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Cruelty charge man says sorry to rabbit

PUBLISHED: 15:54 10 April 2003 | UPDATED: 13:43 03 March 2010

A SINGLE father who let a pet rabbit starve to death and another become emaciated apologised to the court for letting his children and the rabbits down.

A SINGLE father who let a pet rabbit starve to death and another become emaciated apologised to the court for letting his children and the rabbits down.

Colin Brodie, from Kestrel Road, Ipswich, when asked in court if he was a caring rabbit owner, replied: "I was, but not recently."

South East Magistrates' Court heard how an RSPCA officer was called to 36-year-old Brodie's garden to find one white rabbit dead, and a black rabbit close to death in a soiled hutch.

RSPCA's William Jackson, prosecuting, said: "The hutch was filthy with droppings. Further examination of the dead rabbit's carcass discovered it was severely emaciated with its back legs coated in excrement. The rabbit had died of starvation."

The black rabbit, now in RSPCA care, was suffering from dehydration and under nourishment.

According to father-of-two Brodie, who admitted causing unnecessary suffering to an animal between November 20 and December 2 last year, the bedding had been changed within the week prior to the RSPCA visit.

Brodie said: "I would just like to say that I would never intentionally harm any living thing.

"I have let them and my children down. I am a single parent and I feel remorseful and ashamed."

Chairwoman of the bench Leisha Klein ordered Brodie to pay £150 costs and £50 for each case of cruelty. He was also banned from keeping any domestic animal for two years.

After the hearing RSPCA's Inspector David Mitchell, who had hoped for a more severe penalty and life time ban from pet owning, said: "Small domestic pets like rabbits are entirely dependent on their owners.

"Parents are responsible for their children's pets.

"This death could easily have been avoided. There can hardly be a more horrible death than by a slow starvation."


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