A Tantawangalo woman facing animal cruelty charges has had her application to be dealt with under the Mental Health Act denied.
Janice Louise Denny, 58, also known as Janice Northey, had previously pleaded not guilty to two charges of failing to provide proper and sufficient food to an animal, as well as two charges of failing to provide vet treatment to an animal.
Dressed in a black suit with a black hair band she appeared in Bega Local Court on Tuesday, September 29, where her lawyer sought an order under section 32 of the Mental Health Act to allow her to seek mental health treatment.
He also said the allegations against her had outlined a "relatively low level of offending".
Broadly speaking, section 32 can allow a defendant experiencing a mental condition or illness to have their charges dismissed and be discharged to seek treatment.
In court on Tuesday, Magistrate Doug Dick said he was satisfied Ms Denny "was and is suffering" from a mental condition, post-traumatic stress disorder, and also accepted there was a link between offence and impairment.
But he disagreed with her lawyer's description that it was a "low level" matter, saying any animal cruelty allegations were a "serious matter".
Magistrate Dick noted the considerable public interest in dealing with matters in law and while Ms Denny had a treatment plan, it would not be effective in six months as outlined in her application.
He refused the section 32 application.
Afterwards her lawyer told the court Ms Denny's pleas of not guilty were maintained at this stage, but said he would need time to confirm the pleas with her.
The representative for the RSPCA raised the matter of costs, as the RSPCA has four horses in custody which "will have cost implications".
Magistrate Dick said he had raised the issue with Ms Denny at the time of the annulment of her convictions and she had indicated she had shared ownership of the animals.
"Every day there are more costs," he said.
He adjourned the matter for call over to October 13.
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