A Newmarket racehorse trainer has pleaded guilty to five charges of causing unnecessary suffering to horses in his care.

Bury St Edmunds magistrates found that Kamil Mahdi kept five Thoroughbreds in an emaciated condition, and warned him that he could face jail when he is sentenced next month.

The RSPCA was originally called out to Mahdi’s yard on Newmarket’s Hamilton Road in 2001 and offered him advice on horse care after finding no running water available. Then last year neighbour Sue Scargill, whose husband Jon trains nearby, became concerned about the condition of his horses and alerted the RSPCA once again.

At the time, Mrs Scargill said: “They were skeletal and it was a pitiful sight. Their boxes were wrecked and they were standing in their own excrement.”

One of the five horses, Desert Warrior, was in such a poor state that he had to be destroyed and Mrs Scargill agreed to take the other four into her care. Another seven of Mahdi’s charges, who were in a less serious condition, joined them later.

The Racehorse Owners Association charity Emergency Relief for Thoroughbreds (ERT) stepped in with financial help to cover the cost of caring for the 11 horses, which have now been rehomed after a period of rehabilitation.

Mahdi lost his training licence in 2001 due to the tangled state of his financial affairs and was declared bankrupt in April last year.

Prosecutor Michael Taylor commented that Mahdi had demonstrated “a very severe failure in the normal standards of equine care”.

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