A YOUNG man has been banned from keeping a dog after pleading guilty to an animal cruelty charge.

Samuel Aaron Rigby, 26, of Riverside, Horton, admitted the crime when he appeared at Taunton Magistrates' Court on Tuesday (May 23).

The court heard that Rigby failed to ensure that the needs of a mastiff type cross breed were met.

He did not provide "adequate nutrition for the animal's needs" and failed to provide veterinary treatment for "weight loss and general ill health", including an eye infection.

Rigby was given a fine of £460 by the magistrates for the charge relating to a period between January 2 and January 23 this year.

He was also ordered to pay a £184 victim surcharge and a contribution of £400 towards the prosecution costs following the case brought by the RSPCA.

An order made under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 disqualifies Rigby from owning, keeping and participating in keeping a dog and being in an arrangement under which he can control or influence the way a dog is kept for two years.

He is unable to apply to terminate the order within the two-year period.

Rigby must pay off the total court bill of £1,044 at a rate of £20 a month starting on June 30.