A woman has been convicted of causing and failing to prevent unnecessary suffering to animals after rotting horse carcasses were found on her land.

Sarah Coverdale from Thrussington, Leicestershire, had previously been served a 2-year suspended sentence and a £500 fine after 9 horses had been left to rot on her land.

In February 2012 David Boyd from World Horse Welfare returned to the premises to take another 2 horses into care.

Both of the horses were found in such a poor state that they had to be put down.

sarah coverdale case“Rotting carcasses were found where animals had eaten out the insides of the bodies and bones littered around the place that had been compressed into the ground as they’d been left there for so long,” said Mr Boyd.

Miss Coverdale denied claims of causing suffering to any animal upon her land saying that a “Mr Smith”, supposedly a traveller, came every day to feed the horses.

She said that she had no responsibility for the horses because she had entered a verbal contract with Mr Smith, despite having no phone number or address for him and not knowing his first name.

Prosecutor Richard Thatcher said in court: “The horses were suffering and this could have been stopped by calling a vet. There’s no Mr Smith, is there? If there is, he’s committing criminal offences on your property and you let him carry on.”

Miss Coverdale was found guilty of 6 animal cruelty offences and banned from keeping horses for life.

Coverdale, who already has a lifetime ban preventing her from keeping sheep, was given 2 months to dispose of 34 horses on her land.