Court told of neglect suffered by two horses

York Press: . .

A SELBY woman has pleaded guilty to animal neglect that left a horse emaciated and in such pain it had to be put down.

Toni Veitch, 42, pleaded guilty to four charges of causing unnecessary suffering to two horses near Camblesforth in 2012, and Graham Robson, 41, admitted one animal neglect charge.

Veitch, of Brigg Lane, Camblesforth, and Robson, of Church Walk, Morpeth, appeared before magistrates in York yesterday nearly seven months after their original conviction was overturned on procedural grounds.

RSPCA prosecutor Phil Browne said one of the horses – a bay gelding called Flame – was so thin a vet scored his body condition only one to 1.5 out of five. It was riddled with lice and suffering from an infection and septicaemia.

An RSPCA inspector found Flame at the field on February 3, but it had to be put down four days later.

Both Veitch and Robson were prosecuted for not getting veterinary treatment for Flame’s poor body condition, and Veitch was also prosecuted for not arranging treatment for the infection.

Robson’s solicitor, Nick Darwin, said his client was not an experienced horseman and only helped Veitch look after the animals.

He had concerns about Flame’s weight, but deferred to Veitch’s better knowledge of horses. “He accepts he should have insisted on calling a vet,” Mr Darwin said.

Three months after Flame was seized, a police wildlife office found a bay pony called Fizz at the fields.

The pony was obese and its hooves were so overgrown it was struggling to walk.

A week later it was still in a poor condition, despite a warning from police. An RSPCA inspector, was called to have the animal taken into their possession and treated by a vet.

Veitch admitted two charges of causing Fizz unnecessary suffering and failing to get veterinary care.

Veitch’s solicitor, Rachael Landin, said her client had been trying to treat the cause of Flame’s poor body condition, and later struggled to get treatment for Fizz because of rumours circulating about unpaid bills. “What is not said is that she hadn’t cared for the horses at all,” Miss Landin said.

A number of other animal neglect charges against both Veitch and Robson were dropped, and magistrates adjourned the case for sentence on January 7.

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