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Mother and daughter from Hyde banned from keeping animals after RSPCA prosecution

A mother and daughter from Hyde have received bans on keeping animals following an RSPCA prosecution after neglected horses, lame goats and sick pets were found at an animal rescue centre.

A woman who ran a Derbyshire-based rescue centre has been banned from keeping animals for life after a prosecution by the RSPCA.

Lynn Haydon-Williams of Redgate, Hyde, Greater Manchester, was found guilty after a trial of 13 offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and was sentenced at Manchester Magistrates’ Court on March 28 along with her daughter, Charlotte Haydon-Williams, who helped out at Haywill Animal Rescue and Therapy Centre located at Glossop, and a second site at nearby Broadbottom.

The court heard how neglected horses, one suffering with multiple tumours, lame goats, pigs with hoof problems and an arthritic coatimundi were found at the centre by the animal charity, who had previously tried to advise the rescue centre owner about seeking out proper veterinary care.

Charlotte Haydon-Williams, of Cheetham Fold Road, Hyde, Greater Manchester, was found guilty after trial of three offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2006, relating to one horse as the court accepted she was not responsible for the care of the other animals.

As well as a life-time disqualification from keeping animals (except dogs and cats), magistrates handed Lynn Haydon-Williams a six-month prison sentence which was suspended for 18 months and ordered she complete 240 hours of unpaid work. She has to pay £240 costs and a victim surcharge of £156.

Charlotte Haydon-Williams was banned from keeping horses for three years. She was placed under a 12-month community order and fined £1,500, while she was told to pay £1,000 costs and a victim surcharge of £114.

The court heard that during 2020 and 2021, the RSPCA identified animal welfare concerns at both the Glossop and Broadbottom sites, where horses, pigs and goats were being kept. There were previous visits to the rescue by the animal charity and vets when support and advice was offered to Haydon-Williams concerning the welfare of her animals.

RSPCA Inspector Jessica Araujo said in a statement to the court that she recalled attending the centre on May 11, 2021, when she saw “goats with overgrown feet that were struggling to walk normally, grossly obese pigs, a coati that appeared to have small masses on its underside and a horse with overgrown feet”.

Inspector Araujo said that on one occasion a vet drew up a notice of advice for the owner and on a visit to the Broadbottom site expressed his concerns for a horse who had severe skin tumours. The court was told that in a vet’s expert opinion the horse should have been put to sleep in 2021, but the equine, called Gemma, was not euthanised until after the RSPCA and Derbyshire Police secured a warrant to enter the centre the following year.

Lynn Haydon-Williams later claimed to a vet that she had dealt with the health problems with the horses and goats. Further concerns, though, were raised by members of the public and on September 22, 2022, a second warrant was executed at the centre when RSPCA Inspectors Araujo, Nichola Waterworth and Heather Morris and Chief Inspector Nina Small were accompanied by a vet and police officers.

They took action because of concerns for the welfare of 10 goats, three horses, a pig and a coatimundi, who were all removed from the centre.

Inspector Araujo stated: “I saw a number of large goats with overgrown hooves that appeared to have difficulty walking normally or walking at all. There was also a black pygmy goat who looked quite thin and you could feel his spine and hips when you put your hands on him.”

Among the animals taken into the care of the RSPCA was Gemma, a grey bay mare, who was covered in skin tumours. A vet later decided that the kindest course of action was to put her to sleep to end her suffering. Another horse, called Casper, who was suffering with laminitis, a severe foot condition, was also, sadly, put to sleep, as was the pot-bellied pig, who was suffering with overgrown feet. 

An emaciated pygmy goat and the coatimundi, who was in poor health, passed away later.

Several of the horses required treatment for foot and hoof ailments.

In mitigation for Lynn Haydon-Williams, the court was told she previously did “a lot of good work for many people for a long time” and that Covid impacted on her rescue’s finances and lessened her ability to look after the animals. It was said that she had not deliberately mistreated the animals.

Charlotte Haydon-Williams, it was said, suffered with health problems which affected her care of the horse.

Lynn Haydon-Williams initially pleaded not guilty to 15 charges, but she was convicted of 13 offences after a trial, acquitted of one charge, while it was ruled she had no case to answer on the other. Charlotte Haydon-Williams pleaded not guilty to the same 15 charges and was convicted of three offences relating to the care of a horse. It was ruled she had no case to answer on the remaining 12 charges.

The remaining animals; a horse and 10 goats will be rehomed by the RSPCA.

Speaking after the sentencing, Inspector Araujo said: “This owner was given ample time and opportunity to get the help she needed to give these animals the veterinary care and treatment they needed. Sadly, she did not take action and the animals suffered for longer than they had to.”

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