WARNING: DISTRESSING IMAGES Fareham man banned from keeping pets after he left a cat to starve to death

Thomas, the cat which died after being locked in an empty flat
Thomas, the cat which died after being locked in an empty flat
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A man has been given a five-year ban after his pet cat died trapped in an empty flat.

George Barrett left just one bowl of food for Thomas, his black and white cat, before locking him in the empty flat in Upper Wharf, Fareham, for several weeks.

The 18-year-old, of Frosthole Close, Fareham, abandoned his pet, who is thought to have tried to stay alive by drinking water from the toilet.

The animal was discovered dead curled up in his bed. His frail body had withered down to just skin and bones.

Barrett pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering in a case of ‘horrific neglect’ contrary to Section 4 of the Animal Welfare Act offences.

Chief inspector Jen Ride, who investigated, said: ‘This was a case of horrific neglect which sadly led to the death of Thomas.

‘Barrett had abandoned his cat with just one bowl of food before he locked the door and left the flat he had been renting.

‘It’s thought that Thomas managed to survived for a number of weeks by drinking from the toilet. When his partially decomposed body was discovered he was curled up in his cat carrier just skin and bones.

‘The saddest part of all is this could have been avoided and Thomas could still be alive today.

‘There is never an excuse for simply walking away and leaving an animal to face a long slow death from starvation.’

The teenager appeared at the hearing at Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court on April 16. He was ordered to carry out 10 hours of unpaid work, 10 rehabilitation activity days and pay £200 in court costs with a £85 victim surcharge.