December 2020

Man jailed for for inflicting blunt force trauma to dog and cat

A Somerset man who admitted animal cruelty towards a cat and dog has been jailed and barred from keeping animals for life.

Henry Smedley, 26, of Peasedown St John, Bath was sentenced to 23 weeks immediate in prison following separate incidents in which a cat died and a dog was badly injured.

RSPCA Inspector Miranda Albinson began investigations after the charity received a number of calls claiming animals were being abused at an address where Smedley was staying.

Alongside reports from eyewitnesses, who spoke of their concerns at seeing Smedley mistreating animals, veterinary reports proved a cat, Maisie, and a dog, Lola, had suffered blunt force traumas, leaving them with injuries which had not been treated.

Maisie, a 10-month-old tortoiseshell cat, was taken to a vet by Smedley, who claimed that he was concerned she was dying after he found her drowning in a bath full of water he had left unattended.

Upon examination, vets found that she was already dead and had been for several hours, and that the account told by Smedley did not seem fitting to the clinical picture of Maisy.

She was in an emaciated condition, as though she had been neglected for some time, and the marks seen on her body did not fit with drowning and were more consistent with trauma.

Further examinations found she also had 31 rib fractures, three spinal fractures, and a dislocation of the sternum.

A three-year-old Jack Russell terrier named Lola, who was kept in a small cage by Smedley, was also found to be underweight with her ribs, spine and pelvic bones visible.

Radiographs taken of Lola revealed she too had seven rib fractures with at least two stages of healing which had not been treated by a vet.

Smedley admitted to the charges relating to Lola and Maisie when he appeared before Bristol Magistrates Court on December 7.

Alongside the immediate custodial sentence, Smedley was banned from owning or keeping animals for life.

Lola has since been rehomed by the RSPCA and is now living happily with her new owners.