Man given suspended prison term after abandoned cat found dead at Downham home
A man has been banned from keeping animals for 10 years after a cat that he abandoned for two weeks was found dead at a house in Downham.
Connor Clements, 23, was given a suspended prison term by Lynn magistrates after admitting four animal welfare offences.
And a second cat has since been rehomed following the intervention of the police and RSPCA officials.
The ordeal of the cats, named Nala and Chase, first came to light in September last year when police were called to an address in Elderflower Way, Downham where they had been left alone.
RSPCA officials say they were called in after police found Chase dead inside the property with a chewed food pouch nearby.
They said Nala would have been in an even worse condition had she not managed to tear into a box of cat food.
In just under four weeks of RSPCA care after her discovery, Nala's weight increased by a third, from 2.4kg to 3.2kg. She has now been rehomed.
Clements, now of Somerleyton Road, Lowestoft, pleaded guilty to three counts of causing unnecessary suffering, plus one of failing to take reasonable steps to cater for the cats' needs, offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2006.
In mitigation during a sentencing hearing earlier this month, he said he had been suffering from depression following the death of his partner.
Clements was given a 12 week prison sentence suspended for 12 months and disqualified from keeping all animals for 10 years.
He was also ordered to pay £335 compensation for vet fees, plus £150 costs.
RSPCA inspector Rebecca Harper said: “Ultimately one young cat has died during this time, and the other has lost significant weight and been through a distressing ordeal of hunger and isolation.
“Thankfully her health issues have been reversed simply by feeding, and providing basic gut support necessary to counteract gorging behaviour.
“This whole situation is extremely sad, and whilst the owner’s failings may not have been purposeful or done with malicious intent, any suffering and pain incurred by these animals was still totally unnecessary.”