Man jailed over animal cruelty

A Bishop Auckland man has been jailed after being convicted of animal cruelty.

34-year-old John Watson Harrop appeared in court last month under the Animal Welfare Act for causing unnecessary suffering to horses.

He was sentenced to 18 weeks' imprisonment and banned for 10 years from keeping horses.

The case against Harrop was brought following a joint investigation involving the RSPCA, local police and Durham County Council.

Eight horses belonging to Harrop were found in fields near Newfields, Willington, County Durham, in February last year.

The animals were found to be in a poor state with some suffering infections, rotten teeth and split hooves.

Insp Peace said if Harrop is seen owning, keeping, participating in keeping, transporting or arranging transport for horses once he is released from prison the police need to be informed.

"It is an excellent example of partnership working to tackle this problem.

"It is really good work by the RSPCA."

– Inspector Martin Peace of Bishop Auckland police