A farmer who caused unnecessary suffering to a foal has been jailed four months and banned from keeping horses or ponies for life

Chester Crown Court sentenced Emlyn John Williams, a 56-year-old farmer to four months in prison for causing unnecessary suffering to a Shetland foal.

Emlyn and his wife Barbara, from Belpar, Derbyshire, appeared in court on 9 May. They were banned from keeping horse or ponies for life and Mrs Williams was sentenced to 180 hours community service and ordered to pay costs of £1,560.

The case, brought to court by the RSPCA, was the result of an investigation into the state of a Shetland foal found in a field rented by the couple, in Mickle Trafford, Cheshire.

RSPCA inspector Fred Armstrong, discovered the foal lying down in an area sectioned off from a group of around 20 other animals in February 2001. The field, which according to its owner was “a quagmire”, didn’t have a single blade of grass.

The six-month-old foal was emaciated and suffering malnutrition, septicaemia and dehydration. The foal died moments before the vet arrived to put it to sleep.

Emlyn has a previous conviction for causing unnecessary suffering and was banned from keeping horses for five years in 1994.

In his defence he admitted that the conditions of the field were poor, but that he had put down hay for the animals and had also tried to administer penicillin to the foal.

RSPCA inspector Fred Armstrong said: “The couple left this foal in an appalling state, the animal was incredibly weak and unable to stand. The owners showed no responsibility towards the care of the foal, the life ban should prevent any other horses or ponies from suffering in their care.”

Since his conviction Emlyn has lodged an appeal.

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