Man accused of stabbing horse keeps identity hidden

A man accused of stabbing a miniature horse 41 times has been granted name suppression.

The 49-year-old appeared in the Dunedin District Court this morning accused of "willfully ill-treating an animal namely Star the miniature horse by stabbing it multiple times causing it to die".

Duty lawyer Max Winders said an application for legal aid had been filed and he applied for name suppression on the basis that identity may be an issue at trial.

Judge Dominic Flatley granted suppression until the defendant's appearance next month.

A bail application may be heard before then.

After being stabbed in a vicious attack in his Waitati paddock at midnight on Sunday, miniature...
Star was treated by Otago Equine Hospital veterinarians Peter Gillespie and Stephanie Bransgrove after the attack but later died. PHOTO: GREGOR RICHARDSON
The alleged attack is thought to have happened about midnight on February 18 in a Waitati paddock near the corner of Brown and Pitt Sts while the horse was tethered to a fence.

The 10-year-old horse died the following night.

Detective Sergeant Chris Henderson ,of Dunedin, yesterday thanked members of the public who came forward and offered information that assisted in the investigation.

Star's owner Mandy Mayhem-Bullock told the Otago Daily Times her family and community were relieved an arrest had been made after what had been four "long" months since the killing.

The pony's wounds. Photo: Supplied
The pony's wounds. Photo: Supplied
On February 19 after finding out her beloved pet had died from its wounds she told the ODT: "I'm so angry ... and the thing that was getting me through this was that the little guy was going to pull through," she said.

"One of those tiny little cuts actually perforated his bowel and they came in this morning and he was dead."

The defendant will be back in court on July 4.

The charge carries a maximum penalty of five years' imprisonment or $100,000.