A Kent woman has been found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to two ponies and been banned from keeping horses for 10 years after they were found wandering with tethering injuries.

Sarah Devall, 25, of Simpson Road, Snodland, was convicted of causing unnecessary suffering at Maidstone Magistrates Court on 29 January this year and sentenced last Thursday (6 February).

The court heard that RSPCA inspector Judith Hale arrived at Well Street in East Malling near Maidstone in January 2002 following a complaint from a member of the public.

On arrival Ms Hale found a chestnut Shetland stallion and a dark bay cob mare wandering loose in a neighbours’ paddock.

Both animals were suffering from tethering injuries where rope and baling twinehad become embedded in their necks and face. Vet Martin Hobbs said that the animals would have suffered from discomfort for several weeks.

In her defence Ms Devall claimed that she did not know the horses were suffering.

Inspector Halesaid: “We are pleased that this irresponsible horse owner has been banned for 10 years as she clearly took no responsibility for her horses.

“It is simply unacceptable to allow your animals to wander around and not monitor their welfare. This ban sends out a clear signal — if you do not look after your animals you will be prosecuted.”

The two ponies have since made a full recovery and will shortly be available for rehoming.