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Council wins £10,000 four-year battle to keep horse after taking it from woman

A local council has won a four-year legal battle over a horse which lived in a residential property with its owner.

Western Isles Council said today it had spent around £10,000 on the Grey Lady Too’s upkeep since seizing the animal – more than five times what owner Stephanie Noble paid for the animal.

On top of the costs of sheltering and feeding Grey Lady Too, the council has also had to pay thousands on legal bills. Now Sheriff David Sutherland has given the council the go-ahead to sell the horse on.

 

Stephanie Noble kept the horse in her semi-detached property in the Western Isles

Ms Noble lost the legal battle against the council over the right to own Connemara pony 

Ms Noble lost the legal battle against the council over the right to own Connemara pony 

He gave the council a disposal order for the animal and awarded the council costs in the long running case.

Western Isles council now has a decision to make as to whether to sell the Connemara pony or donate it to a charity after winning the case but any proceeds are unlikely to get anywhere near covering the upkeep costs, let alone the legal fees.

The drawn-out legal battle finally drew to a conclusion after Ms Noble, who wanted the return of the horse, lost her case.

A spokesman for the council said: ‘From the outset, the council’s concern in this matter has been the welfare of the animal and we welcome the court’s decision which validates the council’s position and actions.

‘We will take time to consider the details of the judgement carefully and await passage of the period for any appeal to be lodged. Grey Lady Too was removed by the council in 2014 because of unsuitable stabling arrangements.’

Western Isles council now has a decision to make as to whether to sell the Connemara pony or donate it to a charity after winning the case

Western Isles council now has a decision to make as to whether to sell the Connemara pony or donate it to a charity after winning the case

The council seized the animal four years ago in February, saying its living conditions in the front room of a former council house in Broadbay View, on the Isle of Lewis, where it had lived for two years, broke its guidelines

The council seized the animal four years ago in February, saying its living conditions in the front room of a former council house in Broadbay View, on the Isle of Lewis, where it had lived for two years, broke its guidelines

The council seized the animal four years ago in February, saying its living conditions in the front room of a former council house in Broadbay View, on the Isle of Lewis, where it had lived for two years, broke its guidelines.

Although Ms Noble was still the owner, the local authority had to pay thousands to look after the animal at stables on the neighbouring islands of Benbecula, more than 80 miles away. 

The council took Ms Noble to court so it could sell or donate the horse, although the owner said the authority acted wrongly when it seized Grey Lady Too. 

Ms Noble said previously: ‘Taking her away from me is bad enough – but to a different island is just added torture.

The council took Ms Noble to court so it could sell or donate the horse, although the owner said the authority acted wrongly when it seized Grey Lady Too

The council took Ms Noble to court so it could sell or donate the horse, although the owner said the authority acted wrongly when it seized Grey Lady Too

Ms Noble was given until the end of October 2013 to make alterations to her semi-detached home so that the pony could live in her house – or find alternative accommodation

‘I just can’t believe how cruel this council is. I intend to win her back and keep in better circumstances.’

Ms Noble was given until the end of October 2013 to make alterations to her semi-detached home so that the pony could live in her house – or find alternative accommodation.

The council said that under the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006 it had the power to ‘take possession’ of the pony if a vet said it is likely to suffer. 

Ms Noble said she had no choice but to move the animal into her home after it was ‘dumped’ on her lawn on Christmas Eve following an argument with the owner of the land where the horse had previously grazed. 

The Connemara pony had been bought by Ms Noble, a qualified British Horse Society instructor and trainer, for £1,850 in September and had moved her furniture upstairs when it started living in the house by Christmas the following year.     



Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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