AN Oxford man has pleaded guilty to neglect after leaving five baby rabbits to die.

Graham Dunn, of Church Hill Road, Cowley, appeared at Oxford Magistrates’ Court on Monday.

An RSPCA officer who attended the scene said the dead animals looked like “empty furry pencil cases”.

Mr Dunn, 50, also pleaded guilty to neglect of two guinea pigs, two adult rabbits, and a tabby cat. The offences happened in October and November last year.

Concerned neighbours alerted the RSPCA, who raided the property on November 3.

The rabbits were found with no straw or water and the cat flap on the door had been taped shut.

Mr Dunn, who has three children, represented himself.

He said that while working as a contractor away from home his family was staying on the Isle of Wight. His wife Lisa suffered an injury and, wanting to ensure her care, he did not think to leave adequate supplies for the animals.

Mr Dunn said his wife’s mobile phone was not working and he did not have many friends in Oxford to call on.

He said: “There was so much going on, and I genuinely thought I would be back earlier. Things just spiralled out of control.”

The adults rabbits were taken away and nursed back to health, and the cat was given several jabs and other medication.

Mr Dunn has no previous convictions and this was taken into account. He was released on unconditional bail until July 15, when he will be sentenced.