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Leicestershire teacher Sarah Moulds charged with animal cruelty over video of horse being punched and kicked

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A primary school teacher has been charged with animal cruelty after a video appeared to show her punching and kicking a horse.

Sarah Moulds was sacked from her position at the Mowbray Education Trust in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, last month after the footage was shared online.

It showed a woman repeatedly slapping the animal after it ran into a road.

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The video was investigated by the RSPCA after anti-hunting activists, the Hertfordshire Hunt Saboteurs, posted it on Twitter.

Animal lover Ricky Gervais retweeted the video to his 14 million followers, while TV presenter and conservationist Chris Packham also shared it.

At the time, the RSPCA described it as “really upsetting” and urged anyone with information to come forward.

Now, the organisation has confirmed a prosecution case has been brought against Ms Moulds and she is due to appear in Boston Magistrates’ Court on Monday.

In a statement, a spokesperson from the organisation said the 37-year-old has been accused of two offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 against a grey pony named Bruce.

The charity is expected to allege Ms Moulds caused Bruce “unnecessary suffering” by “kicking and hitting him, and for not taking reasonable steps to “protect the animal from pain, suffering, injury or disease”.

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Both of the alleged offences occurred in November while Ms Moulds was taking part in one of Britain’s oldest foxhound packs – The Cottesmore Hunt.

After a public outcry following the release of the video, she was suspended and then sacked by Mowbray Education Trust.

She was also removed from a voluntary position at her local branch at the pony club.

The Cottesmore Hunt said a “thorough internal investigation” had meant a “follower will not participate in trail hunting” with them.

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