AN 11-YEAR-OLD animal lover who held a silent protest outside a farm where 32 horses were found dead is “ecstatic” five people have been convicted of animal cruelty.

Katy Roberts hit the headlines last year with her solitary protest outside Spindles Lane in Chalk Lane, Hyde Heath, after several horses, donkeys and ponies were found dead.

On Friday, five members of the same family were found guilty of animal cruelty following a fifty-day trial at Bicester Magistrates' Court.

The farm's owner, 44-year-old James Gray, and his son, James junior, were convicted of all 11 charges, with wife Julie and daughters Jodie and Cordelia being found guilty of failing to protect animals from pain, injury, suffering and disease.

Katy, whose late mother was from Hyde Heath, said: “I think the verdict on the trial of James Gray and his family is absolutely wonderful and I am ecstatic about it.

“They need to be made an example of, to ensure other people think twice about behaving this way towards animals in future.

“For an animal lover like me this high profile trial has been a nightmare and some of the details that have come out have been so very upsetting to hear.”

Since news broke of the grim discovery at Spindles Farm, Katy has been covering the latest developments on her website.

On the day of the verdict the site had 1,231 visitors – the highest she has ever had.

Katy – who last year won the 'Young Person of the Year' award at the Pride of Herts, Beds and Bucks Awards – has also received 1,958 emails from people around the world. Around 650 of these have come since Friday's verdict.

A regular visitor to the Horse Trust at Speen, who took in some of the severely emaciated animals rescued from Spindles Farm, she added: “I think the RSPCA did a great job in bringing this case to the court.

“I have visited the rescued animals regularly at the Horse Trust since they have been rescued, and watched as they flourished there with the care they have received.”

To visit Katy's website, click the link below.