Tag Archives: abandonment

Windy Nook, Gateshead, Tyne and Wear: Amy Rutherford

#TheList Amy Rutherford, born 12/01/1997, of Coltsfoot Gardens, Gateshead NE10 9RE – locked her two cats in her squalid home while she went to live with her boyfriend

Amy Rutherford, who was banned from keeping animals indefinitely after abandoning two cats in a freezing property for six weeks
Amy Rutherford was banned from keeping animals indefinitely after abandoning two cats in a freezing property for six weeks

Cats Lucy and Lola almost starved to death after their owner, Amy Rutherford, abandoned them in a dark and freezing property for six weeks.

In court, she pleaded guilty to one count of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal and two of failing to ensure the welfare of an animal.

Abandoned cat Lucy was so thin her collar had slipped from her neck onto her hips
Abandoned cat Lucy was so thin her collar had slipped from her neck onto her hips

The court heard that the RSPCA were contacted in early September 2019 after members of the public reported seeing the “distressed” cats jumping up at the windows of Rutherford’s home.

An officer attended and left an RSPCA card, as well as putting sellotape around the hinges of the front door.

The investigator returned a number of times over the following days and saw that the tape was still intact, meaning nobody had entered or left the property.

Eventually, the police gained access on September 20.

Stewart Haywood, prosecuting for the RSPCA, said: “The conditions inside were appalling. There was a strong smell of urine and faeces and it was dark and cold.

“The light switches were not working and the rooms were covered in rubbish.”

The court heard that bin bags had been scratched at by the cats and there was no food or water in their bowls.

The prosecutor added: “The officer found Lucy. She was opening her mouth repeatedly but no sound was coming out. Her pink collar was wrapped around her hips rather than her neck.

“Her bones could be felt and her eyes were sunk.”

Lucy collapsed when she was put in a basket to the point officers thought she had died.

Lola, who was abandoned by her heartless owner Amy Rutherford
Lola, who was abandoned by her heartless owner Amy Rutherford

Lola, who was in a slightly better condition, was also seized and taken to a vets, where both were discovered to be emaciated and Lucy to be suffering from hypothermia.

When interviewed, Rutherford claimed she’d only ever left the pets for a couple of days and hadn’t replied to the RSPCA card because she’d been too busy with work.

John Williams, defending, said Rutherford was drinking too much at the time and suffered from secondary bipolar disorder and depression.

He added: “There’s no excuse and she accepts that. She abandoned the cats for about six weeks. She went to stay with her boyfriend as her mental health was deteriorating. She was a manager in a shop but she had to give that up as she could no longer carry on.”

District Judge Kate Meek said: “You had to move out of the house because it was uncomfortable for you because it was cold and dark, but, it’s alright for them [the cats] to suffer and not you?

“They, like any other pet animal, rely completely on you for their care and attention. When you take ownership of them, it’s effectively an agreement that you’re going to look after them.

“They’re technically no more able to do so themselves than a small, young child.”

The judge added: “I have looked at the pictures and they are quite distressing, as it is distressing to hear the particulars.

“It’s absolutely clear that this was over a prolonged period of time and both cats suffered a high degree of harm because of your lack of care and attention that you must be expected to provide any animal in your care.

“There is no justification or explanation for it.”

Sentencing: 18-week prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, with 250 hours of unpaid work. Banned from keeping pets indefinitely.

Chronicle Live

Dundee: James McDonell

#TheList James McDonell, born 1997, of Robertson Street, Dundee DD4 6EL – left two cats to starve to death

Cat killer James McDonell from Dundee

The bodies of cats Mia and Babe were found under a duvet. They were suffering from weight loss and had died of suspected dehydration.

Their owner, James McDonell, pleaded guilty to causing the pets unnecessary suffering by failing to provide adequate care and treatment.

The 22-year-old failed to obtain veterinary advice or treatment for their conditions between July 12 and August 2, 2019, for one of the cats, and between July 24 and August 2, 2019, for the other.

The court heard that McDonell was neglecting himself due to difficulties in his personal life.

Authorities were alerted to the suffering of the cats and visited McDonell’s home, where they found the animals already dead under a duvet.

McDonnell is now said to be on medication and “stable”.

His family are said to be supporting him after being concerned for his wellbeing.

Sheriff Jillian Martin-Brown deferred sentencing until August 6, 2020, for McDonnell to be of good behaviour and to turn his life around.

