AN animal rescue centre boss says she has learned her lesson after a prosecution which saw her banned from keeping pigs, sheep, goats and horses for five years.
Lindsay Newell, owner of the Burton Wildlife and Rescue Centre, based in Etwall, was found guilty in May of six counts of causing unnecessary suffering to animals, but cleared of 25 charges, in a case brought by the RSPCA following a raid in 2012.
The court heard she had taken on too many animals.
The 27-year-old said her services were still in demand, but she is now taking in poultry only.
Miss Newell, of Lincoln Road, Stapenhill, said: “I didn’t want to fall into the trap of taking on more animals so I go through official channels.
“I never set (the centre) up for any financial gain. I have had people try to offer me cash, but I said no. It has always been about the animals.
“The court case has not put me off doing this. I have been rescuing animals since I was 13. It is my life – it is not just a hobby.”
In a new development, her defence solicitor has been awarded £5,000 in costs from central funds.
She said: “I managed to get legal aid, thank God, because I looked into funding myself and the case would have cost me about £25,000 as I had to have a specialist solicitor.”
During the court case she was made redundant from her job on a farm and she said she continued to struggle for funding.
“We are still at Etwall and are making improvements. We are relying on donations and have got rid of our older pens and been given new ones, and four new aviaries from Pigeon and Dove Rescue.
“We have had about 100 birds and we release them straight back into the wild. I am also liaising with Natural England and the local wildlife officer.”
Miss Newell claimed the demand for her facilities were now greater than before, but said she was sticking to the animals she knows well.
“I have learned from (the court case) as it has opened my eyes to what I can do and what I can’t do,” she said.
“I’m just relieved it’s all over.”
Miss Newell was handed a two-year conditional discharge and fined £2,000.