Man interviewed under caution following horse deaths at Sunderland allotment site

Murphy the Shetland pony was put to sleep after the shocking attack
Murphy the Shetland pony was put to sleep after the shocking attack
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A man has been interviewed under caution after two horses died following a suspected arson and knife attack at an allotment site in Sunderland.

A Shetland pony, called Murphy, was put to sleep after he was stabbed and slashed with a knife at Downhill Allotments, off Rhodesia Road, at around 1am on Friday morning (September 7).

Another horse also died at the site when a stables caught fire. The blaze is being treated as a suspected arson.

A police investigation into 'shocking' incident is currently ongoing.

A spokesman for Northumbria Police said: "One man has been interviewed under caution and inquiries are ongoing.”

RSPCA officials are also investigating the 'deliberate attack' on Murphy the Shetland pony.

RSPCA inspector Terri Ann Fannon, who went to the scene, said: “It was an absolutely terrible thing to have to deal with.

“We were told that one horse died in the fire.

“Murphy was in an awful state. He was very distressed, as you’d expect.

“He had numerous slash and stab injuries all over his body. One stab wound on his back left knee was so deep the damage was irreparable.

“Very sadly the vet decided that there was no other option but to put him to sleep.

“Clearly this was a deliberate attack. It’s absolutely shocking that someone would do something like this."

A stables, kennels and a car were severely damaged in the blaze which killed one horse.

A spokesperson for Northumbria Police said at the time: “At 1.36am, police received a report of a fire at a stable in Rhodesia Road, Sunderland.

“Emergency services attended and found a car alight. The fire had also spread to a nearby stable, where a horse was found deceased within. Police are treating the fire as suspected arson.

“A second horse was found deceased outside the stable. It is believed that it was killed as a result of being attacked with a knife.

“Inquiries are ongoing. Anyone who saw anything suspicious is asked to contact police on 101 quoting reference 051 070918.”