A PLAN to increase the maximum jail sentences for the worst animal abusers in England has been welcomed by the MP who led the campaign.

Anna Turley proposed ‘Baby’s Law’ for tougher cruelty sentences after being left horrified by several cases in the region.

The Redcar MP hailed the announcement as "justice for Baby the bulldog and thousands of other animals who have suffered" when the Government announced its proposals to increase the maximum sentence from six months to five years.

In 2016 she queued throughout the night to secure a private members’ bill to increase the maximum custodial sentence for animal abusers from six months to five years.

This followed the horrific case of Baby the Bulldog who was attacked in Redcar by two brothers – Andrew and Daniel Frankish – including being stamped on and thrown down the stairs. The perpetrators walked free from court on a suspended sentence.

Last year, two Redcar men, pictured below, were jailed for four months after they hammered a nail into a dog’s head and buried it alive in a failed euthanasia attempt.

Darlington and Stockton Times:

JAILED: Michael Heathcock, left, with Richard Finch, right, were both jailed for four months after hammering a nail through Scamp's head and the x-ray of the dog showing the nail

The terrier, called Scamp, was discovered under a mound of earth by a couple walking in a wood but had to be put down due to its severe injuries.

Ms Turley said: “Public support for tougher animal cruelty sentences is overwhelming. People will no longer tolerate animal abusers getting away with a slap on the wrist. This new law will be justice for Baby the Bulldog and thousands of other animals who have suffered abuse and violence.

“It is good news that the government have listened to the thousands of voices calling for this change, from members of the public to animal welfare charities and campaigners. It was disappointing when my bill fell last year but thankfully ministers are bringing it back in their own time. We now need to get this passed as soon as possible to help save other animals from suffering.”

The decision comes after strong support from the public and animal welfare groups for the plans.

Animal welfare minister Lord Gardiner said: “Our proposals to raise maximum sentences for animal abusers attracted strong support. We will now legislate so courts have the power to punish offenders properly.”