Morecambe man seen beating pony, Pebbles, with a pole in supermarket car park is banned from keeping animals after RSPCA investigation
A Morecambe man who was seen beating his pony Pebbles in a supermarket car park has been banned from keeping animals for five years following a prosecution brought by the RSPCA.
John Reid, 31, of Bartholomew Road, Morecambe, was sentenced at Blackpool Magistrates’ Court after pleading guilty to two animal welfare offences.
The first was for causing unnecessary suffering by repeatedly beating his pony, a yearling filly called Pebbles, and the second was for not meeting her needs.
Onlookers described how they saw Reid hit Pebbles forcefully with his arm raised above his head and he appeared to strike her every few seconds for several minutes.
A member of the public started to record the incident on her phone which occurred in the vicinity of Westgate, Morecambe, on October 10 last year.
The footage played out in court showed Reid hitting Pebbles hard at least 15 times with a blue plastic pole.
Each blow to Pebbles is heard on the footage and Reid is heard saying: “It's gotta learn”.
RSPCA Inspector Will Lamping launched an investigation and found Pebbles, a yearling filly, was underweight with prominent shoulders and backbone and her ribs visible.
He described how the stable she was kept in at St John’s Terrace, Morecambe, was not in good condition; the floor was covered in horse faeces and there was ivy - which is poisonous to
horses - growing at the back.
Inspector Lamping went on to highlight how Pebbles had no clean area or bedding to stand on or any feed available to her.
She was also seen chewing the wood of her stable which horses often do when they are not receiving adequate nutrition.
A vet attended and her report, which was submitted to the court, said: “The stable had no bedding in whatsoever. The floor was deep in wet and faeces, with a number of plastic bags also
being present mixed into the faeces. This environment was completely unsuitable for a horse due to its unsanitary conditions.
“There was nowhere clean or dry for the horse to rest in comfort, or to protect it from the cold, hard stone floor”.
Pebbles was taken into possession by police and placed into the care of the RSPCA.
Reid appeared in court on Wednesday, November 3.
Mitigation was given in court that the conditions Pebbles was being kept in were only temporary and Reid was intending to sell her on.
In sentencing Reid, magistrates commented the offences were serious.
In addition to the five year ban which he cannot apply to terminate for three years, Reid was sentenced to 10 weeks’ imprisonment suspended for 12 months. He was also ordered to pay
£200 costs and £128 victim surcharge.
After the sentencing hearing, Inspector Lamping said: “Reid’s actions caused Pebbles, pain, fear and both physical and psychological suffering. She was very young and as a yearling she
required teaching to educate her rather than being reprimanded in such a way. By beating a pony in a way that causes fear and pain can ultimately affect how she learns and interacts with
humans going forward.”
Reid transferred ownership of Pebbles over to the RSPCA who will now be able to continue her rehabilitation and find her a loving new home.
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