Wollongong judge upholds conviction against Kim Hollingsworth for animal neglect, bans her from owning horses for two years
|Wollongong judge upholds conviction against Kim Hollingsworth for animal neglect, bans her from owning horses for two years - 8th Feb 2017|
Wollongong judge upholds conviction against Kim Hollingsworth for animal neglect, bans her from owning horses for two years|
A Wollongong judge has thrown out an appeal by former prostitute and NSW Police trainee Kim Hollingsworth over her 2016 conviction on animal neglect charges.
Hollingsworth, whose story from Kings Cross stripper to police trainee was portrayed in the Channel Nine series Underbelly: The Golden Mile, was banned from owning horses for two years after being convicted in June last year of three charges relating to 27 malnourished and diseased horse seized by the RSPCA in 2014 from rented properties at Oakdale, Cobbitty and Wilton.
Veterinarians who inspected the horses found each of the animals was severely underweight due to a lack of sufficient food for at least two months.
They also discovered a litany of other medical issues including internal worms, excessively long hooves, (making it difficult to walk) and various skin conditions.
Hollingsworth contested the allegations in a lengthy hearing in Wollongong Local Court, arguing she had entrusted the feeding of the horses to others who had apparently not carried out her instructions as directed.
However Magistrate Mark Douglass found Hollingsworth guilty of the charges, saying she had ultimately been responsible for the animals. He placed her on a good behaviour bond and banned her from owning horses for two years.
She lodged an appeal against the decision and had been due to front Wollongong District Court on Monday for a three-day hearing, however called in sick with gastroenteritis and asked for the case to be adjourned to April.
However, Judge Andrew Haesler refused the lengthy adjournment and relisted the case for Tuesday, noting every month it was delayed would cost the RSPCA a further $17,000 to care for the horses.
Hollingsworth failed to show up again on Tuesday due to sickness, prompting Judge Haesler to deal with the matter in her absence by dismissing the appeal.
In doing so, he said he'd read all the evidence presented in the local court and agreed with Magistrate Douglass' finding of guilt, concluding the case against Hollingsworth had been "overwhelming".
Hollingsworth now has 28 days to sell or give away any horses remaining in her care as per the court orders.
She must also pay the RSPCA $147,000 in legal costs and $484,000 to cover vet, feed and boarding costs for the seized horses.
Hollingsworth has 364 days to appeal the decision to the Court of Criminal Appeal.
Article courtesy of Fairfax Digital and The Illawara Mercury