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Judge considers verdict in animal cruelty trial

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: May 01, 2014

Lindsay Newell

Lindsay Newell

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A JUDGE is considering his verdict in the case of a Burton woman who stands accused of causing unnecessary suffering to animals at a rescue centre she runs.

Lindsay Newell, of Lincoln Road, Stapenhill, stands accused of causing unnecessary suffering to animals at the Burton Wildlife and Animal Rescue Centre in Etwall following a raid by the RSPCA and police in November 2012.

The final day of the trial was held at Stafford Magistrates’ court yesterday when witness Colin Vogel, an expert veterinary surgeon, gave evidence for the defence. He disputed evidence given by a number of vets who used a body conditioning score - a scale to measure how thin an animal is – saying it was done months later from memory instead of them making a note on the day.

He said that animals put on weight slowly, indicating that it could not be proved that the animals lost weight while at the centre. He said: “Even if you rule out every disease under the sun it still doesn’t tell you when it was deprived of food. There is no way of telling.”

In his closing submission, Dingle Clarke, prosecuting, said Newell should have checked the animals more often.

He said: “Her evidence that she didn’t notice anything wrong is incredible, the responsible owner would have noticed.

“She was running a rescue centre and was a volunteer, and as a veterinary nurse should have been alerted to the issues.”

Nigel Weller, defending, said that unless the animals’ weight loss could be put down to diet, other things needed to be considered.

He said: “There was no pathological support that the diet was inappropriate, the prosecution are not entitled to say it was due to lack of diet. He said there was no evidence that any of the animals needed veterinary investigation.

The verdict will be given on May 12 at Burton Magistrates’ Court.

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