Clacton: couple prohibited from keeping animals for life

Robert Manton, 37, and Natasha Butler, 44, have been sentenced for an animal welfare offense in relation to two dogs kept on their property.

Between January 13, 2021, and January 13, 2023, the pair did not take appropriate action to address a series of problems linked to a Staffordshire bull terrier called Bruce and a Jack Russell terrier called Snoop.

Echo: Neglected - Bruce the dogNeglected – Bruce the dog (Image: RSPCA)

Manton and Butler, of Stonham Avenue, Clacton, failed to meet the welfare needs for the dogs throughout this time for the below reasons:

  • Failing to address the skin condition affecting one or both dogs.
  • Failing to comprehensively control the dogs resulting in the dogs fighting each other.
  • Keeping the dog in an unsuitable environment containing hazardous items and which was contaminated by urine and faeces.
  • Failing to protect the dogs from stress by punching or kicking them.
  • Exercising the dogs on the highway without the dogs being kept on leads means that the dogs were not under control or safe.
  • Failing to provide routine preventative health care such as vaccination and parasitic control contrary to Section 9(1) of the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

Manton was sentenced on March 8 at Chelmsford Crown Court and was given a 17-week prison sentence for the offense and one week imprisonment to run consecutively for failing to surrender on April 1.

He also activated a previous suspended sentence – which resulted in a further 40 weeks imprisonment consecutively.

Echo: Unloved - Snoop the dogUnloved – Snoop the dog (Image: RSPCA)

Butler was sentenced on March 19 at Chelmsford Magistrates Court and was given a 12-week prison sentence suspended for 12 months for the animal welfare offence.

She was also given two, two week custodial sentences suspended for 12 months to run concurrent for offenses of failing to surrender.

She was also given a community order of 12 months and ordered to carry out 30 rehabilitation activity requirement days and pay costs of £600 and a victim surcharge of £154.

Both have been disqualified from keeping animals for life.

The case relates to a series of incidents caught on camera of the couple and the dogs provided to the RSPCA.

On January 13 last year an RSPCA inspector attended a property in Clacton with the police and the dogs were removed and placed in RSPCA care.

Speaking after the case RSPCA inspector Emma Beynon said: “Bruce and Snoop should have been protected and kept safe, but sadly this was not the case.

“The couple failed them in so many ways, both dogs were taken into RSPCA care, and both continued to thrive, and they have now been rehomed.

“I would also like to thank the witnesses in this case which was a difficult one for all involved.”

By hadem