A dealer who flouted a ban on keeping horses is facing a 20-week jail term having been found guilty of neglect.

Horses at Sarah Jane Harrison’s yard in Dead Lane, Harlthorpe, Yorkshire were found in filthy conditions with “nails and barbed wire all over the place,” according to the RSPCA.

The 40-year-old was found guilty of breaching an existing ban, as well as neglecting nine horses (one of whom is pictured) between July 2014 and January 2015.

RSPCA inspectors found the animals lacked basic care, including enough food or water, and their need to see a farrier or vet had been ignored.

Ms Harrison has now been given a 10-year ban from owning, keeping, participating in the keeping of horses, and from dealing and transporting them. Her horses have been removed from her premises and taken into the care of the RSPCA.

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RSPCA chief inspector Karen Colman said: “These poor horses were completely failed by Harrison. As a dealer, she should have ensured they were in the best health and condition, yet the yard was filthy.

Harrison was already serving an 18-month ban on owning and keeping horses and dogs for similar offences and causing unnecessary suffering to two horses, yet she outrageously ignored the court order and continued to neglect animals with complete disregard for the law.”

Livery Keith Barker and Nicole Lees, who assisted with running the yard, also faced charges under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and were sentenced, at Beverley Magistrates’ Court on 5 August.

Mr Barker, who is also known as Keith Maplebeck, of Stocking Lane, Knottingley, Wakefield, was found guilty of neglecting his own horses at the yard in January 2015. He was given a community order requiring him to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work, and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £65.


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Twenty-two-year-old Ms Lees, of Sherbutt Gate Road South, Pocklington, was found guilty of neglect and failing to meet the needs of the nine horses, along with aiding and abetting Harrison in the breach of her ban.

She was given a 12-month community order requiring her to undertake 200 hours of unpaid work and was ordered to pay a £65 victim surcharge and £1,000 towards costs.

Chief inspector Colman added: “Owning and working with animals is a privilege and these three truly abused their responsibility to provide care for the horses.”

“It’s really important that people do their research and make sure that when they buy a horse, they are from a reputable yard where they have been well looked-after.

“We have so many rescued horses available for rehoming through our RSPCA centres and we hope that people will consider adopting one when looking to get a horse.”