The prosecution was brought by Harrogate Borough Council after an 11-year-old suffered a serious bite to the arm from a horse as she walked past a stable door.
During the investigation by the borough council the owners of the trekking centre accepted that the horse was ‘grumpy’ and it was revealed that the horse ‘gets territorial around her stable and snaps when people are too close’.
As a result of the bite, the young girl needed reconstructive surgery.
After viewing CCTV footage of the bite, the judge found that whilst the defendant had made some attempts to rope off the horse, the precautions were not sufficient to prevent the bite.
The investigation was carried out by the council’s legal services and environmental health teams following a complaint from the victim’s family.
Following a guilty plea from both Mrs Jocelyn Fletcher-Bryan and Mr Roy Bryan owners of Little Pastures Trekking Centre the judge sentenced them both to a £3,000 fine, £170 victim surcharge and costs of £2,500 to the borough council. In total, they have been fined £11,340.
Councillor Mike Chambers, Harrogate Borough Council’s cabinet member for housing and safer communities, said:
Customers of Little Pastures Trekking Centre should be safe in the knowledge that by visiting the trekking centre they will not be subject to injury or trauma.
This incident, that has physically harmed an 11-year-old, should never have happened and it is only right that we investigate thoroughly and take appropriate action to ensure it never happens again.
The result should come as a reminder for all businesses that engage with the public that health and safety is paramount.