FOUR horses found in an emaciated state in a muddy Halesowen field was the worst example of neglect a vet had seen, a court heard.

Dean Young was jailed for 20 weeks and banned from keeping animals for 20 years after admitting causing unnecessary suffering to the horses, one of whom was in foal, while in a paddock off Manor Way.

He pleaded guilty at a previous hearing at Dudley magistrates on the basis he accepted responsibility for three of the horses’ plight but said the fourth, called Rambo, belonged to a friend.

Magistrates told Young, aged 34, of Hilton Road, Tividale, failed to adequately explore and address the causes of the animals' weight loss and on a scale of 0-5 a veterinary practitioner rated the state of their condition between 0.5 and 0.

All four horses were taken from the field by the RSPCA and have since recovered.