Vermin Patrol 2001 – Part 4


A huntsman was cleared of assaulting a hunt saboteur who grabbed a fox to protect it from hounds. John Hazeltine (32) of the East Devon Hunt was acquitted at Exeter magistrates court on 20/11/01 of attacking a hunt saboteur during a meeting of the hunt at Crammer Barton, near Cullompton. The saboteur told the court that he saw the fox being “bitten and mauled” by some of the pack so grabbed it by the scruff of the neck and lifted it up. “The fox immediately bit me on the hand, through my thumb,” he said, adding that he then crouched in the hedge and tried to cover the animal with his body. He then felt blows on the back of his head, and was bitten on the hand by some of the pack. He then claimed that Hazeltine had stamped him, and punched him in the back of the head, and the fox escaped from his grasp.

Teenagers will be among 14 people due to appear in court after detectives swooped on a cockfight. Children as young as six were discovered watching blood-stained birds rip each other to death when police raided a warehouse at Howard’s Scrapyard, St George’s Quay, Lancaster. A total of 14 people have been charged by the RSPCA following the cockfight. The group, which includes several youths, will appear at Lancaster magistrates 14/12/01. The accused include four people from Morecambe, two from Lancaster, three from Heysham and three from Formby. Two people who travelled from Nottingham and Cheshire will also appear in court. The cockfight had been in progress for several hours when officers burst in and discovered the bloodsport watched by a crowd of 20. Sixteen people, including two youths, were arrested following the raid and 14 were charged. Nine cocks were found dead and five were injured in the event and another seven cocks later had to be put down because of injuries from the fight. Thirteen birds were recovered alive following the joint operation by Lancaster Police and the RSPCA Special Operations Unit.


On 2/6/01 a Merseyside man was detained by police in Scotland for allegedly disturbing the nest of a golden eagle. John Kinsley (31) from Newton-le-Willows, was held by wildlife liason officers in Portree on the Isle of Skye under the Wildlife and Countryside Act. The detention was part of a nationwide move targeting suspected egg collectors called Operation Easter. A file has been submitted to the procurator fiscal, who will summon Kinsley to appear before Portree sheriff’s court at a later date.

On 22/10/01 the RSPCA welcomed a victory in the High Court over a landowner who tempted starlings into his garden before shooting at them. A judge has ruled people licensed to kill wild birds belonging to pest species are acting unlawfully if they cannot show the birds they are killing are a public nuisance. The judge allowed an RSPCA appeal against a Huntingdon magistrates decision acquitting Craig Cundey (37) of Spring Cottage Farm, Alconbury, Cambridgeshire, of attempting to kill starlings. Cundey was prosecuted after an inspector visited him following allegations he had been encouraging birds to come into his garden by hanging up a bird feeder. The RSPCA said there had been a number of complaints dead birds had been found in the nearby Crown Gardens residential home. This means that people with licences who shoot birds in their back garden or on their land can only do so for authorised purposes. They are not allowed to encourage birds into their gardens and take pot-shots at them without good reason.

On 23/10/01 Derek Lee (34) of Rydal Street, Newton-le-Willows, Merseyside, pleaded guilty toDerek Lee 12 charges of possessing and taking the eggs at St Helens magistrates. He also pleaded guilty to a separate charge of possessing various items that were capable of being used to commit the offence. Lee pleaded guilty to possessing 78 eggs and taking 21 from various wild birds. The court was told Lee has a number of previous convictions for similar offences. At his home the police found 78 eggs and five cardboard egg cartons, a bike, a pair of binoculars, a rucksack and an egg-blowing kit. Sentencing was adjourned until 14/11/01 for reports.

On 7/11/01 a man was arrested following what wildlife experts have described as one of the most significant seizures of wild birds and animals in the UK. Hundreds of stuffed and frozen rare birds and animals – including peregrines, merlins, honey buzzards and marsh harriers – were found after police raided an address in Workington, Cumbria. And thousands of eggs from wild birds were also discovered hidden in the house’s loft, wall cavities and sheds. These included eggs from the peregrine falcon and the black-throated and red-throated diver. Not only rare birds and their eggs, but stuffed or frozen badgers, otters, red squirrels and Scottish wild cats were also found. A 40-year-old man has now been arrested and is waiting to be interviewed by officers from Cumbria Police.

On 21/11/01 Ali Shan had his partridges confiscated by a court after he admitted keeping them in cages that were too small. Shan a part-time grocery store worker, was also fined £1000 and ordered to pay £1000 costs. He admitted five separate offences of keeping five birds in cages too small for them to spread their wings. No evidence was offered on four counts under the Cockfighting Act which Shan denied, and the charges were dismissed, Birmingham magistrates. Magistrates also ordered the birds should be confiscated.

An animal lover prosecuted by the RSPCA claimed he unwittingly fell foul of the law when he took two wild birds into his care. Arthur Hall (60) of Rawcllffe Grove, Gipsyvllle appeared before magistrates after RSPCA inspectors found two wild goldfinches and a trap in his back yard. But magistrates took a lenient line after Hall claimed he had only taken care of the birds because they would not be able to survive in the wild. At Hull magistrates on 27/11/01 Hall pleaded guilty to four charges including possessing the birds and also having a cage to trap wild birds. Hall was given a conditional discharge and ordered to pay £80 costs.

