Bundaberg court housePhoto: Zach Hogg / NewsMail
Bundaberg court housePhoto: Zach Hogg / NewsMail Zach Hogg BUN110814CRT2

Bundy death: Dog was victim of violent relationship

A BARGARA woman who pleaded guilty to failing to care for a dog - so malnourished it had to be put down - has had her fine significantly reduced after a magistrate ruled the woman's abusive partner was more culpable.

Appearing in the Bundaberg Magistrates Court, the 32-year-old pleaded guilty to one count of breaching her duty of care for the tan and white bull-mastiff cross.

RSPCA prosecutor Nicole McEldowney told the court RSPCA inspectors were called to a Bargara address in November last year after neighbours reported the animal was "all bones" and crying.

Ms McEldowney said the dog was found in a laundry and was extremely lethargic and unresponsive to RSPCA staff.

"There was a dish of canned food but no water," Ms McEldowney said.

The court heard the dog also had a flea infestation and the woman was advised to immediately take it to the vet for urgent treatment.

Ms McEldowney told the court later the same day the RSPCA received a call from a Bargara vet to inform them that the dog was also suffering from a worm infestation and would need to be euthanised.

The vet report said the two-year-old dog was severely malnourished.

In making her submissions, Ms McEldowney sought a fine of between $2000 and $3000 as well as half the legal and vet costs..

But Magistrate Belinda Merrin said she was privy to more information about the circumstances the woman found herself in before and after November last year, which mitigated the sentence.

The court heard the woman was subjected to "severe and sustained" domestic violence, which saw her partner jailed for 18 months and left her with a hand injury and unable to work.

Ms Merrin also said the woman was in a position where she didn't "act the way she wanted to" and seek treatment for the dog because her abusive partner had told her what she could and couldn't do.

The woman's partner is also facing the same charge of breaching duty of care, to which he's yet to enter a plea.

In handing down her sentence, Ms Merrin deemed the woman's situation significantly mitigated her culpability and she reduced the fine amount to $500.

The woman was also ordered to pay $550 in legal fees and $112.70 in vet costs.



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