Pet scam pays back

A CREMATORIA owner who coldly dumped the bodies of family pets in fields has been ordered to pay back more than £3,100 of her fraudulent earnings.

Emma Bent, the 35-year-old who ran Peak Pet Cremations in Heage had a contract with Heanor based veterinary surgeon Ambivet, to dispose of animal waste and by-products using an incinerator.

She also ran a private cremation service, which charged her clients up to £140 to give their pets a dignified send-off.

But Bent instead dumped many of the bodies in fields in Heage and Hartshay and returned false ashes in an urn to her clients.

This week a confiscation order was made under the Proceeds Of Crime Act to strip Bent of her fraudulent earnings. The short hearing on Thursday at Derby Crown Court demanded Bent pay £3,100 of ‘realisable assets’ within six months, or return to jail. However the court found Bent had netted more than £88,000 from her ilegal business and could one day have to pay back the full amount, of she were to come into money.

Speaking on behalf of Bent’s victims, director of the Association of Private Pet Cemeteries & Crematoria, Kevin Spurgeon, said: “The key thing is nothing is going to replace the memory of their pets and the worry when it happened. But I think this goes some way to getting a little bit more justice against Emma Bent.”

Realisable assets are assets already owned by Bent at present that she has to pay back. Bent only served seven weeks of the eight month jail term handed to her in February.