Pair to face trial over alleged cruelty to maggot-infested cow
TWO women have been ordered to stand trial on animal cruelty charges in the new year after changing their minds twice over whether they were guilty or not.
Sally Ann Parfitt, 47, and Lucy Williamson, 21, both of Thrupe Lane, Maesbury, near Wells, appeared before Somerset Magistrates charged with offences being brought by the RSPCA after the animal had allegedly been discovering from a severe case of maggots.
It is alleged that between September 19, and September 27, last year, at Croscombe, they caused unnecessary suffering to a Friesian Heifer type cow by failing to provide adequate veterinary care and attention following its calving.
Both defendants had originally pleaded not guilty and were due to stand trial before the court at Yeovil this week. Following further legal advice they indicated that they were changing their pleas to ones of guilty and the trial was vacated.
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However, following further negotiations between prosecution and defence, Parfitt and Williamson reverted back to their initial denial of the matters and a new trial date then had to be fixed.
Both defendants are now expected to stand trial on January 6 and 7 after the magistrates said they were not happy at the delays in the case.
Tristan Harwood, prosecuting on behalf of the RSPCA, said it was "extremely inconvenient, bordering on the unprofessional" adding that both the time of the court and the RSPCA had been wasted as a result.