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Deeside dad admits neglecting horse bought for Christmas

A FATHER-OF-FIVE who bought his children a horse for Christmas has appeared in court and admitted neglecting it.

Michael Thomas, 38, of Kingsley Road, Garden City, kept Lola – a black filly – in Ellesmere Port.

On Friday at Chester Magistrates Court he pleaded guilty to causing the animal unnecessary suffering, failing to worm her, failing to supply her with water and failing to supply a suitable living environment.

RSPCA inspectors found that on some days she had no water, was underweight, was suffering from diarrhoea and was kept in a field with pallets and other waste.

Thomas bought Lola for £275 for his children in December 2010, but problems soon arose and he confessed to police he had no experience of looking after horses.

Christopher Murphy, prosecuting, said an animal welfare officer visited on March 3 and found Lola had lost weight and had no hay or water.

Thomas later moved her to another site in Ellesmere Port and on March 29 vets examined her. They alerted the police and Thomas was cautioned.

On March 31 a vet checked the animal over and said she had been ‘fed an inadequate amount of food for at least four weeks’, added Mr Murphy.

Lola was put to sleep in November after developing a back condition.

Brian Cross, defending, said: “It was an error of judgment in misunderstanding the responsibilities he’s taking on.”

District judge Andrew Shaw sentenced Thomas to a 12-month community order with a requirement to complete 100 hours of unpaid work.

He was ordered to pay £375 in costs and disqualified from owning horses.