot of friends and respect in the community.

She did not drink or smoke and animals were her “main passion.”

Phillipa Edwards was said to live an isolated life. She had been bullied in school and suffered significant mental health problems.

The judge said that society demanded that people who had animals looked after them properly.

They had been kept in conditions more akin to the 18th or 19th century, he said.

The inescapable conclusion was that there had been prolonged neglect, he said.

Sentencing:
Joy Edwards – 12-week prison sentence suspended for a year with rehabilitation and 120 hours unpaid work. £150 costs and a £115 surcharge.  Banned from owning horses, dogs and cats for eight years.

Phillipa Edwards – fined £300 with £150 costs and a £30 surcharge. Banned from keeping animals for three years.

Daily Post

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