A 73-year-old north Kent man caused unnecessary suffering to horses and failed to ensure their welfare, leading to mouth ulcers, poor body condition and worms.

William Cook, of  Oakview Stud Farm in Lombard Street, Horton Kirby, pleaded guilty to 18 charges relating to the alleged cruel treatment of horses at Dartford Magistrates’ Court on Thursday (May 22)

He was 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.

He was accused of failing to investigate one of the animals’ mouth ulcers, poor body condition and worms.

The issues were originally investigated by the RSPCA.

He was given a 12 week suspended sentence over a period of 24 months and is under supervision for 24 months.

He also has a curfew which means he must stay in Oakview Stud Farm between 10am and 4pm for six months.