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Suffolk: Man, 72, jailed for fifth animal cruelty conviction after leaving desperately sick pony propped against car tyre

07:00 16 January 2014

Whiskey, lying in the shelter after being dragged there from a field

Whiskey, lying in the shelter after being dragged there from a field

A 72-year-old man has been jailed for his fifth animal cruelty conviction in 12 years after leaving a sick pony propped up against a car tyre.

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Whiskey, the pony who had to be put downWhiskey, the pony who had to be put down

Quentin Ship, of Hall Lane, Yaxley, near Eye, had previously left Whiskey, a two-year-old piebald cob, laying in a field where he could see it for three days before dragging the emaciated pony into a shelter, South East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court heard.

Whiskey eventually had to be put down after the RSPCA were alerted.

At Ship’s sentencing it emerged he had previously been banned for life from keeping livestock. However, he was not barred from keeping ponies.

After Ship was jailed for 23 weeks, Inspector Nicola Thorne, of the RSPCA, said: “The thing I found the most disturbing is that the pony collapsed probably less than 100 yards from Mr Ship’s kitchen window, so he could see it every day. When he came out of the house the pony was collapsed in the field.

“After three days he dragged the pony into a shelter, but could still see him lying there.

“It was shocking really that somebody who has already got a number of previous convictions for similar offences appears to have done nothing, and could still walk by that animal suffering every day.

“I feel the prison sentence is wholly appropriate in the circumstances. Mr Ship did not accept guilt or show any remorse for what had happened.”

Ship had been due to stand trial yesterday for three offences. However, when an abuse of process argument failed to get the case dropped he pleaded guilty to them all.

Ship admitted that between February 1 and February 8, 2013, he caused unnecessary suffering to a pony by failing to provide necessary veterinary care and attention for a prolonged period while it was lying down.

Ship also pleaded guilty to two counts of failing to ensure the welfare of an animal between January 18 and February 8, 2013.

He had failed to protect Whiskey from pain, suffering and disease by not addressing the causes of his weight loss. Ship also failed to provide adequate and effective treatment for a worm infection.

The court heard that a RSPCA vet and Ship’s own vet said Whiskey was in such poor condition after he was found that he had to be put down.

District Judge Celia Dawson said the degree of suffering caused to the pony, along with Ship’s previous history and his propensity to cause unnecessary suffering to animals, meant he would be disqualified from owning any animal for life.

She also said Ship had deliberately left it to the last minute to plead guilty following the failure of his abuse of process claim.

Sentencing Ship, District Judge Dawson said: “The animal (Whiskey) had been unable to rise for a week, was left lying in an open field in February, before being dragged to a shelter where he was propped up by a car wheel.”

“Any caring owner could and should have sought proper veterinary advice and treatment.”

The court heard Ship had been before a court on four occasions in the last 12 years for similar offences and had been given prison terms before.

The judge added: “He shows absolutely no remorse or willingness to accept responsibility for his actions now or in the past.”

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