Newcastle United doorman banned from conserving animals after cats starved to demise

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A Newcastle United doorman was banned from keeping animals indefinitely after two cats starved to death.

Stephen Scott, 21, cared for her so much that one was dead before he could be rescued and the other was later knocked down.

He also neglected a flea bitten dog and two other moggies whose weight was at least 20% below healthy levels, a court heard.

Even when the RSPCA intervened in his filthy house on Vine Street, Tyne Dock, South Shields, he refused to sign it.

Scott, now on Hillsview Avenue, Fawdon, Newcastle, also failed to visit a veterinarian with a £ 50 voucher given to him by the animal welfare group.

The South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court was told that it would have paid off the flea treatment for Lara Black and White Lurcher Cross.

District Judge Kathryn Meek sentenced Scott, who suffers from mental health problems and a learning disorder, saying: “There were five animals, two of which died from your poor treatment.

“I am satisfied that mental health played a role. I am also satisfied that you did not abuse intentionally, but rather a lack of skills. However, the consequences have been severe.”

RSPCA prosecutor Alex Bousfield said inspectors became aware of issues related to neglect in September 2019.

They officially warned Scott and handed over the voucher. Further visits to the property followed in November and December.

In one case, Scott refused to sign the animals, and it wasn’t until early February last year that RSPCA efforts accelerated.

Ginger the Cat by Stephen Scott

It came after a maintenance worker looked inside and was so appalled by the condition of the animals that he took Scott with a cat to a vet.

Mr Bousfield said, “The RSPCA then went into the premises and found it to be in very poor condition.

“There was feces on the floor, it wasn’t a good condition for anyone to live in.

“The cats were underweight and the dog still had a problem with fleas.

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“Two of the cats, Cuddles and Shankly, died. One was actually starved and one was euthanized.

“An autopsy was performed and both cats were found to have empty stomachs.

“The other cats were alive but in poor shape due to poor nutrition.”

He added, “Shankly was a black and white man who died from a lack of food, and Cuddles died from a lack of food.

“Lara, a Lurcher Cross, had itchy skin and the cats Ginger and Maisie lacked adequate nutrition.

“The body mass score for Ginger was two out of nine, so it should be somewhere in the middle of this register.

“The animals have about 80% or just under a healthy body weight.”

The court heard that the surviving animals would be readmitted by the RSPCA.

Lara the dog by Stephen Scott

Lara the dog by Stephen Scott

Mark Gibson, who defended himself, said Scott started out with only one cat that was well looked after, but his teenage brother moved in with two more.

Scott’s mother then incriminated him with three cats and Lara – and the defendant then lost much of his door work.

Mr. Gibson added, “Mr. Scott takes responsibility for his own shortcomings. He has taken on too much.

“He realized he couldn’t handle it. He was a little afraid of getting into trouble and the RSPCA taking the animals.

“It was his tendency. He brought a cat with him, he had had this cat for two years without any problems. This was the first time he had lived alone.

“He was a full-time security guard. It got too much for Mr. Scott pretty quickly.

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“In December 2019, his working hours were cut by around half. This meant that he had difficulties making ends meet for himself and for the animals. The animals had a severe health downturn in early January.

“He just started getting doors on the Newcastle United football field and even though there are no fans they still need people there.”

Scott pleaded guilty to five animal cruelty charges between January 1 and February 4, 2020.

Shadow the cat removed by Stephen Scott

Shadow the cat removed by Stephen Scott

Judge Meek banned Scott indefinitely from owning or caring for animals, but said the law allows him to petition for change after three years.

She gave him an 18-month collective injunction requiring up to 26 days of rehabilitation work with the probation service.

Scott is also required to do 150 hours of unpaid work and pay £ 400 in court costs and a £ 85 sacrificial surcharge.

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