Dog owner, 27, starved her German Shepherd puppy in tiny cage with no food or water for SEVEN MONTHS (but she's avoided jail)
- WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT
- Kent woman Stacey Lockhurst got suspended jail term
- Kept puppy Jack in cage surrounded by his own waste
- RSPCA said it's one of 'worst cruelty cases ever seen'
By Mark Duell
PUBLISHED:06:03 EST, 9 September 2012| UPDATED:09:12 EST, 9 September 2012
A dog owner who starved her pet to death in a tiny cage surrounded by his own waste has avoided jail but been banned from keeping animals for life.
Stacey Lockhurst, 27, of Dartford, Kent, kept her German Shepherd puppy in a squalid cage with no food and water for an astonishing seven months.
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals described it as one of the worst cases of animal cruelty its officers had ever seen.
Lockhurst was given a 20-week prison sentence - suspended for a year - by magistrates on Friday for her treatment of the dog, named Jack.
RSPCA investigators first visited her former home in Erith, south east London, in October 2010 - when the dog was just 16 weeks old.
They offered advice on training and suggested the pair hand over the puppy, but he was found dead seven months later, covered with a curtain.
His container was infested with maggots and flies and a water bowl was full of excrement. A post mortem examination found Jack was emaciated.Cruelty: Lockhurst, 27, of Dartford, Kent, was given a 20-week prison sentence - suspended for a year - by magistrates in court on Friday
Disgusting: Jack had no fat and probably died of starvation, with the examining vet saying he 'suffered greatly and unnecessarily for a great period of time'
He had no fat and probably died of starvation, with the examining vet saying he ‘suffered greatly and unnecessarily for a great period of time’.
'She regrets what she did. I don't think she set out with that in mind. She's a very vulnerable lady'
Wayne Crowhurst, defending
Lockhurst was found guilty at Dartford Magistrates' Court of causing unnecessary suffering to the dog and not addressing his rapid weight loss.
District Judge Michael Kelly said the case was ‘particularly bad’ - but Lockhurst, who has learning difficulties, had been ‘influenced to an extent’.
He added while passing sentence in court that ‘there may have been some lack of appreciation of what was happening’ to the dog.
Behind bars: Her partner Paul Brunsden, 25, was jailed for 20 weeks and also banned for life from keeping animals when he appeared in court last month
Her partner Paul Brunsden, 25, was jailed for 20 weeks and also banned for life from keeping animals when he appeared in court last month.
Lockhurst was also ordered to do 200 hours of unpaid work and pay £200 court costs. Her defence lawyer said she would have been bullied in prison had she been jailed.
‘She regrets what she did,’ Wayne Crowhurst, defending, added. ‘I don't think she set out with that in mind. She's a very vulnerable lady.’
Banner-waving animal rights campaigners were outside court to protest along with members of a Facebook group formed in memory of Jack.