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Carmen Marín leaving the trial in 2016. Alberto Gómez
The woman dubbed the 'animal exterminator' of Torremolinos sentenced again to two years in prison
Animal welfare

The woman dubbed the 'animal exterminator' of Torremolinos sentenced again to two years in prison

Former head of Parque Animal, Carmen Marín, is in trouble again after she was initially found guilty of abusing animals and falsifying documents

Alberto Gómez

Torremolinos

Monday, 17 June 2024, 12:02

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The former head of the Parque Animal shelter in Torremolinos, Carmen Marín, thrown behind bars in 2017 for three years and nine months in prison for animal abuse and false documentation, has been sentenced again by the courts.

This time, the former boss of the fake animal shelter has been sentenced to two years in prison and has been slapped with a fine of more than 300,000 euros for a continuing crime of misappropriation.

The provincial court of Malaga found Marín used funds from the Parque Animal association, which was donated by the public, "with the intention of illicit profit and to execute a set out plan". She made payments to a department store in the amount of 104,384 euros to refurbish and decorate the aesthetic medicine clinic of one of her daughters in Los Álamos, the court heard. She also bought a car for 14,000 euros. Marín also made purchases at a well-known supermarket, a car rental service and a department store for wholesalers, the court heard.

Marín used 104,384 euros from the association to refurbish the aesthetic medicine clinic of one of her daughters

The Parque Animal account was also used by Marín and her family to pay for 20 classes at a driving school, monthly fees at a gym and a home security system. The sentence, seen by SUR, also claimed Marín paid for stays in luxury hotels in Marbella, Lisbon, Salamanca, Nerja, Bilbao, Jerez de la Frontera, Marrakech, Boston and Saint Petersburg. All these expenses were charged to the current accounts of the fake animal shelter in Torremolinos. Marín made payments in restaurants for amounts in excess of 11,000 euros between 2008 and 2010, the court also heard.

According to the sentence, there were also cash withdrawals and cheques for more than 80,000 euros. Marín caused damage of more than 30,000 euros to the Torremolinos town hall for the lease of the stand at the fairgrounds that the consistory ceded to the protector by means of a fifty-year concession contract when Pedro Fernández Montes was mayor, the court found.

'Trying to protect them'

The fake shelter led by Marín carried out the slaughter of animals despite people dropping off cats and dogs there under the proviso they would be protected. People paid 60 euros per animal.

An earlier indictment found Marín also used funds from the association, which received tens of thousands of euros from Torremolinos town hall in subsidies, to refurbish the lift in one of the buildings she owns.

The provincial court applied a mitigating factor for the delay in the judicial process, which has dragged on for almost 15 years. The judgement cited the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Freedoms recognises the "right of everyone to a hearing within a reasonable time". This delay has meant that other crimes, such as those for which her daughters and son-in-law were investigated, have become time-barred, something the Association of People Affected by Parque Animal, chaired by Ana Fernández, criticised.

This new sentence can be appealed before Spain's Supreme Court, so it is not known whether Marín, who remained in prison for more than two years and also claims she is suffering from health issues, will return to prison.

Slaughter was carried out with injections 'without prior sedation' and in lower doses than recommended, which caused 'painful and prolonged' agony to the animals

The first sentence against her for animal abuse was historic in Spain. The ruling stated that the animal deaths were carried out "without any veterinary control", through the injection of euthanasia product "without prior sedation" and in doses lower than those recommended, which caused "painful and prolonged" agony to the animals.

But most of that first prison sentence, two years and nine months, corresponded to the crime of false documentation, since the lists of animal cremations sent to Torremolinos town hall, which paid for these services, were "manipulated" to include the participation of veterinarians "who had never intervened".

According to the sentence, these 'authentic extermination sessions", as defined by the public prosecutor's office, "did not meet any criteria based on the age or state of health of the animals or because more than ten days had passed since they were housed", but rather had a "lucrative purpose, as in this way the association's facilities were always free to house and receive new animals, charging for it".

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