A female solicitor was facing jail today after she condemned her pet dog to a horrific slow death locked in the kitchen for over a week.
Katy Gammon, a trainee lawyer specialising in medical negligence cases, went to work leaving her five year-old boxer Roxy trapped without food and water.
She failed to check on the dog for a week and went to stay with her mother – during which time the animal died in agony.
Roxy lay undiscovered for ten weeks by which time her body was so decomposed an RSPCA inspector had to use a snow shovel to pick it up.
Horrified Chris James told how a stream of maggots had crawled from the kitchen down the hallway – to where there were tins of dog food on a table.
Gammon, 27, trapped the dog in the kitchen by tying a rope to the handle and fixing it to a hook in the hallway.
Roxy had frantically clawed at the door, leaving fragments on the floor, as she tried in vain to escape before dying – a process that would have taken around six days.
Gammon, who worked for the eminent Bristol-based legal firm of Lyons Davidson, sobbed today as she admitted two counts of cruelty.
She pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to the dog and failing to prevent causing unnecessary suffering to an animal.
The two offences each carry a maximum sentence of six months in prison and possible fines of £20,000.
Lindi Meyer, prosecuting for the RPSCA, told Bristol magistrates how Gammon was the sole carer of the dog and left it alone all day as she went to work.
She said Roxy began to urinate and defecate in the house in Lawrence Weston, Bristol, Gammon confined it to the kitchen while she was out – locked in with the rope.
At the end of August last year Gammon started staying with her mother at a nearby address and initially began returning to feed Roxy.
But she then dislocated her knee and was unable to get to the house and instead claimed her ex-boyfriend was feeding the animal.
Miss Meyer said that was a lie and on November 3 a neighbour alerted police after seeing flies swarming in the kitchen of Gammon’s house.
Police arrived and were greeted by a strong smell of decomposition and the kitchen still closed with the rope.
They called the RSPCA and the remains of Roxy were removed for a post mortem.
A vet said Roxy would have taken up to six days to die gradually, painfully, first becoming blind and falling into a coma before finally passing away.
Gammon was interviewed and admitted leaving Roxy for a week before going back to check on her – and finding a stench coming from her home.
She told RSPCA Inspector Miranda Albinson she had looked through the letterbox and been greeted by a smell so awful she couldn’t bear to go into the house.
Gammon said: “I assumed she was dead – I never went back.”
Insp Albinson asked her: “You deliberately locked her in the kitchen and left her for a week to die, that correct?” Gammon replied: “Yes, basically.”
When shown photographs of the scene Gammon added: “I don’t know what you want me to say.”
Joanna Lyons, defending, said Gammon now had ‘genuine remorse’ for the suffering she had caused and was ‘absolutely mortified’.
She said Gammon appeared to have ‘some psychiatric issues’ and asked for sentencing to be adjourned for the preparing of a report.
Gammon was freed on unconditional bail to be sentenced at the same court on April 9.
Chairman of the Bench Mrs Patricia Lee told her: “This is a very serious offence – so serious that there’s no way we can sentence today.
“We need a full report about you and your circumstances and everything about you.”
Gammon, in a grey trouser suit and white shirt, who had hobbled into court on crutches, left without comment.
Outside RSPCA Inspector Albinson added: “This is one of the worst cases we have ever come across.
“The police who attended the scene were genuinely upset by it and they investigate murders.
“She showed no remorse whatsoever in interview. It is difficult to understand.”
The Western Daily Press consider the photographs of Roxy too graphic to publish.
A spokesman for the Lyons Davidson law firm today said that Gammon no longer worked for the company and refused to say when she left.
Her entry on the company’s website yesterday described her as a paralegal with a law degree and said she had completed a legal practice course.
It added: “She runs a wide-ranging caseload investigating claims concerning failed surgery, delays in diagnosis. dental claims and infection cases.”