Oldham family convicted after German Shepherd dog confined to room 'like cell'

Leo had a severe ear infection and a matted coat when he was found by animal inspectors. Credit: RSPCA

A man from Oldham has been banned from keeping animals for life after a German Shepherd dog was kept in a room "like a cell".

The dog, named Leo, was kept in the 5ft by 6ft room for most of the day, and was only let into the kitchen for food and water.

If the door was opened, a baby gate was placed across it to prevent him from leaving, a vet report said.

RSPCA inspectors said no bedding had been provided for Leo, and there were signs he had been trying to "scratch and bite his way out".

He was discovered by the animal welfare charity after a member of the public alerted them - and rescuers found he had a severe ear infection and a matted coat.

Lee Stewart, 52, pleaded guilty to two offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2006, when he appeared before Manchester Magistrates on 22 April.

Mr Stewart was on medication and slept during the day, which, he says, made it difficult for him to help the dog.

He was fined £120 and told to pay costs of £385 and a victim surcharge of £32.

Leo was found suffering from conjunctivitis and severe ulcerated inflammation of his ears Credit: RSPCA

In a witness statement, Inspector Daniel Tomlinson said: "The room had no natural light, the walls were covered in black dirt. I can only describe this room as a cell."

Inspector Danielle Jennings stated: "Although Leo appeared to be in a normal body condition, his coat was very dense and matted and I could smell a mixture of urine and faeces.

"Leo's eyes also appeared bright red and inflamed."

Leo was confined to a 5ft x 6ft room for most of the time. Credit: RSPCA

The dog was owned by 31-year-old Michael Newell - the son of Mr Stewart's partner. He has been banned from keeping animals for 10 years.

He was also ordered to abide by a six-week curfew as part of a 12-month community sentence and told to pay £522 court costs and a victim surcharge of £90.

Meanwhile, Mr Newell's mother, Susan Stewart, has been banned from keeping dogs for 10 years.

She was ordered to complete 25 RAR days as part of a 12-month community sentence was fined £20. The magistrates ordered £512 costs against her and a victim surcharge of £90.

Leo had conjunctivitis and severe ulcerated inflammation of his ears. Credit: RSPCA

Newell agreed to have the dog signed over into the care of the RSPCA and Leo was taken to the Greater Manchester Animal Hospital.

During his treatment, he was found to be suffering from conjunctivitis and severe ulcerated inflammation of his ears.

Leo was later transferred into the care of RSPCA Warrington, Halton and St.Helens Branch.