Trio sentenced over animal cruelty at Burnley allotment

Burnley Magistrates' Court
Burnley Magistrates' Court

Three people have been sentenced after admitting a number of offences under the Animal Welfare Act relating to animals being kept at a Burnley allotment.

Jade English (29) of Manchester Road, Burnley, and Rebecca Wilkin (41) of Burnley Road, Crawshawbooth, pleaded guilty to five offences relating to horses and a dog and Carl Jason Watson (47) of Cog Lane, Burnley pleaded guilty to one offence relating to a horse.

They appeared before Burnley Magistrates’ Court for sentencing on Thursday January 17th.

The RSPCA attended an allotment off Moseley Road, Burnley, on December 12th 2017 following reports of a collapsed horse.

RSPCA inspector Lynsey Taylor said: “What we found when we got there was shocking.

“The collapsed horse we’d been called about, Domino, was laid at the entrance to the allotment, a few feet away from his stable which had been bolted shut top and bottom but Domino had kicked the lower stable door open in his distress.

“Very sadly there was nothing vets could do for him but end his suffering and he was put to sleep at the scene.

“A second horse, a colt called Koda, was also down but we managed to get him back on his feet and he was taken to HAPPA - the Horses and Ponies Protection Association - who had also had a call and arrived at the location when we did.

“There were a number of horses at the allotments living in awful conditions - they were underweight, had overgrown feet, lameness, lice and mites to different degrees.

“A dog, called Cyprus, who had recently had puppies was also living in disgusting conditions and, along with the horses, was taken into possession by police on veterinary advice. She was underweight and suffering from mastitis and diarrhoea.”

A horse called Gypsy Boy and Cyprus the dog were signed over to the RSPCA straight away, along with Koda who was then signed over to HAPPA and is still at their centre where he continues his recovery (pictured left).

In April (5th), the RSPCA attended the allotment again after a police officer - attending for something else - raised concerns about a horse he’d seen. Deano - a colt - was in a poor body condition and taken into possession by police on the advice of a vet and placed in RSPCA care.

English was sentenced to a six month community order with a curfew for eight weeks between 9pm-6am and 10 rehabilitation activity days. She was disqualified from keeping equines for four years and a deprivation order was placed on three horses not previously signed over to the RSPCA. She was ordered to pay £1,200 costs and an £85 victim surcharge.

Wilkins was sentenced to a 12-month community order including 20 rehabilitation activity days. She was disqualified from keeping equines for four years. She was also ordered to pay £1,200 costs and an £85 victim surcharge.

Watson was sentenced to a community order of a curfew for nine weeks between 9pm-6am. He was disqualified from keeping equines for two years and a deprivation order was placed on Deano. He was also ordered to pay £600 costs and an £85 victim surcharge.

In mitigation the court heard that it was not deliberate cruelty and that the horses were rescued from elsewhere and the defendants did their best but didn’t have the money to feed or house them properly. In respect of Watson, the court heard that he hadn’t had Deano the horse very long.

RSPCA Inspector Taylor said: “These animals were failed by these people and they suffered - and in Domino’s case died - as a result.”