AN animal rescue centre boss found guilty of cruelty has insisted she did nothing wrong.
Lindsay Newell, 27, of Lincoln Road Stapenhill, was found guilty of six charges brought by the RSPCA and cleared of another 25.
The owner of the Burton Wildlife and Rescue Centre was banned from keeping pigs, sheep, goats and horses for five years, meaning she will have to find new homes for two horses, a Shetland pony and a pig.
She said: “It sounds stupid but the fact that I’ve been banned for five years kind of helps, because when the police ring (about an animal) I can just say ‘no.’ The problem I have had has been people ringing me and emotionally blackmailing me.”
Newell said she still did not think she had done anything wrong, and was considering appealing.
She told the Mail she was glad the trial – which saw her handed a two-year conditional discharge and made to pay costs of £2,000 – was over.
She said hindsight was a fine thing, but when animals came in many of them had issues, such as being deaf or blind, and claimed some of the creatures she was charged with neglecting had not been at the sanctuary long.
Speaking about the RSPCA’s case, she said: “Their ethics and my ethics are different – I don’t agree with killing anything.”
She said other animals had been seized when the raid took place in November 2012 that were never mentioned as part of the legal proceedings.
Asked whether she agreed with the judge in the case that she had ‘taken on too much’, she said: “In a respect he was right.
“Again, people blackmail me when other organisations don’t help, saying that if I don’t take an animal it will die.”
Newell said the centre now limited its intake. For example, it will not have more than eight rabbits at any one time.
She said: “When people call we will do things differently. I have reduced the animals back to minimal levels and we now only take poultry and wildlife.
“If a cat attacks a bird I can sort that myself. If it’s a deformity I will get the vet to check it out.”
Newell said injured wild animals could live happily in captivity.