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Last Updated: Friday June 12 2009 18:46 GMT

Family punished for horse cruelty

One of the mistreated horses

A family of five has been punished for animal cruelty after 32 horses died on their farm.

114 more horses and donkeys were seriously ill when animal charity the RSPCA found them in January 2008.

The father of the family, James Gray, who is 45, has been sent to prison for 6 months and banned from keeping horses for life.

The RSPCA described it as the most serious case of animal cruelty they have ever dealt with.

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.

Mr Gray's wife Julie, 41, and daughters Jodie, 26, and Cordelia, 20, will have to do 150 hours unpaid work and will not be able to keep horses for 10 years.

Their son James, 16, will be looked after by special helpers and also received a ban.

The surviving horses were taken away and are now being looked after by the RSPCA and another charity The Horse Trust.