Man sentenced over horse death

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A man guilty of causing unneccessary suffering to a horse, which led to its death, avoided jail this week.

Kirklees Magistrates Court heard how two men from Middleton, Leeds, tied an 18-month-old horse to a 4x4 by its neck before dragging it around a field in Cleckheaton until it died.

Christopher Lee Hall and Cyril Hooton, last month pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to the horse.

A tearful Hall watched on as the court heard how he and Hooton had wanted to run the horse around the field with a 4x4 in an attempt to tame it.

However, the pair used the wrong type of knot on the horse, which was eventually strangled as it struggled to keep up with the vehicle.

The court heard how Hall, 42, had enlisted 75-year-old Hooton’s assistance as an experienced horseman to help tame the dark bay cob-type colt.

They visited the fields off Maizebrook Avenue and Kilroyd Drive in Hunsworth to “break-in” the animal last August.

Andrew Davidson, prosecutng, referred to a statement from RSPCA vet Sally Strachan, who performed the horse’s post-morterm, in the pre-sentence report.

He said: “In her opinion, this horse will have suffered unnecessarily and this was an act of cruelty.”

Mitigating for Hall, Philip Goldberg told the court Hall had bought the horse for his 14-year-old daughter and there was no intention to harm it.

Hall was given an eight-week prison sentence suspended for a year, told he must complete 200 hours of unpaid work, and told he had to pay £580 in costs.

He was also disqualified from keeping or selling horses for 10 years.

Magistrate Helen Midgeley added the order would not affect the family cat.

Hall then told the court: “I am grateful for that, because that would have been devastating to my child.”

Co-defendant Hooton will be sentenced separately due to health reasons. His sentencing was adjourned until April 1.