Longformacus, Duns, Scottish Borders: Alan Wilson

#TheList gamekeeper Alan P Wilson, born c. 1958, of Henlaw Cottage, Longformacus, Duns TD11 3NT – killing dozens of wildlife on Longformacus Estate

Gamekeeper Alan Wilson from Duns in the Scottish Borders killed dozens of wildlife including protected species
Gamekeeper Alan Wilson from Duns in the Scottish Borders kept a kill list and dumped 1000 animals into a stink pit designed to attract birds of prey and other animals, which Wilson is suspected of shooting.

Wilson admitted nine charges including killing goshawks, buzzards, badgers and an otter.

The offences were committed on the Longformacus Estate in the Borders between March 2016 and June 2017.

Gamekeeper Alan Wilson from Duns in the Scottish Borders killed dozens of wildlife including protected species
One source said that Alan Wilson was hellbent on killing anything that moved

The court ruled Wilson was responsible for the deaths of numerous wildlife, including protected species. Investigators found animal corpses including otters, badgers, foxes, birds of prey and more when they searched Henlaw Wood in 2017.

A captive eagle owl which the Scottish SPCA suspects was being used as a live lure on birds of prey who were subsequently shot and killed was also discovered at Wilson’s residence. In 2018, Wilson was fined £400 and banned from keeping birds of prey for ten years for failing to ensure the welfare of the eagle owl.

After an investigation which involved experts from the Scottish SPCA’s special investigation unit (SIU), RSPB and Police Scotland, Wilson was found to have used techniques including illegally set snares and unlawful items such as banned pesticides and gin traps to trap and kill wildlife.

A land inspection also found ‘stink pits’, where dead animal carcasses are left to attract other wildlife. These ‘stink pits’ were surrounded by illegally set snares. Animal remains, including mammal skulls, were recovered.

investigators believe Wilson slaughtered thousands more animals.

One source claimed he was hell-bent on killing “everything that moved” except game birds on the estate that were being bred to be shot by wealthy clients.

One kill list found in Wilson’s home catalogued 1,071 dead animals – including cats, foxes, hedgehogs and stoats.

Gamekeeper Alan Wilson from Duns in the Scottish Borders killed dozens of wildlife including protected species

Sheriff Peter Paterson said the offences merited a jail term but he felt he was unable to impose one due to guidelines against short-term sentences.

“The sentencing options open to me at the moment do not reflect society’s views,” he added.

The court was told Wilson had pledged to no longer work as a gamekeeper and was now employed cutting trees.

Police welcomed the sentencing at Jedburgh Sheriff Court at the end of what they called a “complex inquiry” which had been a “large-scale” investigation.

“The illegal killing of birds of prey and protected species cannot, and will not, be tolerated, nor will the inhumane use of illegal traps and pesticides,” said Det Con Andy Loughlin.

An undercover Scottish SPCA investigator described it as a “despicable case of serious and systematic crimes to indiscriminately remove wildlife from an estate”.

“The sheer volume of dead wildlife discovered is truly shocking,” the investigator added.

“We will never know the total number of animals which perished due to Mr Wilson, though had it not been for the robust intervention of Police Scotland, the Scottish SPCA and our other partner agencies, many more would have suffered and perished.”

Sara Shaw, head of the Crown Office’s wildlife and environmental crime unit, said Wilson’s actions amounted to a “campaign of deliberate criminality”.

Duncan Orr-Ewing of RSPB Scotland called it an “absolutely appalling incident involving the illegal killing of a range of protected wildlife.”

Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture wildlife forensic scientist Dr Lucy Webster said the investigation had been an “excellent example” of partnership working to “bring a prolific wildlife criminal to justice”.

Robbie Marsland, director of the League Against Cruel Sports, described it as “one of the worst wildlife crime incidents in recent years”.

A spokesman for the Scottish Gamekeepers Association said Wilson’s actions were “unacceptable” and “entirely out of step” with conduct it expected from its members.

He said Wilson’s SGA membership would be terminated immediately.

Sentencing: ordered to carry out 225 hours of unpaid work and given a restriction of liberty order.

Scottish SPCA
BBC News
Daily Record

Knottingley, Wakefield: Shane Measor and Tanya Merrill

Shane Paul Measor, 39, of Foundry Court, Knottingley, admitted causing unnecessary suffering to a dog and was fined £123, banned from keeping dogs for 12 months and told to pay £180 in costs.

