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Howard and Byrne Solicitors, York - Criminal Defence Specialists

Selby District Horse Dealer Punished After Five Horses & Dog Abused

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1:41pm 8th July 2014

A horse dealer from Harlthorpe, near Selby has been banned from keeping equines and dogs for 18 months after she was found guilty of cruelty involving five horses and a Bernese mountain dog.

Sarah Jane Harrison, 38, and 50-year-old Christopher Ian Clarke appeared before Beverley Magistrates’ Court yesterday when they were sentenced following an RSPCA investigation.

Harrison was also ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work, pay £3,000 towards costs and was given a 12 month supervision order.

Clarke was banned from keeping dogs for six months and ordered to pay £3,000 costs.

The court heard the couple, from Harlthorpe, near Selby, had previously been given advice by RSPCA inspectors last year, after concerns were raised about the conditions in which 20 horses were being kept.

However, Harrison remained unwilling to cooperate with the RSPCA and a warrant was carried out last March, to gain access to the property, after she refused entry.

The pair were found guilty following a trial between 10 and 13 June earlier this year.

Harrison was found guilty of three charges of causing unnecessary suffering and three offences of failing to provide animals with a suitable environment.

Clarke was found guilty of one charge of causing unnecessary suffering to a Bernese mountain dog by failing to provide the animal with proper veterinary attention.

Upon entry to the property, the RSPCA discovered two horses which were suffering. One dark bay gelding was emaciated and had a body score of just 0.5 out of 5. The ideal score is 3.

Another, an Appaloosa gelding, was found in a field with a chronic bacterial infection. Both horses were seized and placed into RSPCA care. 

RSPCA Inspector Karen Colman, who attended the property when the warrant was carried out, said a black and tan coloured Bernese mountain dog found at the pair’s home, had two claws hanging off.  It was claimed this had happened several days earlier, when a horse had trodden on the animal.

The dog was taken to their choice of vet for treatment. The vet recommend the animal be taken back at a later date for further treatment. However, the pair failed to take the dog back to the vet and subsequently the animal was seized.

RSPCA deputy chief inspector Karen Colman said: “Miss Harrison blamed everybody but herself, when she should have taken responsibility for the welfare of the animals in her care.

“The magistrates made it quite clear in their sentencing, that if found guilty of cruelty, anyone could face being banned from keeping animals, regardless of whether it is their livelihood or not."

The court informed the pair that they will have 21 days to rehome any animals still in their care.

 

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