WITH VIDEO: A heartless dog owner who stamped on her Littlehampton neighbour's duck's neck and let her pet attack the defenceless bird has avoided jail.

Charlene Winter has been banned from owning animals for five years after being sentenced for two counts of animal cruelty following an attack on her neighbour's ducks.

The 34-year-old, from Wick Parade in Littlehampton, could have faced a maximum penalty of six months in jail, a £20,000 fine or a lifetime ban from owning animals.

Animal rights campaigners have slammed the leniency of the sentence.

Winter was found guilty in June for the horrific incident in September 3 last year when Winter visited her neighbour's garden to complain about the noise at 8am.

A camera set up by the homeowner filmed Winter lurching drunkenly around the garden as she allowed her dog, which was off its lead, to chase the neighbour's terrified ducks.

She was seen to lurch after a duck, stamp down on her neck and hold the bird down to allow the dog to attack.

Last Thursday, Winter was banned for five years and ordered to pay £300 costs at Worthing Magistrates' Court.

After the case Sue Baugamardt from Brighton Animal Action said: “Even when the penalties are so ludicrously light, magistrates rarely enforce them fully.

“You really have to do something truly horrific to get jailed for six months.

“People have thrown animals off balconies or put them in microwaves and they don't get six months.

“The main thing with a custodial sentence is that people in jail don't like animal or child abusers and so the reaction she would get from other prisoners would be the real punishment she would face.

“Why is she allowed to have animals after five years, why not ban her for life?

“If she is drunk with a dog and then stamping on a duck, is she capable of looking after anything?”

RSPCA Inspector Andrew Kirby said: “This poor duck died after being stood on. It was clearly an intentional and incredibly cruel act.

“Winter showed no regard whatsoever for this duck and was seen standing on her in a deliberate way - crushing the poor bird to death.

“It is simply unacceptable to treat an animal in this way.”