Tanya Merrill, 33, of Buttermere Walk, Knottingley, admitted causing unnecessary suffering to a dog and was fined £40, banned from keeping dogs for 12 months and told to pay £80 in costs.

Wakefield Express

Greenock, Inverclyde: Patrick Carter

#TheList Patrick Carter, born c. 2000, of Lansbury Street, Greenock PA15 – filmed his brutalised dogs ripping wild animals apart in a series of horrific animal fighting videos

Carter has been branded ‘barbaric’ after admitting to training his three dogs to attack and kill foxes and badgers and taking them on sickening hunts.

The thug’s vile cruelty — which took place over at least six months — was finally exposed after concern for the dogs was reported to the Scottish SPCA.

Investigators found multiple videos on Carter’s phone showing him and others goading their dogs to fight with foxes and drag badgers from their setts.

One piece of footage showed faceless individuals using spades to hit a doomed badger, as other participants in the barbaric “sport” urged them to allow the dogs to finish it off.

In another sickening video, a badger is pinned in place while dogs attack it.

Carter refused to seek vet treatment for his injured pets despite them suffering serious injuries in battles with badgers.

An undercover Scottish SPCA special investigations unit officer said: “The footage and pictures we uncovered are gut-wrenching.

“The animals he set his dogs on would have endured terrible suffering before they were killed.”

Carter’s dogs, a Patterdale/Jack Russell cross called Laddie, and lurchers Max and Murphy, have now been successfully rehomed.

During the investigation officers uncovered conversations between Carter and a pal discussing animal fighting as well as the result of a recent hunt.

Items associated with animal fighting, including a hunting lamp and used nets, were seized in a raid on his home.

The probe revealed that callous Carter regularly made Laddie, Max and Murphy fight wild animals and the dogs had also suffered severe injuries.

The undercover officer said: “Whilst his dogs appeared to be in good general health when we searched his property, Laddie had severe facial injuries consistent with animal fighting and Max had scarring to the jaw area and his leg.

“On further examination, Laddie and Max were found to have scarring and deformities within the mouth and nose consistent with previous severe traumatic injuries.

“Multiple videos of animal fighting were found on Carter’s personal devices, featuring two lurchers matching Max and Murphy’s description. All of the videos found were incredibly disturbing to view and the animals involved were clearly in great distress and suffered the most horrific end to their lives.

“Over the animals’ screams, voices can be heard in the footage goading and encouraging the dogs to tear the animals apart.”

The investigator said: “Badger baiting and animal fighting are far more common than people would think and anyone engaging in this barbaric activity is inflicting unimaginable pain on the animals involved.”

Carter is a known associate of Sean Ward, who was jailed for seven months in 2018 and banned from keeping animals for 20 years after his activities were discovered by the Scottish SPCA.

Carter pleaded guilty to keeping or training dogs for the purpose of an animal fight between February 6 and July 3 last year, contrary to the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006.

Sentencing will follow at Greenock Sheriff Court on September 11, 2019.

Greenock Telegraph
Daily Record

Blackburn, Lancashire: Scott Hibbert

#TheList Scott Anthony Hibbert, born c. 1997, of Redlam, Blackburn BB2 – launched a brutal attack on his own dog after she had been placed in a cage in the back of a police van.

Career criminal and drug abuser Scott Hibbert from Blackburn battered his dog in the back of a police van
Loser: violent thug Scott Hibbert from Blackburn can now add animal cruelty to his long list of criminal convictions

Blackburn magistrates heard lifelong violent thug and drug addict Hibbert repeatedly kicked and punched the dog – a Staffordshire bull terrier – before swinging her by the metal chain around her neck.

He then got hold of the dog with both hands and throttled her.

The court was told a female officer who witnessed the attack said it was the most “horrific” behaviour she could imagine towards an animal.

Hibbert, who despite his young age has multiple previous convictions for violence and intimidation, pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal and two charges of criminal damage to cars.

Tracy Yates, prosecuting, said the incident started at 8.30am on May 19 at an address in New Wellington Street, Blackburn.

Witnesses saw Hibbert leave the address and kick two cars. He was also seen to punch his dog before the police arrived.

“A witness said he was clearly heavily under the influence of something,” said Mrs Yates. “He was covered in blood and was placed in the back of the van with the dog. She said he was screaming in the dog’s face and she then witnessed the most horrific behaviour she could imagine.”

Mrs Yates said Hibbert punched the dog in the side, kicked it repeatedly and then swung it round by the chain.