Timothy BriggsVet Timothy Briggs (49) of Bunbury Lane, Bunbury was cleared following a three-day trial at Chester magistrates where he was acquitted of two charges of sabotaging the nests of the protected species on two occasions. Briggs is a senior partner at the Nantwich Veterinary Group. He said the nests he was accused of destroying could have been ruined by mink or foxes in the area. Briggs spent £8,000 defending himself. During the case it emerged that Briggs enjoyed horse riding, clay pigeon shooting and had links with the Countryside Alliance.

On 5/12/01 Peora Jungthirapanica (22) of Ashbourne Road, Derby and Wayne Standley (36) of Watford admitted illegally importing birds of prey from Thailand. The two men were arrested at Heathrow Airport on 25/7/00 after returning from Thailand. They were carrying suitcases of rare birds-of-prey stuffed in plastic tubes, some of which were found dead. A third man, Raymond Humphrey (51) of Kings Lynn, who met them at the airport denies the charges.


On 24/10/01 a pony breeder was been banned from keeping horses for five years after admitting cruelty to animals. Former policeman Graeme Donaldson Philip (34) who runs a stud farm in Blairadam, near Kelty in Fife was fined £500 and also received 200 hours of community service. Three of his Welsh mountain ponies were found to be either emaciated or painfully thin, through lack of food, water and vet treatment. SSPCA inspectors discovered the situation when they visited Philip’s farm. The rotting carcasses of four other ponies were also found in filthy stables at the farm. Philip was fined £500 for failing to dispose of the animal carcasses.

On 2/11/01 Kaye Thompson of Nottingham Road, Spondon, pleaded guilty at Derby magistrates to causing unnecessary suffering to a Shetland pony. She will be sentenced on 20/12/01.

Joanne Eleanor (30) of Red House Farm, on the Moorhouse Estate, near Stockton who admitted failing to provide necessary care for a chestnut mare found in an undernourished and neglected state by an RSCPA officer, has had her 10-year ban on keeping animals halved on appeal by Teesside Crown Court. (Court case)

An animal trader has been banned from keeping horses for 10 years after four animals were found in a poor condition. Ilkeston magistrates heard on 1/12/01 that the horses, owned by Bryn Williams (60) of Woodside Avenue, Ripley had not been properly wormed and were left in a muddy field with no grass or supplementary food. But Williams said he was a victim of sabotage, claiming horse feed was stolen from the land off White’s Lane, Somercotes. Williams was ordered to carry out 200 hours of community service after admitting failing to provide the necessary care and attention to a total of six animals. Williams was given a fortnight to sell a stallion and he will be able to keep a bull, which was found to be well. Williams must also pay £2,000 for the upkeep of the horses, which were nursed back to health by the RSPCA. The four animals were confiscated and handed to the animal charity, which is now due to rehome them. Williams must also pay the £450 prosecution costs of the RSPCA.

A North-East pipe fitter schooled in SAS survival techniques was found guilty of a horrific crossbow attack on two horses. A jury at Newcastle Crown Court on 22/11/01 return two guilty verdicts on charges of criminal damage against Mark Telford(28) from Wordsworth Avenue, Whickham. Telford was remanded in custody until December so that pre-sentence reports can be drawn up. Telford was arrested at a building site in Scotland following the offence. When police raided his flat a crossbow and bolt identical to those used in the attack were recovered, along with a book on SAS tactics. In interviews with police, he consistently denied any involvement in the offences.

Ex policeman Graeme Donaldson Philip received a five year ban from keeping horses for the unnecessary suffering caused to ponies, 200 hours community service and a £500 fine for failing to dispose of the carcasses. 23/11/01


An award-winning sausage-maker who left a lamb with a broken leg tangled up in brambles for days has been ordered to pay £4,000 by magistrates. Trading standards officers found the lamb with a bone sticking out of its leg on Alan Dobson’sland at Suckley. Pus was oozing out of the wound. Investigators also found dead lambs lying in a field almost bare of grass. Dobson, who set up the Parson’s Nose Sausage Shop in Bromyard, admitted causing unnecessary suffering to lambs when he appeared before Evesham magistrates on 16/5/01. As well as the dead sheep, others had to be put down. Dobson (50) of Grove Court Farm, Greenhill, near Suckley was fined £1,500 and told to pay £2,763 costs.

The man behind controversial veal trade exports from Coventry airport is facing a drugs smuggling charge. Christopher Barrett-Jolley (54) of Hockworthy House, Wellington, Somerset appeared in court on 19/10/01 after a major drugs investigation. The charge follows a seizure by customs officers of half a tonne of cocaine at Southend airport. Customs officers claimed the drugs were thrown from a cargo plane when it landed at the airport. The £32 million haul is the biggest consignment known to have arrived in Britain by air. Barrett-Jolley is one of four men who have been remanded in custody until 25/10/01 by Southend magistrates. He has been charged with smuggling cocaine into the UK. His brother-in-law, Peter Carine (49) of Hensall House, Main Street, Hensall, North Yorkshire, has also been charged with drug smuggling. Barrett-Jolley, who used to live in Frankton, near Rugby, was the boss of Phoenix Aviation which ran a veal export business from the airport at Baginton in the mid-1990s. Animal rights campaigners frequently mounted demonstrations in a bid to end the trade. He was forced out of business in July 1995 and blamed the firm’s demise on the Coventry air disaster in 1994 in which 5 people on board a returning calf flight died when it crashed into Willenhall Woods.

