Ossett pensioners guilty of neglecting 41 ponies

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A retired couple have been found guilty of neglecting 41 ponies on their smallholding.

George Millington, 79, and his wife Maureen, 78, were banned from keeping equines for a decade after being convicted today (Friday) of three charges of causing unnecessary suffering and four of animal neglect.

A trial at Wakefield Magistrates’ Court heard how some of the animals were kept in filthy conditions at the Millingtons’ stables at Birchen Hills, Ossett.

All 41 ponies were seized following an RSPCA inspection in January last year amid concerns about lack of water, overgrown or over-trimmed feet and other problems.

Wakefield District Judge Adrian Lower, passing sentence on the pensioners, said: “These 41 ponies had simply become too great a burden for you.”

He said the couple, who used to show ponies and had won prizes, were both in their late seventies. They had suffered health difficulties and had encountered bad weather around the time of the offences last year.

The judge added: “Things began to slide, one problem was compounded by another.”

George Millington was fined £600. Maureen Millington was fined £450 to reflect the fact she wasn’t responsible for the over-trimming of some ponies’ feet.

No costs were awarded against the pensioners but they must both pay a £20 victim surcharge.