“Just when she thought it couldn’t get any worse he picked the dog up by the throat and started to throttle it,” said Mrs Yates. “By this stage the dog, which had been agitated, was completely silent.”

The dog was eventually removed from the van.

“The officer said she had never seen such an aggressive act towards an animal in her career,” said Mrs Yates. “She said if that was how he behaved in public she couldn’t imagine how the dog was treated behind closed doors.”

Career criminal and drug abuser Scott Hibbert from Blackburn battered his dog in the back of a police van

When he was interviewed about the incident Hibbert said the officers were lying and he would never lay a finger on the dog. When the witness statements were read to him he told the officers to shut up.

Jonathan Taylor, defending, said his client clearly had problems and could benefit from the assistance of the probation service. He said Hibbert had been drinking all night and had fallen out with his brother. As he left the house he kicked out at the cars in frustration.

“He has always tried to look after the dog as best he can,” said Mr Taylor. “It is a highly strung animal and matters were not helped when its owner was irate. What is certain is that it should never have been placed in the back of the police van with him.”

He said Hibbert was deeply ashamed of what happened next.

“He doesn’t have a clear recollection of the matter but he is deeply apologetic,” said Mr Taylor.

Sentencing: 12-month community order with 40 days of rehabilitation activity. Curfew. Total of £285 compensation and charges. Banned from keeping animals for three years.

Lancashire Evening Post

Hartlepool: Shaun Brown

#TheList Shaun Brown, born c. 1983, formerly of Runciman Road, Hartlepool, and now of Brenda Road, Hartlepool – fifth member of a gang of badger baiters

Shaun Brown was the driver of gang of badger baiters with the other members – Clint Dodd, Michael Dodd, Connor Pounder and Daniel Joyce – all sentenced last month.

Jane Chadwick, prosecuting, said that when police, alerted by a member of the public, arrived at the sett in Hovingham, west of Malton, Brown tried to drive off but crashed and was arrested walking away from the scene with his dog beside him.

A second dog called Brock, which his co-accused put down the sett, was badly injured.

The other members of the Hartlepool-based badger baiting gang: clockwise from top left Clint Dodd, Daniel Joyce, Connor Pounder and Michael Dodd
The other members of the Hartlepool-based badger baiting gang: clockwise from top left Clint Dodd, Daniel Joyce, Connor Pounder and Michael Dodd

Brown pleaded guilty to digging for badgers, interfering with a badger sett, causing unnecessary suffering to Brock the terrier, careless driving, driving without insurance and without a licence.

District judge Adrian Lower told him he may not have actually helped dig up the sett, or put Brock down it, but he was part of the badger baiting.

“You cannot pretend that you didn’t know what everyone else was going to do when you arrived in North Yorkshire.

“Nearly everyone apart from you and your companions would think that such behaviour is absolutely appalling and involves nothing less than the attempted torture of an animal that cannot properly defend itself against men and a terrier.”

Sentencing: six-week prison sentence suspended for 12 months on condition he stays out of North Yorkshire and doesn’t associate with any other members of the gang. Banned from driving for 12 months; ordered to pay £368.02 towards the costs of treating and caring for the injured Brock, a £115 statutory surcharge and £85 prosecution costs.

The district judge did not give Brown an animal ban. He said Brown’s dog was uninjured and did not appear to have been used for badger baiting, so he could keep her.

York Press

St Clears, Carmarthen: Steffan Harris and Barbara Howell

#TheList Steffan Lee Harris, born 17/12/93, and Barbara Ray Howell, born 21/08/93, of Gorwyn, Tenby Road, St Clears, Carmarthen SA33 4JN – kept dozens of dogs in shocking conditions at illegal puppy farm

Steffan Lee Harris and Barbara Ray Howell kept dozens of dogs in terrible conditions at an illegal puppy farm in Tanygroes, Ceredigion, Wales

Steffan Lee Harris and partner Barbara Ray Howell pleaded guilty to animal welfare offences, running a dog breeding business without a licence, and consumer offences relating to the advertising of dogs online.

Animal inspectors found starving and sick dogs being held in sheds and barns at premises operated by the couple who sold puppies online while pretending to be private sellers.

Paul Hobson, prosecuting, told the court how the couple advertised on a website called, ironically, he said, preloved.co.uk.

