*Warning: The images below may upset animal lovers*
An ex-policewoman whose real-life story was depicted in Underbelly’s The Golden Mile has been handed a 12 month suspended jail term for animal cruelty.
Kim Hollingsworth appeared in Sydney’s Downing Centre on January 24 where she was convicted of eight charges of animal cruelty in relation to 18 horses in her care in Western Sydney.
As 51-year-old’s 10th animal cruelty conviction, Hollingsworth received a 12 month suspended sentence and was ordered to repay $139,728 in veterinary and boarding costs incurred by RSPCA NSW caring for the horses seized.
The conditions of Hollingsworth’s suspended sentence insists she maintains good behaviour and does not purchase, acquire, take possession or custody of any horse for two years.
Back on December 19, Penrith Local Court Magistrate Grogin convicted Hollingsworth of animal cruelty offences after a two day hearing.
The charges included one offence of aggravated animal cruelty, where the maximum penalty is two years imprisonment and or a fine of $22,000.
She was also sentenced in respect of two offences of failing to provide proper and sufficient food to 18 horses, and five offences of failing to provide veterinary treatment for various illnesses, including dental disease, alopecia and skin disease, scouring (diarrhoea), lice infestation and poor body condition.
The maximum penalties for each of those offences is 6 months imprisonment and/or fines of up to $5500.
Magistrate Grogin said “[owners of animals have] an obligation to make sure they have a life that is free from improper treatment, neglect, or actions that cause their lives to be miserable or painful.”
He indicated that the appropriate sentence included a “denunciation of [Ms Hollingsworth’s] conduct, which I do in the strongest possible terms.”
The RSPCA notes Hollingsworth has a lengthy history of neglecting and failing to provide for horses in her care, having been prosecuted by the RSPCA and convicted of numerous offences under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act over the last five years.
This is the first time Ms Hollingsworth has been sentenced to a suspended jail term.