VIDEO: Croydon man George Smith sentenced for beating "defenceless" pony during Rosehill flower stall theft

Croydon man George Smith sentenced for beating "defenceless" pony during Rosehill flower stall theft

Croydon man George Smith sentenced for beating "defenceless" pony during Rosehill flower stall theft

First published in News
Last updated
by , Reporter

A thief who beat his young pony with a stick to make it drag a stolen flower stall six miles has been banned from keeping equine for a year.

George Smith, 36, of Canal Walk, Croydon was ordered to pay £85 in costs and do 150 hours of unpaid work on after pleading guilty to two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal at Croydon Magistrates Court.

In June last year, Smith was caught on CCTV attaching an unmanned flower stall to his chestnut mare in Rosehill, Sutton, before cracking the one-year-old pony's hide repeatedly after the stolen haul got stuck on a speed bump.

Vet Robin Stevens told magistrates: "The pony's legs were bucking, it physically couldn't carry it over the bump, hitting it with a stick was not making any difference, she couldn't do it."

Police caught Smith as he began his six mile journey from the Co-Op in Rosehill, to Surrey Street Market in Croydon.

Smith confessed to police he had had his eye on the stall, belonging to flower seller Chris Tucker, for some time.

The father-of-one had initially denied animal cruelty and told police he had been feeding the pony daily, although vet Miss Stevens told magistrates at the trial, the pony was in "quite poor condition" and "had not been looked after".

After pleading guilty to theft by finding in August, Smith changed his plea on the animal cruelty charges to guilty on the morning of the trial.

In sentencing Smith on Monday, Judge S Fudge, told him the pony was defenceless and completely dependant on him.

She said: "You used a stick to beat it with when it clearly couldn't cope with the weight of the cart. You were wrong to use the pony to help you commit an offence, it deserved better from you."

Kate Fletcher from the RSPCA said the sentence was disappointing because it was so lenient.

She added: "At the same time he’s admitted responsibility for his actions and now at the least the pony can go to a more deserving home."

Comments (7)

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1:47pm Tue 5 Feb 13

cool20 says...

Yuk! What a horrible piece of rubbish. A thief as well as an animal abuser. The sentence is far too lenient. Glad the pony has gone to a better home.
Yuk! What a horrible piece of rubbish. A thief as well as an animal abuser. The sentence is far too lenient. Glad the pony has gone to a better home. cool20
  • Score: 0

2:07pm Tue 5 Feb 13

debbierit says...

That sentence is a joke and completely sends out the wrong message. He should be in jail.
That sentence is a joke and completely sends out the wrong message. He should be in jail. debbierit
  • Score: 0

5:18pm Tue 5 Feb 13

Simbali says...

He should be banned for life from keeping any animal. A year will make no difference to his behaviour at all, he is a thug and an abuser and probably always will be. Really hope the horse gets a decent owner next time around.
He should be banned for life from keeping any animal. A year will make no difference to his behaviour at all, he is a thug and an abuser and probably always will be. Really hope the horse gets a decent owner next time around. Simbali
  • Score: 0

6:51pm Tue 5 Feb 13

Michael Pantlin says...

A completely fudged sentence. Quite inadequate. I'd vote for a lifetime ban from anywhere near animals and a spell in clink.
A completely fudged sentence. Quite inadequate. I'd vote for a lifetime ban from anywhere near animals and a spell in clink. Michael Pantlin
  • Score: 0

9:48pm Tue 5 Feb 13

Oudinot says...

Another kick in the teeth (yes, deliberate metaphor) for decency, and the majority of us who hope the law and the judiciary are there to protect our interests, and in this case that of a defenceless animal.
Shameful.
Another kick in the teeth (yes, deliberate metaphor) for decency, and the majority of us who hope the law and the judiciary are there to protect our interests, and in this case that of a defenceless animal. Shameful. Oudinot
  • Score: 0

7:54am Wed 6 Feb 13

lordofzombies says...

looks like a ventriloquist dummy
looks like a ventriloquist dummy lordofzombies
  • Score: 0

3:09pm Fri 8 Feb 13

sfocata says...

Animal cruelty sentences are a joke. Not a particularly funny one, unfortunately...
Animal cruelty sentences are a joke. Not a particularly funny one, unfortunately... sfocata
  • Score: 0

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