Ex-mayor’s an­i­mal cru­elty ap­peal

Western Morning News - - News -

For­mer Totnes Mayor Jacqi Hodg­son and her hus­band Richard will have to wait un­til De­cem­ber to know if their ap­peal against a don­key cru­elty con­vic­tion has been suc­cess­ful.

A three-day Ply­mouth Crown Court hear­ing con­cluded its ev­i­dence on Wed­nes­day, but judge­ment was re­served un­til De­cem­ber 12.

The cou­ple were found guilty of caus­ing un­nec­es­sary suf­fer­ing to a don­key in June, or­dered to pay a to­tal of £2,960 in fines, costs and vic­tim sur­charge, and banned from keep­ing equines for five years.

Af­ter the trial Cllr Hodg­son said she felt they had been in­cor­rectly ad­vised by their lawyers not to give ev­i­dence in the case, at Ply­mouth Mag­is­trates’ Court.

Ms Hodg­son is a mem­ber of Devon County Coun­cil and South Hams Dis­trict Coun­cil.

The RSPCA in­ves­ti­gated af­ter a mem­ber of the pub­lic re­ported con­cerns about Cariad, a 26-year-old fe­male don­key the Hodg­sons had owned for 18 years.

The don­key was found to have a painful case of lamini­tis, a crip­pling dis­ease of the feet, af­ter they re­turned from a month in Ire­land last sum­mer.

The Hodg­sons said in a state­ment later: “Cariad sud­denly lost con­sid­er­able weight over just a cou­ple of weeks while we were away in Au­gust.

“The RSPCA in­ves­ti­gated and with our per­mis­sion called in a vet.

“We also gave our per­mis­sion for Cariad to be taken to the Don­key Sanc­tu­ary where tests un­cov­ered that she had a large tu­mour in the back of her mouth and that this had prob­a­bly caused the sys­temic cancer that would also have in­flamed lamini­tis which was found when she was Xrayed.”

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