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Court hears that animal centre was ‘out of control’

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: April 23, 2014

  • Lindsay Newell

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ANIMALS were found malnourished and emaciated at a sanctuary run by a Burton woman, a court has heard.

Video footage of a pig dying at Burton Wildlife and Animal Rescue Centre in Etwall was among the evidence shown at Stafford Magistrates’ Court by the RSPCA on the first day of the trial of Lindsay Newell, of Lincoln Road, Stapenhill.

The 27-year-old is facing charges of causing unnecessary suffering to 31 animals after police and RSPCA officers executed a warrant at the rescue centre in November 2012.

Dingleby Clark, prosecuting, said a large number of animals were found to be suffering.

They found the carcass of a lamb, which had starved to death, lying in a field, and a Gloucester Old Spot pig lying in muddy water in a paddock.

The pig died in front of a local government trading standards officer who was in attendance.

The pig, Babe, had been rescued from a home in Derby after its owner had been evicted.

Mr Clark said: “This pig was being looked after by the defendant, but for some reason this defendant did not give the required care to this pig and it died.”

Newell stands accused of causing suffering to animals including turkeys, cockerels, sheep, a Canada goose, horses, ponies and piglets.

Mr Clark added: “She had too many animals and too few staff. She had too many different species.”

He said that at some point in 2012, Newell had started a job in Ashby, where she also resided, and ‘had completely taken her eye off the ball’.

The centre became ‘out of control’, with animals suffering and dying, he said.

Sarah Levy volunteered at the centre for six months until around June 2012. When she left she wrote a letter to the RSPCA expressing her concerns about the standard of care for the animals.

RSPCA deputy chief inspector Jayne Bashford said there was very little grazing area for the animals and distinctly remembered no water being available.

She ran her hands over animals and could feel their spines and ribs.

Geoffrey Young, enforcement officer for Derbyshire County Council, filmed Babe in her final moments, but said when he first arrived at the sanctuary she had been running about and he did not think anything was wrong with her.

It was suggested that Babe had lost weight due to her piglets ‘weighing her down’.


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