'Despicable' teen given just two months in prison for brutally stabbing horse near Raunds
A man who mutilated a show horse on a farm near Raunds by stabbing it 20 times could only be sentenced to two months yesterday - because the attack counts as criminal damage.
Reece Reed prowled around the grounds of a farm in Shelton Road, Hargrave, with a kitchen knife before carrying out the disturbing attack in April last year.
In his sentencing at Northampton Crown Court yesterday (Monday), judge Michael Fowler expressed his distaste at how the law meant he could only hand Reed a two-month sentence for the mutilations.
He said: "This episode can only be described as wholly despicable. The charges that you face today do not reflect the wickedness of your behaviour.
"This has been treated as if it were criminal damage against two inanimate objects. It isn't. And it is in my view an error that ought to be corrected."
Reed, 19 and of HMP Peterborough, was handed an additional six months for an extra charge of carrying a knife, making his total sentence eight months.
The grotesque incident began when the farm owner was alerted by a burglar alarm at 7.30am.
Prosecutor Priya Bakshi told the court: "He ran to the summer house to investigate. There he found a shovel, and saw one window had been pried open and another had been smashed.
"He peered through the window. There, he saw a man with a six-inch kitchen knife inside the chicken coop."
The farmer scared off the armed man - Reed - before searching his stables to see if any animals had been hurt.
It was then that he found his daughter's prize-winning miniature show horse Sol. His back legs and rear had been stabbed 20 times and he was bleeding heavily.
Additionally, Reed had cut the wings off of three chickens. They had to be put down.
In court, the judge heard how Sol was a prize winner worth more than £3,000 and was on track to becoming a champion show horse.
But following the attack, Sol was rendered unfit to compete ever again.
In a victim impact statement read out in court, Sol's owner said: "After I learned that Sol had been hurt I was devastated and heartbroken.
"Sol was and is my best friend and he will always be part of the family."
Reed later pleaded guilty to the offence.
His defence barrister, Osmun Munir, said he was "remorseful and expresses sympathy for the family".
Reed's sentence comes almost a year after the infamous Northampton Cat Killer - who dismembered more than half-a-dozen family pets across the town in a three-month spree - could only be jailed for three months in respect of those mutilations.