A man who slashed his ex-girlfriend’s horse to the bone in a revenge attack after she ended their affair has been jailed for five years.

St Albans crown court heard how Sebastiano Mauro, 43 – a surgical nurse – used a sharp bladed instrument in the attack, as part of a “campaign of terror” against the mare’s owner, Nathalie Kelderman.

The court was told that Miss Kelderman, 36, ended their relationship after Mauro was charged with assaulting her.

Shortly after being released on bail in July last year, he was caught on CCTV at the livery yard at Bricket Wood, Herts, where Miss Kelderman kept her 10-year-old mare, Jessie.

A groom later found the mare “bleeding heavily” from a wound on her off-hind, which exposed the bone. A vet had to use forceps to stop the bleeding.

Miss Kelderman told the court that Mauro denied that charge, saying to her: “How can you believe that I cut your horse? You know I love animals.”

He was arrested later that day. But after being released on bail – on condition he stay away from Miss Kelderman – he turned up outside her flat, armed with a carving knife, screwdrivers, scalpel blades and empty syringes.

Fortunately, two police officers, concerned he might try to get to her, discovered Mauro yards from Miss Kelderman’s front door.

Mauro was found guilty of a charge of taking revenge on her by attacking her horse and going to her flat equipped for burglary, intending to inflict grievous bodily harm. He was jailed for five years on Wednesday (24 April).

Passing sentence, judge Stephen Gullick told Mauro: “Given that you were on police bail, to then visit the stables was particularly unpleasant.

“You had clearly with you a knife or sharp object and you took out your annoyance on that animal, which was very close to the heart of your ex-girlfriend. It was a particularly nasty offence.”

In addition to passing the five-year sentence, the judge ordered him not to go anywhere near his ex or her horse.

Speaking after the trial, Miss Kelderman said Jessie had made a full recovery from the injury.