Cruelty couple face jail

Skittles the cat - RSPCA cruelty case
Skittles the cat - RSPCA cruelty case

A WIGAN couple whose cat was found with its skull, neck and pelvis shattered have been warned they face a possible prison term for animal cruelty.

Keith Peters and Riann Michelle Victoria Rice will now appear before Wigan and Leigh magistrates later this month for sentencing after all-option social inquiry reports have been prepared.

The Presiding Magistrate warned: “We are considering a custodial sentence.”

Tony Stock, prosecuting on behalf of the RSPCA, said that Inspector Louise Showering called at their Woolton Close home in Ashton late one evening after receiving a phone call from a concerned member of the public about the pair’s pet short-haired domestic white and tortoiseshell she cat, Skittles.

She found the cat collapsed and lying on its side in what appeared to be in a “state of shock” and visibly unable to stand.

The pet was taken by the Society straight to vet Sarah Holmes who noted that the animals left hind leg was extended and Skittles started “crying and hissing” in pain when she attempted to manually examine it for injuries.

Skittles was immediately X-rayed and the plates revealed that it was suffering from a fractured skull and a broken neck.

After an immediate decision was taken to put the cat down to ease its suffering, more scans during the post-mortem examination showed that Skittles had a dislocated and fractured right hand foreleg which it had been carrying for at least a week, a broken pelvis and fractured ribs.

Mr Stock said: “It was plainly and palpably obvious that the animal was seriously injured and required immediate veterinary treatment.”

Minutes earlier the prosecutor had agreed to offer no evidence to a charge against Peters, which he had denied, of using blunt force trauma and physical violence against the pet which had resulted in its fractured skull and neck.

Peters, 27, of Golborne Road, Ashton, and 31-year-old Rice, pleaded guilty to a total of six charges of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal in Woolton Close between September 9 and 11 by failing to provide it with proper and necessary veterinary care for its broken neck and fractured skull, fractured leg and fractured ribs.

Bob Toppin, defending Rice, said that he would give the court her mitigation at the sentencing hearing.

Undefended, Peters was advised to seek legal advice because of the pending threat to his liberty.

Peters and Rice will appear again before the bench on March 25.