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A woman whose mare was starved “to the point of collapse”, and later put down, has been banned from keeping animals for five years.

Jacqueline Rita Wilson, 50, of Chapel Street, Norton Canes, Staffordshire, appeared at North Stafford Magistrates’ Court last Wednesday (31 October) for sentencing, having pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to a cob mare, Duchess, between 1 January and 28 April at an earlier hearing.

Duchess was found collapsed on her side in a field in Coulter Lane, Burntwood, by a member of public, who contacted the RSPCA and a vet.

Warning: graphic image.

RSPCA inspector Kate Levesley, who attended, said: “Duchess was really struggling to get up as she was so weak. The vet took one look at her and said she needed to get to the surgery as she was so poorly. She was so skinny and clearly looked to be in pain. She was so ill that at first look you would have thought she wasn’t alive.

“Duchess was in such a bad way, the vet confirmed she was suffering and as a result the police were able to seize her. At the vets’, she was found to have had a stomach infection which had not been treated and which was so bad, she was unable to recover.”

The inspector said there was no shelter in the field and no food, grazing or water for Duchess.

“As soon as she was offered food and water she immediately ate and drank as she had been without it for some time,” said the inspector.



It was thought by the charity that Duchess had been collapsed “for at least 24 hours” and the vet believed she had been suffering “for several weeks to possibly months.” After a month of veterinary care Duchess made no improvement and the decision was made to put her down.

In mitigation, the court heard Wilson said she visited Duchess every day and she helps care for family members.

Wilson received a 12-week prison sentence suspended for 18 months and was ordered to carry out 40 hours of unpaid work.

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