A Rugby woman faces a lifetime ban on keeping animals after her pony was found lying dead in a field.

Rebecca Morrow, aged 37, of Hillmorton, Rugby, pleaded guilty to four charges of animal cruelty at Warwickshire Justice Centre in Leamington on 1 December.

The court heard how 25-year-old gelding Paddy, whom she had owned for nine months, was found dead on Windy Ridge Farm, near Rugby, on New Year’s Day.

Nick Sutton, prosecuting, said a farmer reported the carcass to the RSPCA and an inspector attended the scene.

Mr Sutton said: “It had been a freezing day, it had fallen on the floor and it had been thrashing about causing lacerations to its legs.

“Its eyes were sunken in and its spine was protruding. Its bones were easily felt. There was a severe lice infestation.”

Morrow admitted causing unnecessary suffering to an animal by failing to provide adequate and nutritional food and failing to prevent lice infestation.

She also admitted failing to provide the necessary veterinary care and failing to worm the pony.

Vic Harding, defending, said Morrow’s behaviour was not malicious and said work commitments meant she was only able to feed the pony once a day at night.

Magistrates recommended Morrow be banned from keeping and caring for bovine and equestrian animals for life, but adjourned the case for sentence until Thursday, December 23.