Case Snapshot
Case ID: 19962
Classification: Kicking/Stomping
Animal: bird (wildlife)
More cases in EN
Abuse was retaliation against animal's bad behavior
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Monday, Sep 3, 2012

Disposition: Convicted

Defendant/Suspect: Charlene Winter

Case Updates: 1 update(s) available

Shocking film footage shows a cruel mother just moments before she stamped a neighbour's pet duck to death.

A CCTV camera filmed Charlene Winter as she let her dog attack the defenceless bird because she was fed up with the noise it was making.

Minutes later the horrified neighbour watched as the 33-year-old viciously stamped on the duck, allowing her out-of-control dog to bite it to death.

Yesterday Winter, from Littlehampton, had her convictions for two counts of animal cruelty upheld at Chichester Magistrates' Court - one for stamping on the duck and one for failing to control her dog.

She now faces a maximum sentence of 51 weeks in prison and a fine of up to £20,000.

The horrific incident happened at 8am on September 3 last year when Winter visited her neighbour's garden in Wick Parade, Wick, to complain about noise.

A camera set up by the homeowner filmed Winter lurching drunkenly around the garden as she allowed her dog, which was off its lead, to chase the neighbour's terrified ducks. RSPCA prosecutor David Buck told the court yesterday how Winter then lunged at one of the birds just off camera.

He said: "She had her foot on it and did so heavily with the effect that it was severely injured and died shortly afterwards."

A vet said the duck's injuries were consistent with being stood on and that it would have suffered intensely.

After the hearing, an RSPCA spokeswoman said: "This was a horrific incident and the duck was clearly terrified before it met its horrible death.

"Charlene Winter's behaviour was incredibly cruel."

Winter was first convicted of the two animal cruelty offences in April in her absence after she failed to turn up to court.

She appealed the decision on the basis that she "suffered from paranoia" and did not have enough credit on her phone to warn the court she was unable to face giving evidence.

But in court yesterday, magistrates decided Winter's no-show had been deliberate and upheld her original convictions.

She was released on unconditional bail and will be sentenced at Worthing Magistrates' Court on July 18.

Case Updates

A dog owner who stamped on her Littlehampton neighbour's duck's neck and let her pet attack the defenceless bird has avoided jail.

Charlene Winter has been banned from owning animals for five years after being sentenced for two counts of animal cruelty following an attack on her neighbour's ducks.

The 34-year-old, from Wick Parade in Littlehampton, could have faced a maximum penalty of six months in jail, a £20,000 fine or a lifetime ban from owning animals.

Animal rights campaigners have slammed the leniency of the sentence.

Winter was found guilty in June for the horrific incident in September 3 last year when Winter visited her neighbour's garden to complain about the noise at 8am.

A camera set up by the homeowner filmed Winter lurching drunkenly around the garden as she allowed her dog, which was off its lead, to chase the neighbour's terrified ducks.

She was seen to lurch after a duck, stamp down on her neck and hold the bird down to allow the dog to attack.

Last Thursday, Winter was banned for five years and ordered to pay £300 costs at Worthing Magistrates' Court.

After the case Sue Baugamardt from Brighton Animal Action said: "Even when the penalties are so ludicrously light, magistrates rarely enforce them fully.

"You really have to do something truly horrific to get jailed for six months.

"People have thrown animals off balconies or put them in microwaves and they don't get six months.

"The main thing with a custodial sentence is that people in jail don't like animal or child abusers and so the reaction she would get from other prisoners would be the real punishment she would face.

"Why is she allowed to have animals after five years, why not ban her for life?

"If she is drunk with a dog and then stamping on a duck, is she capable of looking after anything?"

RSPCA Inspector Andrew Kirby said: "This poor duck died after being stood on. It was clearly an intentional and incredibly cruel act.

"Winter showed no regard whatsoever for this duck and was seen standing on her in a deliberate way - crushing the poor bird to death.

"It is simply unacceptable to treat an animal in this way."
Source: The Argus - Nov 7, 2013
Update posted on Nov 7, 2013 - 12:08AM 


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