Portsmouth woman who starved her horses in Waterlooville escapes jail

A WOMAN who left her horses with no food and dirty water has escaped jail.

By Matthew Mohan-Hickson
Thursday, 23rd May 2019, 2:19 pm
Paddy was one of the horses left to starve. Picture: RSPCA
Paddy was one of the horses left to starve. Picture: RSPCA

Deborah Jane Hunt, 59, from Cosham, was keeping Paddy and Duchess in a stable in Frogmore Lane, Waterlooville. 

The horses were kept in unsuitable conditions without access to suitable and sufficient food and fresh water, despite the RSPCA and World Horse Welfare giving her repeated advice. 

One of the animals was seen eating his own faeces because he was so desperate for food. 

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Paddy was one of the horses left to starve. Picture: RSPCA

RSPCA Inspector Tina Ward said: ‘This was a case of prolonged neglect where the needs of Paddy and Duchess were simply ignored.

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‘The horses were in stables, filled with faeces and no clean bedding to give a dry resting area.

‘There was no food available and the only water they had access to was a small amount of very dirty water at the bottom of a bucket.

Paddy was so hungry that he was eating his own faeces. Picture: RSPCA

‘I saw Paddy eating his own faeces and found it very upsetting - it was clear he was desperate for food. Bay mare Duchess had severely overgrown hooves that hadn’t been tended by a farrier which were causing her further distress.

‘Thankfully both horses have gone on to make a fantastic recovery with the right care and a suitable diet.

‘Duchess is doing well health wise but mentally she has a long way to go.  She has never been with other horses and had grass. She is still learning what it is to be a horse and often stands at the gate looking to come back in.’ 

Hunt was found guilty of three offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 in connection with the neglect suffered by Paddy and Duchess. 

Duchess the other horse neglected by Hunt. Picture: RSPCA

She appeared at Portsmouth magistrates court on Monday where she was banned from keeping equines for five years and was also sentenced to 12 weeks imprisonment suspended for 12 months. 

Hunt was also given an eight-week curfew from 6pm till 6am, and ordered to pay £750 costs with a £115 victim surcharge. 

The five-year disqualification order which prevents Hunt from keeping or caring for equines cannot be appealed for three years.

Bucket of dirty water in the stables. Picture: RSPCA

She was also deprived of ownership of the horses and told the court another horse, a shetland pony, had already been rehomed to a rescue centre.