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Last Updated: Wednesday, 12 May, 2004, 17:55 GMT 18:55 UK
Couple banned from keeping pets
A couple who left their pets to starve to death have been banned from keeping animals for two years.

Ian Haddow and Sarah-Jane Brady of Hartcliffe, Bristol, were found guilty of abandoning and causing unnecessary suffering to a hamster and a gerbil.

Bristol Magistrates Court heard the pair and their seven children moved out of their home in Southmead in May 2003, leaving the pets behind.

The hamster died, but the gerbil, which was rescued by the RSPCA, survived.

Haddow and Brady were convicted and sentenced to a conditional discharge, ordered to pay costs of 480, and banned from keeping animals for two years.

RSPCA inspector Chris James said: "This is an unforgivable case where the defendants showed no remorse for their action.

"If they no longer wanted the pets they could have given them to the RSPCA, but instead they left them to a slow and painful death."

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