Mum who dumped dead pets is jailed

NRHNLM110202A1 - Derby crown court Emma Bent from heage
NRHNLM110202A1 - Derby crown court Emma Bent from heage

A MUM who ran a pet crematorium but dumped the bodies of dead animals in fields has been jailed for eight months.

Mother-of-three Emma Bent was led from the dock sobbing after being sentenced on Tuesday.

NEAALM110202B1 - Victim of Heage pet cremation scam Helen Woods with a t-shirt of her beloved pet Benji

NEAALM110202B1 - Victim of Heage pet cremation scam Helen Woods with a t-shirt of her beloved pet Benji

Bent, 35, took money off people to cremate their pets, but instead put the animals in bags and dumped them in fields.

Although her pet was not involved in any of the charges brought against Bent, Helen Woods, from Eastwood, went to the sentencing as she believes she was another of her victims and said she did not think the sentence was long enough.

“I am glad justice has been done and she has been sent down but I don’t think it’s enough for what we have been through.

“It’s been terrible. Very distressing. I have been very, very upset.”

Ms Woods had taken her family pet Jody to Bent’s crematorium and had the ashes tested after reading about the case in the press.

They were found to contain just three percent bone, and the rest bonfire rubbish. However charges could not be brought over Jody as her body was never found.

“One of the things that plays on my mind is that she is probably out there somewhere,” Ms Woods said. “I will never know where my little dog ended up or what happened to her.”

Bent, of High Edge Drive, Heage, pleaded guilty to seven counts of fraud for failing to cremate family pets and to 14 counts of breaching environmental regulations.

The court heard how Bent never acquired a licence to run her home-based cremation service from the Government department Defra, which regulates such businesses.

She had a contract with Ambivet veterinary practice in Heanor, to dispose of dead pets as well as running a private cremation business.

When her incinerator broke in August, 2009, she carried on taking pets, despite having no means of disposing of the corpses.

Many family pets, including dogs and cats, were discovered in bags dumped in fields in Denby and Lower Hartshay.

Sentencing Bent, Judge David Pugsley described her actions as ‘calculated’ and ‘sinister’.

He said: “At the end of the day I cannot see that anything other than an immediate prison sentence can be passed.

“Yes, one deals with cases of fraud, but there is a fundamental difference between frauding someone by selling them designer T-shirts and violating people’s emotions by saying that you are going to cremate an animal and leaving it rotting. This is not about money; this is about deception.”

Gurdil Singh, defending, said Bent was a mother-of-three as well as a full time carer for her husband.

He said her failure to obtain a correct licence for her business was a result of ‘ignorance’ rather than malice. He said Bent was petrified at the thought of custody and her family circumstances were difficult.

Families whose pets were found dumped attended the hearing along with the Woods family.