Feeding pets comes before paying fine'

PUBLISHED: 14:33 13 July 2006 | UPDATED: 11:53 04 May 2010

FEEDING her pets is much more important to disabled Ely woman Sheree Smith than paying her outstanding fines, she insisted on Thursday. Smith told city magistrates that she could not pay the £40 due to the court this month because she was short of cash -

FEEDING her pets is much more important to disabled Ely woman Sheree Smith than paying her outstanding fines, she insisted on Thursday.

Smith told city magistrates that she could not pay the £40 due to the court this month because she was short of cash - and presiding magistrate Susan Thompson told her that the court must come first, and warned her that she could be jailed for failing to pay up.

"No, I cannot let my kittens starve," said 46-year-old Smith, of New Barns Avenue. She explained that she had a canary, dog, cat and three kittens to look after.

Smith, 46, of New Barns Avenue, owes the court £380, after already paying £220. The court was told she has an income of £571 a month, and spends £200 on food, £100 on her telephone, and £20 on both drinking and smoking.

The court ordered her to pay £40 a month, starting on August 3.

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