A doctor who shot a cat during his evening stroll has paid dearly for his trigger happy attitude. Dr Robert Boulton (37) of Talbot Avenue, Bournemouth slaughtered the pet cat after going into woods near his former Dorset home to shoot a duck for supper. But when the GP saw the black-and-white cat – which he believed was responsible for destroying his garden – he took aim with a .22 rifle and fatally injured the animal. Boulton was fined £4,000 at Dorchester Crown Court on 30/10/01 after earlier pleading guilty to possessing a firearm at a time of committing criminal damage. He was also ordered to pay £200 in costs and £59.17 in compensation. A police search uncovered several other guns in the house which Boulton was licensed to use for vermin control on nearby private land.

A policeman stopped breathing after being crushed to the floor of a van as a bulldozer drove over it, a court has heard. The van the policeman was sitting in buckled under the weight of the 50-ton machine. Farm-hand Stephen Morgan (27) of Llandovery, mid-Wells, is charged with attempting to crush the policeman to death. The incident happened as he rampaged through the countryside at the wheel of the bulldozer at the height of the foot-and-mouth crisis at a protest against plans to dispose of animal carcasses in mid-Wales. On 23/11/01 magistrates heard Morgan, deny attempting to murder, recklessly endangering the life of a soldier at the scene, a charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and several charges of criminal damage.

A farmer who ran over and killed his best friend on a dark country road after a drinking session has been banned from driving. James Forster (33) of Walton, near Brampton, Cumbria, pleaded guilty to failing to stop after the accident which killed his friend Andrew Fisher (26) who was lying prone in the road. Forster who also pleaded guilty to failing to report the accident, was found not guilty of driving without due care and attention after it was concluded that the accident was “inevitable”. He was found not guilty of careless driving even though he admitted drinking four pints of beer and a bottle of alcopops, it couldn’t be proved whether he was over the drink drive limit because he fled the scene. Forster was banned from driving for six months, ordered to carry out 70 hours of community service and placed on a community rehabilitation order for one year. He was also ordered to pay £55 prosecution costs. Magistrates heard how Forster spent six-and-a-half hours drinking with friends before driving off in his Isuzu Trooper 4×4 with two passengers.

An effluent company has been ordered to pay out more than £17,000 after allowing animal blood to contaminate a brook. Trade Effluent Services (TES), based in High Street, Tattenhall, Cheshire was found guilty of polluting a controlled water course at West Kirby. Animal blood in the water had reduced oxygen levels so severely it would have affected wildlife. Chester magistrates heard the company, led by a former National Rivers Authority (NRA) pollution control officer, was convicted for similar offences earlier this year. TES was fined £4,000 for causing the discharge of effluent into a controlled water course and told to pay £13,997 costs.

SAN JOSE, California – On 21/12/01 a famous Ringling Brothers animal trainer was found not guilty of elephant abuse by a California jury. Mark Gebel (31) was acquitted of the misdemeanor abuse charge after just two hours of deliberations. Gebel, the son of the late legendary Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey animal trainer Gunther Gebel-Williams, had been accused of abusing an elephant named after he allegedly struck it with a hooked prod during a performance leaving a bloody wound on the animal’s leg. Santa Clara county prosecutors brought the charge against Gebel after several witnesses, including a San Jose police sergeant and two Humane Society investigators, said they saw the elephant lurch forward in pain after Gebel prodded her with the hooked implement known as an ankus in an effort to get her into the circus ring quickly.

Farm Animals (Guardians Of The Land – My Arse!!!)

At Furness and District magistrates on 7/3/01 Peter Martin Robinson of Broughton-in-Furness, Cumbria pleaded guilty to an offence under the Cattle Identification Regulations 1998 for failing to keep an up-to-date register of cattle on his farm and one offence under the Beef Special Premium Regulations 1996 for recklessly furnishing misleading information for the purposes of obtaining the subsidy. He was fined a total of £350 and ordered to pay £500 costs.

At Ammanford magistrates on 15/3/01 Andrew John Evans, a sheep farmer of Ffairfach, Llandeilo, Carmarthernshire was sentenced to 240 hours’ community service and disqualified for life from the commercial keeping of animals. At an earlier hearing Evans had pleaded guilty to an offence under the Welfare of Animals (Slaughter and Killing) Regulations 1995 for failing to stun sheep before slaughter, two offences under the Protection of Animals Act 1911 for permitting unnecessary suffering to be caused to a number of sheep and goats, one offence under the Sheep and Goats Order 1999 failing to record the movement of sheep onto his farm, two offences under Cattle Identification Regulations 1998 for failing to apply ear tags to two cattle within 30 days of birth and one offence under the Specified Risk Material Regulations 1997.

