Cat-owner banned after he abandons pets during holiday

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A former businessman was banned from keeping pets after he abandoned two ailing cats to take a week’s holiday.

Magistrates heard that a female called Lara was underweight with missing teeth - while a male called Gizmo had an abscess on the neck. Both had fleas and ear mite infections.

The pets were found in the home of Wayne Hamlet, 42, of Bridle Lane, Leabrooks. He failed to attend a trial in Derby where he was found guilty of failing to ensure the welfare needs of the animals. The case was adjourned until Monday February 25 to be sentenced.

Jobless Hamlet, who used a wheelchair in court, was fined £165 and must pay a £15 government surcharge as well as £100 towards the RSPCA costs of £2,242.

Although he was banned for life from keeping pets, the magistrates told Hamlet he could apply to have that lifted after two years. The RSPCA was given permission to keep the cats.

John Sutcliffe, for the charity, said they received information on August 8 that two cats had been left unattended at the house. An inspector managed to feed them but Hamlet failed to return until August 13.

When questioned, Hamlet said he asked neighbours to keep an eye on the animals while he was away. However, they denied this when questioned, added Mr Sutcliffe.

Sarah Green, for Hamlet, told the court:”The two cats adopted him and his wife and were semi-wild. They remained so during that time.”

His wife mainly cared for them but the marriage broke up in November 2011.

Hamlet, the former managing director of a company, was in a road accident last year, saying his “foot and ankle were smashed to pieces.”

When one cat was ill, Hamlet had spent £200 on a vet’s bill, although he was short of money,

“On one occasion, he went out and bought food and was left with no food. This case has flagged up that he will have to do homework if he wants to look after cats on a subsequent occasion,” added Miss Green.