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Prison for suitcase puppy killer

18 November 09 19:55 GMT

A Sussex woman who left 15 puppies to die in closed suitcases in a locked cupboard has been jailed for 20 weeks.

Dog breeder Amanda Cheadle, 58, of Uckfield, was previously found guilty by Lewes magistrates of causing unnecessary suffering and neglect.

During the trial, magistrates concluded she intentionally tried to kill the puppies.

RSPCA Inspector Rachel Bell said it was one of the most harrowing cases she had dealt with.

Chairman of the bench Chris Bell told Cheadle she had caused "prolonged suffering" to the animals in her care.

Starving and suffocated

During the trial, the court heard the RSPCA had already taken dogs away from Cheadle and it was during a later visit that the sound of whining led officers to the suitcases.

Eight of the puppies had already died of starvation, dehydration and suffocation, but seven were found alive.

Efforts were made to revive the seven at the farmhouse in Bell Lane, Fletching.

Magistrates heard Cheadle had been sectioned under the Mental Health Act around the time the offences took place, between August 2008 and February this year.

Defending, Lucinda Dore said Cheadle accepted she had perhaps behaved in a way that a person of sound mind might not have done.

Cheadle, who had faced nine charges of causing unnecessary suffering and neglect, was sentenced to 20 weeks in prison for each of the charges, with each term to run concurrently.

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