At Neath magistrates on 15/3/01 Alastair Bowen, a farmer from Neath, Glamorgan, was sentenced to 3 months imprisonment, suspended for 2 years and ordered to pay £3,000 costs. At an earlier hearing Bowen had pleaded guilty to 15 offences under the Cattle Identification Regulations 1998 for failing to apply cattle ear tags, failing to apply for cattle passports and for providing false information on nine cattle.

Farmer Sidney Cranston of 4 Pinley Green, Market Hill, Co. Armagh was convicted at Cookstown magistrates on 11/6/01 of a total of 8 offences under animal welfare, animal protein, animal by-products and BSE legislation. He pleaded guilty to the charges and was fined a total of £1600.

Francis BeavisFarmer Francis Beavis (60) of Hill Farm, Oxenton, near Bishop’s Cleeve, has been banned from keeping sheep and pigs because he was cruel to his animals. His pigs had to drink from slurry-filled puddles because he did not provide them with water. A blind ram was slumped in a field and a pig and a bull were both lame. All three animals had to be put down because of their poor condition. On 24/9/01 Beavis admitted causing unnecessary suffering to the pig and ram. He also pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary pain and distress to the bull and two breaches of regulations by failing to provide water and not regularly checking his animals. Magistrates banned Beavis, who was given a £245,000 government payout during the foot and mouth crisis, from keeping sheep for 10 years and pigs for five. In addition to the bans, Beavis was ordered to pay £10,000 costs and to serve a 100-hour community punishment order.

One of Dartmoor’s best known farmers was ordered to pay fines and costs of almost £11,000 after pleading guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to his cattle and sheep. On 27/9/01 David Reddaway (30) pleaded guilty to four charges of cruelty, four of failing to provide dry bedding and one of failing to dispose of animal carcasses at Great Cator Farm at Widecombe-in-the-Moor. Reddaway had been fined £1,000 by Teignbridge magistrates in October 2000 on a neglect charge brought by the RSPCA. On the four cruelty charges he was fined £1,500 each; on the four dry bedding charges he was fined £750 each and on the carcasses charge he was fined £750. He was also ordered to pay £1,238 in costs making a total of £10,988.

A farmer who was jailed for being cruel to his animals has been imprisoned again after breaking a lifetime ban on keeping livestock. David Holmes (45) of Hen Holme Lane, Silsden, was sentenced to five months prison on two counts of failing to comply with the disqualification. No action was taken on two additional charges of permitting unreasonable pain or distress to livestock. Holmes, who pleaded guilty at Bingley magistrates on 28/9/01 to both offences, was sentenced to six months in prison in November 1999 after being found guilty of cruelty to animals. At that time magistrates also disqualified him from keeping livestock for life. Animals were kept knee deep in slurry with no dry lining area available or feed racks or sign of feeding facilities. The building had sharp edges which were likely to injure or distress the animals.

A livestock dealer whose sheep were found starving, diseased and dying has lost his appeal against a six month jail sentence. Peter Miller (56) of Twenty, near Bourne, Lincolnshire will have to servePeter Miller the term consecutively with another six-month term imposed recently for similar cruelty offences to sheep and pigs and for breaching a lifetime ban. The appeal at Leicester Crown Court on 29/9/01 against the sentence imposed by Melton magistrates was dismissed. The ewes and lambs owned by Miller were kept for him by shepherd David John Carter (33) of Hartopp Road, Melton, who will be sentenced soon for his involvement in neglecting the sheep which he has admitted. The suffering animals were kept on bare pastureland at a small-holding owned by Carter at Massfield Farm, Cold Overton, where a muddy pond was the only source of water. More dead, blind and dying sheep, some without teeth and unable to stand, were found at another site at Braunston Road, near Oakham, between May and June last year. Miller pleaded guilty to 37 charges of cruelly causing ewes and lambs unnecessary suffering, by denying them basic care and breaching three lifetime bans from keeping livestock. Miller has previously served three six-month jail sentences between 1992 and 1998 for cruelty to livestock.

The pig farmer whose premises were among the first to be identified as infected in the foot-and-mouth epidemic will stand trial on 22 charges relating to the disease. Robert Waugh (56) who operated a piggery on the land he rented at Burnside Farm, Heddon-on-the-Wall, Northumberland, denied six charges when he appeared at Tynedale magistrates on 8/10/01. He had denied 16 charges brought by trading standards officers at an earlier hearing and will stand trial on 6/5/01. He also denied two charges of moving pigs without a licence, two of failing to maintain movement records – all brought under the Animal Health Act – plus two further charges relating to false descriptions on transport documents, brought under the Trade Descriptions Act. The initial 16 charges, brought by Northumberland County Council’s Trading standards department under the Animal Health Act 1981 and the Protection of Animals Act 1911 included five counts of failing to notify officials of foot-and-mouth disease in animals, four counts of causing unnecessary suffering to animals, one of bringing unprocessed catering waste on to his premises and a further charge of feeding it to pigs. There were also four charges of failing to dispose of animal by-products and one of failing to record the movement of pigs. Waugh appeared in court alongside Leslie Kenneth Scurr, a self-employed haulier, of Ripon, North Yorkshire, who faces 16 charges under the Animal Health Act – 11 of which relate to the alleged offences which are said to have taken place at Burnside Farm. Scurr pleaded not guilty to five charges of incomplete transport certificates, four counts of failure to transport animals without delay to their place of destination and two charges of false descriptions on transport documents. A further five charges, unrelated to Waugh or Burnside Farm, are to be heard by Richmond magistrates later on this year. A pre-trial review date has been set for 19/11/01, when a district judge will decide whether Waugh and Scurr will jointly face charges relating to their alleged offences. Waugh, from Sunderland, was originally jointly charged with his brother, Ronnie, 60, but his the former’s charges were yesterday separated from those faced by his brother, all of which have been adjourned indefinitely due to his ill health.

