A Crewe man and Newcastle-under-Lyme woman have been banned from keeping animals for a combined nine years following their mistreatment of horses in Staffordshire. One of the perpetrators was also handed a suspended jail term.

Rocket was one of the ponies rescued

William Braddock, 45, of McNeil Avenue, Crewe, and Tina Price, 52, of Cemetery Road in Newcastle-under-Lyme both pleaded guilty to Animal Welfare Act offences in relation to horses in their care.

Mr Braddock admitted failing to meet the needs of eight horses kept in a field in the vicinity of Trentmill Road/Kettering Drive in Stoke.

Ms Price pleaded guilty to three Animal Welfare Act offences for causing three horses to suffer unnecessarily. One of these lived in the same field in Stoke. The other two lived at Agger Hill in Newcastle-under-Lyme.

A statement from the RSPCA said that in January 2020, RSPCA inspector Laura Baker found multiple equines in “wholly inappropriate conditions” after responding to a separate welfare concern.

Rocket is recovering well

“Many of the horses found were underweight and in poor bodily condition,” it said. “Eight were found not to have their needs met, with treatment not provided for problems such as lice infestation, rain scald and hoof care. Their owner, Braddock, had also failed to provide required dental care and parasite control.”

‘Unnecessary suffering’

World Horse Welfare provided support to the RSPCA in moving and taking on horses involved in this case, in what the charity says is a “great example” of positive partnership working.

The following month Inspector Baker responded to welfare concerns regarding further horses kept at Agger Hill in Newcastle-under-Lyme.

Ms Price admitted to causing unnecessary suffering to two of the horses found in the field, as a result of her failure to ensure much-needed veterinary care for lameness.

Sentencing of both individuals took place on Friday, 7 May at North Staffordshire Magistrates’ Court.

Mr Braddock was sentenced to 12 weeks imprisonment, suspended for 18 months. He must also undertake 20 rehabilitation days and faces a 56-day curfew where he must not leave his home between 6pm and 6am.

He was banned from keeping all animals for five years and was handed a £500 fine and must pay a £95 victim surcharge.

Ms Price was given a 12-month community order and must undertake 40 hours of unpaid work and 20 rehabilitation days. She has been banned from keeping any animal for four years and must also pay £500 in costs and a £95 victim surcharge.

The statement added that 21the majority of horses involved in this case recovered and have gone on to be made available for rehoming.

‘A complex operation’

RSPCA inspector Laura Baker said: “This was a complex operation involving a large number of horses and we’re really grateful to World Horse Welfare for their support, including taking on a number of the animals. It’s another great example of what we can do together for animal welfare.

“Sadly, this case reminds us what can go wrong for horses if they are neglected and not cared for properly. Unchecked breeding, a lack of worming and insufficient food supplies during such cold conditions were all at play here.

“We’re just relieved we were able to intervene, secure justice for these animals and help many of these horses to go onto a second chance of happiness.”

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