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Five-year pets ban for starving dog

A WOMAN who starved a dog to death and mistreated three others has been banned from owning animals for five years.

Cecile Mathurin had not fed her bitch, Trouble, for at least three months, causing her “substantial suffering”, Waltham Forest Magistrates’ Court heard. Leaves and small stones were found in the dog’s stomach and her bones could be seen through her skin.

Prosecuting for the RSPCA, Mark Jones told magistrates Mathurin had found the brindle and white Staffordshire bull terrier-type bitch in a park six months before her death, and made little attempt to find her real owners. Trouble then mated with Mathurin’s other dog, Mace, and had eight puppies.

Six were sold and two others were rescued by the RSPCA when they were found to be underweight.

Mace had not been under-fed but had an “extremely painful” ear infection which forensic vet, Martin Lawton, estimated had been untreated for at least six months. Mathurin and her friend, Mohammed Ibrahim, of the same address, were found out when they took Trouble’s corpse to a vet in Bow, claiming her health had deteriorated in a short period of time.

At first both denied they had done anything wrong but when the case came to the court on November 27, Mathurin pleaded guilty to three counts of failing to provide sufficient nutrition and two of failing to gain veterinary attention.

Magistrates David Evans and Joseph Lindo gave her credit for pleading guilty early and acknowledged a pre-sentence report which was not read out in court. He said: “We’ve heard about your problems but the fact remains that ownership of a dog is a responsibility.You've neglected this responsibility in the most shameful way, in a way that caused great suffering to an animal you were trusted to look after.”

Mathurin was banned from owning, looking after, dealing with or selling any animal for five years. Ownership of Mace was transferred to the RSPCA. Ibrahim pleaded not guilty but was convicted on November 27 and is due to be sentenced on Jan 15.

Mr Jones estimated it cost the RSPCA £4,500 to prosecute Mathurin but as a benefit claimant she was only ordered to pay £250 costs, at a rate of £5 a week.

She was also given an 18- month community order, for 200 hours’ community service.