A 37-year-old man has been sentenced to nearly four years in prison for a series of brutal attacks on horses in Leeds.
Luke Ward, formerly residing opposite the farm where the incidents took place, targeted the animals in July of last year.
The animals, located at a farm off Hall Lane in Farnley, suffered various degrees of harm.
One horse had been subjected to a strangulation attempt, evidenced by a shoelace tied tightly around its neck.
Additionally, three other horses were found with injuries ranging from deep cuts to long slashes on their necks and facial lacerations measuring up to 4 inches.
The subsequent investigation led to the discovery of an 8-inch blade at the scene.
Forensic experts confirmed that the knife contained DNA traces matching those of Ward.
When questioned by officers, Ward initially denied any involvement.
However, he later confessed to four counts of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal during a hearing at Leeds Crown Court.
Yesterday, the court handed down a sentence of 45 months to Ward, who had previously admitted to the charges.
The conviction puts an end to a disturbing episode that has left both the local community and animal welfare organisations deeply concerned about the safety and well-being of animals in the area.
PC Rachel Harrison, of Leeds West Patrol Team 3, who investigated the offences, said:
“Ward targeted these defenceless animals and caused serious injuries to them, which left them in significant pain and distress.
“He has not explained his actions, and we can only assume that he derived some sense of satisfaction from inflicting these injuries on them.
“As well as the pain and distress caused to the horses, these incidents also caused upset to the owners and understandable concern in the local community.
“When he was interviewed, Ward denied the offences and said that he had grown up with horses and would never hurt any animal, but the forensic evidence linked him to the scene and resulted in his guilty pleas.
“We hope it will provide some reassurance to the victims and to the wider community to know that he has now had to answer for his actions.”
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