May 26 2013 Latest news:
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
A Dereham man has been ordered to complete 100 hours of unpaid work after admitting to causing suffering to two rabbits he owned, one of which died.
Jonathan Gibson, of Kings Road, was also banned from keeping any animals for two years.
The 40-year-old admitted two charges of causing suffering to a protected animal at Norwich Magistrates Court last Thursday, in a private prosecution brought by the RSPCA.
Gibson, who represented himself, admitted both charges and when asked what he had to say by the magistrates hearing his case, said: “I just apologise for everything that’s happened.
“I asked a friend to look after the rabbits while I was away. My mum has been ill since Christmas and I was trying to help my dad look after her.
“I fully apologise for everything that has happened.”
The first charge related to causing suffering to a light-brown dwarf rabbit between Saturday, July 7 and Saturday, July 14.
The second was for causing suffering to a white dwarf rabbit between Tuesday, July 10 and Tuesday, July 17.
Jonathan Eales, prosecuting for the RSPCA, said: “Mr Gibson was the owner of two rabbits which he kept in hutches in his garden.
“He has been fully co-operative with the RSPCA in this investigation and explained that his mother had become ill so he had gone to live with his mother and not left food out for the rabbits.
“He said he had asked a friend to look after the rabbits but had been let down, but realised it was his responsibility.”
Mr Eales said an RSPCA officer went to Gibson’s house and found the light-brown rabbit had died from starvation and the white rabbit in “a very bad state”, but was cared for by the RSPCA and made a full recovery.
The officer had continued putting contact cards through Gibson’s letterbox and when he returned to his house on Thursday, July 19, he contacted the RSPCA.
Chairman of the sitting magistrates bench, Charles Nevick, asked Gibson how far away his mother’s house was from his Kings Road home and Gibson replied “about two miles away”.
Mr Nevick adjourned the case until latter in the day for a pre-sentence report to be carried out and said: “We want to find out more about you as we have in mind a penalty rather higher than a fine.”
The magistrates then later ordered Gibson to complete 100 hours of unpaid work and banned him from keeping animals for two years, as well as giving him a 12-month conditional discharge and ordering him to pay costs of £260.26.