Woman guilty of causing suffering to horses avoids prison term
1:37pm Tuesday 22nd April 2014 in News
A WOMAN found guilty of causing suffering to her animals – including one horse that was described as the thinnest ever seen by a RSPCA inspector – has avoid a jail sentence today (Tuesday).
Lindsey Morgan, aged 43, had been found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering and failing to meet the animals’ basic needs. She received an 18 week prison term which was suspended for two years.
Morgan must carry out 300 hours of unpaid work and has been banned from owning and keeping horses, or influencing the way horses are kept, for 10 years.
She must also pay the court £6289 costs.
Morgan, of Brooklyn Close, Clarbeston Road, an equine course builder, had pleaded not guilty to eight charges relating to the ex-racing stallion, Paddy, and a horse called Victor when she appeared before magistrates in Haverfordwest earlier this month.
John Tarrant, prosecuting, said Morgan “could not afford” to look after her horses properly.
Witnesses for the prosecution, Paul Williams and Robin Highton, leased equine accommodation to Morgan. They said she did not pay her rent and only provided her horses with “spasmodic” care. Neither man saw a vet visit the animals.
RSPCA Inspector Keith Hogben visited West Hill Farm in Treffgarne – Highton’s property - following a tip-off.
“I have been in the job 15 years and Paddy was one of the thinnest live horses I have ever seen,” he said. “Victor was also extremely thin, with a large swelling on his left foreleg and various sores on his body. His eyes were very dull, and his head was lowered.”
Five other horses belonging to Morgan were found to be in a “reasonable state”.
Mr Hogben said the stables were “disgusting”, with “lots of faeces”.
“I measured it as 11 inches deep and so sodden with urine it squelched when you walked on it,” he said.
Haylage found was “dusty, mouldy, smelled acidic” and contained ragwort plants and bracken.
Chewed and dropped haylage in Paddy’s stall “clearly showed” he was suffering dental problems. He had a body condition score of zero and was around 35% underweight. Victor was approximately 25% underweight. Both horses had dusty, greasy coats and their hooves were overhanging their shoes, indicating they had been on for too long.
Police were called to supervise and the horses were seized.
Faecal and blood analysis found no underlying conditions responsible for their poor condition.
After proper treatment and care, Victor’s tendon problem cleared up and his sarcoid lesions began to heal. He is still with the RSPCA. Paddy had to be put down.
Defending herself, Morgan said she had worked with horses since she was 16 and was “knowledgeable in horse care”.
She claimed Paddy had quickly become skeletal after suffering a fall in his box.
Morgan said around the time of the charges she was ill, and found out she was pregnant.
“I received a termination and the doctor’s advice was to take it very easy for six to eight weeks. My son was in charge of looking after the horses and I supervised him,” she said.
Morgan told the court she no longer kept horses, although her husband and son still did.
Magistrates found her guilty of all charges.