Sunderland boxer Glenn Foot given equine ban after leaving horse with maggot infested wound
A promising boxer left his horse with a maggot infested wound while he was preparing for a big fight.
The RSPCA found Raspy, a skewbald stallion, tethered on land near Wembley Road in Sunderland.
Owner Glenn Foot was called to the scene, but refused to answer questions.
Police were called to supervise Raspy's removal, but before a trailer could be loaded, Foot put his 12-year-old nephew on Raspy's back and fled the scene, South Tyneside Magistrates' Court heard.
Stewart Haywood, prosecuting on behalf of the RSPCA, said tethering Raspy was against welfare guidelines.
"In cases that a horse can be tethered, a broad leather collar should be used with a 360 degree swivel," said Mr Haywood.
"The horse should also not be tethered near rights of way - there was a public path nearby - and the horse should be inspected at least once every six hours.
"Raspy had two nylon collars, one of which had caused the wound which became infected.
"A vet estimated the wound to be between two and five days old,
"There were maggots and fly larvae in the wound.
"The RSPCA say the horse was subject to a prolonged period of neglect."
The court heard Raspy and Foot were traced for a second time following a press appeal.
Raspy's injuries had healed by then, and Foot was allowed to keep him.
Foot, 31, of Marley Crescent, Sunderland, was convicted of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal, and he was convicted of obstructing an RSPCA inspector in the execution of her duty, both on August 29.
Both convictions were in his absence after he failed to turn up for his trial.
Geoffrey Forrester, defending, said: "Mr Foot has dedicated much of his life to boxing.
"At the time of this offending he was preparing for a very important fight which would, had be won, led to great exposure and a remunerative contract with a promoter.
"He had been to a press conference to promote the fight on the day he was called to deal with Raspy.
"Unfortunately, the fight was lost, as were the associated opportunities.
"On the day he fled with the horse, he just panicked.
"The vet says the injuries to Raspy may have been only two days old.
"That is unpleasant, but it's not a prolonged period of time.
"This is not a case of a man who leaves a horse to fend for itself for weeks or months at a time."
Foot was sentenced to a community order of 18 months, 300 hours of unpaid work, and ordered to pay £455 costs.
He was banned from keeping equine animals for five years.
The bench gave the RSPCA the power to seize Raspy if Foot still has him.