Farm Assist, which rears poultry on Moor Oak Farm, Dymock was fined £18,000 for mistreating its animals by Gloucester magistrates when it appeared in court in October. The court heard that injury was caused to around 1,000 chickens after kerosene leaked on to the floor of one of the chicken sheds from the heater. Chickens were contaminated and some of them suffered chemical burns with angry and inflamed areas of skin.

On 25/10/01 Relief milker Royston Baker (56) of Lockey Road, Shepton Mallet admitted causing unnecessary suffering to calves he was rearing. He has been fined £1,000 and ordered to pay £1,000 towards the prosecution costs. Baker has to pay £100 a month over the next 12 months and the balance of £800 from the sale of livestock.

On 5/11/01 Penzance magistrates gave a Cornwall farmer a 12 months conditional discharge and ordered him to pay £100 costs after 500 brown trout were killed by a spillage of pesticides. Roger Oliver Bromley from Trewennack near Helston pleaded guilty to causing poisonous, noxious or polluting matter to enter controlled waters.

A farmer faces jail after allowing nearly half his cattle herd to starve to death. Edwin James Skyrme of Lower House Farm, Venns Green, admitted 14 charges and asked for 33 more to be considered. Officials say it was the worse case of animal cruelty they have seen in Herefordshire in recent times. Hereford magistrates heard on 8/11/01 about 39 cattle carcasses in various stages of decomposition. Skyrme admitted three charges of causing unnecessary suffering, five charges of causing pain and distress by not providing an adequate diet and six charges relating to his failure to dispose of carcasses. On 29/11/01 he was given a community rehabilitation order for 12 months and he was also banned from keeping livestock for five years and ordered to pay £789 costs.

A pig farmer denied failing to keep records of animal movements from his farm just prior to the outbreak of foot and mouth disease. On 17/12/01 Alan Clement (58) of West Craig Lea, Roddymoor, near Crook appeared before Bishop Auckland magistrates on 14 charges of failing to keep and failing to produce legal documents proving that he legitimately moved pigs from his farm to a nearby abattoir. Clement was making his second appearance. On the first occasion he contested a decision to convict him in his absence of breaching movement regulations. Magistrates were previously told that Clement had declined to co-operate with trading standards officers throughout their investigation and he did not appear for hearings. Clement was told in September that he would be given one last chance to give his version of events before sentence was passed. He did not attend and was convicted in his absence. Three weeks ago the Bench at Newton AycTiffe magistrates’ court decided to exercise powers under Section 142 of the Magistrates Courts’ Act which allows the court to hear the evidence again. The magistrates at Bishop Auckland will hear the case on 4/3/02.

A south Cumbrian farmer was fined £2,500 by Furness and District magistrates on 19/12/01 after being found guilty of polluting a stream with slurry. Peter Martin Robinson of Moss Side Farm, Broughton-in-Furness. As well as being fined he was ordered to pay £1,500 costs.


Nicholas Vickery (33) of Cae Mawr Grove, Caldicot viciously kicked his pet puppy to death after it snarled at his three-year-old son. Vickery beat the small terrier-dachshund cross dog before pinning it to the floor and repeatedly kicking it, Newport magistrates heard on 10/7/01. Vickery was fined £1,000 and banned from keeping a dog for ten years by magistrates after admitting attacking the puppy at an earlier appearance. The court heard how Vickery pinned the small pet to the floor of the garden shed, struck it with a blunt instrument and kicked it in a momentary loss of control. The dog was buried in the garden next morning but a post-mortem examination showed it had died from trauma to the neck and throat. Since Vickery’s first court appearance on 19/6/01 when he pleaded guilty to animal cruelty, he had been subjected to personal threats and hate mail including letters containing razor blades. In addition to the ban and fine, Vickery was ordered to pay vet’s fees of £346.45.

A terrier is starting a new life while it’s former owner must do 100 hours community work. Samantha Clay (25) of Norman Street, Cotmanhay was blamed for leaving the dog starving and dirty in her home. Ilkeston magistrates banned Clay from keeping animals for five years on 7/9/01. She must also pay a quarter of the £1,000 costs incurred by the RSPCA in bringing the case against her. Clay failed to attend a trial in July where she was found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering by failing to provide proper care and attention.

