A woman has been banned from keeping horses for five years for what a charity described as “one of the most shocking cases of neglect” it has ever seen.
Rebecca McEvoy, 38, from Grantham, pleaded guilty to animal cruelty at Leicester Crown Court for offences relating to five Arabs.
In January this year, the RSPCA found the emaciated horses in two stables at an address near Newark.
“On arrival I found one collapsed horse in a stable surrounded by three others in poor condition,” said RSPCA inspector Daniel Bradshaw.
“The collapsed horse was extremely thin and appeared to be near to death.
“In a second stable, a fifth emaciated horse was discovered with a lice infestation and large abscess under her front leg.”
He added the stables were “extremely dirty, damp and dark”. Water was available, but there was no food or clean bedding.
With help from Lincolnshire Police and equine welfare charity Bransby Horses, the five horses were rescued.
McEvoy was sentenced to four weeks in prison, suspended for a year, and handed a 12-month community order for up to a maximum of 20 days. She was also ordered to pay an £80 victim surcharge, £250 in costs to the RSPCA and was banned from keeping horses for five years.
“This was a really horrific case to deal with because of the long-term neglect the horses had suffered,” said inspector Bradshaw following the sentencing.
“I am pleased with the prosecution outcome and the five-year disqualification shows the severity of this case.”
The Arabs have been in the care of Bransby Horses since their rescue and are now legally owned by the charity, which is hoping to rehome them.
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“This rescue was one of the most shocking cases of neglect our team had ever seen and it took months to nurse the horses back to full health,” said Ryan Rouse, Bransby Horses’ head of external welfare.
“We are delighted the RSPCA subsequently got the case to court and that McEvoy was sentenced.”