A backyard cat breeder who had more than 100 cats seized from her house under animal welfare laws, has been excused from failing to appear in court by an Adelaide magistrate due to her ill health.
After nearly four years before the courts, Glynne Sutcliffe’s prosecution on 23 charges of mistreating an animal is nearing its conclusion.
The RSPCA seized a total of 96 adult cats and 28 kittens from the 75-year-old’s property at Chandlers Hill in late 2011.
It is alleged the cats were kept in appalling conditions and many were suffering from an array of untreated medical problems including the deadly cats AIDS virus.
The RSPCA was given court permission to destroy some of the cats and a court was told it cost $1,500 per week to look after the seized animals.
The RSPCA also alleged Sutcliffe had been advertising some of the diseased cats for sale.
Sutcliffe has represented herself during the lengthy legal process and at trial argued she felt the RSPCA had a vendetta against her.
She was due to make closing submissions today but did not attend, and the Adelaide Magistrates Court heard she was unwell.
She also failed to attend court earlier this year and the prosecutor, Ronan O’Brien, asked that a warrant be issued for her arrest if she failed to attend court when it sat again next month.
Magistrate Paul Bennett declined to do so because of concerns over Sutcliffe’s health.
“My main view is to bring this matter to a close,” he said,
“Given Ms Sutcliffe’s age and obvious ill health, I don’t think it would be beneficial to issue a warrant.”
The court was told the RSPCA would seek its legal costs at the conclusion of the matter.