A disabled Pyrenean mountain dog had to be put down after it was left to drag itself around its filthy concrete home Leicester magistrates heard on 8/9/01. Lesley Bryan (52) and her daughter, Heather King (21) both of Digby Close, Tilton-on-the-Hill, pleaded guilty to one charge of causing unnecessary suffering by unreasonably omitting to provide a Pyrenean mountain dog with proper and necessary care and attention. The women will be sentenced on 28/9/01.

Cat owner Michael Rowden has been banned from keeping pets for 10 years after leaving his two cats trapped in his dirty home without food. Michael Rowden (29) had abandoned his home in Merlin Crescent, Beacon Heath, Exeter, because of the mess, Exeter magistrates heard on 14/9/01.
An RSPCA inspector found the windows had been sealed and no food or water had been left for the cats. A strong unpleasant smell came from the premises and photographs taken showed it was a foot deep in rubbish, including rotting food and used nappies. On the same day Rowden was seen driving a car and when questioned by police he admitted he was disqualified from driving. He later drove the same car in Exeter while still disqualified. Rowden pleaded guilty to two counts of driving while disqualified and a further two of driving without insurance. He also admitted being the owner of the cats and abandoning them without reasonable excuse. For all the driving offences he was ordered to complete an 18-month community rehabilitation order. He was disqualified from driving for 18 months. Rowden was disqualified from the care, ownership and control of any animal for 10 years.

Anthony Garratt (26) of Kingsthorpe Road, St Ann’s, Nottingham kicked and stamped his girlfriend’s pet cat to death after tying it to a bathroom sink. At Nottingham magistrates on 17/9/01 the court was told that Garratt lost his temper with his girlfriend’s black and white cat. In an interview the court heard how Garratt put him the cat in the bathroom to sort of teach him a lesson really, but he just wouldn’t shut up so I just lost my temper and I kicked him and smacked him and stamped on him”. Garratt added: “He was just crying. I kicked him some more and then blood started pouring out everywhere.” He said the cat was mewing and hissing in fear but he just “lost control.” Garratt, who pleaded guilty to the charge of cruelty to animals, had no legal representation in court. Sentencing has been adjourned until 9/10/01.

The owner of a dog that lost a quarter of its body weight and was suffering from a severe internal infection faces a prison sentence. Terence Hope (43) of the Royal Hotel, Avonmouth, was found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to his pet Alsatian. Hope who was living at Old Mushroom Farm, Cribbs Causeway, at the time, was told repeatedly to do something about the dog’s condition. The dog’s condition was so bad that it was put down. Hope, who represented himself, pleaded not guilty to the charge and thought the dog would recover. On 26/9/01 Hope was found guilty and faces prison when magistrates sentence him in October.

An Australian man has escaped a jail sentence after admitting torturing a kitten to death. Luke Park (29) of Oatlands, New South Wales, put the animal in a freezer for 40 minutes, then a washing machine after it scratched him. He tried to set it on fire using an aerosol and threw steak knives at it before finally killing it with a brick. On 15/10/01 Park was given a six month suspended sentence for aggravated animal cruelty. Park was ordered to attend counselling and receive medical treatment.

On 18/10/01 a Louisiana jury convicted Jeromie McCann of DeRidder, La., of aggravated cruelty to animals and other charges after he abducted a stray dog, tied him to the bumper of a car, and dragged him to death. McCann and three others then threw the dog’s body through a church window to be discovered later that morning by church members. Following the verdict, McCann, the only one of the four men who pled “not guilty” to the charges, was remanded to Beauregard County Jail, where he awaits sentencing.

Two holidaymakers have been given 12-month conditional discharges after leaving their pet dogs in a closed car while they went for lunch on a summer day. The court heard that police, were called to break into the vehicle in a Newquay car park. Both dogs had high temperatures and required an intravenous drip and continuous bathing to bring their temperatures down. Magistrates in Bodmin heard on 30/10/01 the animals had collapsed, were distressed and panting by the time they were rescued from the car. Both dogs made a full recovery. Alexander McInnes and his wife Jean, of Ayrshire, both pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to their dogs. They were ordered to jointly pay £325 costs to the RSPCA, and are allowed to keep the dogs.

Norma Clutterbuck (77) of Tether’s End, Weetwood, Leeds, was found guilty at Wetherby magistrates on 2/11/01 of causing unnecessary suffering to 18 dogs and a parrot. The court was told how Clutterbuck ran an animal sanctuary which was visited by RSPCA inspectors and a vet. The team found a number of dogs in tiny pet carriers, stacked on top of each other in a room with no light or ventilation. The trial heard how the animals were soaked in their own urine and faeces and were suffering from dehydration and infections. The court ordered Clutterbuck to be banned for life for keeping domestic animals with the exception of two specific dogs. Clutterbuck, who denied the charges, was also ordered to pay £150 costs. She was also found to have breached a previous ban on keeping exotic animals. She was also banned from keeping pets for life.

