#TheList Henry Brewer, born 18/09/1969, of Esholt Lane Caravan Site, Shipley, Bradford BD17 7RJ – for a catalogue of sickening horse neglect
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.
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.
“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.”
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.
Animal lovers had obtained several photos pertaining to show appalling conditions at the 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.