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Horse Breeder Spared Jail After Admitting Animal Cruelty

Thursday September 19 2013

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.

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Reply Posted by mae brussel on Thursday September 19 2013 at 10:21
I would be interested to know where the english language defines the word neglect and cruelty.
The reality is if you fail to care fo a a creature in your care for a short time you would be termed as neglectful.
If you are neglectful of that creature to a point that they are in a very poor condition and are dying .then that is cruel

Reply Posted by anon on Thursday September 19 2013 at 10:31
Should have gone to jail, we are way too soft in this country.

Reply Posted by Don McCarron on Thursday September 19 2013 at 10:31
Animal abusers are sick in the head and often only a small step from those who do sick things humans.When are we going to recognise that animals suffer in the same way we do and introduce laws to protect them properly? Nine weeks suspended is a joke. Shame on you, Miss Khalifa and shame on all of us for this country's lack of protection for animals.

Reply Posted by emma on Thursday September 19 2013 at 10:53
9 week suspended sentence, so how was she punished exactly? neglecting and cruelty are the same! this animal starved to death how can this be anything less than cruelty! disgusting

Reply Posted by anon on Thursday September 19 2013 at 11:09
used to go horse riding there when I was about 5-10/11 years old, and a horse died that I used to love riding on and she told me his death was because some horses had been chasing him, didnt think nothing of it at the time. ABSOLUTELY DISGUSTING, can't believe I thought that he might of died of a natural death.

Reply Posted by junie on Thursday September 19 2013 at 12:08
like to see her starved of food & care punishment not harsh enough nor the fine . am not a horse fan but i HATE cruelty to animals

Reply Posted by Jo on Thursday September 19 2013 at 12:49
Shes been at it for years! My daughter rides at the show she takes hers to, or used to! One poor pony was halfway through jumping,colapsed and gave birth! The thing that makes me mad is that the rspca have beentold time and time again about her. Its beyond neglect, this is cruelty! Why have 80 horses when you clearlycant look afyer one! Vile woman

Reply Posted by Charlotte ford on Thursday September 19 2013 at 22:48
I wish her sentence was much more severe , neglect and cruelty are the same, maybe the judge should have sentenced her to 9 weeks neglect( ie no food and water) what's the bet her defence would claim that cruel

Reply Posted by Annette foulkes on Thursday September 19 2013 at 23:18
I find this totally discussting
How can she escape a harder punishment as the crime she did to those poor long suffering horses
She should be sent down for 10 years in my eyes she murdered them by starving them And watching them suffer
What is this country coming too
The justice in this is what
This just like brushing it under the mat after all they are only animals in there eyes
It dose not matter cat dog horse you have these animals to care love and fully responsible for in sickness or in good health
What with human rights
Why don't they wake up to animal rights
These poor living creatures depend on us it's not like they can open bin or turn in a tap utter joke

Reply Posted by Mark Ravenhall on Sunday September 22 2013 at 16:14

Reply Posted by anon on Monday September 23 2013 at 00:07
What a sick biatch! Ive heard a few things about her and her horses. Last year sometime, she asked a friend of mine who has also got horses if she would have 2 of her ponies for a couple of days as selling them but had nowhere to keep them in the meantime. My friend didnt know her very well but agreed-until she found out the real reason for her asking her to have them. It was because the RSPCA were on to her and she was trying to HIDE as many of her horses as she could so the RSPCA wouldnt take them! My friend would have reported her anyway if they had been in a state. Or even bought them off her and nursed them back to health. I too heard about the pony that was jumping then collapsed and gave birth-its f**kin sick. She wants the same treatment doing to her. Infact lets put her and the bastard who killed Bruiser the dog in a room and let em rot together!

Reply Posted by Lynn on Monday September 23 2013 at 09:01
Yet another shameful sentence for cruelty, which let's face it, it is - not neglect!
Tell me who will check up whether she is keeping horses agin within the 10 years? In my experience no-one!! as a previous horse owner & seeing people convicted & banned who have horses again within a short space of time only to repeat offend!
It should be a prison sentence & banned for life with someone actually policing it!!!

Reply Posted by anon on Monday September 23 2013 at 09:19
I am absolutely disgusted how this women has treated her horses and taken money of children/parents to go help her out. My daughter was one of these children. She saved her pocket money up to go to this place, looking forward to riding the horses but spent most of her time there doing jobs around the place for a short ride after, but not even getting a ride at times, we paid to help her out, what was she doing with the money if she wasnt looking after those poor horses?

