A Bradford woman has been banned from owning any animal for five years, after she neglected a cat and tried to dispose of its body in a wheelie bin, a court heard.

Natalie McHugh, 23, of Freemantle Grove, Tyersal, was sentenced at Bradford and Keighley Magistrates Court yesterday, having previously pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal.

Nigel Monaghan, prosecuting on behalf of the RSPCA, told the court that the body of the cat was found in December last year in a “severely emaciated” state, having been neglected for “weeks to months.”

He conceded that the cat’s death was not a deliberate act, but stated that during a post-mortem examination, nothing was found in the animal’s stomach but foil.

McHugh had also pleaded guilty to a second charge under the Animal Welfare Act, for failing to provide a suitable environment for another cat.

Alongside the ban, she was given a medium-level community order, with a 30-visit activity requirement, and ordered to pay a £100 fine, £90 costs, and a £60 victim surcharge.