A CRUEL woman who kept a dog tied up in her kitchen without food and water has been banned from keeping animals for 10 years.
Bernadette Mitchell caused the dog – called Buster – unnecessary suffering by keeping it tethered to the same spot and repeatedly kicking it at her home in Tannahill Road, Ferguslie Park, Paisley.
And when a ‘whistleblower’ reported 36-year-old Mitchell to the authorities, she attacked him with a glass bottle.
Paisley Sheriff Court heard that police and animal welfare officials had gone to Mitchell’s house after the alarm was raised and rescued the dog when they discovered it was clear that no water or food had been provided.
When quizzed by police, the accused admitted she had kicked the dog, stating: “It’s been bad.”
In court, Mitchell had originally denied causing the dog unnecessary suffering by keeping it tethered to the spot in her kitchen without providing suitable bedding, water or food and repeatedly kicking the animal on June 25 last year.
However, she later changed her plea and admitted the charges, which were brought under the Animal Health and Welfare Act of 2006.
Mitchell also admitted a third charge of assaulting Gordon Brown on the same date by throwing a glass bottle which struck him on the head.
She told police she had assaulted Mr Brown, who suffered a lump to the side of his head, because “he said I booted my dog”.
Sentence had been deferred for background reports and defence agent Tom Williamson revealed his client had been indulging in substance misuse at the time and could not fully recall all of the circumstances surrounding the offences as she suffered from mental health issues.
Mr Williamson said that Mitchell was, nonetheless, remorseful and accepted that such conduct was unacceptable.
Sheriff Neil Douglas had originally told Mitchell that he viewed the offences as “extremely serious” but deferred sentence and called for updated social enquiry and psychiatric reports to be provided.
Mitchell voluntarily agreed to sign over ownership of the dog to the SSPCA and it was confirmed that she had been attending for specialist treatment and counselling.
When the accused returned to court to learn her fate, her lawyer revealed there had been a marked improvement in her circumstances, which would enable her to benefit from supervision and take advantage of the help on offer.
Sheriff Douglas put a banning order in place, prohibiting Mitchell from owning, keeping or taking charge of any animal for the next decade, and warned she would have to face the consequences if she failed to comply.
He also placed the accused on probation for 18 months with a condition in place which means she must attend alcohol counselling sessions.