katygammon

A solicitor who locked her pet dog in a kitchen and left it to die has been told she faces prison.

Katy Gammon, 27, moved out of her home in Bristol, leaving five-year-old boxer Roxy trapped inside without food or water.

The dog’s remains were not discovered until 10 weeks later, when neighbours reported a large amount of flies around the house.

Bristol Magistrates’ Court heard that the animal was likely to have suffered a “prolonged and painful” death over a six-day period.

Gammon, of Capel Road, Bristol, sobbed in the dock as the court heard how Roxy desperately tried to claw her way out of the kitchen.

The pet had frantically emptied cupboards of mops and buckets in an attempt to find water, the court heard.

Shockingly, Gammon had left tins of dog food piled in the house’s hallway – just feet away from where Roxy was locked away.

Gammon, wearing a smart black suit, pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to the dog and failing to prevent causing unnecessary suffering to an animal.

Prosecuting for the RSPCA, Lindi Meyer told magistrates the offences carried a starting point of 18 weeks in custody.

“The defendant owned a dog named Roxy,” Ms Meyer said. “Roxy was left alone every day while the defendant went to work.

“Initially she would have roam of the house but, because she was urinating and defecating, she was locked in the kitchen.

“In August 2013, the defendant started staying at her mother’s house. She would return to Roxy in the morning but not in the evening.

“Roxy still was confined to the kitchen and walked three times a week.”

Gammon then dislocated her knee and did not visit the property, in Campbells Farm Drive, Bristol, for a week – meaning Roxy was left completely unattended.

Neighbours called Avon and Somerset Police after spotting flies in the window of the property, and officers attended on November 3.

They decided to visit Gammon at work after noting “large flies” around the property and a “strong smell of decomposition” through the letterbox.

“She told them she had moved out of the address six weeks ago but had been checking to see Roxy,” Ms Meyer said.

On entering the home, police found a length of rope rigged between the kitchen door and hooks in the hallway to keep it closed.

Roxy’s remains were found inside the kitchen, covered in maggots.

RSPCA inspector Chris James had to use a snow shovel to remove the remains from the floor.

A post-mortem examination carried out by an RSPCA vet found: “Roxy suffered a gradual death due to dehydration and starvation over a period of three to six days.

“This suffering was entirely avoidable and unnecessary.”

In interview, Gammon said she and her ex-boyfriend had taken on Roxy in December 2012, with her taking on full responsibility when they split up in April 2013.

She claimed she had tried to get rid of the dog by posting messages on Facebook but did not have any takers.

Gammon told RSPCA Inspector Miranda Albinson she had left Roxy in the house without food for a week, on August 30, and returned to find an “awful smell”.

“I didn’t go into the house, I assumed she was dead,” Gammon told the inspector. “I never went back.”

Ms Albinson asked Gammon: “You deliberately locked her in the kitchen and left her for a week to die?”

Gammon replied: “Yes, basically.”

When shown photographs of the decomposed dog, Gammon said: “I don’t know what you want me to say. It’s horrific.”

Joanna Lyons, defending Gammon, said her client accepted the prosecution’s case “totally and in full”.

“I would ask the court to accept that my client has genuine remorse for the suffering she caused,” Mrs Lyons said.

“She tells me she is absolutely mortified on every level for the suffering she caused Roxy.

“It appears to me that there must be some psychiatric issues.”

Patricia Lee, chair of the bench, adjourned the case for a full pre-sentence report to be prepared.

“This is a very, very serious case – so serious there’s no way we can sentence today,” Mrs Lee told Gammon.

“We need a full report about you and your circumstances.”

Gammon, who did not comment as she left the court, will be sentenced at Bristol Magistrates’ Court on April 9.

Speaking outside court after the case, Ms Albinson said the case had affected those investigating it.

“She was tearful in court today but during interview she showed no remorse,” she said.

“If she had chucked the dog out on the street, if would have had a better chance than what she did.

“It is horrific. It is deliberate cruelty – to deliberately lock a dog in a kitchen and leave it to die, I just don’t understand it.”

Mr James said: “There were tins of dog food sitting on the hall table. She didn’t even have to go anywhere to feed it.

“It is absolutely horrendous.”

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