£3,000 pet fraud pay back

NRHNLM110202A1 - Derby crown court Emma Bent from heage
NRHNLM110202A1 - Derby crown court Emma Bent from heage

THE CREMATORIA owner who coldly dumped bodies of family pets in fields has been ordered to pay back just £3,100 of her nearly £90,000 of fraudulent earnings.

One of the victims of Emma Bent’s scam, Peter Lambert, from Ilkeston, whose dog Nip was found in a plastic bag, has called the decision ‘disgusting’.

“Justice has not been done,” he said.

“We are disgusted with the decision.”

Bent, 35, ran Peak Pet Cremations in Heage and was contracted by Heanor-based veterinary surgeon Ambivet, to dispose of animal waste and by-products using an incinerator.

She also ran a private cremation service, which charged her clients up to £140 to give their pets a dignified send-off.

But Bent instead dumped many of the bodies in fields in Heage and Hartshay and returned false ashes in an urn to her clients.

Last week a confiscation order was made under the Proceeds Of Crime Act to strip Bent of her fraudulent earnings.

The short hearing at Derby Crown Court demanded Bent pay £3,100 of ‘realisable assets’ within six months, or return to jail.

However the court found Bent had netted more than £88,000 from her ilegal business and could one day have to pay back the full amount, if she were to come into money.

Mr Lambert, of Catharine Avenue, said: “People tell you that crime doesn’t pay but in this case it clearly does.

“She should have been made to pay back every penny.”

Speaking on behalf of Bent’s victims, director of the Association of Private Pet Cemeteries & Crematoria, Kevin Spurgeon, said: “The key thing is nothing is going to replace the memory of their pets and the worry when it happened.

“But I think this goes some way to getting a little bit more justice against Emma Bent.”

Realisable assets are assets already owned by Bent at present that she has to pay back.

Bent only served seven weeks of the eight-month jail term handed to her in February.