AN ILKESTON man has been banned from keeping animals for life after he left three cats to starve to death and eleven other animals in ‘filthy, squalid and flea-infested’ conditions.
Luke Yeo, 24, of Boweswell Road, was sentenced on Thursday after pleading guilty to the seven charges last month at Derby Magistrates’ Court.
As well as the ban he was handed a two-month jail sentence, suspended for 12 months, and will be monitored by an electronic tag to ensure he obeys a curfew preventing him from going out between 7pm and 7am.
RSPCA inspector Gary Eastwood described the case as ‘one of the worst’ he has seen in 30 years of doing the job.
He had to put on a protective suit before entering the Critchley Street flat where he found the three dead cats and another eight cats and three dogs.
Some of the animals had bald patches because they were so badly infected with fleas and his report said that every surface in the flat had cat and dog mess on it.
There was no food and no clean water for any of the animals.
Magistrate chairman Brian Mayhew told Yeo: “Animals can’t talk, they can’t ask, they rely on us humans.
“Just imagine what it would be like if somebody starved you for six or seven days.
“I am not an animal owner but the photographs made very, very difficult viewing.”
Mr Mayhew, told Yeo, a full time carer for his girlfriend, that he would have been facing prison if it weren’t his first appearance before the courts.
When reading the the terms of Yeo’s curfew, he added: “Your liberty is being restricted as punishment for what these animals suffered.”
Stacey Whyte, for Yeo, told the court that he had ‘buried his head in the sand.’ She told the court: “He is very upset about what has happened and it is quite clear from the pre-sentence report that he expresses shame, regret and sorrow.”
Yeo will also have to pay back £400 of the £1,656 costs, at a rate of £10 a fortnight.
RSPCA chief inspector Simon Parker said: “This was a highly appropriate sentence for a serious case of cruelty and it sends a clear message from the courts.”