Opinion Former Article

Mother and son ordered to pay almost all RSPCA costs

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An international horse show judge and breeder who was banned from owning, keeping, dealing or transporting equines for three years in September has withdrawn his appeal against his sentence. He, and his mother, have been ordered to pay £184,667.66 in costs between them.

Mr David Hinde (D.O.B 7.1.65), of Arlington Villas, Aberford, West Yorkshire, who bred Dartmoor ponies at Becca Farm, Aberford under the name ‘Pumphill Dartmoors’, appeared at Hull Crown Court yesterday (Thursday 3 May) along with his mother Mrs Cynthia Hinde, of the same address.

Mr Hinde appeared at Beverley Magistrates Court on Monday 26 September for the start of a five-day trial but entered guilty pleas instead. He admitted causing unnecessary suffering to a bay Dartmoor colt by failing to address its emaciated and collapsed state and failing to meet the needs of 13 ponies by failing to investigate and address the causes of their poor body condition. As well as the three-year-ban he was ordered to pay a £200 fine and costs of £800 at that time.

The RSPCA attended Walkhouse Farm, Kiplingcotes, East Yorkshire – a property rented by Mr Hinde but no longer connected to him - on Sunday 7 March 2010 after a call from a member of the public who was concerned that he hadn’t attended to the ponies for a few days. Thirty one ponies were seized by police on veterinary advice and placed in the RSPCA’s care. One of them - a bay Dartmoor colt - was emaciated and collapsed.

RSPCA inspector Hannah Bryer said: "When an experienced horseman with such a high standing in the horse world allows a pony to get into this kind of state, as Mr Hinde did here, it is truly shocking.

"The pony was literally at death’s door when we found him. He was severely emaciated, collapsed and unresponsive and we considered putting him to sleep there and then to end his suffering. He was placed on a drip at the scene and had to be moved to the transporter on a tarpaulin sheet. It was the most distressing thing I’ve seen in my career at the RSPCA.

"His recovery was extremely difficult but amazingly he is now back to full health. No underlying clinical reason could be found for his condition, suggesting that the cause was purely and simply malnutrition and dehydration."

Mrs Cynthia Hinde, who it was always maintained owned the ponies, also withdrew her appeal against an Animal Welfare Act 2006 section 20 ruling that she be deprived of the horses and that their care be passed to the RSPCA. After over two years in RSPCA care the horses will now be able to be rehomed.

The RSPCA is keen to hear from anyone who sold a pony to the Hindes and is interested in taking it back. Please call the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999 and ask to leave a message for chief inspector Cathy Hyde, who is co-ordinating the rehoming.

Mr Hinde was ordered to pay costs of £95,338.14 and Mrs Hinde was ordered to pay costs of £89,329.52. The RSPCA will now seek to reclaim the funds through the courts.




Notes to editors:

— Photographs are available from Leanne Plumtree, senior press officer, by e-mailing lplumtree@rspca.org.uk or the national press office at press@rspca.org.uk

— RSPCA inspector Hannah Bryer is only available for further comment at very limited times

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