Cannock couple guilty of starving horse found collapsed under rug

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A couple from Cannock have been disqualified from keeping horses for 10 years after starving their horse to death.

Lee Roberts, 45, and Sarah Roberts, 38, were sentenced at North Staffordshire Justice Centre.

The horse was found collapsed and in a fragile state by a member of the public.

They pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to the bay mare horse, named Lady, at an earlier hearing.

RSPCA inspector Rob Crutchley, who investigated, said: “We were called by a concerned member of the public after they saw the horse had collapsed at stables in Stafford Road, in Cannock.

“When I got there, she was wearing a rug, so it wasn’t immediately obvious how emaciated she was.

“When I lifted the rug up I could tell that she had been starved – she was in such a state.

“A vet came out and they were very concerned as Lady was clearly very weak.

“She was given a body score of just 0.5 out of five and was very emaciated.”

Lady was put down after being deemed beyond help.

Her body was sent away for a post-mortem examination, which showed she had poor nutrition in her gut.

Insp Crutchley added: “There was no grazing for her in the field at all.

“The vet believed that Lady had been starved for weeks.

“If it hadn’t been for her wearing the rug, we might have been called earlier – the rug was essentially hiding her suffering.”

As well as a 10-year ban on keeping horses, the couple was ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work each, and to each pay costs of £250.

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