A man has been jailed and banned from keeping animals for 20 years after admitting what magistrates described as the "most appalling case of cruelty".

Liam Reynolds, aged 28, of Oxland Road, Illogan, was sent to prison for 16 weeks because "culpability was at the highest level and there was prolonged neglect", said Bodmin magistrates.

He pleaded guilty to two counts of causing unnecessary suffering, contrary to Section 4 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006, and one count of failing to ensure the needs of six dogs for which he was responsible, contrary to Section 9 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006, following a prosecution by the RSPCA.

Police officers and an inspector for the animal welfare charity uncovered shocking neglect after five dogs were discovered surrounded by filth and excrement when they visited a caravan in St Just on 29 March 2018 where Reynolds had been living at the time.

The bodies of two dogs were also discovered - one who had been left to decompose inside a plastic animal feed bag, with another found dead inside a kennel.

A postmortem examination found that one dog, a beagle known as Sam, had been dead for a number of days and had died from malnutrition due to starvation.

Magistrates added: "In some cases the pattern of neglect showed there was at least two weeks of suffering. The dogs were starved, shown by a lack of adipose tissue.

"One dog was found dead from starvation lying on corrugated metal, covered in faeces."

The results from investigations into the death of the other dog, an unnamed terrier crossbreed, were inconclusive because of the state of decomposition.

A lurcher named Ben, who was thin and had scars around his head and muzzle, was found with an untreated de-gloving injury to his face.

Reynolds was also ordered to pay £115 victim surcharge.