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By Beth Sharp Wednesday 26 March 2014 Updated: 27/03 23:24
A WOMAN has been ordered to pay more than £10,000 and been banned from keeping animals for a decade after she was found guilty of charges relating to animal cruelty in Bromsgrove.
Liza Squires, of Dunnington near Alcester, was sentenced at Redditch Magistrates' Court on Wednesday (March 26) after being convicted of six out of 13 charges brought forward by the RSPCA.
District Judge Nigel Cadbury also handed the 38-year-old a two-year community order, requiring her to complete 200 hours unpaid work and ordered her to pay £10,000 in court costs and a £60 victim surcharge.
Squires was also handed a deprivation order which meant her three ponies would be found new homes.
Judge Cadbury said she would not be able to appeal against the disqualification order for at least six years.
He said Squires came very close to a custodial sentence and warned her that if she breached the ban she would most likely face prison.
The mother-of-two was found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to a chestnut mare Shetland type pony in Bromsgrove between April 1 and April 29, 2013, by failing to explore and address the cause of the animal's weight loss.
Squires was also sentenced for five counts of neglecting ponies, pigs and chickens in Bromsgrove on April 29 last year, for failing to provide continuous access to a clean supply of fresh water and for not ensuring her poultry were in a suitable environment.
Judge Cadbury also ruled Squires was not guilty for three counts of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal and also not guilty of four charges of failing to ensure an animal's welfare.
The defence said Squires committed the offences during a time when she had been suffering with depression as her daughter, who had a serious medical condition, was having open heart surgery.
He added, when she took care of the animals in 2010, they had already been in a bad condition and if they had been in any worse of a state they would have not survived.
The defence stated it was not a case of intentional neglect, Squires, who was of previous good character, had taken on too much and had let her heart rule her head - unfortunately failing the animals in the process.
A representative for the RSPCA said when inspectors visited the site last year they found four dead animals, which included a pony, a sheep, a goose and a pig. Officers also found a pony and a sheep which were found collapsed and emaciated.
She added how there was no water on the site so they called a vet to inspect the animals and decide if they should be removed.
The prosecution claimed with court costs, legal fees and boarding expenses, the case amounted to £38,354.
RSPCA inspector Suzanna Smith said: "We are very happy with the sentence.
"It has been very long and complicated with all the animals being kept in boarding throughout the case, costing the RSPCA significant amounts.
"This is a prime example of people taking on too many animals when they do not have the time or money to support them."
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