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Dog neglect woman has prison term slashed

[A] WOMAN jailed for neglecting a dog found “close to death” in West Cumbria has won an appeal against her sentence.

Marie Elizabeth Staniforth, 32, was locked up by magistrates last month after a starved and emaciated lurcher-type animal known as Charlie was located in Cleator Moor. An RSPCA inspector described Charlie as the skinniest dog he’d ever seen alive. The dog had been left by Staniforth for around a month with little or no food or water.

Staniforth, a pre-school owner, denied a charge of causing unnecessary suffering to Charlie. But she was found guilty after a trial, jailed for 126 days and banned from keeping animals for life.

Staniforth, a woman of previous good character, lodged an appeal against the prison term. This was heard at Carlisle Crown Court today (FRI).

After hearing submissions, Judge Tony Lancaster and a magistrate concluded her sentence was “disproportionate”. They found that little consideration had been given to the impact of custody on the mother-of-four’s family life.

Staniforth, of Eskdale Green, Holmrook, had spent 10 days in prison. She was given an amended two-week sentence, and told she was set to be released immediately.

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