A judge is considering the verdict in the case of a woman accused of causing suffering to animals at the sanctuary she ran.

Lindsay Newell, 27, of Stapenhill, Staffordshire, is charged with causing unnecessary suffering to more than 30 animals in her care at the Burton Wildlife Animal Rescue Centre in Etwall, Derbyshire.

Miss Newell ran the sanctuary, which she set up in 2008 and has pleaded not guilty to 31 charges.

The last day of trial was held at Stafford Magistrates’ court yesterday with witness Colin Vogel giving evidence for the defence.

Mr Vogel, a veterinary surgeon, disputed evidence given by a number of vets who used a body conditioning score.

He said the scores were done months later from memory, rather than making a note on the day.

Mr Vogel added that animals put on weight slowly, indicating it could not be proved the animals lost weight while at the centre.

He said: “Even if you rule out every disease under the sun it still doesn’t tell when it [the animal] was deprived of food. There is no way of telling.”

The RSPCA executed a warrant on the centre in November 2012 where they found animals malnourished and emaciated.

The carcass of a lamb that had starved to death was found along with an old spot pig, which died in front of a trading standards officer.

Dingle Clarke, prosecuting, said Miss Newell should have checked the animals in her care more often.

He said: “Her evidence that she didn’t notice anything wrong is incredible, the responsible owner would have noticed.

“She was running a rescue centre and was a volunteer and, as a veterinary nurse, should have been alerted to the issues.”

The verdict will be announced on May 12 at Burton Magistrates’ Court.

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