Man who admitted animal cruelty offences jailed

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A man who kept horses in a Bassetlaw field has been jailed for 18 weeks after admitting animal cruelty offences.

Matthew Groves, 25, of Howbeck Drive, Edlington, Doncaster, appeared at Mansfield Magistrates’ Court on Monday for what was meant to be the start of a trial, and entered guilty pleas to four charges.

The RSPCA and World Horse Welfare were called to a field in Everton, Bassetlaw, in December after reports of a collapsed horse. The animal was taken to Bransby Horses in Lincoln where it was put on a drip, but despite everyone’s best efforts, it didn’t make it through the night.

Two other horses were also taken into possession by police on veterinary advice.

The RSPCA and World Horse Welfare were called to the field again in January, when two further horses were removed because of concerns for their welfare.

RSPCA inspector Becky Lowe said: “I am happy that this case was taken so seriously by the court.

“Very sadly, one horse was caused to suffer and die as a result of the lack of care received from Mr Groves and four other horses had their needs not met.

“I hope this will make people think twice before they take on so many animals which they have neither the time or resources to properly care for.”

World Horse Welfare field officer Sarah Tucker said: “I can only describe the scene I faced last December as tragic.

“The collapsed horse had clearly been in a distressed state for some time. Because he was so weak we decided World Horse Welfare’s closest rescue and rehoming centre was too much of a journey for this urgent case, so we worked with Bransby Horses to take them to the safety of their Lincoln centre.

“It was a relief to be able to remove the horses, however despite vet Lynn Mabbit’s best efforts to save the collapsed horse, he died shortly after he was rescued.

“The sentence reflects the severity of this case and it is reassuring to know that Mr Groves will no longer be permitted to keep horses.”

Groves pleaded guilty to, on or before 15 December 2015, (1.) causing unnecessary suffering to a Piebald cob type horse by failing to provide veterinary attention for the horse’s poor bodily condition; (2.) causing unnecessary suffering to the same horse by failing to provide appropriate parasite control and (3.) failing to meet the needs of two other Piebald cob type horses by failing to maintain their appropriate body condition. He also pleaded guilty to (4.), on or before 6 January 2016, failing to meet the needs of two black cob type horses by failing to maintain their appropriate body condition.

He was also ordered to pay £750 costs and a victim surcharge by the court. He has been banned from keeping horses for life.

The four surviving horses were all signed over and are up for rehoming at Bransby Horses.

RSPCA inspector Becky Lowe said: “We are very grateful to Bransby Horses for all they did, and continue to do, to help these horses, and to World Horse Welfare who worked side by side with me at the scene when the horses were removed, it was very much a joint effort.”