Cromford woman pleads guilty to animal cruelty

COURT: Court Case
COURT: Court Case

RSPCA officers were taken aback by an “almost overpowering smell of death” upon entering a Cromford outhouse in which three guinea pigs and three rabbits had been allowed to starve.

They were confronted with the stench of the dead animals at the home of Rachael Hutson, in Hawthorne Drive, Cromford, on February 20.

The 40–year–old pleaded guilty to three charges of failing to ensure the welfare of an animal and one charge of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal when she appeared in High Peak Magistrates’ Court.

Brian Orsborn, prosecuting on behalf of the RSPCA, said: “These six animals were left in an outhouse to starve to death.

“The officers who dealt with it were taken aback by the severity of it.

“It must have been an horrendous death.”

Officers visited the property following a call from a member of the public.

“They described an almost overpowering smell of death when they entered the outhouse,” Mr Orsborn added.

Their stomachs were completely empty, barring small traces of blood in a couple of them. Two of the animals had maggot infestations.

Julie Page, defending, said: “She fully accepts the severity of her situation.”

She explained that Hutson’s partner had recently left her, she then suffered an injury following a fall in January.

Miss Page added: “She’s suffered physically and emotionally.”

She said the defendant acknowledged the animals were her responsibility and she failed to ask for help in caring for them.

Hutson will be sentenced at North East Derbyshire and Dales Magistrates’ Court on July 1. She answers unconditional bail until then.