BREAKING: Former Horncastle Mayor and her daughter found guilty of multiple animal welfare charges

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A former Mayor of Horncastle and her daughter have today (Thursday December 18) been found guilty of five charges under the 2006 Animal Welfare Act

Skegness Magistrates’ Court heard that Pamela Crisp-Beard (63) and Marie Crisp-Beard (24) kept the animals at their home in Linden Road, Horncastle, in dank, dark and dirty conditions with ‘extreme levels’ of clutter.

Magistrates heard the house smelled strongly of faeces and urine with animals’ cages piled on top of one another.

The charges relate to 22 chickens, 15 rabbits, five mice, four ducks, two rats, two dogs, a pheasant and two guinea pigs.

Vet Annalise Leslie told the court: “It was very, very deep compacted faeces. It was knee deep in places. The rabbits had created a network of tunnels through it.“

Miss Leslie said cutlery - containing animal excrement - was piled on dirty work surfaces in the kitchen.

She told the court that 
the condition of the rear yard - which featured three sheds - was just as worrying. She described conditions both indoors and outdoors as “unhygienic and squalid.”

Miss Leslie told the court that some of the animals were coated in urine and faeces - including a pheasant which so badly encrusted it was difficult to identify.

Miss Leslie said some of the rabbits were housed in dark, cold, dirty and damp conditions which smelled “horrendous.”

She claimed it was difficult to open access doors to the sheds - because dirty straw, muck and excrement was so piled so high.

Pamela Crisp-Beard, who was Mayor from May 1997 to May 1998, was a town councillor until 2011.

The court heard the RSPCA were initially called to the property on January 16 following a call to a telephone hotline.

On their first visit, RSPCA inspectors issued five animal welfare notices, giving the Crisp-Beards two weeks to make “significant improvements.”When two RSPCA inspectors called at the property again on January 29, they were asked by Maria Crisp-Beard to return the following day, because her mother wasn’t available.

When the inspectors returned on January 30, they were accompanied by two police officers and after an inspection, they called in a vet.

After visiting the premises with police and RSPCA inspectors, Miss Leslie said she had no hesitation in recommending the vast majority of the animals - including a dog and a cat - were removed.

A parrot was left behind.

She said she was also concerned about the condition of a cat which was “unnaturally greasy and dirty” and stained with urine.

She added that some of the animals were underweight while a rat, housed in the front room, was in a cage which was shorter than its actual body length.

Some of the rabbits had fur encrusted in faeces while two were suffering from “urine scalds” which had caused their fur to fall out.

The case has been adjourned until January 30th for sentencing.