Luke Ward, a 37-year-old resident of Upper Woodview Place, Beeston, has been incarcerated for stabbing, slashing, and strangling horses in a field located off Hall Lane, Farnley, last July.

One horse was discovered with a tightly bound shoelace around its neck, evidently an attempt at strangulation. Additionally, three other horses were found to have sustained injuries, including one with a deep cut and a lengthy gash along the side of its neck. Another horse had a 3-4-inch laceration on its face.

At the scene, an 8-inch-bladed knife was recovered, with forensic analysis confirming the presence of Ward’s DNA. During questioning regarding the offences, Ward, who resided opposite the farm at the time of the incident, adamantly denied any involvement.

Subsequently, he was charged with four counts of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal. Ward confessed to the offences during a prior hearing at Leeds Crown Court and was recently 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.”