Mum and son given horse ban after wounded pony found chained on Sunderland allotment

Milo chained on the allotment
Milo chained on the allotment

A mother and son have been banned from keeping horses and ponies for five years after a wounded animal was found chained on an allotment site.

Lian Wilson, 42, and her 19-year-old son Daniel Jones were given the ban after Sunderland Magistrates Court heard about the plight of cob Milo last summer.

Milo in stables after being signed over to the RSPCA

Milo in stables after being signed over to the RSPCA

RSPCA prosecutor Denise Jackman said the piebald stallion was found on July 11, after concerns were raised for a horse at Downhill Allotments, in Sunderland.

Mrs Jackman said animal collection officers attended the scene and found Milo with a chain wrapped around his neck, with his head collar entangled in the chain.

She said there was a large wound under the animal's chin.

"The piebald pony was tethered to the ground by a chain and rope," Mrs Jackman said.

Daniel Jones pictured leaving Sunderland Magistrates Court

Daniel Jones pictured leaving Sunderland Magistrates Court

"The tether had become embedded in the skin, behind the ears and top of the neck, and there was a large wound under its chin."

The court heard a vet and the police were called and Milo was released with bolt cutters.

Jones then appeared by the field asking why they were taking his pony away.

Mrs Jackman said Milo was taken away and for further veterinary examination.

Lian Wilson pictured leaving Sunderland Magistrates Court

Lian Wilson pictured leaving Sunderland Magistrates Court

She added: "It became immediately clear that the depth of the wounds were much greater than previously thought."

Mrs Jackman said: "The vet was of the opinion that the pony has suffered unnecessarily.

On July 14, the court heard Wilson contacted the RSPCA and stated she was the joint owner of the pony, with her son.

The following day the pair were visited by the RSPCA and refused to sign the pony over to the charity.

"The horse has now, this morning, been signed over the the RSPCA," Mrs Jackman said.

Wilson told the inspector she was unaware of wounds, while her son said he checked the horse in between his work shifts and that he changed the horse's position in the tether every 10 days.

Mrs Jackman referred to guidance from Defra, which states that a tether should be be used only as a short-term measure, and should be used only while stopping during short journeys and under increased supervision.

The pair, of Ramillies Road, Red House, both admitted casing unnecessary suffering to Milo.

Jones admitted the offence took place between July 4 and July 7, last year, and that he had tethered the horse in an unsuitable and inappropriate manner, leading to wounds being sustained to its head and neck.

Wilson admitted the offence, between July 8 and July 11 last year, on the basis that she failed to exercise reasonable daily care, in respect of its protection against harm, leading to untreated injuries to its head and neck.

Jones further pleaded guilty to failing to ensure the welfare of Milo, between July 11 2015 and July 11, 2016, by failing to meet his need for a suitable living environment.

Chris Wilson, defending both, said: "For three-and-a-half years, Daniel and his mother have cared for Milo, with no incident whatsoever.

"In July, Daniel was in full-time employment, he went to see the pony in the mornings, and a friend would look after the pony, because she also had horses.

"The pony had been taunted by youths living in the area, who who had been throwing stones at the pony, and he moved it to a different area of the allotments.

"Daniel cannot be certain at which point the pony sustained the injury.

"He did not go and see Milo when he should have done, and, over a period of one week the pony clearly deteriorated and as a consequence of that the RSPCA became involved.

"Daniel is ashamed and embarrassed at appearing before the court.

"Ms Wilson had contact with Milo for a number of years. She wasn't aware of the injuries, she hadn't been told. They clearly show remorse."

Mr Wilson added: "As you can see from the images, there is obviously some trauma to the pony, but its overall body condition is quite good, and there is no evidence that the pony has been deprived of food or water."

Bench chairman Peter De Vere said: "From the photographs we can clearly see that the horse was suffering but the rest of the horse looked well.

"This was for a short period of time."

Both defendants were fined £120 each and were each told to pay £150 costs, £34.50 compensation to the RSPCA and a £30 surcharge.

They will not be able to appeal their disqualification for a year, and in the meantime are free to keep custody off their two family dogs.