A Colorado man hanged six dogs from a bicycle rack because he didn’t want to look after them. Leonard Ammaturo (51) of Edwards, wanted to get rid of the Akitas before he moved house. He pleaded guilty to aggravated cruelty to animals. Ammaturo had run a dog-breeding business and had won several prizes at shows. He was sentenced to five years’ probation and a $12,000 (£8,273) fine on 9/11/01.

On 9/11/01 a 20-year-old of Edward Wilson House in Princess Elizabeth Way, Cheltenham, appeared at the court on Wednesday but did not enter a plea. The charges relate to an incident on 12/10/01 in which he is accused of causing unnecessary suffering to a police dog in the course of its duty. The case was adjourned until 6/12/01.

Cat killer - Philip PrattCat killer Philip Pratt (77) of Gloucester Road, Winchcombe has been fined £500 for catching one of his neighbours’ pets in a snare. Pratt laid snares at his home to try and protect the birds which visit his garden. On 13/11/01 at Cheltenham magistrates he admitted causing cruelty to animals. The court case came just months after Pratt was fined £1,000 for shooting dead the pet of a neighbour. The latest incident involved an cat who lived next door to Pratt. The cat was found in a snare in a hedgerow. Because the cat had attempted to struggle, the cord was tight around its abdomen and it was in great distress. Pratt was arrested and a search of his house revealed other snares, traps and a shotgun. In an interview he admitted setting other snares. He said if he found a cat in the snare he would kill it with a spade as they were a big nuisance. In addition to the £500 fine he was ordered to pay £250 compensation. Pratt also admitted possessing a shotgun without a certificate. He was given a 12-month conditional discharge and magistrates ordered forfeiture and destruction of the weapon.

A former police chief’s son who slashed a puppy’s throat 15 times with a knife was jailed on 16/11/01. Gareth Robins (24) of Heywood Road, Prestwich was arrested after the five-month-old pup was taken to a vet and given 40 stitches to horrific neck wounds. Robins was later convicted of two charges of cruelty and sentenced to two months’ jail by magistrates. But when he protested his innocence and mounted an appeal, his ex-wife Shelley dramatically approached RSPCA officers with new information linking him to the deaths of four other family pets. She told them how up to three kittens and a Labrador-type puppy met bizarre fates when left with Robins at the couple’s home. He claimed one kitten died after getting its paw trapped in a back door. A second died after it fell off a wall and broke its back. A third died after contracting a flu-type infection despite him trying to give it the kiss of life. A 10-week-old Labrador puppy was said by Robins to have fallen down the stairs and broken its back. Then hamster had its fur singed when its cage was mysteriously burned with a candle. Relatives described Robins as a ”sick and cruel psychopath” who once stabbed Shelley in the back with a knife. At Minshull Street Crown Court, Manchester, the Appeal Court judge dismissed Robins’ appeal against conviction and he was ordered to serve two months. Robins was also banned from keeping animals for ten years. Robins’ father, Gordon – a retired chief inspector with Greater Manchester Police – said after the hearing: ”This sentence is absolutely appalling. ”It defiles the past good name of the RSPCA and makes a laughing stock of the judicial system”. WHAT BOLLOCKS. The good news is that the dog is making a recovery with a new owner.

Stephen Chand (37) of St Ann’s Close, Derby, admitted two charges of failing to provide proper care and attention for a dog and a kitten at a previous hearing in October. At Mansfield magistrates on 19/11/01 he arrived at court without a defence solicitor and magistrates told him he needed to be represented in court. The case was adjourned. Chand had previously admitted leaving the dog and kitten to fend for themselves. Both animals were severely underweight and flea-ridden when rescued by RSPCA inspectors. They have since made a full recovery and have been found new homes. The case was adjourned until 17/12/01.

On 23/11/01 A New Zealand man who bit off a kitten’s head has been sent to prison. Wiremu Pokai Haare (35) from Dargaville had bitten of the cat’s head during an argument with its owner. Haare admitted a charge of cruelty and was jailed for one month. Police told the court Haare was in the communal lounge at the Selwyn Park Motor Camp in Dargaville with a woman who owned a 10-week-old kitten. Haare became upset, screaming and yelling at the woman. He grabbed the kitten by the hind legs and put its head in his mouth. The animal’s owner tried unsuccessfully to stop him. Later Haare told police he was angry because the kitten was taken into the kitchen.

Terence Hope (44) was sentenced to three months in prison and ordered to pay costs amounting to £1,400 by Bristol magistrates. But a judge at Bristol Crown Court on 23/11/01 ordered his immediate release and quashed the award for costs. The judge also reduced the period Hope had been disqualified from keeping an animal from three years to just one. Earlier, the court heard how Hope was convicted following a trial at the magistrates court in September when he defended himself.

Lorna Caine (31) of Pointon Close, Bury left a dog chained up with no proper food or shelter for at least two months. By the time the RSPCA found the German Shepherd in Caine’s back yard it was under weight, surrounded by its own dirt, had infections in both ears and was shaking. The dog could not reach its bowl of water and ate ravenously when given food by the RSPCA. Caine was sentenced to 150 hours community service on 29/11/01 at Bury magistrates court. She had been found guilty of the charge at an earlier hearing, which she had failed to attend. Magistrates also banned Caine from owning a pet for 10 years and ordered her to pay £200 towards the £1,900 costs of the case.

