Registered Farrier Mr Scott David Manson DipWCF convicted of an animal welfare offence and sentenced to 12 weeks imprisonment, suspended for 18 months


At a hearing at Cheltenham Magistrates Court on 6 February 2023, Mr Manson entered a plea of guilty to a charge of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal brought by the RSPCA under s4 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006. The Court convicted Mr Manson on the basis of his admission. 

The prosecutor summarised the evidence contained in CCTV footage which shows Mr Manson striking a horse around nine times with a hammer, and to the extent that the hammer broke. 

The Court heard submissions from the representatives for the RSPCA and Mr Manson, and noted that the seriousness of the offence meant that it passed the threshold for custody. The Court directed that the Probation Service was to produce an ‘all options’ pre-sentencing report. 

A sentencing hearing was held at Cheltenham Magistrates Court on 20 March 2023. 

Following submissions by Counsel for the RSPCA and Counsel for Mr Manson, the Court noted that Mr Manson had co-operated with the RSPCA investigation and had entered a guilty plea at the earliest opportunity. The Court noted also that Mr Manson was a registered professional occupying a position of trust, and had used a weapon, a hammer, in a persistent and prolonged attack on a protected animal in his care. The Court noted that Mr Manson was under personal stress at the time of the attack but that this did not excuse the attack which the Court described as vicious.

After consideration the Court sentenced Mr Manson to:

·       12 weeks imprisonment suspended for 18 months;

·       150 hours of unpaid work;

·       20 hours of required activity;

·       a costs order of £400 to the RSPCA;

·       a victim surcharge of £120 to the Court; and,

·       the Court made a disqualification order under s34 of the relevant legislation thus: Mr Manson is not allowed to own, keep, participate in the care or control of or influence animals, nor deal in, nor arrange transport for animals for 10 years. The Court made plain that in effect Mr Manson may have nothing to do with animals for 10 years. Under s34(1) of the legislation the Court directed that Mr Manson may not apply to terminate the s34 disqualification order for a period of 10 years.