FAILING to provide a £5-a-month treatment for their sick cat has ended up costing a Taunton couple £770.

Paul Addicott, 32, and Rebecca Jeffreys, 37, have been ordered to carry out 80 hours unpaid work and pay £385 each for leaving the animal to suffer with a painful untreated skin condition between June and September last year.

The couple, of Massingham Park were sentenced at Taunton Magistrates' Court on Friday has previously been found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to a cat by failing to seek appropriate professional veterinary treatment at an earlier hearing.

RSPCA Inspector Jo Daniel, who investigated the case, said: "Sadly Snowy was left to suffer and had painful scabs and sores all over his body, which could have easily been avoided by seeking suitable veterinary care.

"The bench were incredulous that they had failed to get treatment that would have cost approximately £5 a month when they have a significant joint annual income.

"Pet owners have a responsibility to address any health conditions - animals can’t help themselves and are reliant on their owners to provide the care they need.

"Anyone who has concerns about the health of their pet should ask for help and advice to avoid unnecessary distress and suffering being caused."

Addicott and Jeffery were also deprived of ownership of Snowy, who has since recovered while in the care of the team at RSPCA West Hatch Animal Centre.