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Manchester Man Convicted of Pony Cruelty

Today, Thursday 18th December in Wigan Magistrates Court a local man was found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to Frosty, a 13 hh pony in his possession.

Tom Gotheridge, 69, of Abbey Lane, Leigh, Greater Manchester, who changed his plea to guilty just prior to the hearing, was disqualified for 5 years from having custody of equines, except for the 2 which he requires for towing his vehicle in his itinerant lifestyle.
He was also given a community punishment order of 80 hours and ordered to pay £300 prosecution costs.

Following a complaint received by the ILPH (International League for the Protection of Horses) in March 2000 their Field Officer Chris Williamson, along with RSPCA Inspector Cathy Hyde, went to check on the welfare of a 2 year old chestnut cross bred mare kept at Westleigh, Greater Manchester.

What the Field Officer saw appalled him. "I found the youngster in a terrible state, emaciated, covered in lice, with overgrown feet and an untreated umbilical hernia. She was standing in a stable with no bedding only her own excrement covered the floor."

Fortunately for Frosty she was taken to ILPH Penny Farm, near Blackpool, where she made a full recovery. Her owner signed her over to the ILPH in whose ownership she will stay for the rest of her life so she will never have to suffer abuse again.

Of the verdict Chris Williamson says, "We are pleased with the disqualification order which means that Mr Gotheridge is restricted to keeping only two horses at a time and therefore the chances of further neglect are greatly reduced."



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