Woman caged after pets starve to death

COURT: Court Case
COURT: Court Case

A pet owner who starved her three rabbits and three guinea pigs to death has been jailed.

Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on Monday, July 1, how Rachael Hutson, 40, of Hawthorne Drive, Cromford, failed to feed and water the pets before they died and decomposed in an outhouse.

Brian Orsborn, prosecuting on behalf of the RSPCA, said: “All six animals were left to suffer and starve to death without care, nutrition or water. Hutson had not seen them since mid-January. She asked her older daughter’s boyfriend to check on them at the end of January and he said they were dead and they stayed there until February 20 when an RSPCA inspector went along.”

Hutson pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering, failing to meet the animals’ need for diet and water, failing to protect them from illness and failing to meet their need for a suitable environment.

Defence solicitor Felicity Clarke said the mother-of-two had a condition affecting her back and had been suffering from depression. The court heard how Hutson felt dreadful about what happened.

District Judge Andrew Davison said the animals had suffered slow and painful deaths over at least seven days. He sentenced Hutson to 16 weeks’ custody, ordered her to pay £750 costs and gave her a lifetime ban from keeping animals.