Woman scaled neighbour's fence to steal cocker spaniel puppy
A woman who scaled a neighbour's fence to steal a puppy she claimed she had "heard crying" has admitted theft.
Shannagh Cookson, 19, was caught on CCTV snatching the cocker spaniel from James Daniel's garden on 30 September.
Manchester magistrates heard she told police it was being "treated badly" and had refused to return it or tell officers where it was.
Cookson, of Hassop Close in Manchester, was ordered to do 150 hours of unpaid work and pay £600 compensation.
The court heard Mr Daniel discovered the puppy, which he had bought for his daughter for £600, was missing when he returned from a trip to the supermarket at about midday.
When he checked security camera footage, he saw a young woman climb over the fence and take the dog.
Martha Dowd, prosecuting, said Mr Daniel had recognised the woman as Cookson as "he has known her since 2008".
At a subsequent police interview, Cookson admitted taking the puppy, which she said she had given to a friend.
Stephen Connor, defending, said she had "accepted" she took the dog but had been concerned about its health "and the health of other puppies that she says were in the back garden".
"In hindsight, she accepts she took a foolish decision and she regrets that," he said, adding that the magistrates were "dealing with a 19-year-old lady who had never even troubled the courts".
As well as the compensation and unpaid work, she was ordered to complete a 12-month community order and pay court costs of £85.
Speaking after sentencing, Mr Daniel said the theft had "caused me and my children a lot of distress and the lie that Shannagh is spreading about the dog being ill-treated is simply adding insult to injury".
"It's just so heartless, shameless and cruel how she brazenly jumped over my garden fence and stole my daughter's puppy.
"The most troubling and annoying thing is that, this shameless rogue has stubbornly refused to tell police where she kept the dog or who she sold it to."