October 21 2014 Latest news:
By Mariam Ghaemi
Thursday, October 11, 2012
Suspended prison sentence for serviceman who neglected three dogs
Miles Rodriguez, of RAF Mildenhall, had pleaded guilty to three charges of causing unnecessary suffering to two Staffordshire bull terriers called Dougie and Mac and a Yorkshire terrier called Louis.
While Dougie and Louis, which had been described as “just skin and bone” when they were found, have now been restored to health, Mac was discovered dead in a kennel near the 24-year-old’s rented property in Thyme Close, Red Lodge.
Today at Bury St Edmunds Rodriguez was sentenced to a total of eight weeks custody suspended for 12 months, as well as a 12-month supervision order and he will have to complete 120 hours of unpaid work.
He was also banned from owning dogs for life and was ordered to pay £3,255 to cover the costs to the RSPCA and legal costs.
Sarah Wenban, chair of the bench, said the offences were “very serious matters”.
“We are making this order and the sentence we have pronounced because these offences involved three animals over a number of weeks one of whom died.
“It was possible for you to make other arrangements for their care and you did not do so.
“We have taken into account your personal circumstances as set out in the probation report and the remorse you have expressed today and we have reduced your sentence because of your guilty pleas.”
Following the hearing, RSPCA inspector David Podmore, who was involved with the investigation, said: “Mr Rodriguez initially denied any involvement in the death of a third dog. A lot of time and effort was put into proving that he was entirely responsible for the neglect of all three dogs and we are therefore satisfied with today’s outcome and we would like to thank the US Air Force for their co-operation in the investigation of this matter.”
During the hearing, Rodriguez, who was representing himself, said it made him feel “sick to my stomach” knowing what he did to the dogs.
“I pay for it every day, every time I see someone walking with their animal.”
He added: “I just want to say that I’m sorry. There’s nothing else really that I can say.”
The court had heard how the two surviving dogs, which are now in the care of Rodriguez’s ex-wife, were found at his home on June 29, but Mac’s body was discovered on July 5.
There was a period when the defendant had to remain on base, but he had made no arrangements for the care of his pets.
The last time there is evidence he visited the property in Thyme Close is May 23.
Rodriguez had said he was going through some “pretty bad health issues” at the time.