Carpet sodden with urine, the smell of faeces in the air, dank, dark and full of rubbish, court is told house was no place for animals

Pamela Crisp-Beard arriving at court in Skegness
Pamela Crisp-Beard arriving at court in Skegness

A former Mayor of Horncastle kept a variety of animals in squalid conditions at her home which stank of urine and faeces, a court heard.

Pamela Ann Crisp-Beard, 63, and her daughter Maria Crisp Beard, appeared before Skegness Magistrates last Friday having previously denied six offences each relating to animal welfare.

Maria Crisp-Beard arrives at court in Skegness

Maria Crisp-Beard arrives at court in Skegness

In addition, Pamela Crisp-Beard - who was a town councillor until 2011 - faces two charges of being in charge of a dog which was dangerously out of control in a public place.

Magistrates heard the welfare charges related to a host of different animals including 15 rabbits, a golden pheasant, two guinea pigs, five mice, two rats, a cat, two dogs, four domestic ducks a goose and 22 chickens.

Their collection also included a parrot and two ferrets.

Crisp-Beard and her daughter kept some of the animals inside their home - including a bedroom - at Linden Road, Horncastle.

The others were kept in the back garden.

RSPCA inspector Deborah Scotcher told the court that when she visited the house, her feet squelched on the hall carpets - because they were sodden with urine

Questioned by Beris Brickles, who was prosecuting on behalf of the RSPCA, Ms Scotcher said the entire house stank of ‘urine and faeces’ and that several rooms - including the kitchen - were cold, dank and dark and full of rubbish and other debris.

She told the court some of the animals were kept in cages stacked from floor to ceiling in the front room. She also said there was a ‘gaping hole’ in the front room ceiling.

She said that some of the dirty straw inside the cages was ‘inches thick’ in excrement.

Ms Scotcher added that she struggled to identify the golden pheasant - kept in the back garden of the property - because it was so badly caked in mud and faeces.

She alleged the majority of the animals did not have food or clean drinking water.

Ms Scotcher said she first visited the house on January 13 after an anonymous call to the RSCPA’s national hot line.

She told the court on that visit, she found some of the animals were kept in cages with ‘filthy, sodden’ straw.

She said that some of the cages were not suitable for the animals housed in them and that some food bowls were empty and others contained stagnant, dirty water.

Ms Scotcher described conditions outside as ‘squalid’ with the garden full of mud, faeces and urine.

She said her boots ‘squelched’ in the mud and faeces and that some of the outdoor animals had no proper shelter.

Ms Scotcher said both Pamela and Marie Crisp-Beard were present but told the court that despite having ‘grave concerns’ about conditions the animals were living in, she decided not to take any official action.

She did, though, tell the Crisp-Beard’s that she would return and expected to see ‘a significant improvement’ in conditions.

She agreed with Mr Brickles that effectively, she gave the Crisp-Beard’s a ‘second chance.’

Ms Scotcher said on a subsequent visit (January 16) she found conditions had not improved and the house ‘still stank.’

She said rabbits were housed in two shed-like buildings outdoors which lacked suitable light and ventilation.

She then returned on January 29 with two police officers and a vet. After inspecting the animals, the vet agreed that the best course of action was to remove them from the property.

The court heard that the animals seized included 22 chickens, four ducks, a pheasant, two cats, two dogs, two guinea pigs and two do.

Ms Scothern said that in examinations, one of the dogs appeared to be underweight while rabbits had excrement matted in their fur.

The court heard that although Pamela Crisp-Beard admitted to owning the animals, her daughter had a ‘duty of care’ as she often looked after them.

The Crisp-Beard’s are appealing the decision to seize the animals which have been kept in a private boarding establishment since January.

During the questioning, the Crisp-Beard’s often glanced at each other but said nothing.

Magistrates were shown thee photographic albums of the conditions.

Ms Scotcher was due to be questioned by defence solicitor Ruth Harrop.

The case was adjourned until a later date.