Whitstable, Kent: David and Lydia Lee

#TheList David William Lee, born 01/02/1966, and Lydia Ann Lee, born 18/07/1963, both of The Oaks, Radfall Ride, Whitstable CT5 3EW – kept a neglected dog outside in a faeces-filled kennel and wild birds in cages

Travellers David William Lee and Lydia Ann Lee from Whitstable, Kent, UK, are banned from keeping animals for life after neglecting a dog and trapping wild birds
Travellers David and Lydia Lee from Whitstable, Kent, UK, are banned from keeping animals for life after neglecting a dog and trapping wild birds

David and Lydia Lee, who are members of the travelling community, were disqualified from keeping animals for life after their terrier type dog was found living in appalling conditions.

The RSPCA prosecuted them after issuing a warrant in relation to the illegal trapping and keeping of wild birds. At the property they found wild birds and set traps in the shed as well as the small dog, Frances, living outside in filthy and freezing conditions.

As well as being kept in a filthy kennel in freezing conditions, terrier Frances was found to be malnourished and suffering from mange
As well as being kept in a filthy kennel in freezing conditions, terrier Frances was found to be malnourished and suffering from mange

The couple were charged with causing unnecessary suffering to the brown and white female terrier by failing to investigate and address the cause of her poor body condition and weight loss. They were also charged with keeping Frances in a filthy faeces-contaminated kennel which had a sodden carpet and no bedding or dry lying place.

She was also tethered by a chain which was embedded in faeces and mud on the floor which restricted her movement, contrary to Section 4(1) of the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

David Lee was also charged with possession of live wild birds, 12 Goldfinches and a Redpoll, as well as committing an offence of intentionally taking wild birds and possessing traps, all contrary to the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981.

David and Lydia Lee kept dozens of trapped wild birds in cages
The callous couple had also trapped dozens of wild birds which they kept in cages.

RSPCA Inspector Carroll Lamport was one of the inspectors on the scene in January 2017 when they arrived at the property following an investigation into wild bird trapping and keeping.

He said: “It was a very upsetting scene. Whilst there I found the little dog frozen to the floor of the kennel as the chain was frozen fast. This was a very nasty case of a deliberate act of long-term cruelty as the trapping of birds is a planned act, and this was coupled with the long term neglect of the pitiful little dog that I found in filthy, wet and frozen conditions.

“It was a very upsetting and unnecessary case of deliberate, planned and callous cruelty.”

Thankfully Frances the terrier managed to pull through after suffering from mange and malnourishment and was later rehomed to her forever home.

Sentencing:
Lydia Ann Lee – 12 weeks in custody, suspended for two years; 12-week curfew; costs and charges totaling £415.
David Lee – 18 weeks in custody, suspended for two years; 18-week curfew; ordered to pay a total of £865 cost and charges.

They were also both disqualified from keeping animals for life.

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