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Suspended Sentence for man convicted of Animal Cruelty

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Paul Sempey, (37), a resident of Queen Street in Ballymena, was sentenced at Ballymena Magistrates Court today, after previously pleading guilty to causing the unnecessary suffering and failing to ensure the welfare of a Staffordshire Bull Terrier Type dog for which he was responsible.

The charges were brought against Sempey by Mid and East Antrim Borough Council under the Welfare of Animals Act (NI) 2011.

The charges related to findings following an investigation by Animal Welfare Officers regarding offences in January 2015.

Upon visiting Sempey’s property an Animal Welfare Officer discovered a dog that was severely emaciated being less than half its expected body and in its final hours of life.

Sempey was sentenced to six months in prison suspended for two years and ordered to pay legal costs of £116. In addition Sempey was disqualified for life from the keeping of any ‘warm blooded animal’.

A spokesperson for Mid and East Antrim Borough Council said: “Council gives a high priority to the welfare of domestic pets and horses and operates a rigorous enforcement policy to ensure full compliance of regulatory requirements.

“Complaints are investigated thoroughly and where necessary formal action is taken, which may include the service of Improvement Notices or, in extreme cases, the seizure of animals.

“The Council may also prosecute for offences such as in this particularly harrowing case, which I hope serves as a warning to anyone who does not take appropriate care of animals.”

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