Nottinghamshire Police

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.

A driver high on drugs has been jailed for eight years for causing the death of his friend and passenger on the Nottinghamshire border with Lincolnshire.

Matthew Thomas, 21, was speeding on a country road when he dangerously overtook a car on a bend and lost control, hitting a tree on Stockwith Road in Walkeringham on Wednesday, September 25, 2019.

Thomas had visited the Waterfront Inn at West Stockwith with a group of friends, including the victim, 28-year-old James Jennings from Owston Ferry in North Lincolnshire, who was a back seat passenger in the car.

After leaving the pub, Thomas drove his Volkswagen Golf and was travelling at over 76mph in a 60mph zone before the crash happened. Despite the efforts of emergency services and other people, James was pronounced dead at the scene.

The front seat passenger, a 23-year-old man, also sustained serious injuries including a fractured back and hand.

Drug tests found that Thomas, of Park Close in Westwoodside, was six times over the legal limit for benzoylecgonine (a breakdown product of cocaine) at the time of the crash.

Thomas’ mobile phone was seized and reviewed as part of Nottinghamshire Police’s investigation into the collision.

Messages on the device showed he had frequently been supplying class A drugs between June and September 2019. This resulted in further charges for supplying class a drugs.

He pleaded guilty on October 19 this year to causing death by dangerous driving, causing serious injury by dangerous driving, supplying cocaine and supplying MDMA.

Thomas appeared at Nottingham Crown Court on Wednesday, November 25 when he was sentenced to eight years in jail.

A floral tribute in memory of James Jennings. | Photo: Nottinghamshire Police

James’ family paid tribute to him saying: “From the minute we received this terrible news our whole world has been turned upside down.

“No words can describe how devastated we felt upon being told James had died.

“We feel this pain every day and whilst we are relieved the sentencing has now taken place, nothing will bring James back or lessen our pain at losing him.”

Investigating Officer Louise Melbourne, of the Serious Collision Investigation Unit, said: “Thomas’ actions on that day showed a blatant disregard for the safety of himself, his friends and members of the public.

“His actions have left James’ family and friends absolutely devastated. Although he now has to face up to the consequences of his actions that day, no sentence can compensate for the loss of James’ life and the immense distress caused.

“I have nothing but praise for the strength, courage and dignity James’ family has shown throughout these proceedings and I’d also like to thank the members of the public for their assistance both at the scene and during our investigation.”

A 42-year-old man has died after a crash near Newark on Sunday.

Nottinghamshire Police officers were called to the incident on Fosse Road in Farndon just before 8.40am on Sunday, October 25, which involved one car.

At the time the A46 was closed at the junction with Fosse Road, School Lane and Moor Lane in East Stoke and at both junctions towards Hawton.

The victim was treated at the scene but died from his injuries. The circumstances of the collision are still being established.

His family members have been informed and are being supported by specially trained officers.

Detective Constable Sarah Stables, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “This was a serious collision and we are working to establish how a man sadly lost his life.

“I would like to appeal to anyone who may have information or dashcam footage to please come forward and help us find answers for the man’s family.”

Anyone with information should call Nottinghamshire Police on 101 quoting incident number 153 of October 25.

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