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Last Updated: Tuesday, 26 July 2005, 14:15 GMT 15:15 UK
Scout leader's cruelty to rabbit
A cub scout leader who dunked a rabbit in a bucket of bleach and water and hit it with a metal pole has been given a suspended prison sentence.

Bridget Coles, 22, from Ely, laughed as she subjected the pet, called Lucky, to the "horrifying" attack that left it dead, Ely Magistrates' Court heard.

She was jailed for two months but the sentence was suspended for two years.

Magistrate Janet South said: "We are appalled at the level of cruelty inflicted on this defenceless rabbit."

They had earlier found Cole guilty of causing the animal distress at a party last summer.

Ms South, said : "We find little evidence of remorse, you have pleaded not guilty and a gross expense has been incurred.

Pleaded not guilty

"We are imposing a custodial sentence of two months which we find necessary to reflect the seriousness of this cruel act."

Cole had denied the charge of cruelly ill-treating Lucky and claimed she had tried to save him from the actions of others.

Magistrates suspended the sentence for two years in light of the fact that it was a first offence and the fact that Cole was involved in charity work and in full time employment.

Cole was also banned from keeping any animal for 25 years and ordered to pay 1,500 towards the RSPCA's costs.

Co-defendant Peter Grant, 19, from Wilburton, Cambs, had previously been sentenced to 100 hours' community service for setting fire to Lucky and clubbing him to death.

A spokesperson for The Scout Association said: "It would appear from our records that Bridget Coles is no longer a member."

Pet rabbit burned and bludgeoned
26 Apr 05 |  Cambridgeshire

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