British people love animals. Sometimes, they love animals a little bit too much though.
So it was that Samantha Rogers found herself up before the beaks for theft a dog on 30th June 2015.
Ms Rogers was a trustee of ‘Last Chance Hotel’, a charity that rehouses dogs in Cornwall.
On 1st February 2015, Indi, a 10 year old Gordon Setter, went missing from her home. She had been handed in to the charity by a kindly soul who then informed Indi’s owner of this.
Instead of the expected joyful reunion, when Indi’s human contacted Ms Rogers, she said “You either sign the dog over to me now or I’m going to ring the police“.
She then went on to authorise surgery on Indi and renamed her Molly.
It seems that there was a guilty plea.
Ms Rogers received a 12 month conditional discharge (about as low as it gets in terms of sentence). In addition, there was a 12 month restraining order (although it’s not clear what it is restraining Ms Rogers from doing).
More interestingly, there was a Restitution Order in relation to Indi. Restitution Orders are pretty rare (so rare that we haven’t got a fact sheet on it).
This is an order under s148 Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000 that someone who is guilty of theft is required to hand back the property stolen. It should only be made where it is clear cut, so even though Ms Rogers was denying that she had Indi.
It is not completely clear what will happen is Mr Rogers refuses (or is actually unable to) return Indi. We may return to this …