Page last updated at 16:13 GMT, Friday, 30 January 2009

Drunk man fined for riding horse

A horse-rider caught trotting through the streets of Newcastle has been spared jail after pleading guilty to being drunk in charge of an animal.

Godfrey Blacklin was fined 150 by city magistrates after he admitted drinking cans of lager before riding bareback through Wallsend.

The 31-year-old, of Byker, was charged under the 1872 Licensing Act, and could have faced a month in prison.

A police spokesman said Blacklin had been riding in the middle of the road.

'Other road users'

David Thompson, prosecuting, said: "It is not a charge that you see every day.

"The police had concerns about him and, in the process of speaking to him, became aware of his intoxication.

"The concerns were that he was in control of a large animal where there were other road users.

"There are no definite parameters for this offence, but it is clear that he was drunk."

The 1872 Licensing Act states that a person can be fined for face a prison sentence of up to a month if caught drunk in charge of a carriage horse, cattle or steam engine.

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