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Man sentenced after sexually abusing horses with paintbrush

Horses Hannah and Urani. Credit: RSPCA Cymru


A Borth man has admitted causing unnecessary suffering to two horses, after sexually assaulting them with a paintbrush.

Peter Bourne, aged 33 – of Cliff Road – was caught on CCTV on 19 September 2019, approaching two horses – named Hannah and Urani – from behind, before inserting a paintbrush into each of the equine’s vaginas.

Video footage shown to the court then saw Bourne licking and sniffing the paintbrush after the attack.

The man’s interference with the horses last year was confirmed by vets to have caused both animals to suffer unnecessarily.

He was sentenced at Aberystwyth Magistrates’ Court yesterday (29 July) – and was handed an eight-year ban from keeping all animals, and may not appeal this ban for a period of three years.

Bourne must also complete 150 hours of unpaid work, and was told to pay £300 in costs, a £90 victim surcharge and £150 compensation to each of the two horse owners.

RSPCA inspector Keith Hogben said: “Hannah and Urani are two horses who have been put through a horrific  ordeal, which this individual must reasonably have known would cause them suffering.

“Fortunately, CCTV footage meant we could detect these crimes and take action.

“It must have been exceptionally distressing, too, for the horse’s owners to know a man targeted and interfered with these animals in such a manner. Thankfully, we have secured justice for the suffering these horses were caused by this man’s actions.”

Fortunately, the two horses have recovered from the incident and remain with their two owners – Sue Neville and Pippa Wells, who have praised the RSPCA for their action in securing justice for their animals.

Sue Neville, owner of Hannah, said: “This has been such an emotional time for me, and the whole family. It was such a disturbing incident, that was really the last thing we expected to happen.

“If it wasn’t for the RSPCA, we would have been completely lost. They have helped secure justice for Hannah; and have been supportive and amazing throughout.

“We’ve moved house on the back of this incident, to protect our horse. It’s caused us a great deal of anxiety and worry.

“Hannah was always such a friendly and trusting horse; but she is now nervous and anxious to strangers. We are just so relieved justice has been served.”

Urani’s owner Pippa Wells added: “It’s been a really difficult time for us – and this is certainly not something you’d ever expect to happen.

“Without the RSPCA taking this forward, we wouldn’t have secured justice for Urani. This has totally transformed my opinion of the work of the RSPCA.

“Fortunately, Urani is now fine – but this is obviously something no horse should have to face. Thankfully, a positive outcome was secured at court.”