A man and a teenage girl have been given suspended prison sentences and banned from keeping animals after film of a “brutal and vicious” attack on a pony went viral.

Paul Stewart Griffiths Williams, 37, and Chloe Ann Morgan, 18, both from Lanelli, both admitted causing unnecessary suffering to the pony, Emry.

Morgan was seen in the video, which was widely shared on social media last October, whipping the pony, who was standing in a yard, held by Williams. Towards the end of the film, Williams is seen to kick the pony.

The judge at Llanelli Magistrates’ Court today (3 March) described the incident as a “vicious assault on the pony for no reason whatsoever”, a RSPCA spokesman said.

Morgan, of Tirgof, Llangennech, Lanelli, was given three-month prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, while Williams, of Dan y Allt, Felinfoel, Llanelli, was given a four-month prison sentence, suspended for the same period.

Both defendants were also banned from keeping all animals for eight years. They were each ordered to do 120 hours’ unpaid work, and pay £400 costs and a £115 victim surcharge.

Emry has now been re-homed by a rescue centre. It is understood Morgan expressed remorse for her actions and accepted she had overreacted, while Williams accepted his actions caused harm but said he would not do anything similar in future.

“This video displays severe animal cruelty, for which there is absolutely no excuse,” RSPCA inspector Keith Hogben said. “It was a needless, cruel and callous attack; and I’m just relieved the RSPCA was able to take action.

“It was clear to me that the pair involved knew their actions would cause this poor pony suffering and distress, yet they brutally attacked the animal in such a visibly shocking way.

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“After this distressing video first appeared on social media, there was a massive public reaction, which highlighted how – on the whole – Wales is a nation of people who care deeply, and passionately, about animal welfare.

“RSPCA Cymru exists to protect animals like poor Emry the pony; and I’m just relieved the animal has another chance of happiness after being re-homed by a rescue centre.”