A BARNSTAPLE woman who allowed her two pet dogs to starve to death has been sentenced to 12 weeks in prison. Marianne Stribling, 27, was also given a life ban from keeping animals, at North Devon Magistrates Court today (Thursday). Magistrate Peter Groves

A BARNSTAPLE woman who allowed her two pet dogs to starve to death has been sentenced to 12 weeks in prison.Marianne Stribling, 27, was also given a life ban from keeping animals, at North Devon Magistrates Court today (Thursday).Magistrate Peter Groves said that the case was "so severe" that only a custodial sentence was appropriate.Stribling - who had already admitted causing unnecessary suffering to the dogs as well as pleading guilty to one charge of failing to properly feed a pet rabbit - was led away to the cells by police officers to shouts of "evil bitch" from the public gallery. Prior to sentencing, one man was ejected from court, while outside, a small group of animal rights supporters gathered to voice their anger at Stribling's actions.The decaying remains of the two dead dogs were discovered in a shed at the rear of an address in Elliott Close on October 23 last year by RSPCA inspector Jim Farr.Insp Farr, who had to crawl through a kitchen window after being told the back door keys to the property had been lost, found German Shepherd Prince and Collie Charm in an eight feet by seven-feet timber shed that had been bolted shut with bent nails. A post mortem found that the dogs had lost more than half of their original body weight. After one of the animals died, it was eaten by the other dog before later starving to death itself.Speaking to the Gazette after today's sentencing, Insp Farr said: "I am pleased to see that magistrates have thought seriously about the matter and have decided upon an appropriate punishment."This is not an isolated matter as cases like this are on the increase throughout England and Wales. The RSPCA is currently being inundated with big animal welfare issues throughout the country."FOR a full report, read next Wednesday's North Devon Gazette.