Ex-parish councillor from Leeds kept ponies in 'disgusting' conditions: Lifetime ban after appeal failed

A FORMER parish councillor from Leeds found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to a family of three Shetland ponies she kept in "disgusting" conditions  has had her sentence increased after losing an appeal.

AN RSPCA photo of one of the ponies.

Amanda Ann Munro, 55, a former parish councillor for Scholes on Barwick in Elmet and Scholes Parish Council, was convicted after a trial at Bradford Crown Court last May of causing unnecessary suffering to three Shetland ponies and failing to ensure their needs were met under the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

She was also found guilty of failing to ensure the needs of a goat were adequately met. She was ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work and disqualified from owning, keeping, dealing or transporting equines or goats for at least five years.

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The sentencing hearing was told that Munro, of Rakehill Road, Scholes, neglected the animals between November and December 2015, when she was a parish councillor.

.Two of he ponies photographed by the RSPCA

Munro appeared at Bradford Crown Court again this week when she lost a four-day appeal against her conviction and sentence.

A judge upheld her convictions and re-sentenced her.

Munro was banned for life from keeping equines and goats with no appeal against disqualification for seven years.

A deprivation order was placed on the three ponies and goat and an order was made to confiscate a further 10 equines remaining in her care.

.Two of he ponies photographed by the RSPCA

She was also given a 12 month community order including 200 hours of unpaid work and ordered to pay £3,250 costs.

RSPCA inspector Carol Neale said: “These ponies - who were mummy, daddy and baby - were all very thin and suffering. The conditions they were living in were simply disgusting. They were literally wading in faeces, it was that bad, just a stone’s throw from Munro’s home.

"The goat was housed in a building on the same field. When we attended he was shut in there alone with no access to food or water, and had overgrown hooves.

"All we could hear when we were dealing with the ponies was the goat calling to us from a tiny window. Munro said the door had jammed so she couldn’t get inside, and we had to break it down to get to him.”

The animals were removed on veterinary advice on December 16 2016 and placed in the care of charity World Horse Welfare

World Horse Welfare field officer Sarah Tucker said: “This has been a long drawn out case but I am very happy with the outcome.

“These three ponies were living in totally inadequate conditions, the foal was hypothermic and all of them were very thin. When I attended the location, the three of them were all huddled in a corner looking dull and lethargic.

“In the winter mud is inevitable, but in this case no attempt was made to make a dry standing area or to make the environment clean or inviting for the ponies.

“None of the ponies were receiving adequate nutrition and the mare who was feeding her foal was struggling to keep both of them alive.

“This situation could have been easily rectified by providing good quality food and a clean living environment.”

The ponies have remained in the care of World Horse Welfare and the goat in the care of the RSPCA pending the outcome of the case. All have made full recoveries. Loving new homes will now be able to be sought for them.