#TheList Natasha ‘Tasha’ Bell, born 22/08/1982, of Bonsall Court, South Shields NE34 0HT, and son Cameron J Bell, born 09/01/2001, of Bamford Walk, South Shields NE34 0JA – for the neglect of two horses, one of which had to be euthanised
Mother and son Natasha and Cameron Bell admitted causing unnecessary suffering to horses Porky and Chalky and failing to meet their needs.
The animals were discovered tethered to trees in Boldon Colliery in January 2019.
Porky had collapsed and had to be put down because he was unable to recover.
Both ponies had a poor body condition and were found to have heavy worm burdens. It was said they could have been suffering for at least six months.
RSPCA prosecutor Stewart Haywood told the court how the ponies had been inappropriately tethered, were not kept in a suitable environment and had “inadequate dietary provision”.
He said an RSPCA inspector arrived at some open public land in South Tyneside on January 24, 2019, after a report of a collapsed pony.
“This pony turned out to be Porky,” said Mr Haywood. “The inspector made attempts to stand it up. It was in a poor condition and tethered inappropriately to a tree that was on a slope.
“A vet came and further attempts were made for Porky to stand. However the only course was euthanasia.
“The police also attended and euthanasia was carried out.”
The prosecutor told the court that Chalky was found in the same area, also tethered and underweight.
Further examination revealed that Porky was thin and had a worm infestation, and the animal had “lack of muscle and body strength”.
Meanwhile, Chalky’s tether had been too tight and the animal also had a high worm burden.
Mr Haywood added: “The ponies were suffering for several reasons. They had inadequate provision of water and a poor body condition.
“The environment was hazardous and there was a risk of injury. The tight tether of Chalky would have caused discomfort.
“This is a case of horses that were clearly suffering significantly.”
Solicitor Valerie Bell, representing both defendants, said the horses were owned by Cameron and his mum played a smaller role in their care.
She said Natasha Bell had suffered significant mental health problems for many years and was receiving medication. A psychiatric report explaining her background was prepared for the court.
It was said Natasha’s “mental health had deteriorated during the commission of these offences”.
Their lawyer added: “Both are genuinely remorseful and very distressed about the whole background that has led to this.”
Natasha Bell – 12-month community order with rehabilitation activities, £60 fine plus costs.
Cameron Bell – 12-week prison sentence suspended for a year; 80 hours of unpaid work plus rehabilitation activity requirement; ordered to pay costs.
Both were banned from keeping horses for 10 years.