Ban for man who beat pony in supermarket car park

Pebbles was rescued. John Reid (DOB 31/01/1990) of Bartholomew Road, Morecambe was sentenced at Blackpool Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday (3 November)

Ban for man who beat pony in supermarket car park

** WARNING Video contains content some viewers may find disturbing.

A man from Morecambe has been banned from keeping animals for five years following a prosecution brought by the RSPCA.

The incident was filmed by a member of the public in which he hit his young pony multiple times with a pole

John Reid (DOB 31/01/1990) of Bartholomew Road, Morecambe was sentenced at Blackpool Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday (3 November) after pleading guilty to two animal welfare offences. The first was for causing unnecessary suffering by repeatedly beating his pony, a yearling filly called Pebbles, and the second was for not meeting her needs.

Onlookers described how they saw Reid hit Pebbles forcefully with his arm raised above his head and he appeared to strike her every few seconds for several minutes.  A member of the public started to record the incident on her phone which occurred in the vicinity of Westgate, Morecambe 10 October last year (2020).

The footage played out in court showed Reid hitting Pebbles hard at least 15 times with a blue plastic pole. Each blow to Pebbles is heard on the footage and Reid is heard saying: “It’s gotta learn”.

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Pebbles on rescue with an RSPCA Officer
Pebbles when being rescued

RSPCA Inspector Will Lamping launched an investigation and found Pebbles, a yearling filly, was underweight with prominent shoulders and backbone and her ribs visible. He described how the stable she was kept in was not in good condition; the floor was covered in horse faeces and there was ivy – which is poisonous to horses- growing at the back.

Inspector Lamping went on to highlight how Pebbles had no clean area or bedding to stand on or any feed available to her. She was also seen chewing the wood of her stable which horses often do when they are not receiving adequate nutrition.

A vet attended and her report, which was submitted to the court, said: “The stable had no bedding in whatsoever. The floor was deep in wet and faeces, with a number of plastic bags also being present mixed into the faeces. This environment was completely unsuitable for a horse due to its unsanitary conditions.

Pebbles stable
Pebbles stable was unkept

“There was nowhere clean or dry for the horse to rest in comfort, or to protect it from the cold, hard stone floor”.

Pebbles was taken into possession by police and placed into the care of the RSPCA.

Mitigation was given in court that the conditions Pebbles was being kept in were only temporary and Reid was intending to sell her on.

In sentencing Reid, magistrates commented the offences were serious. In addition to the five year ban which he cannot apply to terminate for three years, Reid was sentenced to 10 weeks’ imprisonment suspended for 12 months.  He was also ordered to pay £200 costs and £128 victim surcharge.

After the sentencing hearing, Inspector Lamping said: “Reid’s actions caused Pebbles, pain, fear and both physical and psychological suffering. She was very young and as a yearling she required teaching to educate her rather than being reprimanded in such a way. By beating a pony in a way that causes fear and pain can ultimately affect how she learns and interacts with humans going forward.”

Reid transferred ownership of Pebbles over to the RSPCA who will now be able to continue her rehabilitation and find her a loving new home.

Pebbles now
Pebbles following rehabilitation

Mitigation was given in court that the conditions Pebbles was being kept in were only temporary and Reid was intending to sell her on.

In sentencing Reid, magistrates commented the offences were serious. In addition to the five year ban which he cannot apply to terminate for three years, Reid was sentenced to 10 weeks’ imprisonment suspended for 12 months.  He was also ordered to pay £200 costs and £128 victim surcharge.

After the sentencing hearing, Inspector Lamping said: “Reid’s actions caused Pebbles, pain, fear and both physical and psychological suffering. She was very young and as a yearling she required teaching to educate her rather than being reprimanded in such a way. By beating a pony in a way that causes fear and pain can ultimately affect how she learns and interacts with humans going forward.”

Reid transferred ownership of Pebbles over to the RSPCA who will now be able to continue her rehabilitation and find her a loving new home.

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