One buyer paid £225 for a puppy from a caravan the pair rented at Waun Dwni farm, Tanygroes. The animal became ill before the buyer got back home to Cardiff and they ended up paying £700 in vet’s bills.

Mr Hobson said the puppy had not been microchipped, vaccinated or treated for fleas as the couple had claimed in their advertisement.

A major investigation followed, first by Ceredigion County Council and then by the RSPCA.

Inspectors found 82 dogs being kept in poor conditions – 49 breeding females, 12 males and 21 puppies ready for sale.

Many of the dogs were kept in small enclosures with little light or access to fresh air with poor or muddy bedding and sharp corners and low-hanging electrical cables across the pens.

A lurcher could hardly move, a terrier was tied to a breeze block and a collie had a body score of one out of nine and was close to death.

Another dog was kept in a sealed container and it appeared impossible for anyone to get in to feed or water her, said Mr Hobson.

Inspectors also found pigs squealing through lack of food and water, and chickens that appeared not to have been fed or given access to water. One chicken collapsed in front of them.

The court heard Harris, who was present during the inspection, was “less than cooperative” during the process.

Steffan Lee Harris and Barbara Ray Howell kept dozens of dogs in terrible conditions at an illegal puppy farm in Tanygroes, Ceredigion, Wales
Barbara Howell and Steffan Harris

Harris and Howell both admitted cruelty offences in relation to the pigs and Harris to the chickens.

Mr Hobson said further investigation showed that Harris had a flock of 110 sheep on nearby land, which he rented.

The owner became concerned because he did not seem to be there to look after them and inspectors found sheep carcasses that should have been disposed of properly.

After Harris was made aware of their concerns the sheep disappeared, apart from 19 which he seemed to have simply abandoned.

Mr Hobson said an initial financial investigation suggested the couple had banked £150,000 between 2013 and 2018 through the sale of puppies.

A Proceeds of Crime Act investigation is underway to determine how much money could been confiscated from them. That matter will be settled at a court hearing on 15 November, 2019.

After his arrest Harris said he wanted to get the puppy farm up and running before applying for a licence.

Howell said she only looked after the paperwork.

For Harris and Howell James Hartson said he accepted that anyone seeing the photographs of the dogs could not fail to be mortified.

“They had ambitions for a business but lost control. It is likely the financial consequences will be punitive,” he added.

Mr Hartson urged the judge not to impose banning orders preventing the defendants from owning or being concerned in the care of dogs as that would effectively stop Harris from carrying out his work as a herdsman.

Judge Peter Heywood said animals were defenceless and Harris and Howell had housed them in totally inappropriate surroundings.

“This was a significant commercial enterprise and Harris was the driving force,” he added.

“You were in it to make money and had no regard for the welfare of the animals.”

The judge said Harris, who cannot read or write, had been the “driving force” behind the enterprise while Howell had assisted him.

He said he would be failing in his public duty if he suspended Harris’ sentence, but took into account that Howell had a young child when sentencing her.

Sentencing: Harris was jailed for six months (half to be served on licence) while Howell was given a four-month suspended sentence and ordered to complete a rehabilitation activity requirement. Both were made the subject of banning orders preventing them from owning or being concerned in the care of dogs, chickens, and sheep for the next five years.

WalesOnline
Cambrian News

Queensbury, Bradford: Jacob Marshall

#TheList Jacob Peter Marshall, born 14/02/1996, of 27 Harrowins Farm Drive, Queensbury, Bradford BD13 1DQ – killed his pet dog Lucy by stabbing her seven times and shooting her three times in the head with an airgun

Jake Marshall and victim Lucy

Marshall, who is originally from Burnley Road, Sowerby Bridge, Calderdale, West Yorks, videoed some of his attack on German Shepherd cross Lucy (pictured) and sent the footage to his ex-partner.

Dog killer Jacob Peter Marshall of Bradford
Monster: Jake Marshall is originally from a wealthy family based in Sowerby Bridge but now lives alone in Queensbury, Bradford.

RSPCA investigators found the knife Marshall used on Lucy covered in blood in a locked safe in his house.

A neighbour of Marshall’s commented on the CLUK FB page that she had witnessed him beating Lucy on a regular basis and had reported him to the authorities.

It has also been alleged that Marshall – apparently a drug and alcohol abuser – had killed a dog previously by deliberately running her over in his car.

Sentencing: Jailed for 26 weeks. Fine to be paid. Five-year restraining order. Banned from keeping an animal for life.

Source: CLUK exclusive (documentary evidence seen).

