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Last Updated: Friday, 17 June, 2005, 17:21 GMT 18:21 UK
Woman who kept 271 pets released
Rosalind Gregson
Rosalind Gregson is still disqualified from keeping animals
A woman jailed for animal cruelty after keeping 271 pets into her cottage has been released on appeal.

Rosalind Gregson, 55, was released one week into a three-month prison term following an appeal hearing at Preston Crown Court on Friday.

She was given a three-year community rehabilitation order, but was told that the life ban on keeping animals would still stand.

Gregson had pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary harm to animals.

She was jailed by Preston Magistrates last Friday after admitting nine counts of causing unnecessary harm to animals.

Judge Andrew Gilbart QC said at Friday's appeal hearing: "This is not a case involving torture, malice, or sadism, but there are aggravating features in this case.

It's a very satisfactory outcome in that the disqualification remains unchanged
RSPCA spokeswoman Heather Holmes

"There is evidence of the disregard of the warnings of others, there's evidence of neglect and there is evidence of significant injury."

He said that the custodial threshold had been passed in principle, but that a community rehabilitation order was more suitable as it would include counselling to help her deal with her grief and mental health problems.

The RSPCA welcomed the outcome of the appeal.

Spokeswoman Heather Holmes said: "I think it's a very satisfactory outcome in that the disqualification remains unchanged and for the RSPCA that is the most important element of the court case."

One of the dogs recovered at Rosalind Gregson's house
The nine charges referred to dogs

The court had heard that when the RSPCA visited Gregson's home in Silverdale, Lancashire, in September 2003, they found 246 dogs, 16 birds, five cats, two kittens, a rabbit and a chinchilla.

The animals were emaciated and many were covered in faeces and urine, and were suffering from infections and injuries.

Nine of the animals had to be put down shortly after RSPCA inspectors removed them from her home.

Gregson, who lived in the house with her husband Alan, had initially denied 49 counts of causing unreasonable suffering to animals, but three days into her trial in May she changed her plea and admitted nine counts.

The nine charges referred to dogs - two Yorkshire terriers, three Lhasa apsos, three shih tzu and one Old English sheepdog.

Gregson's animal collecting was triggered when her son died from a drug overdose 15 years ago, the court heard.

See how Rosalind Gregson kept the animals

Woman who kept 271 animals jailed
10 Jun 05 |  Lancashire
Woman admits nine cruelty charges
20 May 05 |  Lancashire
Animal house smell floored warden
19 May 05 |  Lancashire
Woman 'kept 271 animals at home'
18 May 05 |  Lancashire

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