A woman who ran an animal sanctuary has been found guilty of six counts of causing unnecessary suffering to animals in her care.
A judge at Stafford Magistrates’ Court heard evidence over a five-day trial and returned his verdict at Burton Magistrates’ Court yesterday.
Miss Newell, 27, was cleared on 25 of the charges and sentenced to a two-year conditional discharge and must pay £2,000 in costs.
She was also banned from keeping sheep, goats, pigs, and equines for five years.
District judge David Taylor told her: “I have no doubt you were strongly motivated by the need to care for animals. I am also under no doubt you placed yourself under considerable pressures, both financially and in terms of time.
“By November 2012 you had simply taken on too much and became unable to identify which animals needed more care.
“There was a range of animals. You were in charge of all of them. Some of them died. The aggravating feature is that you chose to take these animals on, so you are culpable.”
The charges on which Newell was found guilty included causing unnecessary suffering to a pig called Babe by failing to explore its weight loss.
The other five guilty verdicts were similar but related to a ewe, a lamb, a pony and a goat.
Speaking about the lamb, Judge Taylor added: “The overwhelming evidence was that the lamb was emaciated and that it had only ever been in the care of Miss Newell. This was a lamb that was in need of attention.”
Miss Newell continues to run the rescue centre, where there are currently eight cats, two hens, 200 pigeons, 100 chickens, 18 rabbits and a pig.
Newell’s defence solicitor, Nigel Weller, said his client was clearly fulfilling a need in the community and now had six people helping her.
He said: “She is the leading light and has devoted many years of her life to the centre.”