A beloved horse was sold without permission and was almost bought as meat when it was auctioned for as little as £90.
Denise Scarrott's horse Shadow of Hope is among the animals that mum-of-six Joanne Donnelly was entrusted with before she sold them without their owners' consent.
Ms Scarrott had agreed to let Donnelly take Shadow, a traditional gypsy cob, to her 12 acre farm near Tewkesbury as he had lost weight and needed room to graze.
But Ms Scarrott, who rents a yard in North Littleton near Evesham, feared she may never see Shadow again when Donnelly told her thieves had taken her beloved horse and was holding it for ransom.
In fact, Donnelly had sold the horse to an auctioneer in Wales - Shadow was in such a poor condition that he was bid on for just £90, with one bidder wanting him for meat.
But Shadow was instead bought by a group of women who saved him from slaughter, and Ms Scarrott was reunited with her horse after appealing far and wide for his safe return.
Donnelly, 37, of Alderton near Tewkesbury, has admitted five offences of fraud and two of theft at Gloucester Crown Court.
Mother of three Ms Scarrott, 52, said Shadow is very sentimental to her family - he was born four years ago today just as she was discharged from hospital treatment for cancer.
She said: "I just want to get past this and get on with our lives. That woman and what she's done to a lot of people is really distressing.
"We had an agreement and she didn't go by it. She pulled the wool over my eyes - I thought she was a nice person but she's clearly not."...READ MORE