A man who mistreated two Shetland ponies has been spared a prison sentence.
But David Davies, 59, of Grindibeck, Skeld has been banned from keeping animals for 10 years.
Davies was also ordered to carry out 180 hours of unpaid work within nine months when he appeared in the dock at Lerwick Sheriff Court.
He previously admitted failing to make adequate provision for the welfare of the ponies by leaving them in a field without adequate food, fresh water, shelter or warmth.
As a result they became emaciated and one died of malnutrition, exposure and untreated lice infestation.
The other pony became unwell after suffering the same conditions. The offence happened between 1st June and 7th December last year at Greenmow, Cunningsburgh.
The court heard today that Davies could have sought help from other sources. Procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie argued: “He chose not to do that.”
Defence agent Tommy Allan said Davies had found himself “keeping too many plates spinning”.
The father of three had suffered family pressures and “clearly something had to give”.
“When he took up the ponies he didn’t fully understand what he was taking on. They were in a park some distance from where he was staying.”
Mr Allan added Davies had come to court “in real fear of his liberty”, adding he had “justifiable” fears about what would happen should he receive a custodial sentence.”
Sheriff Mann warned Davies: “This is a particularly serious offence, of its kind, and it would amply merit a custodial sentence.
“But I have to have regard of everything that has been said, and the very detailed social work report. There would be nothing to be gained from sending you to custody today.”
The Davies family will still be allowed to keep their pooch, despite the ban on keeping animals. Sheriff Mann ordered the disqualification should not extend to dogs.