Reply Posted by Nichola on Monday September 23 2013 at 09:20
She needs more than that if u ask me it's gettin bad now wi animals its about time they did more about it

Reply Posted by bella on Monday September 23 2013 at 09:36
were were the horses from (Lived) this is wrong

Reply Posted by Jason on Monday September 23 2013 at 09:37
that sentence is a bloody joke........ come on judges get tough on crime , being cruel to any form of life is a crime

Reply Posted by hollie on Monday September 23 2013 at 17:21
i also whent riding there since last november at the time i thought it was good but the horses were always ill and she just told a bunch of lies to us she most prbs did it coz she wanted the money from us to ride unwell horses

Reply Posted by clee on Monday September 23 2013 at 21:56
Mark,,,i have seen that one at the back of the pub in Carlton,,,poor thing looks terrible,,,maybe now RSPCA will go and save it from any more dis-comfort,,,,dont matter who it belongs to so long as it gets the attention it needs as soon as possible,,,then deal with the owners,,,let them walk about with shit all up their backs and see how they cope with it,,,,,and thanks for bringing this to light,,,RSPCA,,,ARE YOU WATCHING,,,you damn well should be.

Reply Posted by x on Monday September 23 2013 at 22:06
Hey, clee /mark, you could report it yourself. You,ll feel good that you have.

Reply Posted by jamie on Tuesday September 24 2013 at 11:51
can you believe she used to look after some of prince philips caspian ponies i wonder what he would say about her , the RSPCA only seem to attend when the TV cameras are rolling

Reply Posted by Karen on Wednesday September 25 2013 at 08:13
9 weeks is ridiculous and suspended is obscene.

Reply Posted by dino on Wednesday September 25 2013 at 10:05
She shud av been jailed and banned for life from having any animals

Reply Posted by maria on Wednesday September 25 2013 at 11:13
nothing will be done about the poor horse belonging to the gypsies !!!!

Reply Posted by tokazchewtoy on Wednesday September 25 2013 at 11:44
I feel its a real shame that these beautiful and majestic Nimals that have worked and faught along side humans throughout history are treated in such a disrespectful and disgusting manner. Shame on us all.

Reply Posted by emma on Wednesday September 25 2013 at 17:43
I reported this woman about 7 years ago for the clear neglect she was showing her horses. The RSCPA wouldnt do anything at all as the horses were not on a certian scale of rib showing. Its been happening for years and years. Shes a nasty piece of work and is callous and only in it for money as she breeds these poor creatures in these conditions, starving, thirsty pregnant or not she doesnt care. Shes a a horrible bitch who deserved a lot lot more. It wont stop her having them as her family will take them on and pretend they are their own. The cycle will continue and the money will still change hands as these animals are sent all over the place and continue to die of starvation and neglect. FACT

Reply Posted by marsha johnston on Thursday September 26 2013 at 23:11
The bitch should have bn hung drawn quarterd,back in the day theocalns would av beating the site out her,how would she like a ton if human shite hanging from her fkn hair,no water to drink nowt to eat,id loved to see apic of the cond of these poor horse,s'any pic,s'to show us the puiblic

Reply Posted by concerned on Sunday September 29 2013 at 08:49
So people who's children rode there... COULD YOU NOT SEE what was going on before your eyes? this has been going on for years. Could you not see the conditions they were in? and you still supported this "business"?

there is a statement by Anna Sewell at the start of her book Black Beauty. It applies to every living thing, child welfare, animal cruelty etc.

My doctrine is this, If we see cruelty, or wrongdoing, that we have the power to stop, and do nothing.. we make ourselves sharers in the guilt.

Reply Posted by EmmaJ on Wednesday October 9 2013 at 11:35
concerned - I too rode there when I was only 11, I am now 23. Things were not at all the best then but not half as terrible as what it had become. Even at that age I knew things were not right. I went there for a couple of weeks before leaving and asking my parents to report to the RSPCA which they did. Like the many other reports they had from people nothing was done! RSPCA known about her for so long they are partially to blame they could have stopped this sooner.

Reply Posted by joan on Wednesday October 30 2013 at 23:34
2 stallions that belonged to her had been sent for schooling at a local yard I wonder if they have been sold or they are still being schooled / HIDDEN .