Woman previously banned for life from keeping animals found to have pet dog


Staff reporter (Leader Live)

A woman previously banned for life from keeping animals was found to have a pet dog at her home.

There was no complaint about the condition of the dog but a court was told she simply should not have the care of any animal under the life-time disqualification.

Florence Williams, 75, formerly of Llandegla but now of Stanley Road in St Asaph, admitted breaching the ban by having the dog for a two year period up to November of last year when the animal was seized by an RSPCA inspector.

She received a 16 week community order and must remain indoors under a tagged curfew between 7pm and 7am for the next 16 weeks.

Williams was ordered to pay £300 costs and a £85 surcharge and a deprivation order was made in respect of the dog, which she had refused to sign over to the animal charity.

District Judge Chris Johnson, sitting at Flintshire Magistrates Court yesterday, said that if she breached the order again then the court would not be so lenient.

“I am prepared to accept that at least the dog was being looked after properly,” he said.

The Mold court heard she had been jailed for a previous breach of the order.

When told she would have to wear a tag on her leg, Williams initially told the judge: “That is not very nice. It will rub my legs. I have bad legs as it is. I am not going to have it on.” But after a short consultation with her solicitor she agreed to have the tag.

Solicitor Glenn Murphy, prosecuting for the RSPCA, said that information was received that she had a dog. An inspector went to her home and found the dog there.

There was no complaint about its condition but she was subject to a lifetime ban from keeping animals.

An original 10-year order for dogs and horses had been made in 2010 but that was breached in 2011 when a life-time ban on keeping any animals was imposed. That had been breached in 2013 when she received a custodial sentence.

The dog was still in the possession of the RSPCA, she had refused to sign it over, and it was intended once the court granted a deprivation order that it would be rehomed.

Defence solicitor Justine McVitie said the fact that she breached the order previously was an aggravating feature but there was absolutely no complaint about the way the dog was being looked after.

Miss McVitie handed in two references and said it “was punishment enough” that the dog had been taken away.

Williams had been asked to care for the dog by a sick friend who had since died.

Williams, who lived on her own, had planned to return to court to ask for the disqualification to be lifted but that was unlikely to happen now she had breached it again.

Probation officer Pamela Roberts said the dog had been a companion for Williams, who had said she had nothing else in her life.

The removal of the dog had a negative impact upon her.

It was believed she had a limited understanding of the effect of the order that she was not allowed to keep a dog.

Williams was co-operating well with the probation service and she had a good support network in the local community, Miss Roberts said.

See full story in the Free Press

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