A man whose horse died an “agonising” death after months of neglect has been banned from keeping equines for life.
Simon Nall, of Clarence Road, Long Eaton, was sentenced yesterday (25 May) for failing to take reasonable steps to prevent another person from causing unnecessary suffering to piebald colt Storm. The 20-year-old had previously pleaded guilty to the offence.
Derby Magistrates’ Court chairman of the bench Philip Hickson said: “This is one of the worst cases of animal cruelty this bench has seen. It was your responsibility to prevent this. You made no attempt to check on the animal and you showed no remorse.
“You accept now that you were personally responsible for the agonising death of this animal.”
The court was told Nall owned Storm, who was kept with four other horses belonging to his mother and sister in a field in Valley Road, Overseal.
Nall’s solicitor John McGregor said Nall believed his mother, who he did not live with, had been looking after Storm so he did not attend to him regularly.
But when an RSPCA inspector attended on 30 October last year, in response to a call from a concerned member of the public, Storm’s decomposing body was found in a filthy stable.
Prosecutor Andy Cash said: “The horse appeared to have been dead for some days and there were signs to suggest he had struggled in his last few days. A pile of faeces under his tail suggested he had been in that position for some time.
“He was underweight and was in a poor condition. His hooves were 14 to 20cm long and he had been suffering from chronic laminitis. The vet who examined his body said this would have been excruciating and that it would have taken several months for Storm to have got in this condition.”
The court was told that, in police interview, Nall admitted he did not go and see Storm very often and could not remember the last time he saw him.
As well as the lifetime ban, Nall was also given an 18-week prison sentence, suspended for two years, ordered to carry out 250 hours of unpaid work, made subject to three-month curfew order and told to pay costs of £400 and a £115 victim surcharge.
RSPCA inspector Laura Bryant, who investigated the case, said: “This was a very upsetting incident. Storm suffered a great deal as a result of irresponsible ownership. I had never seen a horse in such a bad way before.
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“It is clear the last few days of Storm’s life were agonising. If he’d been attended to, and properly, this could have been avoided.
“The responsibility of owning an animal does not go away if you turn a blind eye.”