Carmarthenshire pair sentenced after 'brutal' pony attack

Image source, Wales News Service
Image caption, Emry the pony has has since been re-homed by a rescue centre

A man and woman from Carmarthenshire who "brutally" whipped and kicked a pony have been handed suspended prison sentences.

Paul Williams, 37, and Chloe Morgan, 18, admitted causing unnecessary suffering to the animal at Llanelli Magistrates' Court on Friday.

They were prosecuted by the RSPCA after a distressing video appeared on social media in October 2016.

The pair were also banned from keeping animals for eight years.

The court heard the video showed Morgan, of Llangennech, whipping the pony while Williams, of Felinfoel, was filmed holding the animal and kicking it.

The court was told it was made by a friend of Morgan's who posted it online "for a laugh".

It was viewed more than two million times and caused public outrage.

'Cruel and callous'

The judge said the incident amounted to a "vicious assault on the pony for no reason whatsoever".

RSPCA inspector Keith Hogben described it as a "needless, cruel and callous attack".

He said: "It was clear to me that the pair involved knew their actions would cause this poor pony suffering and distress, yet they brutally attacked the animal in such a visibly shocking way."

He added the public's reaction to the video "highlighted how, on the whole, Wales is a nation of people who care deeply and passionately about animal welfare."

Williams was sentenced to four months and Morgan to three months, both suspended for 12 months.

They were also ordered to carry out unpaid work.