She told him: “I’ve taken into account what’s been said on your behalf and the terms of the criminal justice and social work report.

“It’s clear in the report that you’ve had no previous involvement in the court system and you have shown considerable remorse.

“I’m going to defer sentencing to give you a chance to continue to make considerable changes to your lifestyle.

“You will need to be of good behaviour.”

Sentencing: to follow at Dundee Sheriff Court on 6 August 2020.

The Courier

Pinehurst, Swindon, Wiltshire: Clive Elliott

#TheList greyhound breeder/trainer Clive Donald Elliott, born 19/11/1979, of 35 Limes Avenue, Swindon SN2 1QQ – convicted of multiple counts of cruelty towards dogs in his care

Clive Elliott

Clive Elliott binged on drink and drugs while his dogs starved in kennels at the home he now shares with his mother. When police and an RSPCA officer visited the property they found one dog stuffed in a freezer, two others dead on the floor and other animals starved.

The greyhound trainer and breeder, who had inherited a number of dogs from his late father, left the animals unfed for around four days.

 The shocking conditions some of Clive Elliott’s greyhounds were found in

The shocking conditions some of Clive Elliott’s greyhounds were found in

But a vet who examined the stricken animals after they were rescued from their kennel suggested the dogs had been subject to weeks or possibly months of neglect.

RSPCA prosecutor Matthew Knight said officers had found eight dogs. Three were dead, including one that had been put into a bin liner and stuffed into a chest freezer.

“There was no dog food whatsoever in the property,” the solicitor said.

The five other dogs were in a poor condition. Their nails were overgrown, some had abscesses and scurvy.

An abscess on the leg of one dog
An abscess on the leg of one dog

One of the animals had a severe mouth ulcer, which Elliott later admitted knowing about. The dog initially wolfed down food but died a week later after his condition deteriorated.

Autopsies were carried out on the dead dogs. The bone marrow of one was a glutinous liquid – the result of poor nutrition. The vet said it would have taken weeks or possibly months to reach that stage.

As an example of how poorly nourished the greyhounds were, Mr Knight said one dog had increased in weight by a third in just one month after it was taken from the house. He said: “The vet puts this purely down to providing the proper food.”

Interviewed by the authorities, Elliott said matters had deteriorated after the breakdown of a relationship. He had turned to drink and drugs and did not ask for help as he was “too proud”.

Shameless dog killer: Clive Elliott pictured outside court
Shameless dog killer: Clive Elliott pictured outside court

He told the RSPCA his mother, who has dementia, would have fed them had there been any dog food. He added: “There wasn’t any food for my mum that’s how low I was.”

The dogs Elliott was accused of having neglected were racing as recently as January 2019. Racing cards suggest Gemstone Bobbie, who added a third to his body weight after being rescued, was at the Swindon track twice that month. “C D Elliott” was the trainer

Elliott’s lawyer Terry McCarthy of Jeary & Lewis Solicitors said his client had inherited dogs after the death of his father in 2014.

He had owned his own printing business and was looking after the dogs on the side. He changed jobs, working night shifts and caring for the animals during the day.

He found he was not coping well and, when his relationship broke down, matters spiralled.

“Things went wrong there and Mr Elliott was affected by the breakdown,” Mr McCarthy said.

“It seems some dogs were removed from him by someone his ex-partner met and the problems with the breakdown and the lack of income got in top of him.

Shameless dog killer: Clive Elliott pictured outside court

“There is reference to the back problem you have heard about for which he has been prescribed medication.”

Elliott had been abusing prescription medication on top of that. “It’s my feeling that Mr Elliott was suffering at the time from severe depression. It’s unfortunate that he didn’t go and see a doctor and there is no medical evidence to confirm it.

“It’s quite obvious that as a result of that depression he wasn’t coping with anything.

“You’ve read in the report he couldn’t bring himself to look after his mother properly – as well as his dogs.

“Some of the dogs I think you’ve heard about were owned by another person. That person did not provide food for them either.

“Mr Elliott had no money.”

Chairman of the bench Jane Durrant said Elliott had shown no evidence of remorse.

“The pictures we have been shown are extremely distressing and the number of dogs and the level of suffering they endured is really quite appalling,” she said.

“The distress caused to these dogs was just quite unbelievable.”

Elliott did not appear to react as the sentence was read out.

