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Horse slasher free after eight weeks

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A yob locked up for five months for slashing a horse with a meat cleaver during an horrific attack at a South Staffordshire paddock has been released after serving just eight weeks, it has emerged today.

Matthew CorfieldA yob locked up for five months for slashing a horse with a meat cleaver during an horrific attack at a South Staffordshire paddock has been released after serving just eight weeks, it has emerged today.

Matthew Corfield, from Wolverhampton, was given the 164-day sentence by magistrates for his part in terrorising piebold mare Maggie at Essington Hall Farm. The horse's injuries were so appalling she had to be put down, leaving her owner Davina Bowyer devastated.

Today Miss Bowyer criticised 19-year-old Corfield's release as "pathetic" and revealed she was campaigning for tougher sentences for people who hurt animals.

She said: "I am appalled. I was expecting him to get some time off but he's served just over a third. This is no deterrent to people who would do something like that to a horse."

Miss Bowyer had owned Maggie, who was 19, since the mare was just 18 months old and said she was "like a child" to her.

Corfield, from Higgs Road in Wednesfield, was sent to a young offenders institution after admitting causing unnecessary harm to Maggie by throwing the 12in by 5in cleaver at her up to five times after a drinking spree around a camp fire with friends in a nearby wood.

Co-accused Alex Lister, 19, of Olinthus Avenue, Wednesfield, was given a 180-hour community order by Cannock magistrates following the attack during April last year.

Speaking from the family home, Corfield's father Peter Corfield, aged 45, said his son had "definitely paid his debt to society".

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"He's still out on licence and is having to report to probation every week.

"They've taken him back at his old job as a builder and his managers visited him while he was in Stoke Heath (Young Offenders Institute).

"He just got in with the wrong crowd. He always did very well at school and was given a number of merits at college. Matthew's very, very sorry for what he did."

Miss Bowyer, aged 47, has set up a website with details of a petition to be sent to Prime Minister Gordon Brown calling for the tougher sentences for against animal abusers.

She said five other horses had been attacked since Maggie, with four of them having to be put down. See www.maggieslaw.co.uk

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