Felthorpe mum and daughter guilty of animal cruelty after horses found with overgrown hooves and lice

PUBLISHED: 11:10 05 April 2014 | UPDATED: 11:22 05 April 2014

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A mother and daughter from Felthorpe were spared jail after being found guilty of a string of animal cruelty offences.

Sally Rix and her daughter Louise, from Furze Lane, faced more than 20 charges between them relating to four horses, including causing unnecessary suffering to an animal and failing to ensure their welfare.

The four horses were found by RSPCA inspectors last April in fields in north Norfolk suffering from lice, overgrown hooves and ulcerated skin tumours. The pair appeared at Norwich Magistrates’ Court yesterday where a judge warned them they had come close to getting a custodial sentence as they both had previous convictions for similar offences.

The court heard Sally, 48, and Louise, 20, had repeatedly denied that the horses were theirs.

Rex Bryan, prosecuting, said they had rented the fields and because Sally had previously been disqualified from owning horses, the pair had sought to “hide” the four found by inspectors. He added that costs, including vets bills and sanctuary fees, had totalled more than £6,500.

Both mother and daughter represented themselves in court. When faced with a custodial sentence Sally said it would be the “end of her job” if she were to go to prison.

District judge Peter Veits handed them both eight weeks in prison, suspended for one year. He also ordered them to carry out 80 hours’ unpaid work, pay an £80 surcharge and £100 in costs.

He also disqualified them both from owning equines for 15 years.

Sally was also charged with breaching a previous disqualification while Louise was charged with aiding and abetting the breach and offending while subject to a conditional discharge.

Ben Kirby, the RSPCA inspector who found the horses, said all the animals were now doing well.

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