Lytham St Annes, Lancashire: Stephanie Curwen

#TheList Stephanie Kathleen Carol Curwen, born 12/01/1991, of 17 Walter Avenue, Lytham St Annes FY8 3DR – deliberately let her dog off his lead and goaded him to chase and kill a kitten

Stephanie Curwen from Lytham St Annes, Lancashire. deliberately set her dog on a 6mo cat, killing him
Stephanie Curwen from Lytham St Annes, Lancashire. deliberately set her dog on this 6mo cat, killing him

In July 2014 Curwen was captured on CCTV walking her dog Duke near her home in St Annes, Lancashire, when her neighbour’s black cat emerged.

Curwen, who had Duke on a lead, released him after watching him lunge towards the Bengal cat, named Regi, and then laughed as he chased him.

After clawing Regi, down from the top of a gate, Duke carried him in his mouth until passing neighbours intervened.

Regi later died from two puncture wounds in the neck.

Mother-of-three Curwen admitted causing an animal to fight and causing unnecessary suffering to an animal.

The court heard how she made no attempt to rein in her dog when he began snapping at the small cat.

RSPCA prosecutor Jonathan Fail said: ‘Throughout the whole of the attack, the female made no attempt to stop it.  In effect she seemed to be encouraging the whole incident.’

Curwen was given a 24 month prison sentence suspended for 18 months 

Mr Fail said a man who saw the attack tried to intervene and save Regi after he saw him in Duke’s mouth.  The dog was shaking the kitten and, after he was forced to drop him, the cat only lived for a few minutes.

The witness said Curwen was saying “naughty dog” but her words had no real meaning.

When Curwen was questioned about the incident she said she had only had the dog a week and did not know what he was like and did not know his temperament.

She told RSPCA investigators that after the incident people had gone round to her home shouting and screaming at her.

A vet carried out a post mortem on Regi and found he had died from two puncture wounds, one of which caused a pulmonary haemorrhage.

Mr Fail said: “It was a trauma which caused the kitten significant suffering and pain.”

Speaking outside court, Regi’s owner said she would rather have seen the woman go to jail after being told the attack – which lasted six minutes – was over ‘in a split second’.

‘I’m happy about the ban but she should have gone to prison for what she did,’ said Lesley-Anne Brockleburst

‘Hopefully then it might sink in what she did, and how cruel it was. She’s not sorry for her actions, she hasn’t gone out of her way to apologise to me and my family.

‘She seemed to be getting a lot of pleasure out of it so maybe it’s not the first time she’s done something like this.’

Convinced it was Curwen’s encouragement and not the animal’s disposition which led to the attack, Mrs Brockleburst said she was happy the dog had been re-homed.

‘I have never wanted the dog to be destroyed. It was quite clear that it was only doing what it was told to do.’

Sentencing:
24-week suspended jail sentence; total of £280 costs and charges. Ten-year ban on the owning of all animals (expires May 2025). 

Daily Mai