Delia Stacey has been sentenced to nearly four months in jail for breaching a third ban on keeping horses.

Ruling at Guildford Crown Court today, district judge Lawson Rogers QC said the charges against Stacey were so serious “only a custodial sentence is justified”.

Judge Rogers sentenced Stacey, 37, of Pepperbox Stud, Bramley, near Guildford to 112 days in custody. He also disqualified her from keeping horses for another five years and fined her £5,000 costs.

In June, Stacey pleaded guilty to breaching a ban on keeping horses for a third time. She was arrested by Surrey police on Thursday, 6 March when found alone with five horses at her Pepperbox Stud in Bramley, Surrey.

The five horses — four Thoroughbred mares and a pony — have been in the care of World Horse Welfare since March. Today the court signed ownership of the horses over to the RSPCA, which in turned signed them over to World Horse Welfare.

Ms Stacey was banned in May 2006 from keeping horses for three years after allowing a pregnant mare to starve. In August 2006 she was given a 35-day prison sentence and an extra five-year ban after being found driving four polo ponies along the M23 and M25 (mews. 9 August 2007).

World Horse Welfare field officer Ted Barnes said: “The judge in his wisdom has given a very severe sentence to Delia Stacey. Make no mistake, she deserves it.”