Kelly angered by lenient sentence

Alliance Antrim Councillor Neil Kelly has voiced his concerns at a sentence handed out to a woman convicted of animal cruelty.

Aleshia McLaverty (23) pleaded guilty to a charge of causing unnecessary suffering to a Labrador puppy and was handed a two-month custodial sentence at Antrim Magistrates’ Court, suspended for two years. She was also banned from keeping animals for five years.

Councillor Kelly, a dog owner himself, said it was a “horrific” case of animal cruelty.

“What does someone have to do to go to prison for cruelty to dogs? This person knowingly left that poor animal to die – it drank the toilet bowl dry, left teeth marks on dishes trying to find food and finally died caught up in the blinds, starved to death.

“The legislation is there but judges are deciding on suspended sentences rather than immediate custody. The painful, prolonged death of that poor animal surely warranted a jail term.

“I have contacted the office of the Lord Chief Justice to raise my concerns at the sentence handed out and would urge others to do the same.”

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