Pair in court over emaciated horses

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A pair have been jailed for four months and banned from keeping horses for a decade for letting those in their care become emaciated.

Paul Flowers, 43, of Finedon Road, Wellingborough, and Barbara Morrison, 43, of Brooke Close, Wellingborough, pleaded guilty on the day of their trial to four charges each, relating to causing unnecessary suffering to seven horses.

The pair appeared at Wellingborough Magistrates Court for sentence yesterday.

The court was told representatives of World Horse Welfare visited their field in Station Road, Blisworth, on March 4 last year.

The representatives were concerned and sent the RSPCA and the police to investigate on March 8, when the horses were seized.

The carcasses of two horses were also discovered.

Kevin McCole, prosecuting for the RSPCA, said each horse was rated as “poor” or “very poor” in a body condition scale used by vets.

Some of the horses had ground-down teeth, due to a lack of grazing.

David Smithet, mitigating, said RSPCA staff had observed some food and water at the site. He said hay had become expensive and finances were an issue.

He said: “Clearly it was not the right sort of food or the right amount given the condition of the ponies’ body score.”

The cost of caring for them since the seizure cost the RSPCA £18,000.

The horses, which have regained a normal body weight, are currently being re-homed.

Speaking after the sentencing, RSPCA inspector Sue Haywood, said: “We are satisfied with the sentence, given that this was such a serious act of cruelty against seven horses.

“These horses were left to suffer for a long period of time, but had the defendants taken action sooner then this neglect could have been avoided.”