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Neapolitan owners banned for life

A COUPLE who left their Neapolitan Mastiff to die in a scorching car last summer have walked free from a court in Manchester.

Magistrates head how Darren Dennison and Pauline Millar left four-year-old Marley inside the vehicle on Millar’s drive last summer. He was dead by the time RSPCA inspectors arrived at the scene. The temperature inside was 27.6ºC (81.6 F) and the dog had no shade, ventilation or water.

Magistrates, who described the case as ‘horrific', banned the couple from keeping any animals for life, as well as being ordered to pay £500 costs. They will also be tagged to ensure they stay home between 8pm and 7am.

Dennison admitted putting the family pet in the car at 10am because they were expecting a visit from social services and then went out for the day. Mother-of-three Millar said she had checked on the dog through the window every hour and heard it barking at 3pm, but had not gone out to check.

Anna McDonald, prosecuting, said: "A post mortem revealed the cause of death as heart failure. Marley had a previous heart condition and would not have been able to cope with the stress of those conditions. By placing him in the car, the defendant triggered a catastrophic series of events as Marley was unable to cool himself down. Had Marley not been placed in the car, he would not have died.’

Dennison and Millar were convicted of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal and of failing to meet an animal's needs by providing a suitable environment; plus an offence under the Bail Act.