PUB landlord Paul O’Mahony was ordered to pay more than £1,000 in court costs and banned from keeping horses for two years after a pony in his care was found covered in maggots which were eating him alive.

O'Mahony, 42, who has run The Prince of Wales in Malmesbury Road, Royal Wootton Bassett, with his wife Michelle since August, admitted causing unnecessary suffering to Monty by failing to seek veterinary care as a result of a condition called fly strike.

Bath magistrates imposed the disqualification and ordered him to pay £1,260 in RSPCA costs plus a £250 fine.

The court heard on Wednesday that the RSPCA was contacted in September after Monty was found with significant injuries caused by fly strike at New Sunnyside Farm in Laverton, Bath.

A vet said the pony had to be put to sleep to prevent further suffering.

RSPCA inspector Dan Hatfield said: “The sad death of this horse could have been avoided if the owner checked the horse sooner. He was clearly suffering from a serious example of fly strike and had been for a number of days.

“Monty’s owner failed to provide this care which led to him suffering unnecessarily.

"Owners of all animals have a responsibility to provide them prompt veterinary care when it is needed.”

He explained: “Fly strike occurs when certain species of fly lay their eggs on another animal.

"The eggs hatch into maggots that then begin to eat the animal’s flesh.

"Flies are attracted by soiled or wet fur or fleece, often around the animal’s rear end but any area of the body can be affected, as can any wound, cut or scratch.

“Horses should be checked over at least once a day and any nicks or grazes treated to prevent this from happening and, of course, vet treatment should be sought immediately.”