Limavady woman banned from having pets

Published Wednesday, 16 April 2014
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A Co Londonderry woman charged with causing unnecessary suffering to a family dog has been disqualified from keeping any animal for 10 years and given a suspended prison sentence in a case described by a judge as "appalling".

Limavady woman banned from having pets
The woman was also given a suspended prison sentence. (© UTV)

Siobhan Best of Greystone Park in Limavady admitted a number of offences which occurred on 23 November 2012.

The court was told that animal welfare officers received a complaint about a dog having died after having been left with no food or water.

Officers went to investigate and initially spoke to a young girl and then spoke to her mother, the defendant.

The dog was found lying dead in a kennel in the yard with the door shut and its ribs were visible and it was very thin, the court heard.

A nearby blue wheelie bin had been knocked over plastic bottles were lying beside the body of the dog.

A post mortem revealed that the dog had starved to death and tin foil was found in the dog's stomach, suggesting he had been eating the contents of the bin.

District Judge Liam McNally asked how long would it have taken the dog to die and was told that the animal weighed 6 kgs while the normal weight should have been between 20 and 25kgs.

He asked how long the dog was dead and was told at least five days but possibly as long as 21 days.

A defence solicitor said her client had her own problems and that she regretted what had happened.

She said Best accepts she should have made more of an effort to look after the dog.

Judge McNally said: "I have to say this is an absolutely appalling case."

He said that Best "must have been aware of the suffering of a dog starved to death in front of you over a period of time".

He said it was a "very serious matter" and "as bad a case as I have come across".

The judge added: "But I believe I can protect other animals and you are not to keep or have charge of any animal for a period of 10 years."

He also imposed a sentence of four months in prison suspended for three years and ordered Best to pay £150 in costs.

© UTV News
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6 Comments
Shirley Purcell in Ubud Indonesia wrote (212 days ago):
Really you think she is going to learn anything from that light sentence, is anyone going to check on her to make sure she doesn't get anymore pets ? This is joke your laws need to be harsher or people aren't going to take any notice. I am disgusted
Phily in Dungannon wrote (225 days ago):
Why a suspended sentence? But i can be put away for not paying a fine or for not having a tv license. Some of the biggest idiots of this world are judges
Belfast in Belfast wrote (225 days ago):
After the farcical sentences recently evaded by the East Belfast abusers this just heaps more scorn on our judicial system. If she couldnt cope there are rescue centres she could have given this poor animal to. These perpetrators have solicitors ( many paid for by taxpayers with Legal Aid) whose sole duty it is to plead all sorts of excuses to get their clients off. There is NO EXCUSE for starving ANY living thing for which you have responsibility, to DEATH!!! The power to impose custodial sentences is there.....use it!!
SICK SORE AND TIRED OF OUR JUDICIAL SYSTEM in Bangor wrote (226 days ago):
When in the name of God are our judges going to see sense and put these evil people in jail? Do our judges not think poor defenceless animals are worth it? Starving a dog to death should carry a long custodial sentence and lifetime ban on keeping animals. How come judges on the mainland give custodial sentences - albeit that it is only a matter of weeks - whereas here the evil perpetrators get a slap on the wrist? Definitely time for the law to be changed if that's what it takes to ensure a custodial sentence is given in all animal cruelty cases and a lifetime ban on keeping animals. MAYBE IT'S TIME WE HAD JUDGES WITH A BIT OF SENSE AND COMPASSION TOWARDS THE POOR ANIMALS WHO HAVE NO VOICE!!
Bangor in Bangor wrote (226 days ago):
Yes it certainly is appalling so why not ban her for life? She might have her own problems but really not an excuse. Sentences for animal cruelty in NI are a joke!
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