December 15, 2020 5.40 pm This story is over 41 months old

Court date set for woman who tried to drown dog

A man will also appear in court on the same date

A 31-year-old woman has pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal after a dog was found in the River Trent tied to a rock.

Bella the Belgian Shepherd’s lead was attached to a carrier bag tied to a large rock. The 10-year-old dog was rescued by passer-by Jane Harper after she was discovered near Long Lane in Farndon on January 6, 2020. She was taken into the care of the RSPCA and is reported to now be in good health.

The incident prompted an RSPCA investigation. A 31-year-old woman and 32-year-old man were arrested on suspicion of animal cruelty offences before later being released whilst the investigation continued.

Charlene Latham, of Newark but living in Ilfracombe, pleaded guilty at Nottingham Magistrates Court last month.

Leigh Johnson, 32, denied the same charge and both were released on unconditional bail and are due back in court on March 8, 2021, according to Newark Advertiser.

She was rescued from the River Trent.

Bella during her recovery. | Photo: Newark Police

Chief Superintendent Rob Griffin, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “This was a highly emotive incident that was understandably very shocking to the public.

“Thankfully Bella is reported to be doing well and is in very good hands.

“Animal cruelty is totally unacceptable and we will always support our colleagues in the RSPCA in whatever we can in their investigations.”

This was the stone.

At the time of the incident Newark Police condemned the people responsible for trying to kill Bella in an “evil and nasty” way.

Bella’s name was recovered from her microchip registered in 2010 and she was immediately taken for emergency treatment at a local vets. She was taken into RSPCA care after a few days before being looked after by staff at Radcliffe Animal Centre in Nottingham.

The incident also prompted over 165,000 people to call for tougher sentences and justice for Bella.