North Yorkshire Woman Jailed For Admitting Horse Neglect
12:44pm 8th July 2013
A woman from North Yorkshire has been jailed for 12 weeks after admitting failing to meet the needs of seven horses and breaching a ban.
Fifty year old Margaret Briggs of Boltby, Thirsk appeared at Northallerton Magistrates Court on Monday 24 June for sentencing, say the RSPCA.
She had previously pleaded guilty to, on or about 13 June 2012 in the vicinity of Sand Lane, Huby, contravening a disqualification order and failing to meet the needs of seven equines by failing to provide a suitable environment, failing to provide a suitable diet including fresh drinking water and failing to protect them from pain, suffering, injury and disease.
The RSPCA say they attended the field where the horses were living on 13 June 2012 and all seven horses were found to need attention to their hooves and teeth. They add that the field was rife with hazards - the fence was in disrepair and coming down, there were deep holes that the horses could have fallen into, a deep sided pond with stagnant water in it and ragwort.
RSPCA inspector Heidi Cleaver said: “All of these horses needed attention from a vet and farrier and there was no access to fresh water. There were hazards everywhere you looked. It was only a matter of time before something went badly wrong.”
Mrs Briggs had been banned from owning, keeping, participating in keeping and being party to an arrangement under which she might control or influence the way equines are kept in February 2012 and had unsuccessfully appealed the sentence in May 2012.
The court heard that the seven horses did not belong to Mrs Briggs but to unidentified travellers who were borrowing the field from her. These owners, however, never came forward.
She was jailed for 12 weeks for each offence, to run concurrently, and deprived of the horses. She was banned from keeping equines for 15 years with no review before 10 years.
RSPCA inspector Cleaver said: “Not only did Margaret Briggs ignore a court order banning her from keeping equines but she was keeping these horses in such a way that their needs were not being met and the severity of the sentence passed reflects that.”
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