A 73-year-old north Kent man is facing 18 charges relating to alleged cruel treatment of horses.

William Cook, of Oakview Stud Farm in Lombard Street, Horton Kirby, is appearing at Dartford Magistrates’ Court today (May 22) for allegedly failing to investigate one of the animals’ mouth ulcers, poor body condition and worms among other charges.

He is charged with 13 counts of failure to ensure animal welfare and five of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal.

All the charges – which range from May last year to January - relate to horses at Oakview Stud Farm and at The Stables in Mead Road, Edenbridge.

The issues were originally investigated by the RSPCA.