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Bridgend woman jailed for 18 weeks after breaching disqualification order

A Bridgend woman has been jailed after she admitted breaching a disqualification order where she had been banned from keeping dogs for five years.

Janine Maloney of Bridgend Road, Aberkenfig, appeared at Cardiff Magistrates’ Court on 20 February after previously pleading guilty to two offences under the Animal Welfare Act on 15 December 2023.

The first offence related to a breach of ban between 21 May and 6 July 2023 – the second offence related to a further breach on 9 December 2023. The court heard that the RSPCA obtained evidence that she was breaching her ban by owning a dog and was also caring for other people’s dogs.

Maloney was seen having a dog with her whilst having a meeting, she was seen accepting two dogs and all their belongings from a third party before driving off with them in her car, and was seen walking a dog believed to be hers from a car to a flat.

Maloney was handed a disqualification order in respect to dogs for five years by Cardiff Magistrates’ Court on 6 February 2023.

She was also handed a suspended sentence order back in 2023, which at the sentencing hearing on 20 February, was activated in part, which resulted in Maloney having a 12 week custodial sentence imposed.

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She was also sentenced to a further four weeks custody – to run consecutively for the first offence – and another two weeks custody for the second offence. Therefore the total custodial sentence was 18 weeks.

Maloney was ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £154 and an order for her dog Badger was made depriving her ownership. A family friend was appointed to rehome Badger within 14 days.

In addition, a new disqualification order banning her from keeping dogs for five years was imposed, with the time to contest the order made at three years.

In mitigation it was heard that she had a dependence on dogs for emotional support which has developed over years and there was no actual harm caused in the two breach cases. The court heard that she now understands the order.

In sentencing, the judge in the case said: “My view is this is a flagrant and deliberate breach where you have chosen to deliberately ignore the order. Your offending continued even after a summons was served upon you.”

RSPCA Deputy Chief Inspector Gemma Cooper said: “We’d like to thank those who helped us in our investigations.

“It is important to reiterate to the public that we rely on them to tell us if someone has breached a ban. We depend on the public to be our eyes and ears and we take breaches of bans very seriously – as do the courts.”

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