Britwell, Slough: Adam Lines

#TheList Adam Warren Lines, born c. 1989, of Hetherington Close, Britwell, Slough failed to provide adequate food, water and shelter for two dogs and a six-week-old puppy

Dogs neglected by Adam Lines of Slough, Berkshire, UK

Slough Borough Council’s resilience and enforcement team were contacted in January 2019 after reports of dogs constantly barking and in distress.

When officers arrived at Hetherington Close, Britwell, they found the mother, a black Patterdale terrier, and her black puppy in a garden.

There was little access to food and water and no adequate shelter for the animals.

A warrant was obtained and when officers arrived they found a third dog, a brown springer spaniel, who was also being neglected.

All the dogs were taken away from the property and assessed by vet who found they had been suffering and a decision was made to prosecute.

Lines admitted failing to provide for all three dogs “a suitable environment… adequate food and drinking water and failing to protect them from injury and disease.”

He also admitted failing to get medical attention for the puppy, in relation to her poor condition and bloated abdomen, and the black Patterdale terrier, who had suffered fur loss and itchy skin, as well as failing to ensure she was well nourished.

All three dogs were surrendered and were quickly rehomed and nursed back to health.

Sentencing: 12-month community order of 80 hours of unpaid work; ordered to pay £700 towards the council’s costs. Disqualified from owning any animal for a minimum of five years.

Slough Observer
Slough Borough Council

Birkenhead, Wirral: Norbert Farkas and Leila Horvath

#TheList Roma gypsies from Hungary Norbert Farkas, born 25/09/1989, and Leila Katalin Horvath, born c. 18/02/1991, previously of Parkside Road, Birkenhead CH42 – struck a mother dog with a metal bar, fed her sausages laced with anti-freeze, left her to suffer for three days in agony and finally stabbed her to death.

Luna gave birth to 12 puppies before she was brutally killed by her callous owners Leila Horvath and Norbert  Farkas
Luna gave birth to 12 puppies before she was brutally killed by her callous owners Leila Horvath and Norbert Farkas. The puppies were suffering from a respiratory condition but recovered and have been rehomed.

Wirral Magistrates’ Court heard how on April 5, 2019 RSPCA inspector Anthony Joynes was contacted by environmental health officers to attend an alleyway off Parkside Road in Birkenhead.

Chris Murphy, prosecuting, told the court how Inspector Joynes found a dead American bulldog wrapped in bin bags and a paddling pool.

Mr Murphy said that the dog’s body was covered with live maggots.

The court heard how Inspector Joynes then went to question Norbert Farkas about the dead dog as his home overlooked the alleyway.

Farkas initially said that that the dog was not his, but then admitted ownership.

He said that the dog, an American bulldog named Luna, who had recently given birth to 12 puppies, had attacked him. He said he hit the dog with a metal bar in self-defence and to protect his partner Leila Horvath.

When Inspector Joynes later questioned Horvath, she admitted that she fed the dog anti-freeze and then stabbed her.

Farkas pleaded guilty to two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal.

Roma gypsy and dog killer Leila Horvath
Roma gypsy and dog killer Leila Horvath

Horvath pleaded guilty to two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal, one count of poisoning and failing to see that the dog received proper medical attention.

Mr Murphy later provided graphic details of the events that led up to the dog’s death.

He explained how Farkas struck the dog with a weights bar.

After going online to research how to kill a dog, Horvath fed the animal chicken land sausages aced with anti-freeze.

The court heard that Horvath thought the dog would die quickly but the animal lay in the alleyway lingering to life.

On the third day Horvath took a large knife and later stabbed the animal in the throat.

Mr Murphy made it clear that the couple would have been able to see the dog as it lay whimpering in the alleyway over a three day period.

District Judge Nicholas Sanders told the court that the case was one of “unimaginable cruelty”.

Horvath told probation officers that Luna’s behavior began to deteriorate after she gave birth to puppies.

She said that she bought anti-freeze from a nearby garage and laced it on sausages, which were fed to the dog.

Horvath said that she thought the dog would die quickly but she did not.

She said that the dog was making “strange noises” and she was concerned that neighbours might call the police. She then decided to grab a large kitchen knife and stab the dog to death.

She told probation officers that they had been reviled by the local community after the incident and had to move to a new address.

Farkas said he had been advised by health professionals to buy a large dog to help treat his mental health problems and stress.

