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Last Updated: Friday May 08 2009 13:45 GMT

Family guilty of horse cruelty

One of the mistreated horses

Five people from one family have been found guilty of not looking after more than 100 horses, ponies and donkeys.

Some of the animals had been left to starve to death on the farm in Buckinghamshire when the RSPCA found them, back in January 2008.

James Gray, 45, and James Gray Junior, 16, were found guilty of 11 charges under the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

Mr Gray's wife Julie, 41, and two daughters Jodie, 26, and Cordelia, 20, were each found guilty of two charges.

They will all find out how they will be punished at another day in court on 12 June, called sentencing.

At the moment the horses all still belong to the Gray family, even though they are being looked after in shelters. The judge will decide if the family will get them back when they are sentenced.

Sonali meets the horses
Sonali and a horse
Sonali met the horses after they'd been rescued by the RSPCA in January 2008. Click here to find out more.

When the RSPCA went to the farm they found the bodies of 32 dead horses, and more than 100 horses, ponies and donkeys that weren't being looked after.

Expensive to look after

The RSPCA took the surviving animals away, and they say it's cost around £850,000 to care for them in various centres across the UK.

The Horse Trust have also been looking after some of the animals, and in a statement said: "We hope the family will be given a lifetime ban from owning horses to prevent this from happening again."