A YOUTH who flogged a horse so badly that it had to be put down was sentenced to six months imprisonment.
During a contested hearing last June, Shane Ryan-Casey, aged 18, of Clonlong Halting site, Southill denied animal cruelty charges saying he was trying to get the pony back on its feet.
Limerick Court was told gardai received reports of two young boys riding the sulky down Childers Road at around 3pm on June 22, 2012.
Members of the public had reported the trap being ridden dangerously and that the pony was being mistreated, Garda Rory O’Grady told Judge Eugene O’Kelly.
“When we reached the scene, I saw a sulky had overturned and the horse lying on the ground with a male beating it with the reins, “ Garda O’Grady said.
Garda O’Grady estimated that the two youths who had been riding the sulky to be around eight years old but Shane Ryan, a cousin of the two boys who had come across the scene and who gardai identified as having beaten the horse, told the court they were aged 12 and 13.
Injuries to the animal included bleeding on both sides of the mouth from an overtight bit while its legs were also bloodied. The horse was very lame in the back leg, was clearly exhausted and thirsty
The owner of the horse was never identified and the animal had to be destroyed because of its condition, the court heard.
During last summer’s hearing, solicitor Sara Ryan insisted her client had not beaten the horse and she said its injuries were as a result of the manner in which it had been ridden.
But Garda O’Grady said the prosecution was based on what he had observed at the roadside, namely the accused beating repeatedly down on the animal in what he considered was “cruel torture”.
After convicting Mr Ryan-Casey, Judge Eugene O’Kelly said he was “not fit to have anything to do with horses”, and any horse licence application made by him in the future “should be strenuously resisted”.
The defendant was ordered to complete 240 hours of community service in lieu of a six month prison sentence.
That prison sentence was activated last week after the judge was told that Mr Ryan-Casey had not completed any of the community service, which was imposed last June.