Woman jailed for breaching cruelty order

A WOMAN banned from keeping animals for life following convictions for cruelty has been jailed for 12 weeks after breaching the order.Eunice Carlisle, 51, appeared at East Suffolk Magistrates Court in Ipswich yesterday to answer two charges of breaching an animal disqualification order.

By Danielle Nuttall

A WOMAN banned from keeping animals for life following convictions for cruelty has been jailed for 12 weeks after breaching the order.

Eunice Carlisle, 51, appeared at East Suffolk Magistrates Court in Ipswich yesterday to answer two charges of breaching an animal disqualification order.

The court heard how Carlisle, formerly of Fen Lane, Creeting St Mary, but now of no fixed address, had been disqualified from keeping animals for life on November 29, 1993, after she was convicted of three counts of cruelty to animals.


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She later appealed against the decision and the sentence was reduced to a 12-year ban.

However in February 2004, the defendant was found in possession of 109 animals, many of which were being kept in cramped enclosures infested with faeces and urine.

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Jonathan Eales, prosecuting on behalf of the RSPCA, said as a result Carlisle was summoned to court on further charges of animal cruelty.

She was later convicted at a court in Kings Lynn where the lifetime ban of keeping animals was reinstated and she was sentenced to one month's imprisonment.

But Mr Eales told the court yesterday that when RSPCA inspectors visited a rented industrial unit at Elmsett Airfield, near Ipswich, in January 2005, they discovered Carlisle with 11 cats and two domestic rabbits.

When she was arrested, she admitted to officers she owned the animals but said someone was always present when she tended to them.

Carlisle admitted one charge of breaching a disqualification order and pleaded not guilty to a further count of violating the order when she was found in possession of a cat at premises in Harkstead, near Ipswich, between January and March this year. She was later convicted of the offence following a trial.

Nick Michael, representing Carlisle, told the court the animals found in his client's care had suffered no injuries.

“No harm was caused to these animals. That's a powerful mitigating factor that the court should bear in mind,” he said.

“She loved all these animals and she still loves them. Without meaning any disrespect, it appears Miss Carlisle does not have the reasoning abilities to be expected of most people.

“As a result, she became confused about the order involving her banning.”

Mr Michael said his client genuinely thought the banning order ended on November 19, 2005.

Magistrates' sentenced Carlisle to a total of 12 weeks in prison for the offences and imposed a deprivation order which will allow the animals, currently being looked after by the RSPCA, to be permanently re-homed.

The defendant was also ordered to pay £887 costs still outstanding from previous hearings.

As she was taken down to the cells, Carlisle announced to the court: “I do wish to appeal.”

Speaking after the case, RSPCA Inspector David Mitchell said: “I am happy with the decision today.

“We expected custody because she has served time before for cruelty to animals.”

He added the animals would now be re-homed with other families.

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