A man who stabbed, slashed and strangled a horse in a field in Leeds has been jailed. Luke Ward, 37, of Upper Woodview Place, Beeston, attacked the horses on a farm in Hall Lane, Fernley, in July last year.
One of the horses had tried to strangle him and was found with a shoelace tied around its neck, while three other horses were found injured. An 8-inch knife was found at the scene and forensics identified Ward’s DNA.
Ward, who lived across the road from the farm at the time of the incident, denied involvement when questioned about the crime. He was later charged with four counts of causing unnecessary suffering to animals.
He pleaded guilty at a hearing at Leeds Crown Court and was sentenced yesterday to 45 months in prison.
PC Rachel Harrison of Leeds West Patrol Team 3, who investigated the offences, said:
Ward targeted these vulnerable animals, causing serious injury and leaving them in great pain and suffering.
He has not explained his actions and we can only assume that he is satisfied with harming animals.
As well as causing distress to the horses, these incidents have upset the horse owner and caused concern in the community.
When questioned, Ward denied committing the crimes and said he had grown up with horses and would never do anything to harm an animal, but forensic evidence linked him to the scene and led him to plead guilty.
We hope it will reassure victims and the wider community to know that Ward will now be held to account for his action, stated the policeman.