Man banned from keeping horses for life after 'most harrowing' case

A man from Barnstaple has been sentenced to 24 weeks immediate custody and banned from keeping horses for life after causing the death of a horse and mistreating three others.

Ben Neill was sentenced (3rd May) at Barnstaple Magistrates’ Court for causing unnecessary suffering to a horse and a pony and failing to meet the needs of three others.

Neill's case was brought to the attention of the court after a passer-by saw a collapsed horse in a muddy field in Landkey.

They alerted the RSPCA who then called upon their Inspector, Claire Ryder, to launch an investigation into the horse, now known as Eddy.

She said: "His hip-bones were protruding and you could clearly see his spine and ribs.

"The horse was lying in deep wet mud. You could clearly see where he was trying to get
up as there was a build up of wet mud around the horse’s head, neck and back."

In her report to court, the vet said she thought Eddy had been down for some time as she was unable to get him up on his feet.

Sadly there was no alternative but to put him to sleep on welfare grounds to end his suffering.