A family kept more than 100 pets including lizards, rats and a pot-bellied pig crowded in their three bedroomed terraced home. On 3/12/01 Medway magistrates heard the animals were discovered in the family home in Chatham. They pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering and sentence was adjourned until 21/12/01. Susan Legge (48) pleaded guilty to nine counts of the offence, her husband, Douglas (52) pleaded guilty to two while daughters Kelly (22) pleaded guilty to nine and Stacey (18) to three. In the house was 12 dogs, 15 cats, 11 rats, 23 spiny mice, plus a host of more unusual and exotic creatures including tortoises, tarantulas, a young salamanda and a chinchilla. The court was then shown a video of dirty and unsuitable conditions in which they were kept. There were animals in all but one of the rooms, including the cellar which was home to a Vietnamese pot-bellied pig. On 21/12/01 Douglas and his wife Susan were each given 80 hours of community service, ordered to pay £3,000 compensation to the RSPCA and disqualified from owning animals for five years. Kelly was given 40 hours of community service, disqualified from keeping animals for two years and ordered to pay the RSPCA £3,000. Stacey was given a 12-month conditional discharge, disqualified from keeping animals for two years and ordered to pay the RSPCA £1,500 in compensation.

Audrey Warburton (68) of Ashton Old Road, Openshaw, Manchester wept as she was led away to prison for keeping dozens of animals in appalling conditions at her home. Warburton kept 63 cats and dogs in her kitchen and two living rooms of her home, in what magistrates said was one of the worst cases of neglect and cruelty ever encountered. At Manchester magistrates on 14/12/01 she was told that she would be jailed for two months, Warburton broke down in tears, fell to her seat and held her head in her hands. Her counsel immediately lodged an appeal with the Crown Court and Warburton was later released on bail. Warburton had pleaded guilty to 25 counts of failing to provide proper care and attention to the animals. They were found roaming around the kitchen and also locked in cages in the living rooms when an RSPCA inspector visited the home. Among them were 11 Chihuahuas, four poodles, one Chinese crested dog and nine cats. The dogs have recovered, but seven cats were destroyed.

A Florida woman has been arrested after police found dozens of dead cats in her freezer. Officers searched Audrey Weed’s (50) house in Cooper City after neighbours complained about the smell. They found 67 dead cats and dozens of other neglected animals. Weed is a former police officer. She is a volunteer for a local animal rescue group. Weed has been charged with 92 counts of animal neglect. A total of 31 kittens and 36 cats were found in her fridge and freezer, some of them in plastic bags. Another 24 cats and one dog were found alive in the house. A woman who threw a puppy from a balcony because it was annoying her has been banned from keeping animals for life. Gill Mettham (43) from Portsmouth had pleaded guilty to ill-treating the greyhound puppy. She was given an 18-month community rehabilitation order and fined £100 at Portsmouth magistrates on 18/12/01.

A woman who threw a puppy to its death from a balcony because it was annoying her has been banned from keeping animals for life. Gill Mettham (43) of 15 Longbridge House, Meriden Road,
Southsea had pleaded guilty to ill-treating the greyhound puppy. She was given an 18-month community rehabilitation order and fined £100 at Portsmouth magistrates on 18/12/01.

On 18/12/01  US prison guard was convicted of aggravated cruelty to animals after killing five kittens in a rubbish crusher. Ronald Hunlock (47) could get up to two years in prison. Hunlock was also convicted of trying to kill the kittens’ mother, who escaped from the machine at the last minute and has since been adopted. Hunlock found the kittens during a search of an inmate’s cell at Sing Sing Correctional Facility in Ossining, New York. He ordered the prisoner to put them in the crusher and when the inmate refused, Hunlock did it himself. He claimed the cats were dying. Hunlock has been suspended without pay and will be fired upon his sentencing on 19/3/02.

Jeromie L. McCann who participated in the dragging death of a dog has been sentenced to 10 years of hard labor in Louisiana Department of Corrections, without the benefit of parole. McCann plead innocent to three felony charges of aggravated cruelty to animals, conspiracy to commit aggravated cruelty to animals, and simple criminal damage of $500 or more to property, after he and three other men tied a dog to the bumper of a car and dragged him to death, before throwing its mutilated body through a church window. During sentencing on 18/12/01 the judge pronounced, “sadistic acts such as this will not be tolerated by our society, you are a menace to the public and you will be treated accordingly.” The judge also referred to the more than 500 letters he had received from concerned citizens all over the country, who urged him to take the case seriously.

Two Italian pensioners are to be sentenced after boiling a puppy to death for fouling on their path. The brothers in their seventies have been convicted of torturing the two-year-old stray in Marcaria. They have admitted putting the dog in boiling water. A neighbour tried to rescue the puppy but the brothers told him they were only boiling him, and not hitting him whatsoever. The puppy who eventually escaped from the boiling pot, died two days later after two bouts of surgery. The pensioners will be judged by the local tribunal after a committee of villagers reported the news of the torturing to the police. 19/12/01

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