Cruel Chesterfield couple banned from keeping animals for 10 years
A Brimington woman who kept horses and cats in “dreadful conditions” at her paddocks wept in court when a judge banned her from keeping animals for 10 years.
Judy Shaw burst into tears as the sentence was handed down to her and her partner Peter Hardy yesterday (Tuesday).
The pair’s Chesterfield Magistrates Court trial heard during an RSPCA raid in July 2019 that 31 cats were found in an “oppressive and wholly unhealthy environment” - in a locked static caravan, two lorries and a small shed.
While horses at the same Unstone paddocks where the cats were kept were found emaciated, infested with lice and with overgrown and deformed hooves.
District Judge Andrew Davison told the court yesterday Shaw, 48, “remained in denial as to her competence and capability to look after animals properly - particularly the numbers she was looking after”.
He said: “She buried her head in the sand for quite some time despite the fact she was not capable of properly caring safely for these animals.
“Hence the dreadful condition of some of these animals and their environment - this is sadly not the first time such a finding has been made against Ms Shaw.”
Shaw’s appearance this week came after she was found guilty in 2018 of causing unnecessary suffering in respect of two other horses.
Defence lawyer Christopher Moran - acting for Shaw - told the judge on Tuesday how she was unable to care for the animals properly due to mental, physical and financial problems.
Steven Higgins, acting for her long-term partner Hardy, 68, said he had been “carried along by Ms Shaw’s desire to have animals”.
He added: “It’s very likely he would not have animals were it not for Ms Shaw’s love of animals.”
During a previous hearing the court was told how in 2019 RSPCA inspectors found a horse - described as “very thin” - lice-infested with dirty skin and coat and mobility issues “because of the state of its hooves”.
Another was discovered with part of its hoof “unprofessionally” removed - not by a farrier but by Shaw herself while another animal - discovered with “visible spine” - was “dull in its responsiveness”.
Twenty-two horses were found in poor state however a veterinary expert told the judge during a December trial how 31 cats and kittens found at the property were kept in “nauseating” conditions.
Judge Davison told the court how the flea-infested felines - some found with “watery eyes” and “breathing difficulties” - were kept in “extremely” hot “greenhouse” conditions in the caravan.Prosecuting barrister Harry Bowyer told the court on Tuesday this week how during a further raid in September last year while the pair awaited trial seven more cats were found in their static caravan.
One of the felines was dead and another had fighting injuries.
As well as being banned from keeping animals for 10 years Shaw and Hardy were fined £1,200 and put under a 24-week 7pm-7am curfew.
Both were made subject of a 12-month community order while Hardy was ordered to undertake 120 hours’ unpaid work.
Shaw, of Dorset Close, Brimington, was found guilty of 10 Animal Welfare Act charges.
Hardy, 68, also of Dorset Close, was convicted of 11.