Sentencing: 20 weeks’ imprisonment. Ordered to pay a total of £872 costs and charges. Banned from owning dogs for life.

Swindon Advertiser

Middlesbrough: Steven Harrison

#TheList Steven Anthony Harrison, born 12/08/1985, of Brereton Road, Middlesbrough TS4 3HS – starved and neglected his pet dog and let him stray

Habitual house burglar Steven Harrison can now add animal cruelty to his long list of convictions
Habitual house burglar Steven Harrison can now add animal cruelty to his long list of convictions

Steven Harrison’s dog, known as Benson, was found “skinny, lethargic and retching’ with a potato stuck in his throat. He had also swallowed a dishcloth which was lodged in his stomach.

Crossbreed Benson had a whole potato stuck in his throat and dish cloth in stomach
Benson had a whole potato stuck in his throat and dish cloth in stomach

Career criminal Harrison, who has racked up dozens of convictions for house burglary, was convicted of two offences under the Animal Welfare Act: one of causing unnecessary suffering and one of failing to meet Benson’s needs.

A member of the public had alerted the RSPCA after the dog was found straying on February 4, 2019.

Habitual house burglar Steven Harrison can now add animal cruelty to his long list of convictions
Father-of-three Harrison has the nickname Wayno

Inspector Clare Wilson said: “When I first saw Benson he was skinny, lethargic and kept retching and coughing constantly. I could feel and see all of his ribs and his spine.

“It was late at night so I took him to a nearby vet surgery where staff were concerned that he had an obstruction.

“He was put onto a drip and given pain relief and medication to help with the sickness. Vets did lots of tests and x-rays showed a large obstruction in his chest cavity, behind the heart. He needed a special operation to remove it – and that’s when vets found a whole potato and dishcloth inside him.

“It was touch and go whether he’d survive the complex operation but, luckily, he pulled through.”

Inspector Wilson traced Harrison and was told that Benson had been vomiting for a number of days but no veterinary treatment was sought and he was allowed to stray around the area.

She continued: “He was extremely poorly by the time we were able to get him the vet. He was lucky to survive.”

Habitual house burglar Steven Harrison can now add animal cruelty to his long list of convictions
Police mugshot of Steven Anthony Harrison

Benson was signed over to the RSPCA after court.

The inspector continued: “Poor Benson has a stricture in his oesophagus which means he will probably always need to be fed small amounts of food regularly so this incident has had a life-changing effect on him.

“He’s doing well otherwise though and is such a lovely dog that the animal centre staff who are caring for him are hopeful they will be able to find him the special home he needs and deserves when he’s ready.”

Sentencing: six weeks’ custody suspended for 12 months; ordered to do 80 hours of unpaid work and to pay a victim surcharge of £115. Disqualified from keeping all animals for seven years.

Gazette Live

Previous convictions:
https://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/news/8875338.south-bank-burglar-jailed-raid-pensioners-home/

https://www.gazettelive.co.uk/news/teesside-news/career-burglar-jailed-six-years-10038121

Bettws, Newport: Jayde Ross

#TheList Jayde Melanie Ross (aka Jayde Davies), born c. 1993, of Monnow Way, Bettws, Newport NP20 – left two bearded dragons in an abandoned property

Jayde Ross from Bettws, Newport, Wales, was banned from keeping all animals for three years after leaving two bearded dragons in an abandoned property.
Jayde Ross was banned from keeping all animals for three years after leaving two bearded dragons in an abandoned property.

Jayde Ross pleaded guilty to two animal welfare offences after leaving two bearded dragons in an empty property without appropriate heat, light, food or water. Very sadly, one of the animals perished.

The RSPCA was contacted after the bearded dragons – one male, and one female – were found abandoned at the property, “in a shocking state”.

One was severely emaciated while the other had suspected renal disease, parasitic infections and conjunctivitis.

The reptiles have complex needs, including a high requirement for heat and UVB lighting.

The RSPCA said the lizards’ condition suggested they had been without necessary food and water for some time.

Jayde Ross from Bettws, Newport, Wales. was banned from keeping all animals for three years after leaving two bearded dragons in an abandoned property.

One of the bearded dragons had to be put to sleep due to the extent of his injuries, while the other was transferred to a specialist wildlife centre for rehoming.

