A Doncaster man has been jailed and banned from keeping horses for life after pleading guilty to mistreating the animals in his care.
Matthew Groves, aged 25, of Howbeck Drive, Edlington, was jailed for 18 weeks after admitting four offences under the Animal Welfare Act – causing suffering to one horse and failing to meet the needs of four others.
Groves appeared before Mansfield Magistrates’ Court for what was meant to be the start of a trial on Monday September 19, but entered guilty pleas instead.
The RSPCA and World Horse Welfare were called to a field in Everton, near Bawtry, in December after reports of a collapsed horse. The horse was taken to Bransby Horses in Lincoln where it was put on a drip but, despite everyone’s best efforts, it didn’t make it through the night. Two other horses were also taken into possession by police on veterinary advice.
The RSPCA and World Horse Welfare were called to the field again in January, when two further horses were removed because of concerns for their welfare.
RSPCA inspector Becky Lowe said: “I am happy that this case was taken so seriously by the court. I hope this will make people think twice before they take on so many animals which they have neither the time nor resources to properly care for.”
World Horse welfare field officer, Sarah Tucker, said: “I can only describe the scene I faced last December as tragic. The collapsed horse had clearly been in a distressed state for some time. The sentence reflects the severity of this case.”
Groves was also ordered to pay £750 costs and a victim surcharge by the court.
The four surviving horses were all signed over and are up for rehoming at Bransby Horses’ Lincoln Centre.
RSPCA inspector Becky Lowe said: “We are very grateful to Bransby Horses for all they did, and continue to do, to help these horses and to World Horse Welfare who worked side by side with me at the scene when the horses were removed, it was very much a joint effort.”