A man and a woman from Middlesex have been banned from keeping horses for seven years after neglecting 10 horses in their care.

Andrew Parsons, aged 41, an HGV driver, of St Anne’s Avenue, Stanwell, had pleaded guilty to two charges under the 2006 Animal Welfare Act.

Rosemary O’Connor, 62, an administrative assistant of Cedar Road, Bedfont, denied similar charges but was convicted yesterday (10 November) at Guildford Magistrates Court.

Magistrates heard how World Horse Welfare Field Officer, Ted Barnes, and RSPCA Inspector Liz Wheeler had found the horses in a field off Grove Hall Road in Ripley, Surrey, on February 3 this year. Although the field was large, with adequate grazing, the horses were showing clear signs of neglect.

Nine horses were removed, but one, a bay mare, died shortly afterwards. Another, a Shetland pony with overgrown feet and laminitis was put to sleep about six weeks later.

Parsons and O’Connor were also each sentenced to 100 hours unpaid community work to be completed within 12 months.

Parsons was ordered to pay £3,000 costs, and O’Connor £4,000 costs.

Four other horses belonging to O’Connor were confiscated and Parsons signed over his remaining three horses to the RSPCA.

The horses will stay in the care of World Horse Welfare’s Hall Farm Rehabilitation and Re-homing Centre in Norfolk, from where they will be re-homed in due course.

After the hearing, Ted Barnes said: “I am very pleased with the outcome of this case. These two people do not deserve to keep horses. Those that survived will now have a very different future under the care of World Horse Welfare.”