Sophie Daniels, RSPCA Inspector, said: “We found these poor bearded dragons in a shocking state – with one barely moving as a consequence of her condition; and both appearing very lethargic, depressed and with their bones prominent.

“Bearded dragons have very complex needs – and Wales’ cool climate means heating facilities are essential. Leaving these animals without heat placed them in grave danger, and it beggars belief that more effort had not been made to retrieve these animals or make sure they were safe after the tenant left the property.

“Owning pets is a privilege – but what we saw here was a derelict of duty that sadly resulted in one bearded dragon losing his life; and another suffering unnecessarily for a prolonged period of time.

“Thankfully, it wasn’t too late for the other lizard – but this sad case is a stark reminder as to the complex needs these animals have; and the responsibilities of owners to meet those needs.”

Sentencing: ordered to pay a total of £821 in fines, costs and charges. Banned from keeping animals for just three years.

ITV News

Paisley, Renfrewshire: Ross Elliot

#TheList Ross Elliot, born 18/03/1983, previously of Mountainblue Street, Barrowfield, Glasgow G31 but has moved to Paisley – starved two cats and a dog to death

Serial animal abuser Ross Elliot previously of Barrowfield in Glasgow, now Paisley, Renfrewshire

Serial pet abuser Ross Elliot admitted causing unnecessary suffering to two cats he left to starve to death in his abandoned flat.

Elliot was previously convicted of cruelty after turning up to a vet with the corpse of an emaciated dog. For that offence he was fined £200 and given 12-month pet ban.

Body of cat starved to death by Ross Elliot

Horrified Scottish SPCA inspectors found the bodies of the cats, known as Cheeky and Chilli, curled up in a soiled litter tray and lying beside an empty food bowl.

Body of cat starved to death by Ross Elliot

Inspector Stacey Erwin said: “The cats’ bodies were emaciated and infested with fleas and maggots. Both weighed around 1.4kg — less than half the minimum you’d expect a healthy cat to weigh.

“Our vet concluded the cats likely died a slow and unpleasant death due to a mixture of dehydration and starvation.

“When we informed Elliot of what had happened, he app­eared completely disinterested and unaffected by the news.”

She added: “Three animals have died in Ross Elliot’s care through circumstances which would have been completely avoidable if he’d met their most basic needs of food and water.

“We believe he should have been given a lifetime ban as a minimum. It’s clear he is not fit to own or care for animals and the previous short-term ban did not act as a deterrent.”

Scottish SPCA teams monitored Elliot’s flat for days and noted no-one was attending to the female cats — despite the owner saying a pal was caring for them.

Officers posted food through the letterbox but when they gained entry they found Cheeky and Chilli couldn’t reach it as they had been locked away.

Empty food boxes, full bin bags and piles of unopened mail were also discovered inside.

They said the only water on offer was from an “extremely dirty, stagnant” mop bucket.

The Sun

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Additional info
We are advised that Ross Elliot is living in Russell Street, Paisley PA3 2LP.

Silverdale, Newcastle-under-Lyme: Daniel Lahey

#TheList Daniel Christopher Lahey, born 10/04/1991, of 25 Duke Place, Silverdale, Newcastle-under-Lyme ST5 6PE but with links to Wolverhampton – locked a rescue dog in a shed to starve to death

PIctured is cruel chef Daniel Lahey who left rescue Staffy Rex to starve to death - after locking him in a shed
Cruel chef Daniel Lahey left rescue Staffy Rex to starve to death – after locking him in a shed

Callous Daniel Lahey, who has a long list of previous criminal convictions including at least one for domestic violence, admitted causing unnecessary suffering to Staffordshire bull terrier Rex.

Lahey had provided a foster home for the dog, after completing a charity’s home checks. But months later charity volunteers discovered Rex’s starved body in a black bag.

The chef told RSPCA investigators that he had not buried the rescue dog because he could not afford a spade.

PIctured is cruel chef Daniel Lahey who left rescue Staffy Rex to starve to death - after locking him in a shed

North Staffordshire Justice Centre heard Lahey took Rex home on December 1, 2018. For the first few months, Lahey sent the charity regular updates, including photographs and videos of Rex’s progress. But the charity was later unable to contact the defendant and then received a call from a relative to collect Rex’s body on April 2, 2010.

Vets discovered that the rescue dog was emaciated – weighing just 12.35 kilograms. A post-mortem examination gave the cause of death as emaciation.

