Family have animal ban sentence cut

A FAMILY banned from keeping animals for life have had their sentences reduced on appeal. However, Somersham couple Clive and Marlene Fishpool will still not be allowed to care for any type of animal for 10 years. Their son Craig, 30, who lives at the fam

A FAMILY banned from keeping animals for life have had their sentences reduced on appeal.

However, Somersham couple Clive and Marlene Fishpool will still not be allowed to care for any type of animal for 10 years.

Their son Craig, 30, who lives at the family home in Ditchfield, Somersham, will not be allowed to keep animals for five years.

The couple and their son were banned for life from keeping all animals after pleading guilty to cruelty charges at Huntingdon Magistrates' Court last July.


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Clive Fishpool, 61, and Marlene Fishpool, 64, had admitted causing suffering to their 15-year-old cross-bred female collie.

The animal, named Nember, was discovered by an RSPCA officer in March 2007 after Mrs Fishpool had called for help, Peterborough Crown Court heard.

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She was in such poor condition that vets in St Ives had no choice but to put her down, the court was told.

Thomas Brown, acting on behalf of the RSPCA, told the court the animal had been found in an "appalling" state at the Fishpools' residence.

Mr Brown said: "The dog was unable to move, 10 kilograms underweight and showing a very prominent skeleton.

"There was muscular atrophy, pus ­emanating from a genital infection, a tooth abscess and periodontal (gum) disease.

"The vets who examined [Nember] say the condition she was in would be obvious to a lay owner but vet treatment would have made the situation reversible."

In interview, all three Fishpools told RSPCA officers they were aware of the suffering but had considered themselves unable to afford vet treatment.

The family said they had been stung to the tune of £11,000 by a double-glazing firm and were unaware they were entitled to subsidised vet fees, the court heard.

Mrs Fishpool, who has kept dogs for 40 years, had told officers she was hoping that the animal would die of natural causes.

Reducing the lifetime bans, Judge Sean Enright told the Crown Court: "[The family] are very plainly ashamed of their conduct."

Sophie Wilkinson, spokesman for the RSPCA, said: "We are very disappointed that the ban had been reduced as we felt the lifetime ban was appropriate.

"The examining vet said this was one of the worst cases of neglect they had ever seen.

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