Suspended jail sentence and life equine ban for Barnsley man

Suspended jail sentence and life equine ban for Barnsley man

A Barnsley man who treated his horse’s broken leg with penicillin instead of seeking vet treatment has been given a suspended jail sentence and lifetime disqualification from keeping equines.


Kevin Wilson of St Paul’s Parade appeared at the town’s magistrates’ court last Thursday 7th December where he pleaded guilty to four offences under the Animal Welfare Act* relating to ten horses he kept at a Barnsley allotment.


He was sentenced to 12 weeks in jail suspended for 12 months, ordered to do 120 hours of unpaid work, pay £600 in costs and a £115 victim surcharge and disqualified from keeping equines for life.


The RSPCA attended Ballfield Lane Allotments in Darton on 5th May this year after a call from the police.


RSPCA inspector Paula Clemence said: “One of the horses, a piebald cob stallion (pictured above), was down when we got there.


“His breathing was laboured and he was tethered in such a way that he couldn’t reach water. He also had overgrown hooves.


“It turned out he had suffered a broken leg almost a week earlier and rather than seek veterinary attention for the horse’s clear lameness Wilson had been treating him with penicillin.


“Very sadly, he had to be put to sleep.”


Two further horses were suffering from overgrown hooves. All ten of the horses had inadequate grazing, water, shelter or bedding material and were living in faeces in an enclosure full of hazards.


When the horses were walked to a transporter across an area containing lush green grass they were desperate to get to it and ate ravenously.


Four of the ten horses were signed over to the RSPCA on the day and have since been rehomed but Wilson refused to sign over the other five who have been in RSPCA care since then, one of which was pregnant and has since had a foal.


The horses were confiscated as part of the sentence passed on Thursday and it’s hoped new homes will now be able to be sought for them.


In mitigation, the court heard that Wilson had started out with a couple of horses but they bred and he ended up with more than he expected and that he accepted that he could not afford to look after 10 horses properly.


RSPCA inspector Clemence said: “Owning horses is a luxury, not a right, and if you take on responsibility for a horse you must ensure you have the means to do so.


“You must be able to provide food, water, somewhere appropriate for them to live, be able to get the farrier in or get a vet out if they become injured or ill.


“Unfortunately, not only did Wilson’s horses not have their needs met but some of them suffered, and one of them had to be put to sleep.”