Duo banned from keeping animals after treatment of Staffs horses

A Crewe man and Newcastle-under-Lyme woman have been banned from keeping animals for a combined nine years following their mistreatment of horses in Staffordshire.

William Braddock of McNeil Avenue in Crewe and Tina Price of Cemetery Road, Newcastle-under-Lyme both pleaded guilty to Animal Welfare Act offences in relation to horses in their care.

Braddock admitted failing to meet the needs of eight horses kept in a field in the vicinity of Trentmill Road/ Kettering Drive, Stoke-on-Trent.

Price pleaded guilty to three Animal Welfare Act offences, concerning her causing three horses to suffer unnecessary – one based at the same field in Stoke; and two other at a site at Agger Hill in Newcastle-under-Lyme.

In January 2020 RSPCA inspector Laura Baker found multiple equines in wholly inappropriate conditions after responding to a separate welfare concern.

Many of the horses found were underweight and in poor bodily condition. Eight were found not to have their needs met; with treatment not provided for problems such as lice infestation, rain scald and hoof care. Their owner – Braddock had also failed to provide required dental care and parasitic control.

World Horse Welfare provided support to the RSPCA in moving and taking on horses involved in this case, in what the charity says is a ‘great example’ of positive partnership working.

The following month Inspector Baker responded to welfare concerns regarding further horses kept at Agger Hill in Newcastle-under-Lyme. Price would later admit to causing unnecessary suffering to two of the horses found in the field – as a result of her failure to ensure much-needed veterinary care for lameness.

Braddock was sentenced to 12 weeks imprisonment, suspended for 18 months and he must understand 20 rehabilitation days, and faces a 56-day curfew where he must not leave his home between 6pm and 6am.

He was banned from keeping animals for five years – and was handed a £500 fine and must also pay a £95 victim surcharge. Price was given a 12-month community order and must undertake 40 hours of unpaid work and 20 rehabilitation days. She has been banned from keeping any animal for four years and must also pay £500 and a £95 victim surcharge.

Fortunately, the majority of horses involved in this case recovered and many have gone on to be made available for rehoming.

RSPCA inspector Laura Baker said: “This was a complex operation, involving a large number of horses – and we’re really grateful to World Horse Welfare for their support, including taking on a number of the animals. It’s another great example of what we can do together for animal welfare.

“Sadly, this case reminds us what can go wrong for horses if they are neglected and not cared for properly. Unchecked breeding, a lack of worming and insufficient food supplies during such cold conditions were all at play here. We’re just relieved we were able to intervene, secure justice for these animals and help many of these horses to go onto a second chance of happiness.”