Man jailed over cruelty to horses

One of five horses found by the RSPCA  to have been maltreated
One of five horses found by the RSPCA to have been maltreated

A MAN who left horses locked in their stables with out food or water and wallowing in their own faeces has been jailed.

Alan Brennan, 49, was responsible for looking after 17 horses which belonged to his partner Stephen Jolly, but left them in “shocking states of neglect”

At a hearing at Wigan Magistrates’ Court, justices heard how the RSPCA were called by a member of the public to the paddock on Nel Pan Lane where 17 horses were found on June 12 last year.

Five stallions were found locked in stables with no food or water and wallowing in up to 2ft of their own faeces. They also had overgrown hooves which made it very difficult for them to walk and one had to later be put down.

Prosecuting, Tony Stock said: “Of the 17 horses in Mr Brennan’s care, five were in such appalling condition that the RSPCA had to take action.

“The society inspector found that some of the horses were locked inside stables with no food or water and living in their own faeces.

“They were emaciated and one had a blocked abdomen and another suffered from chronic untreated wounds.

“It took considerable effort to re-home and move these horses and it was at great cost to the RSPCA.”

Defending Brennan, Karen Schofield said: “Although the horses belonged to Mr Jolly, Mr Brennan did accept responsibility for their welfare and said he was ashamed and disgusted at himself for allowing them to get in such a state.

“Mr Jolly is terminally ill and is currently in hospital with heart and kidney failure and Mr Brennan had a breakdown at the time of these offences and did try to explain to Mr Jolly that he was struggling to cope with looking after the horses and that they did need to try and sell them on. For many years these horses were kept in perfect health and happiness.”

Despite pleading guilty to five counts of animal cruelty, Brennan, of Abbey Lane, Leigh was jailed for 12 weeks and disqualified from keeping animals for life.

Magistrates also ordered that the £1,770 it cost the RSPCA to treat and re-home the animals could be recovered from central funds.

Wigan Magistrates said it was a “deterrent sentence” that was fitting for the “considerable suffering” he had caused the horses.

Speaking after the hearing, RSPCA Inspector, Melissa Furey said: “Horses are beautiful and intelligent creatures and the conditions in which Alan Brennan kept them was completely inexcusable and I am really pleased with the sentence passed. Thankfully, 16 of the 17 horses were successfully re-homed and one went on to become a prize winning show pony.”