A HORSE breeder has received a nine-week suspended jail term after an animal in her care died and others were kept in filthy conditions.

Deborah Thomson, 53, was also banned from owning horses for ten years after pleading guilty to seven counts of animal cruelty.

Thomson, of Lee Lane, Royston, was visited by animal welfare officers following a complaint made to the RSPCA after a person found a dead horse in a field.

Sajeda Khalifa, prosecuting, said inspectors found Thomson's 80-strong herd were covered in faeces and urine, as well as suffering from sores, dehydration and malnutrition.

"The dead horse had been down in its position for some period of time," said Miss Khalifa. "It appeared to have died of malnutrition."

Thomson's herd was seized by inspectors - and a further horse later died because of its condition.

Despite her solicitor claiming neglect was committed rather than cruelty, magistrate Dale Kendrick handed Thomson a nine-week prison sentence, suspended for a year. 

Thomson was also ordered to pay costs of £2,968 and an £80 victim surcharge.