Shropshire

Woman banned from keeping horses after cruelty case

Julie Wilkinson
Image caption Julie Wilkinson must hand over 23 other horses to the RSPCA

A woman has been banned from keeping horses for six years after admitting five charges of causing unnecessary suffering to animals kept in her Shropshire field.

Julie Wilkinson, 51, from Cannock in Staffordshire, was sentenced to four months in prison, suspended for a year, on each charge.

She must also carry out 240 hours of unpaid community work.

Wilkinson was also ordered to surrender her remaining 23 horses to the RSPCA.

She admitted the charges on 21 March and was sentenced by District Judge Bruce Morgan at Shrewsbury Magistrates Court earlier.

'Ignored advice'

Roger Price, prosecuting for the RSPCA, said Wilkinson had been given advice about the care of her horses on several occasions between December 2008 and January 2010.

On 25 January last year a member of the public reported seeing a dead horse in the field at Soudley between Market Drayton and Newport.

The black mare, which was wearing a rug, had protruding bones.

Image caption Boris was emaciated when he was seized from the field at Soudley

Three other horses appeared to be underweight. One was judged unfit to travel by a vet and was put down in the field.

Two were taken away but one later died.

Speaking for Wilkinson, Timothy Gascoyne said his client believed she had been giving the horses adequate doses of wormer.

Sentencing Wilkinson, Judge Morgan said: Possibly the most aggravating factor is that you ignored all advice and warnings you were given."

She was placed under supervision for a year and ordered to pay £4,000 costs.

Wilkinson declined to comment on the outcome of the case.

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