Siblings guilty of ‘extreme’ animal cruelty

Mark and Hannah Henry from Craigavon pleaded guilty to several counts of cruelty against dogs.

A man from Craigavon has received a three-month suspended sentence for causing unnecessary suffering to dogs.

Mark Henry and his sister Hannah, both of Legahory Court, pleaded guilty to several counts of animal cruelty and failing to ensure the needs of the animals were met.

Hannah Henry was given a probation order.

The judge at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court described the offences as “a case in the extreme”.

The court heard the house where the siblings and the dogs lived was covered in animal excrement and there was no food or water available for the animals.

Both were disqualified from owning animals for 10 years.

The brother and sister were supposed to be caring for five dogs at their home when council and Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) staff arrived with a warrant in November 2019.

The court heard that officers were met with a pungent smell of animal urine and faeces, while rubbish and soiled bedding littered the house.

‘Unnecessary suffering’

Hannah Henry was the owner of two shih tzus, an akita and a jack russell.

The two shih tzus both had a body score of one – which means they were severely underweight.

The akita had been kept on an eight-foot-long chain in a pen in the garden – a pen that was too small for the animal to lie down in and was not watertight.

There was no bedding or drinking water. Excrement littered the floor of the pen.

The court heard that the animal had never been to a vet or groomers.

Mark Henry, who had a previous conviction for animal cruelty and had been banned from owning animals, was the owner of a labrador cross.

He too was found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal.

He was found to have breached a disqualification order.

The judge described the charges as a “litany of the most horrible acts a human being can carry out” and said it was “beyond contemplation” that it had been allowed to happen.

Their father, Matron Henry, who lives at the same address and faces similar charges, will appear in court next month.

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