Cruelty ban for “con-man’s” brother

  • A brother of Hampshire-based Fred Keet, who was convicted in a deception case last year involving horses, has been found guilty of cruelty to a Thoroughbred gelding by Alton magistrates.

    David Keet, who is in his 50s, was fined £400, banned from having custody, care or control of equines for three years and ordered to pay £3,000 vet bills and £250 costs. He had pleaded guilty to the charge.

    The investigation began when a local walker noticed a Thoroughbred with a wound on its stifle, among cobs on a heath at Petersfield, Hants. She also noticed that a new-born foal had vanished from its mother’s side a day after being born. The foal was found stuck in a ditch, and was taken to a local vet. Police traced ownership of the foal to Mary Keet and the foal was returned to her.

    The Thoroughbred, a grey gelding called Oscar, was taken into protective custody because the wound in his stifle was deteriorating. Vets discovered he contained a Dutch microchip, while police established that David Keet was the owner.

    “This horse was badly injured and belonged to someone who had a duty of care,” says DI Collings, the equine liaison officer for Hampshire police.

    Fred Keet and his wife Mary were convicted of deception in March 2002 at Winchester Crown Court following a four-year police investigation. The couple advertised for companion horses in Horse & Hound, promising a loving home where owners could continue to visit, then sold them on.

    For more news see today’s issue of Horse & Hound (27 November).

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