MAGISTRATES have refused to ban a man from looking after dogs, even after he admitted failing to prevent the suffering of a former pet.

Ben Braham’s young Shar Pei dog, called Flake, was left for six months without being taken to the vet to receive desperately needed surgery for a chronic eye problem.

The 27-year-old, of Hamden Avenue, Thame, appeared at Oxford Magistrates’ Court yesterday to be sentenced for failing to prevent the animal's suffering following a prosecution by the RSPCA.

Braham’s friend, Emma Hendy, had already been fined for causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal after he left the pet at her house in Angus Court, Thame, last year.

READ AGAIN: Thame pair caused dogs' suffering

In court, he claimed he had little to do with the animal after Hendy’s partner was released from prison and threatened him to stay away from the house, but he remained the dog’s registered owner and failed to organise the care he needed.

The court heard how Flake had been found ‘as a stray’ on May, 4 2018, more than six months after Braham had taken him to the vet to be diagnosed with entropion, a condition in which the eyelid rolls inward against the eyeball.

On this first trip to the vet, on October 17, 2017, Braham had been told to bring the dog back within a week for surgery but never did so.

Instead he left her at Hendy’s house, allowing the problem to fester and risking potential blindness.

Acting for the defence, Kate Macnab, said her client accepted he should have done more to help the dog but was hindered by the fact that he had never lived with the animal.

The court heard how Braham had bought Flake as a puppy for £400 for his friend and her children after the death of a partner in August 2017.

He bought him a cage and a lead and arranged vaccinations before he was scared off and severed contact with the family.

Despite this, he remained responsible for the pet and therefore had a duty to look after his welfare.

In her own trial Hendy claimed she had frequently urged Braham to take Flake to the vet and, when she did so herself, was told only the owner could arrange treatment.

READ AGAIN: Latest results from Oxford's court

Ms Macnab said: “This type of eye condition is not unusual in these breeds.

“In all other respects he was a happy, friendly dog.

“There is no suggestion there was anything else wrong with him.

“He knew the dog required veterinary treatment and he should have done more but he was not in the position to do much about it.”

Braham, who pleaded guilty in the same court on March 13, was fined £300 and must pay court costs of £100 and a £30 victim surcharge.

The RSPCA had urged the court to impose a ban on him owning dogs in future but this was refused, meaning he will be able to continue living with another dog at home.