Farkas also claimed that Luna became aggressive toward them after she gave birth to puppies. He claimed that this aggressive behaviour led up to the attack on him.

He claimed to have suffered a panic attack after the dog attacked him and said that was why his partner decided to kill her.

Thomas Hanlon, defending, said that Horvath took full responsibility for her actions.

He said that the couple arrived in the UK from Hungary in 2010 and had both worked full time since arriving, contributing to society.

Mr Hanlon said that the couple had been targeted after their animals were seized by the RSPCA, and that a petrol bomb was thrown at their home.

He said the couple were forced to leave their home in the night after the attack.

Mr Murphy said that a vets report found that if the dog had attacked Farkas in the way he claimed he would have suffered serious injuries which he did not have.

District Judge Sanders told the couple: “You struck the dog with a metal bar, and then you poisoned it with anti-freeze before stabbing it.

“It is hard to imagine a more cruel way of dealing with an animal.”

Speaking after the case, RSPCA inspector Joynes told the ECHO: “Farkas said that Luna had ‘gone for’ his foot and that although there was no injury, it hurt and he felt fear for his and his partner’s life. He described using a metal weightlifting bar to forcefully strike Luna two to three times on the head.

“Farkas stated that Luna had been alive in the garden for around an hour. Horvarth admitted that she had then gone outside and given Luna antifreeze in sausages.”

“Horvath said she had researched the cost of getting a dog euthanised and had also researched poisoning dogs and what chemical to use. Over the next few days, Luna was in the garden slowly dying from poisoning until she was stabbed to death three days later.

“It is absolutely horrific to think what Luna went through. Luna was caused suffering on multiple levels over several days, which was unnecessary and cruel.

“Horvath and Farkas knew Luna could have been put to sleep humanely by a vet but evidence shows that she was killed in her own way over a period of several days, leaving her to suffer greatly.”

A male American bulldog and 12 puppies were seized from Horvath’s and Farkas’ address by police while an investigation was carried out.

Vet examinations of the puppies showed that they were suffering from respiratory illnesses.

All 12 puppies have now been rehomed. The male dog is now in RSPCA care and will be re-homed.

Sentencing: jailed for 10 weeks. Banned from keeping animals for life with minimum of 10 years.

Metro
Wirral Globe
Liverpool Echo

===
Update 16/08/19 Horvath and Farkas are believed to have moved to a flat on Kingsland Road, Birkenhead CH42 9NN.

Rochdale: Carl Kawka

#TheList Carl Kawka, born c. 1962, of 19 Channing Court, Rochdale OL16 4QG – for shocking neglect of ten ponies, only two of whom survived

Carl Kawka horse neglect case: one of the rescued ponies

Kawka pleaded guilty to two animal welfare offences.

The court heard how the RSPCA investigated Kawka over concerns about ten horses he had in his care in stables off Duchess Street in Oldham.

Inspector Danni Jennings and officers from World Horse Welfare found eight horses had severely overgrown and deformed hooves which had left them crippled.

Five of the horses were in such a suffering state that an independent vet decided the kindest thing was to put them to sleep.

Three more horses were sent for emergency veterinary treatment, but they were in such poor condition the independent equine vet also decided these needed to be put to sleep to end their suffering.

Carl Kawka horse neglect case: filthy stables

All the horses were found in a stable block which was piled high with faeces.

The conditions were so bad two horses had to be dug out of the stable as the filth had piled up so high rescuers were unable to open the stable door.

Carl Kawka horse neglect case: overgrown hooves

The court heard the horses had not had a farrier to trim their hooves for at least 12 months, when this should take place about every six weeks. This had caused the hooves to grow out of control leaving the horses crippled and struggling to walk.

Inspector Jennnings said: “Because of the filth in the stables it was difficult to see how bad the hooves were but then it soon became apparent when we led them outside.

“This is the worst case of horse neglect I have seen in my 11-year career as an RSPCA inspector.

“The horses were clearly suffering and were crippled, they were struggling to walk, and it was obvious they had not seen the light of day for a long period of time.

“The way they were neglected was horrific – it was a really sad and depressing day for all involved.”

Following lengthy treatment, two of the horses are on the road to recovery; one, called Ronnie, has now been rehomed, and another, Celine, is recovering well and will be due for re-homing soon.

Sentencing: 18-week custodial sentence suspended for 12 months; five-month curfew; total of £515 costs and charges. Banned from keeping all animals for life.

Mirror
Rochdale Online