A mother-of-one has been banned from keeping animals after she failed to feed or water her bearded dragon for a month – resulting in its death.
23-year-old Sophia Morton, of Sandalwood Road, Westbury, was convicted of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal at Swindon Magistrates’ Court in March.
She initially failed to attend court, with a warrant for her arrest issued by magistrates. Morton later appeared by video link from Melksham Police Station.
The RSPCA brought the case after vets were forced to put the lizard, named Ellie, to sleep due to developing metabolic bone disease from malnutrition.
Morton was warned she faced a jail sentence upwards of 18 weeks.
On Friday, failing again to attend court she was sentenced to 12 weeks imprisonment suspended for two years and must also complete 80 hours unpaid work. Morton was also banned from owning, partly or wholly, or keeping animals for five years.
She was also ordered to pay costs of £200.00, a victim services surcharge of £128.00.
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