THE court was told that Veronica Reid had been shunned since news about her hanging her dog came out.

Reid, 42, of Woolpack Meadows, Trowbridge, and boyfriend Jon Allen, 27, also of Woolpack Meadows, previously admitted causing unnecessary suffering to the collie named Shandy, along with friend Paul Brown, 52, of Okehampton Road, Exeter. 

Although Brown failed to turn up on Monday, Reid was given an 18-week suspended jail sentence and a six-month curfew, while Allen received a 23-week suspended sentence and 300 hours unpaid work. 

Nick Redhead, defending Reid,told Salisbury Magistrates’ Court on Monday the dog had come into her house through a previous boyfriend and when the relationship broke down the dog stayed as a pet for her daughter, who has learning difficulties. 

He said: “She is in no doubt of the gravity of the situation she finds herself in. There has been a lot of publicity and she has had to withstand vilification from her community as a result. 

“Miss Reid said that she no longer travels into the town centre of Trowbridge for fear of what people may do or say to her.” 

Mr Redhead added that Reid had told him her former partner had ideas of training the dog for a security capacity but did not have the qualifications to do so and, as a result, the dog's temper deteriorated. 

Mr Redhead said Reid was the sole carer for her disabled 20-year-old daughter and her sick mother. He added: “Had the three defendants not co-operated with the RSPCA it is very unlikely it would be a court case at all.” 

Magistrates were told how Allen and Brown had inquired about having the dog put down, but after being told it would cost more than £100 they decided, with Reid’s agreement, to hang the dog. 

They hoisted it up with a rope from the attic, with the dog taking between five to 10 minutes to die in that position, before Brown punched it in the head to make sure it was dead. 

After the case Inspector Miranda Albinson, of the RSPCA, said: “We were hoping for a lifetime ban on keeping animals but we also respect the court's decision in explaining the reasoning for the sentences. 

“Hanging a dog is a horrific thing to do. Why would you even think it was a suitable way to euthanise an animal? There are other options, such as help from charities or payment plans from vets which could have been discussed the next day.”