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Essex: Man banned from keeping horses for five years after neglect conviction

One of the horses, Star, before being treated by the RSPCA.

One of the horses, Star, before being treated by the RSPCA.

Archant

A man convicted of neglecting three horses has been banned from keeping the animals for five years.

James Mayhook, 41, failed to act to keep the animals in a healthy condition at Elm Bungalow Stables in Messing.

Mayhook, of Doubleday Drive, Heybridge, was found guilty of five charges during a hearing in late May.

Yesterday the bench at Colchester Magistrates’ Court ordered Mayhook to do 150 hours of unpaid work and pay £6,000 costs as well as giving him the five-year ban on keeping horses.

The charges were for a lack of action, between March 21 and April 11 last year, to find out why a dark bay mare Star and a companion gelding Snip were underweight or provide them with a suitable diet.

Not taking reasonable steps to ensure a third animal, a Shetland gelding, had a suitable diet made the fifth charge.

Mayhook had previously been cleared of two charges of not taking reasonable steps to ensure the dental needs of both Star and Snip were met.

All three horses are in private boarding and now doing well.

RSPCA inspector Sarah Elmy said: “This was a case of severe neglect where all three horses had simply not been provided with the care they needed.

“Star in particular was in a terrible state and extremely underweight. She was wearing two rugs but despite this you could still see her rib, spine and hip bones protruding.

“Owning a horse is a responsibility and a privilege and this result shows this is not a responsibility which should be taken lightly.

“Sadly it is not as unusual as you would hope to find horses neglected in this way. We are currently facing a horse crisis on a national scale and RSPCA and other equine charities are full to capacity with neglected and abused horses and ponies, with thousands more feared to be at risk.”

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