A Scottish man has been banned from owning horses after being found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to three horses.

The Scottish SPCA said the horses were living in “utterly appalling” conditions when they were found in April 2013.

Gordon Whyte, 64, of Kingfisher Way, Inverurie, was sentenced at Aberdeen Sheriff Court yesterday (Thursday 4 September).

He was found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to a dark bay mare named Nellie, as well as failing to keep Nellie and two coloured fillies in a “suitable environment“.

Mr Whyte was banned from owning horses for an “indefinite period”.

“Even though Nellie was wearing two rugs, it was evident she was extremely thin,” said chief inspector John Carle of the Scottish SPCA.

“Her head was sunken in areas, as were her eyes, and when her rugs were removed her bones were clearly visible. Nellie’s skin was sore to the touch where her rugs had been and her hair was falling out.

“Her pen was deep with faeces and there were sharp metal edges she could easily have injured herself on. The area where the two fillies were being kept was also totally unsuitable. Their bedding was contaminated with faeces and a large bale of hay still had the wrapping around it.”

The mare was later put to sleep, while both fillies have since been rehomed.