UPDATED FOR SENTENCING
#TheList Natalie Dendri, aged 39, of Colston Street, Benwell, Newcastle upon Tyne NE4 – threw a pet ferret named Posh Spice into the air and repeatedly punched her
Dendri was found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to the animal and being drunk and disorderly after the incident in May 2018.
She was seen throwing the animal into the air and repeatedly punching her. The ferret tried to escape but Dendri caught her and attacked her again.
The details were revealed at a trial at Newcastle Magistrates’ Court after Dendri was charged with two offences – causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal and being drunk and disorderly.
She denied both charges but failed to attend court and the trial went ahead in her absence.
Prosecutor Stephen Davies said the offences took place just before 2pm on May 31.
It was said a driver who was travelling along Armstrong Road saw a woman at the side of road with a furry object. She then threw it in the air and started punching it “really severely”.
The animal squirmed away but Dendri grabbed her and punched her again with a clenched fist, the court heard.
The police were called and PC Lewis Calboutin attended the scene.
The officer told the court : “I was asked to attend in relation to an intoxicated female who may have a pet that she was treating badly.
“I saw a female sitting on the grass verge on the side of Armstrong Road.
“She immediately appeared to me to be intoxicated. She had a ferret called Posh Spice. It was lying in the sun and it appeared dehydrated. It was hot, it was panting and seemed lethargic.”
Dendri was asked to get into a police vehicle so she could be taken home to attend to the animal’s welfare.
In the vehicle, she was shouting and swearing and, as they reached her address, she vomited in the van.
“We asked her to step out of the vehicle,” said PC Calboutin. “She started shouting and swearing at me and my colleague.
“She then dropped her ferret from a standard height to the floor.”
Dendri was arrested and the ferret was taken to a vet. The animal later recovered and was placed in a shelter.
On being interviewed, the defendant denied being drunk or that she ill treated the ferret. She pleaded not guilty to the offences at an earlier hearing.
However magistrates found her guilty of both charges on the day of the trial.
It was also revealed that Dendri had previously admitted to an offence of assaulting an officer at a police station after she was arrested on May 31, 2018.
North Tyneside Magistrates’ Court heard that Dendri had kept ferrets for a number of years but after Posh Spice was removed she no longer had any pets.
Janice Hall, defending, said that Dendry was previously sectioned as a result of her ill mental health and now has carers.
Ms Hall said: “They ensure that she is taking her medication. They also help with her money and provide her with general assistance.
“She struggles looking after herself, she’s not in a position to give appropriate care for an animal.”
District Judge Kate Meek said: “You caused unnecessary suffering to a ferret whether you meant to or not. More to the point you carried on doing so.
“I accept there are a range of issues and a custodial sentence would simply delay that work being undertaken.”
She added: “Ms Dendri this is really your last chance. Let’s hope it works.”
12-month community order to work with probation on her drug and alcohol issues; fined £50 and ordered to pay £250 costs. Unlimited ban on keeping animals which lasts for at least two years, after which Dendri would need to apply to a court to have the ban lifted.