Pair jailed after emaciated horses rescued from allotments

  • Two people have been jailed after neglected horses were found emaciated and covered in lice, one “hours from death”.

     Ian Tait, of Dover Road, Stockton on Tees, pleaded guilty to a charge of failing to meet the needs of two horses in his care.

     The 45-year-old failed to provide a suitable environment for a pony called Dinky and a horse called Harley who were found at Victoria Terrace Allotments, Port Clarence, Middlesborough between 18 March and 1 April 2018. 

    Courtney Layton, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to charges of causing unnecessary suffering and failing to meet the needs of two ponies in her care.

    The 19-year-old failed failed to investigate and address the causes of poor condition and weight loss and provide a suitable environment for two ponies, stallion Little Man and gelding Blaze, who were also found at the allotments.

    The court heard Tait had only kept the horses at the allotment for one evening. Layton was pregnant when the offence occurred and had struggled to look after the horses, and was dealing with personal issues. 

     The pair were sentenced at Teesside Magistrates’ Court on 29 August. Mr Tait was given a 12-week prison sentence and Ms Layton an 18-week prison sentence and both were banned from keeping all animals for 10 years. 

    RSPCA Inspector Clare Wilson, who investigated, said: “This was a very serious case. One of the horses called Blaze would certainly have died without our intervention. Hopefully this acts as a stark reminder to anyone who neglects animals that there can be serious consequences. 

    “Now the horses have all been signed over, they can now be rehomed which is the best possible outcome.” 

    Mr Tait and Ms Layton were both ordered to pay costs of £175 and a £115 victim surcharge on their release.

    The horses are now in the RSPCA’s care.  

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