Man who stabbed, slashed and strangled ‘defenceless’ horses in a field jailed for three-and-a-half years

A man who stabbed, slashed and strangled horses in a field in Leeds has been jailed for three-and-a-half years.
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A man who attacked "defenceless' horses in a field giving no reason for his barbaric actions, has been jailed. Luke Ward, 37, of Upper Woodview Place, Beeston, attacked the animals at a farm off Hall Lane, Farnley, in July last year.

One horse was discovered with a shoelace tied tightly around its neck in what appeared to be an attempt to strangle it and three other horses were also found to have been injured, including one with a deep cut and a long slash to the side of the neck and another with a 3-4-inch laceration to the face.

A knife with an 8-inch blade was found at the scene and forensic analysis found Ward’s DNA on it.

Luke Ward attacked the horses at a Leeds farm in July last year.Luke Ward attacked the horses at a Leeds farm in July last year.
Luke Ward attacked the horses at a Leeds farm in July last year.

When Ward, who had lived opposite the farm at the time of the incident, was interviewed about the offences, he denied being involved.

He was subsequently charged with four offences of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal.

He admitted the offences at an earlier hearing at Leeds Crown Court and yesterday (Monday) was sentenced to 45 months in prison.

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.”