Russell Oakes wanted the excitement of being a vet and a doctor
A conman from Lancashire who posed as a vet and nearly killed a pony by botching its castration has been jailed for two years.
Russell Oakes also masqueraded as a doctor, carried out an intimate examination and charged for false diagnoses, Liverpool Crown Court heard.
The 43-year-old, of Hesketh Bank, admitted 41 charges of fraud, forgery and perverting the course of justice.
He bought a fake university certificate off the internet, the court heard.
Oakes, a qualified osteopath, was not content with legitimately treating horses and animals with bad backs.
The court was told he wanted the excitement of being a doctor and a vet.
One of his victims, a five-year-old boy, followed his advice and lost so much weight he ended up in hospital.
Oakes also conducted a vaginal examination of a 17-year-old girl who thought he was a doctor. He was not prosecuted for this, the court heard.
The true impact of his lies is not known, as all his victims have not yet come forward.
Merseyside Police has appealed for anyone who believes they or their animals were treated by Oakes to contact them.
Oakes ran his osteopathic treatments from his Oakland Farm clinic in Standish, Wigan, and treated horses at Warren Farm, Formby - owned by Sally Greenwood.
He told her he was a doctor, but had chosen osteopathy because he did not want to "sit behind a desk writing prescriptions".
In 2005 he said he wanted to become a vet and could do a fast-track course to qualify.
Rather than study properly, Oakes paid $480 for the fake documents which he used to register with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS).
Sliced an artery
His cover was blown when he almost killed Welsh pony Roo.
He took 20 minutes to prepare his anaesthetic, could not find a vein, then left the pony in agony by putting a rubber band round its testicles and slicing an artery.
The RCVS was informed of the incident, an investigation ensued and he was exposed as a fake.
Defending, Christopher Stables said Oakes's only motivation was to "alleviate the pain of horses and other animals".
Judge David Swift, sentencing, said he "breached the trust" of his victims who "believed he was a professional man".
He added that Oakes did not appear to show any understanding of how upsetting and damaging his behaviour was for his many victims.