TRAPPED in a squalid cage all day every day, German Shepherd Jack starved to death inch-deep in his own excrement.
One of his owners, 25-year-old Paul James Brunsden was jailed for 20 weeks and banned from ever keeping an animal again at Dartford Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday (August 1).
Jack’s co-owner – Stacey Louise Lockhurst - was warned she faced a similar fate.
Judge Michael Kelly said it was “one of the worst cases of animal cruelty I have ever come across.”
He added: “This dog was effectively tortured and neglected.”
Brunsden, formerly of Neptune Terrace in Erith but now living in Hornchurch, and 27-year-old Lockhurst both pleaded guilty to two charges of causing unnecessary suffering to the black and tan dog.
One charge was for not addressing the fact the pet was underweight and another for keeping it in a small, squalid cage.
RSPCA inspectors visited Lockhurst’s home in Forest Road, Erith, in October 2010 when Jack was 16 weeks old.
They recommended a plastic box he was kept in was taken away and gave the pair – who jointly owned the dog – advice on training. t printing images such as thes
Noticing they were struggling, the inspectors suggested they hand over ownership.
Seven months later, they found Jack dead in the same crate, covered by a curtain.
Prosecutor Andrew Wiles said: “When the top of the crate was removed it was clear the dog was emaciated. There was an inch or more of faeces covering all of the floor except where the dog was laying.”
The container was teeming with flies and maggots and littered with plastic bags and a takeaway food carton. A water bowl was full of excrement, as was the dog’s mouth.
Mr Wiles said: “There was a strong smell of ammonia, faeces and decomposing flesh.”
Lifting Jack out of the pen, an RSCPA inspector said she could feel his spine from the underside of his body.
Mr Wiles said: “She described it as the thinnest dog she had ever seen.”
A post mortem examination showed Jack was emaciated, had no fat and likely died of starvation.
The examining vet concluded Jack “suffered greatly and unnecessarily for a great period of time”.
Defending Lockhurst, Robert DeBanzie said she suffered from “pronounced learning disabilities” and emotional problems and has since been rehoused in a respite centre in Erith where she had made “gigantic steps”.
Lockhurst was granted unconditional bail while probation reports are prepared. She will return for sentencing at Dartford Magistrates’ Court on September 7.
Judge Kelly said: “There is a real risk you will be serving a prison sentence for this.”
Defending Brunsden, Frederick Hookway argued his client had reduced culpability because he did not live at the house where the dog was kept, although he did stay there sometimes.
Sentencing Brunsden to 20 weeks in prison and disqualifying him for life from owning animals, Judge Kelly said: “This is one of the worst cases of animal cruelty I have come across.
“This dog was confined in a little cage so small it appears it could barely stand up.
“It was kept there without being allowed out at all for any exercise or freedom and was starved to death.
“You could have released the dog. You could have provided food for it. You were offered help and advice from the RSPCA.
“I can’t think that any human being would have failed to recognise the suffering and distress of this dog.”
In: Regional News, Other News
Tags: Sick, murdering, torturing, sick bastardsdog, starved, death, kent, Stacey Louise Lockhurst, Paul James Brunsden
Location: Erith, England, United Kingdom (UK/GB) (load item map)
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