Horse owner spared sentence for serious mistreatment of animals
Dublin District Court

Horse owner spared sentence for serious mistreatment of animals

A MAN has been spared jail after animal welfare inspectors rescued his four horses left neglected and without food or water.

Patrick Carthy, 44, of Cushlawn Park, Tallaght, had pleaded guilty at Dublin District Court to five counts of causing unnecessary suffering to two foals and two mares in June 2018.

The father-of-three claimed he had asked another person to feed the animals on a piece of land in south Co. Dublin, while he was away.

Judge Anthony Halpin said the case “involved very serious mistreatment” to the horses, and he ordered the forfeiture of the animals who will get a suitable new home.

Judge Halpin noted that the accused eventually consented to surrender them. They had been cared for by the Dublin Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (DSPCA) since June 20, 2018, at the cost of €5,500.

The Minister for Agriculture, who brought the animal cruelty prosecution, also had costs of €1,000.

Carthy pleaded guilty before the Covid pandemic hit Ireland, which delayed the proceedings.

One of the foals had to be put down.

DSPCA inspector Tony McGovern told prosecution counsel Gareth Robinson on Tuesday the remaining three trotter horses were now “pristine”. He added that the DSPCA found a new home ready to take them.

However, on January 31, Carthy’s barrister told the court he wanted the return of the animals, worth about €5,000 because they had “sentimental value”.

He had raised €1,500 but had been unable to work during the pandemic and was in receipt of a family payment, counsel said.

Judge Halpin had warned that he could be facing time in jail, and he needed to bring more money if he wanted the horses back.

The case was then adjourned until Tuesday, when Judge Halpin heard Carthy had been unable to raise any more cash.

The DSPCA witness told the court a lot of effort went into the case and the welfare and care given to the horses at substantial costs.

However, the court heard Carthy now consented to the horses being re-homed.

The judge said they were “left for a considerable period of time without food or water, and it took some time for the inspector to bring the horses back to pristine health”.

The defendant “maintained he left responsibility for feeding the horses to another person but that person let him down, and as a result of that he finds himself before me”.

Judge Halpin expressed disappointment how Carthy, “at no stage”, tried to contact the person to make sure the horses were fed and watered. The judge noted the money brought to court was much less than the cost of looking after his horses, including veterinary care.

Finalising the case, which had been before the court for two years, Judge Halpin ordered the forfeiture of the animals after Carthy handed over €1500.

He could have restricted Carthy from handling animals in the future.

However, he said he would not because the defendant had been put in this position by a friend he relied upon, and the judge made no further order.

The court granted Carthy legal aid.

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