A mum who strangled her daughter's pet puppy was today behind bars.

Bradford magistrates heard Karen Fox had also committed "evil" and "sickening" acts of cruelty against other animals in the past. They told Fox it was their duty to jail her.

Fox had admitted strangling to death the six-week-old puppy the day after she had bought it as a birthday present for her young daughter.

Yesterday she wept uncontrollably as she was imprisoned for 60 days and was led away in hysterics.

The court was told Fox, who pleaded guilty to a charge of animal cruelty, suffered from depression. Magistrates were urged by her solicitor not to jail her.

However, bench chairman Granville Dobson, passing sentence after reading a pre-sentence report, said: "You have harmed animals in the past in the most appalling fashion. The reports we have just read are beyond belief. The acts of evil described in them are sickening.

"This bench would not be filling its duty if it did not treat these offences extremely seriously."

The court was told how Fox, 40, had killed the Jack Russell dog the day after she had bought it for her daughter's birthday. Nigel Monaghan, prosecuting on behalf of the RSPCA, said Fox had bought the dog for £150 but attacked it when she could not get to sleep because of its crying.

The court heard how the puppy's body was found wrapped in a blood-stained towel by a neighbour who tried to give it mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

The RSPCA was called and Mr Monaghan said that when questioned Fox fully admitted what she had done.

Fox, of Sutton Avenue, Swain House, Bradford, told the RSPCA: "It was whining and yelping. I picked it up and strangled it. I stopped when it had gone limp."

Arshad Mahmood, mitigating, had urged the magistrates to impose a community penalty.

He said Fox, who had no previous convictions, suffered from a mental health condition known as emotional unstable personality disorder which makes her feel down all the time.

He said she had suffered from the condition since she was 15 and had twice tried to take her own life when she was aged 17.

Mr Mahmood told the magistrates that Fox was devastated by her actions but had been feeling extremely unwell at the time of the offence in August last year and has since been receiving treatment at Lynfield Mount Hospital in Bradford.

The court heard that Fox had been receiving hate mail since the court case began and that her 12-year-old daughter had been bullied at school as a result of the incident.

Fox was also banned from having custody of any animal for the rest of her life.

An RSPCA spokesman said: "This sentence is a significant indication that the court took this offence extremely seriously.

"It was a tragic and horrible incident but also an act of cruelty. This is not acceptable and clearly the court took that view as well.

"This type of cruelty to animals is very rare.

"The majority of cases dealt with by the RSPCA are people who have failed to do something for their animal.

"Instances of actual physical attacks on animals are in a minority although they are on the increase which is a worrying concern."