Addict jailed after leaving kitten to starve
PUBLISHED: 06:25 23 March 2006 | UPDATED: 09:02 24 May 2010
A DRUG addict who abandoned a kitten to starve in her flat over Christmas has been jailed. Theresa Coles, aged 30, left a four-month-old kitten to fend for itself for over a month
A DRUG addict who abandoned a kitten to starve in her flat over Christmas has been jailed.Theresa Coles, aged 30, left a four-month-old kitten to fend for itself for over a month.RSPCA inspectors were called to the flat in Dunster Cresecent, Weston, and heard hungry mewing from the kitten. They fed ice cubes and cat food through the door to keep it alive over the Christmas week while they waited for its owner to return. Eventually they gave up waiting and gained entry to the flat to rescue the animal.Coles eventually returned and admitted owning the animal. She pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to an animal.She appeared in North Somerset Magistrates Court in Weston on Monday for sentencing. She was also sentenced for three cases of theft and two of failing to surrender to custody.Prosecutor Louise Sedden told the court that RSPCA inspectors made numerous visits to the flat from December 23, 2004. They left calling cards and seals on the door to check if anyone was going in and out of the flat.Coles eventually answered the door to Inspector John Norman on March 4.Mrs Sedden said: "Theresa Coles said she left Christmas Eve and returned in February. Her defence for not checking was that someone else had keys and was supposed to look after the cat with a view to finding a new owner."But Insp Norman could not determine the other person's identity. She later conceded she must have left before Christmas Eve. At the end of the interview she signed the cat over to the RSPCA."The defendant neglected to care for the cat and caused unnecessary suffering. By her own admission she left the cat for six to seven weeks during which time it may well have died or had serious injury unless the RSPCA had intervened."She did not seek to establish the welfare of the cat. There was no indication of any remorse."The RSPCA applied for costs of £3,897, including boarding fees.Defending, Judith Mills said: "My client believed she had made an arrangement with a friend to feed the cat and that hadn't happened."But she accepts in her guilty plea it was her responsibility."She asks the court to send her to prison. She feels she will fail a community order, such is her drug habit. She believes enforced abstention will help her."Coles, who had been in custody since February 26, was given a 28 day prison sentence and disqualified from owning an animal for five years.She was also given two consecutive 28 day prison sentences and one concurrent 28 day sentence for the three theft charges, as well as a 28 day concurrent sentence and one 28 day consecutive sentence for the failure to surrender to charges.After the hearing Inspector Norman told the Weston Mercury: "The cat has gone to a loving home in Weston.