Flintshire teenager guilty of selling loaned horse

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Staff reporter

A WOMAN who loaned her horse to a teenager was shocked to find it ended up being sent to the knackers’ yard.

A girl aged 17 from the Buckley area had previously pleaded not guilty to stealing gelding Arnie.

She claimed she owned him after she paid £1 in luck money to the owner, Nia Bethan Williams.

But at Flintshire Youth Court at Mold yesterday the girl changed her plea and accepted she had stolen the animal.

Sentence was adjourned after magistrates heard the girl's parents did not know about her court appearance.

It would also give the prosecution a chance to check on compensation details.

The court was told the owner paid £2,000 for the 16.5 gelding but over the years had less time to devote to him and asked a livery yard owner if she could find a suitable retirement home for him.

The girl contacted the owner and suggested she should loan the horse.

The owner was reluctant at first but agreed on the basis that she trusted the girl, that the teenager would pay all the livery fees and the horse would remain at the livery yard.

The yard owner reduced the weekly charge from £100 to £35 a week for the girl but after a few weeks the girl said she wished to move the horse from the yard.

She was reminded it was a condition that the horse remained at the yard, but one day a horse box was seen speeding away from one of the fields and the horse went missing.

Prosecutor Robert Blakemore said the girl refused to answer any communications from the owner.

Interviewed by the police, she claimed she had bought the horse for £1 luck money and that it was hers.

She said she could not afford the livery fees, the horse went lame and she also paid out vet's fees.

The youth said she did not know what to do and she had sold the horse for £1 to a woman she met in a shop who had overheard her speaking about her problems.

Police investigations revealed the horse was sold to a horse dealer for £200 and was then sold on for £330 to a Cheshire knackers' yard.

Re-interviewed, she admitted selling the horse but said it was her horse and she had a right to sell it.

Catherine Jagger, defending, said the girl had come under the influence of people older than herself.

At the time she believed that by paying £1 she had obtained ownership of the horse but she now accepted that when the owner asked for the horse she should have returned it.

Her client had paid for livery charges and vets fees but she could not ride it any more, she could not afford to have it put down and when offered £200 for the horse she had taken it.

See full story in the Leader

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