Unlicensed riding school operators fined £1k

  • The managers of a riding school where a grandfather sustained fatal injuries in a fall have been fined £1,000 for operating without a licence.

    Norwich Magistrates’ Court also banned mother and son Rosemary and Benjamin Fabb from keeping any riding establishment for five years.

    The court was told on 16 March that North Norfolk District Council had refused a licence to the pair, of Fern Bank, Carr Lane, Roughton, in January 2015, owing to concerns raised by a vet inspector over the horses’ health and welfare.

    Although they had no licence, and despite the inspector’s concerns, the Fabbs continued to give lessons.

    Both pleaded guilty to operating a riding establishment without a licence.

    The magistrates noted a “considerable amount of work” had gone into establishing the case and that the Fabbs knew they needed a licence. They accepted money for “riding school services”, described by the defendants as donations, but the magistrates saw it as receipt of money.

    Each was fined £500 and ordered to pay £1,300 costs and a £50 surcharge.

    H&H reported in 2012 that 72-year-old Anthony Golding had died the previous December, two days after a fall from a Fern Bank horse, having suffered a brain haemorrhage.

    At the time, Norfolk coroner William Armstrong recorded a verdict of accidental death, saying Fern Bank’s lack of a licence had no bearing on the death, but called for examination of how riding schools are licensed.

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    The licence, issued by North Norfolk District Council, had expired in July 2011 and was not renewed until February 2012.

    Mr Armstrong said it was “not satisfactory” that the riding school had been unlicensed for so long while paperwork was being processed.

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