An RSPCA inspector has welcomed the sentence handed to a Diss man who left two pregnant horses in a “heartbreaking” state in a barn with no food or water and surrounded by rubbish and broken glass.

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Mandro Jones, 24, of Ensign Way, was sentenced by Norwich magistrates to eight weeks in prison and disqualified from keeping horses for 10 years after pleading guilty to cruelty to two bay cob mares named Marilyn and Baby.

Vets from Redwings Horse Sanctuary were joined by RSPCA inspectors and officers from Norfolk police when they called to an address in Lower Rose Lane in Diss in February where they found the horses in an “appalling” condition.

The horses were seized by police and placed in Redwings’ care, but Marilyn later had to be put down due to irreversible liver damage caused by exposure to ragwort prior to her rescue. Baby remains at the sanctuary along with Marilyn’s foal Norma Jean, but Baby’s foal did not survive.

RSPCA Inspector Jason Finch said the horses were so thirsty when they discovered them they were having to lick moisture off damp concrete.

Both had lice and worms and a vet gave Marilyn a body score of 1.5 out of 5 and Baby 0.5 out of 5.

Mr Finch said: “I am very pleased that this strong sentence sends out a clear message that this kind of extreme neglect will not be tolerated by the courts.”

Redwings vet Roxane Kirton, who authorised their removal from the scene, said: “The lack of regard for providing even the horses’ basic needs, including food and water, was heart-breaking.

“They were desperately thirsty and so hungry.”

She added: “We are delighted that justice has been done for these poor horses, and thank you to the RSPCA and Norfolk police for all their hard work in this case.”

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