#TheList James ‘Jamie’ McCabe, born 30/05/1985, of 4 Sydenham Road, Hartlepool TS25 1QB – abandoned two hens and duck on an allotment to starve to death; remains of others found in bags
Teesside Magistrates’ Court heard that McCabe subjected the birds to “prolonged neglect” between August 27 and September 27, 2016, by failing to provide clean water and food for them.
John Ellwood, prosecuting on behalf of the RSPCA, said that an emaciated duck was found in a homemade pond alongside remains of a dead duck at McCabe’s allotment on Chester Road, in Hartlepool.
He said: “It looked like there had been carcasses on the ground and looked like they had been brushed up.”
After a visit from the council, three “plastic sacks” were discovered with the remains of “a number of dead poultry” including duck feet and feathers.
Mr Ellwood said: “These had been animals swept up with brushes”
The three birds who were still alive were then taken to a vet where it was found they had been “starved to the point of emaciation” and estimated them to have been neglected for up to four weeks.
In police interview, McCabe confirmed that most of the poultry had died and thought that “rats had got to them.”
The starved birds were subsequently nursed back to health and re-homed.
McCabe was found guilty in his absence of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal after he failed to show for trial.
Dave Smith, defending, said that “from the start he has contested this” and that his allotment was “ambushed” by another allotment owner after a feud.
He said: “The defendant had a dispute with another allotment owner who he says had been moving food.
“He accepts that he failed to attend the trial, however he was going through a recent diagnosis and an upheaval of his life.”
He added that it was “an upsetting incident for him and he has no desire to keep poultry in the future”.
Sentencing: 18 weeks in prison suspended for 12 months; 18-week curfew. Disqualified from keeping birds for the rest of his life.