John Hayes and Marteaka Browne were prosecuted by RSPCA in Gympie Magistrates over the4ir care of animals. Pictures: Facebook
John Hayes and Marteaka Browne were prosecuted by RSPCA in Gympie Magistrates over the4ir care of animals. Pictures: Facebook

Gympie ‘animal hoarders’ banned for life from owning pets

A former de facto couple has been banned for life from owning animals unless approved by the RSPCA following a number of animal welfare related charges.

John Paul Hayes and Marteaka Browne, who have five children together, were previously prohibited from owning animals until mid 2022 after being convicted on animal cruelty charges.

But in October 2019, authorities found four cats, three dogs and one bird at their Gympie property, some of which were underweight and not moving, Gympie Magistrates Court heard on Tuesday.

Three kittens in their care that were three weeks old were left with no water and were not moving when found by inspectors, an RSPCA prosecutor told the court.

Marteaka Browne was sentenced to a lifetime ban from owning animals as pets unless approved by the RSPCA. Picture: Facebook
Marteaka Browne was sentenced to a lifetime ban from owning animals as pets unless approved by the RSPCA. Picture: Facebook

 

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There was also a build-up of faeces, empty pet food packets, dog bowls and leads that showed evidence of "the hoarding of animals" at the property, the court heard.

The prosecutor said Ms Browne told authorities at the time she had been staying at a hotel in Brisbane where her son was sick and someone else was meant to care for the animals in her absence.

"The main offending (is that) the defendants continue to obtain animals against the prohibition order," the prosecutor said.

"In this case it's important to ensure the animals they have are reduced in number," she said.

The RSPCA requested a life prohibition against owning animals unless subject to approval.

The prosecutor said the RSPCA approved of the pair keeping one dog - a Rhodesian ridgeback named Rex, on the basis that it was desexed.

John Paul Hayes pleaded guilty to several charges of failing to provide appropriate living conditions for animals. Picture: Facebook
John Paul Hayes pleaded guilty to several charges of failing to provide appropriate living conditions for animals. Picture: Facebook

 

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The court heard RSPCA would help cover the costs of desexing.

Hayes and Browne each pleaded guilty to three charges of unlawfully contravening a prohibition order, three charges of failing to provide appropriate living conditions and four charges of failing to provide food and water for animals between October 24 and December 3 in 2019.

Both defendants, who were self-represented, declined to comment in court.

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Magistrate Kurt Fowler took into account the pair's guilty pleas and prohibited the pair from possessing, purchasing or acquiring animals for life, unless amended by the RSPCA.

Hayes and Browne were instructed to pay $2855.80 each in vet and boarding fees.

Convictions were not recorded.

Gympie Times

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