Lifetime ban for animal cruelty
A WOMAN has been banned from owning pets for the rest of her life after being convicted of animal neglect.
Her husband was also banned for 10 years from keeping all animals except fish when the pair fronted court today.
Sharon Damrow, 41, and Randyal Damrow, 33, pleaded guilty to 15 charges of failing to treat and feed their animals at their property in Park Ridge.
In November last year, the Damrows were found guilty of multiple charges of animal neglect and sentenced to 12 months' probation, as well as five-year ban from keeping animals.
After three more follow-up visits by RSPCA inspectors, the couple were issued with a string of new charges.
In one of the worst incidents detailed in court documents, seven chickens were pecked to death by older hens and their bodies left to rot in the confined pen.
In another incident, a Welsh mountain pony named Iceman was found emaciated during a March 15 inspection.
On the same visit, RSPCA inspectors saw Ms Damrow throw a cat into a boat in a bid to conceal the animal from them.
In Beenleigh Magistrates Court today Magistrate Brian Kilmartin said Mrs Damrow had "absolute contempt" for the RSPCA and questioned how "anyone could inflict such cruelty" on animals.
The Damrow's defence noted that Mr Damrow was suffering from mental illness and the couple had recently experienced a personal tragedy.
Mr and Mrs Damrow were each given a two year probation sentence.
Magistrate Brian Kilmartin banned Mrs Damrow from keeping any animals ever again and Mr Damrow was banned from keeping all animals except fish for 10 years.
Each had convictions recorded and will each have to pay $8721 each plus court costs and legal fees.
In sentencing the couple, Magistrate Kilmartin said that imprisonment was well within range for both of these offenders but lacked a "rehabilitative aspect".
He said they could have served time, if it were not for the fact that they needed supervision and support for their mental health issues to ensure they did not reoffend.
"It is abundantly obvious that these animals have been terribly looked after," he said.
"You can't say you didn't know what your obligations were."
RSPCA Tracey Jackson said she was pleased with the result.
"We are pleased with the sentence because it appropriately addresses the risk of any reoffending by these people," Ms Jackson said.
"That, together with the prohibition orders, will ensure animals are protected, which is ultimately our paramount consideration."