A LEIGH man has been jailed for 12 weeks and banned from keeping animals for life after causing unnecessary suffering to horses.

Alan Brennan, aged 49, of Abbey Lane, was sentenced at Wigan Magistrates' Court yesterday, Thursday after admitting five cases of causing unnecessary suffering under the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

The court heard how horses were trapped in squalid stables in three feet of faeces with no food or water and no way out.

Brennan had already pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to a grey Arab colt called Gandor, a bay Arab stallion called Solo, a bay Arab stallion called Palace and a grey Arab stallion called Orion.

The horses, who were living in stables in Nel Pan Lane, were found to be in a poor condition, underweight and with overgrown hooves when RSPCA inspectors visited on June 12 last year following a call about a collapsed foal.

The court was told Brennan failed to meet their care needs and in the case of Gandor and Solo he did not provide necessary vet care for their wounds.

He also failed to provide a suitable diet for the horses, including a fifth horse called Palomino and a Welsh cob pony called Martie.

RSPCA inspector Melissa Furey said: "When I looked over the door of the ramshackle stable Gandor was standing but was underweight, weak and covered in faeces.

"While waiting for a vet to arrive I examined the other horses. The environment was squalid, filthy, smelly, too small and completely inappropriate.

"There was no hay, water or fresh bedding provided. Some of the horses were underweight with overgrown hooves and some of the stable doors had actually been nailed shut.

"I was totally disgusted with what I saw.”

A further 17 horses, which were all in a normal body condition, were grazing in a field outside.

All 22 horses were signed over to the RSPCA but Orion was put to sleep on vet advice as he was suffering from chronic laminitis.

The other horses have all been rehomed.

Inspector Furey added: “These horses were completely reliant on Mr Brennan and he failed them badly. They were trapped in these stables, in three feet of faeces with no food or water and no way out."

Mr Brennan has lodged an appeal against the sentence.