The vet’s report stated: “There is a strong possibility that he was left without food for a few days. During this time he would be hungry, potentially cold at night as he was confined to a shed, and possibly psychologically distressed as scratch marks were found in the shed along with soiling.”

PIctured is cruel chef Daniel Lahey who left rescue Staffy Rex to starve to death - after locking him in a shed

Lahey told the RSPCA that Rex had struggled to put on weight and that he had left the dog with someone else when he went away for a few weeks last March. He said he returned to find Rex dead.

Following the case, RSPCA inspector Charlotte Melvin said: “It is horrendous to think of the suffering which poor Rex went through during the period leading up to his death.

“The vet’s report states he had been left in the shed for a number of days at least as scratch marks could be found near the door as Rex had desperately tried to get out.

“There is never an excuse not to feed a pet or seek veterinary treatment – if people are in need of help there are also plenty of animal charities that can help or in this case the animal rescue centre where Rex had come from would have taken him back.”

A spokesman for Pebbles Legacy, which placed Rex with Lahey, said: “We are so upset about what has happened to Rex and the suffering he must have endured. He was fostered by Lahey so he could have allowed us to take him back at any time if he was struggling but there was no indication of this at all.

“We carried out a number of home checks on Lahey which he passed and he sent us weekly updates, including videos and photographs, showing how well Rex was doing. There was even one of him looking so happy playing in the snow.

“We have no idea why this changed and it was awful to go the property and find a dog who we had cared for dead in such awful circumstances.

“It has been terribly upsetting for all our volunteers.”

Sentencing: ordered to pay a total of £850. Banned from keeping animals for life.

Stoke Sentinel

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Additional information: we are advised that Daniel Lahey may now be living in Wolverhampton WV10 postcode.

Wareham, Dorset: Debbie Wills

#TheList Debbie Clara Wills, born c. 1990 of Lower Cranesmoor, Bovington, Wareham BH20 6LR – starved her dog to death and left his emaciated body in a garden shed

Pictured is convicted animal abuser Debbie Wills from Wareham, Dorset and one of the two dogs she neglected and starved
Cruel Debbie Wills neglected and starved her two dogs, only one of whom survived.

Six-year-old black and white springer spaniel, Finn, was matted and had overgrown nails and large open sores when his body was found. The dog weighed 8.8kg at the time of his death – the weight he should have been at three months old.

Pictured is Debbie Wills' surviving dog Aero

Wills also kept a second springer spaniel in a terrible condition. That dog, a three-year-old known as Aero, weighed just 6.4kg, and was so thin he was unable to lift his head when RSPCA inspectors visited Wills’ home.

A court heard the dogs had been kept in a cage, with food just beyond their reach. Wills walked past their cage, which was in the hallway of her home, but ignored their suffering.

Officials were alerted by a member of the public concerned for the welfare of Wills’ pets.

Pictured is convicted animal abuser Debbie Wills from Wareham, Dorset

RSPCA Inspector Graham Hammond visited her home where he found Aero in a collapsed state. The dog’s skull, shoulder bones, spine and leg bones were visible through his fur. He also had very matted ears, open sores, and curled, overgrown nails.

Insp Hammond then found the body of Finn stored in a garden shed. A post-mortem found the dog had starved to death.

Aero was rushed to a vet who provided emergency treatment. Miraculously he recovered and has since been rehomed.

Insp Hammond called the case “heartbreaking”.

“The dogs were in emaciated condition on the hard cage floor. Their open sores, long nails and matted wet ears would have definitely caused both Aero and Finn to suffer greatly,” he said.

“This case is heartbreaking. Debbie Wills ignored the needs and suffering of Aero and Finn.

“Finn died in front of Aero. Aero collapsed soon after Finn, he was so weak he was within hours of death.

“There was food within inches of them, just outside their cage, but sadly too far away.

“During these last days of their lives, Debbie Wills could see that they were losing weight and were dangerously thin but did nothing about it.

“She walked past their cage in her hallway, containing two starving dogs, never taking the opportunity to feed them adequately, take them to a vet or even asking someone for help.”

Pictured is convicted animal abuser Debbie Wills from Wareham, Dorset
Wills is now banned from keeping animals for life

Wills, who runs a Facebook page called the Glossy Girls Boutique (at time of writing, deactivated), claimed she was struggling to cope because of having a poorly child.

