Mother, 37, and son, 18, are banned from keeping horses over cruelty

Mother, 37, and son, 18, are banned from keeping horses over cruelty

December 16, 2019

Mother, 37, and son, 18, are banned from keeping horses after RSPCA inspector found their two neglected ponies tied to trees with one so ill it had to be put down

  • Cameron Bell and his mother Natasha left Porky and Chalky tethered to trees
  • Both ponies were unwell and riddled with worms and Porky had to be put down
  • Owners admitted causing unnecessary suffering and failing to meet their needs 
  • Banned from keeping horses for 10 years and Mr Bell got a suspended sentence

A mother and son were today banned from keeping horses after an RSPCA inspector found their two neglected ponies tied to trees, with one so ill it had to be put down. 

Cameron Bell, 18, and his mother Natasha, 37, of South Shields, left Porky and Chalky tied up on grassland in Boldon Colliery in January this year.

Both ponies were poorly and riddled with worms. Porky had collapsed and had to be put down because it was unable to recover.

Cameron Bell, 18, and his mother Natasha, 37, of South Shields, left Porky and Chalky tethered to trees in Boldon Colliery in January this year. They are seen outside South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court 

The mother and son admitted causing unnecessary suffering to the animals and failing to meet their needs for what the court heard was at least six months. 

RSPCA prosecutor Stewart Haywood told South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court the ponies had been inappropriately tethered, they were not kept in a suitable environment and had ‘inadequate dietary provision’.

He said an RSPCA inspector arrived at some open public land in South Tyneside on January 24 after a report of a collapsed pony.

‘This pony turned out to be Porky,’ said Mr Haywood. ‘The inspector made attempts to stand it up. It was in a poor condition and tethered inappropriately to a tree that was on a slope.

‘A vet came and further attempts were made for Porky to stand. However the only course was euthanasia. The police also attended and euthanasia was carried out.’

The prosecutor told the court that Chalky was found in the same area, also tethered and underweight.

Further examination revealed that Porky was thin and had a worm infestation, and the animal had ‘lack of muscle and body strength’.

Meanwhile, Chalky’s tether had been too tight and the animal was riddled with worms.

Both ponies were poorly and riddled with worms. Porky had collapsed and had to be put down because it was unable to recover. Pictured is one of the animals – believed to be Chalky 

Mr Haywood added: ‘The ponies were suffering for several reasons. They had inadequate provision of water and a poor body condition.

‘The environment was hazardous and there was a risk of injury. The tight tether of Chalky would have caused discomfort. This is a case of horses that were clearly suffering significantly.’

Solicitor Valerie Bell, representing both defendants, said the horses were owned by Cameron and his mother played a smaller role in their care.

She said Natasha Bell had suffered significant mental health problems for many years and was receiving medication. A psychiatric report explaining her background was prepared for the court.

It was said Natasha’s ‘mental health had deteriorated during the commission of these offences’.

Their lawyer added: ‘Both are genuinely remorseful and very distressed about the whole background that has led to this.’

Solicitor Valerie Bell, representing both defendants, said the horses were owned by Cameron and his mother played a smaller role in their care. Pictured is Chalky’s tether, consisting of a metal chain and plastic piping, which a prosecutor said was too tight 

Referring to Cameron Bell, she said: ‘He is a young man who has a lot on his plate. He has been her unofficial carer from quite a young age.

‘He has not set out to be cruel to the animals, not set out to cause any suffering at all. 

‘He’s very young, he just has not been able to deal with what life has thrown at him.’

Both defendants were banned from keeping horses for 10 years.

In addition, Natasha Bell was given a 12-month community order with rehabilitation activities, a £60 fine as well as court costs.

Her son was handed a 12-week prison sentence, suspended for a year. He was also ordered to carry out rehabilitation activities and 80 hours of unpaid work, and pay court costs. 

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