She said her failures were neglectful, rather than intentionally malicious.

Sentencing: six months in prison, suspended for two years. 15-day rehabilitation activity requirement. Ordered to pay £512. Banned from keeping animals for life with the right of appeal after 10 years.

Dorset Echo

Hartlepool, County Durham: Natasha Corbett

#TheList Natasha K Corbett, born c. 1988, of Meryl Gardens, Stockton Road, Hartlepool TS25 2PL – neglected and starved two dogs kept in pens in an outbuilding.

Convicted animal abuser Natasha Corbett from Hartlepool

Single mother Natasha Corbett pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to a dog called Lucky and of failing to ensure the welfare of a second dog, Otis.

The court heard vets found Lucky had a body condition score of 1 out of 9, along with painful, matted fur and Otis was significantly underweight with a score of 2 out of 9.

Pictured is Lucky after she'd been shaved to remove painful matted fur
Lucky had to be shaved to remove painful matted fur

Stewart Heywood, prosecuting, said an RSPCA officer attended Corbett’s house in early October 2019 after concerns were raised about the dogs’ welfare.

He said the dogs were being kept in metal pens inside an outbuilding and the officer could see they needed immediate vet care.

The prosecutor said: “She said she relied on the children to feed both the dogs, but admitted she did not check they were doing so.”

Pictured is neglected dog Otis.
Otis was underweight due to not being fed properly

He said Corbett was given an RSPCA caution in 2018 after she admitted causing unnecessary suffering to a number of puppies.

A spokesman for the probation service said Corbett, a former pupil at Manor College of Technology, is a single mother and works full time as a senior sales assistant for BrightHouse.

He said her two sons, aged nine and 11, were given the responsibility of caring for the dogs.

Convicted animal abuser Natasha Corbett from Hartlepool

He said: “Ms Corbett now recognises that the responsibility to care for the dogs was her own.

“Due to her ignorance and lack of finance the dogs were not cared for as they should have been.

“She feels guilty about what happened.”

Andrew Teate, defending, said the dogs had been brought into the family by Ms Corbett’s former partner who was then sent to prison.

He said Ms Corbett’s cats were well looked after and the RSPCA had no issues with their care.

He said: “The children were caring for the animals, she accepts with the benefit of hindsight that was unsatisfactory.”

Sentencing: 12 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months; four-week curfew. Banned from keeping all animals for ten years. Deprivation order on her cats.

Hartlepool Mail

Additional information:
Natasha Corbett Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tashacorbett88/

Belper, Derbyshire: Stephen and Susan Hitchcock

#TheList Stephen Hitchcock, born c. 1984, and sister Susan Hitchcock, born c. 1981, both of Slades Farm, Whitewells Lane, Belper DE56 2DN – for the ill-treatment of cattle on their farm

Siblings Stephen and Susan Hitchcock neglected animals on their farm and also breached farming regulations relating to the disposal of dead livestock
Siblings Stephen and Susan Hitchcock neglected animals on their farm and also breached farming regulations relating to the disposal of dead livestock

Stephen and Susan Hitchcock admitted to failing to protect animals from pain and suffering and not following strict regulations on disposing of dead livestock at their farm.

Southern Derbyshire Magistrates’ Court heard how the siblings had taken on the farm from their father, who died in 2011.

The court heard how officials visited the farm on May 14, 2018, and the site was described to have some “500 cattle and 400 sheep”.

During their visit they found piles of decomposing carcasses in different areas of the farm and the remains of a bonfire that had “bones and other materials”.

Will Douglas-Jones, prosecuting said they also found two cows tied by the neck to a wall.

He said: “The chain was short and restricted normal movement.

“When provided with water they drank heavily and for an extensive period. They found the remains of a bonfire with bones, wood and other material.”

The court heard that on their initial arrival they found 20 sheep that were in “good condition”.

Mr Douglas-Jones said that during the inspection, Susan Hitchcock claimed she had been “unable to cope” and had told Stephen on “numerous occasions”.

The pair had also pleaded guilty to not protecting a cow laid in a field from pain and suffering before it died.

The court heard how the inspectors returned the following days where improvements had been made.

They returned again, on May 31, 2018, and there were “no further welfare issues”.

Sentencing: eight-week prison sentence suspended for two years. They were each told to pay costs of £3,716.75 and a £115 victim surcharge

Derbyshire Telegraph