Animal activists used an infra-red triggered camera disguised as a twig to try to catch a man blocking a badger sett, a magistrates heard. Members of the League against Cruel Sports used the equipment to record Francis Phillips (65) of Thirlmere Road, Barrow upon Soar at a badger sett. Phillips who is an earth stopper for the Quorn Hunt denied two charges of obstructing a badger sett when he appeared at Harborough magistrates on 28/10/02. The prosecution claimed Phillips used heavy lumps of clay rather than loose soil to fill some of the 25 or so holes at the sett. On 6/11/02 Philips was found guilty of interfering with a badger sett. One count of interfering with a badger sett was dismissed but he was found guilty of the second charge. He was given a 12-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay £1,000 costs. Philips is believed to be one of 40 registered earth stoppers who do work with the Quorn
On 5/9/02 highways chiefs in North Yorkshire announced plans to pursue a civil action against a farmer cautioned for his part in an illegal campaign of spray-painting slogans on road signs across the county in recent months. The cost of cleaning up signs across the region is estimated to run into thousands of pounds. Hunt supporter Peter Teasdale, of Pockley, near Kirkbymoorside, was cautioned by Crown Prosecutors after he was accused of damaging six signs. He was also accused of possessing four tins of spray paint and a stencil of “Hands Off Hunting” with the intent to cause damage to property belonging to North Yorkshire County Council.
A gamekeeper who spent 10 years rearing pheasant chicks in huts filled with dust and droppings, died from bird fancier’s lung, an inquest heard on 12/9/02. Anthony Wensley (54) was employed by the chairman of the Countryside Agency Ewan Cameron on his Dillington Estate near Illminster, Somerset. He died after developing severe breathing problems. The Health & Safety Executive said it is the first pheasant-related case of the disease in Britain.
On 10/10/02 a hunter, who was shot and killed by another hunter was wearing all black clothing and a black backpack and was mistaken for a bear, investigators said. Clyde W. Shumway (58) died after being struck by a single round fired from a rifle by James F. Glenn (49) of Odell, Gresham, USA. Glenn, who was part of a hunting party, was set up to hunt at the far end of a clear-cut, when Shumway entered at the far corner. That’s when Glenn fired once, striking Shumway in the upper torso.
Dick Bainbridge (72) of Upper Hill Farm, Thornbury, Gloucestershire, appeared at Yate magistrates in October and was ordered to pay £950 for torturing and killing a 2-year-old Doberman. The dog collapsed from exhaustion, after being dragged on purpose by Bainbridge’s quad bike. He claimed the dog had been attacking his sheep. Bainbridge is a successful trainer on the point to point circuit, and has trained most of the horses ridden by jockey Alyson Dare.
A hunter has been badly injured after being shot by his own dog. Michael Murray was lining up a photograph of the pheasants his party has shot when his year-old English setter pup, jumped on a 12-bore shotgun lying on the ground and it went off. Murray (42) from Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, said” At first I didn’t know what happened. I got that blinding flash of pain and I sat down. Blood was pumping out of my ankle. Murray had been hunting in South Dakota on the first day of the pheasant season. When he was found, he was taken to a nearby hospital where he had 15 stitches put in his ankle. He later admitted he was slightly embraced by the incident.
A bookmaker was fined after he admitted yelling racist abuse at last months Countryside Alliance march. Peter Smith (21) High Lane, Chelvey Batch, near Backwell who works in his family’s bookmaking business, clashed with Mr Khan after he waved an anti-fox hunting banner at the demonstration in central London. Smith was fined £500 and ordered to pay £55 costs at Bow Street magistrates on 28/10/02. He was voicing his support for the Countryside Alliance during the march at Whitehall when he clashed with Mr Khan. Mr Khan was demonstrating against hunting and was waving a banner when Smith went up to him and tapped him on the head with a plastic hunting horn before hurling racist abuse. Smith admitted a charge of using racial abuse.
After receiving the minimum sentence from a Taos magistrate on 14/11/02 for the ‘unlawful killing of a bear,’ Missouri hunter Steven Mitchell was given the maximum sentence for “negligent use of a firearm” by an Angel Fire judge. He is now facing a $500 fine plus $17 court costs, 90 days in jail, and 200 hours of community service. Mitchell pleaded guilty to both charges after he shot and killed a bear from a second-story window. Taos magistrate court handed down the minimum sentence on the illegal kill charge: a $50 criminal assessment, $51 court costs, and $500 civil restitution to the state for the bear.
A deer hunter admitted on 21/11/02 to shooting a boy’s dog while bowhunting in Mansfield Township, USA. Dean M. Sica(36) formerly of Hoffman Road, Mansfield Township, faces one year of probation and up to 30 days in jail under the plea bargain struck in state Superior Court. ‘I went out deer hunting with a bow and arrow,” Sica told the court. He said he saw the dog and “knowing it might be somebody’s animal I shot the animal.” Sica said he was sorry he did it. He agreed to forfeit his bow-and-arrow and his hunting privileges. He must pay unspecified restitution to the dog’s owners and also faces fines and court fees. Sica pleaded guilty to possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and possession of a weapon by a person prohibited from having one. In 1993, Sica was convicted of fourth-degree aggravated assault in Union County and drew an 18-month prison term, records show. The felony conviction resulted in the weapon prohibition. He also pleaded guilty to two state Division of Fish and Wildlife violations for negligent discharge of a weapon and causing injury to a pet while hunting. Sentencing is tentatively scheduled for 28/2/03.
An 89-year-old deer hunter cannot use a gun for a year after accidentally shooting a horse that was being ridden by a 12-year-old girl in western Minnesota. Clinton Hurlbut of Browns Valley, pleaded guilty on 21/11/02 to misdemeanour reckless use of a gun. He fired a shotgun from his property on the opening day of deer-hunting season, at what he said he thought was a deer. The pellets struck a horse that the girl was riding about 200 yards away. Hurlbut also was fined $700, ordered to pay restitution and placed on supervised probation for one year. A 90-day jail sentence was stayed for one year. The good news is that the horse is recovering, but it’s unlikely that it can be ridden again.
At Redhill magistrates on 5/12/02 four pro-hunt supporters each admitted driving a vehicle without reasonable consideration for other road users. The accused were Graeme Worsley of Effingham Lane, Copthorne, Mark Bycroft (31) of London Road, Felbridge, Christopher Whittaker of London Road, Felbridge, and Robert Mann (57) of Ashill, Ilminster, Somerset. The convoy was seen driving at little more than 30mph at a busy time of the day. Whittaker, speaking in court, said the protest had been organised by the Union of Countryside Sports Workers. He read out a statement to the bench which said: “On behalf of all four of us, we would like to say we are law-abiding and regret taking this action which was designed not to harm anything or anybody. “We kept to about 30mph and believed we were within the law. We feel we are losing our liberty. In my case, if hunting is lost, I’d lose my home and job. (GOOD) We apologise unreservedly but had to do something to bring action to our cause.” Each was fined £100 and ordered to pay £35 costs. Each had three penalty points put on their licences.
In he USA one of four people arrested last month in connection with a suspected dogfighting ring has pleaded guilty to misdemeanour animal cruelty. Anthony Robinson (24) who had been charged with felony dogfighting and failure to appear, entered the plea on 20/12/02 in New Hanover County District Court. Charges are still pending against David Ellerby (25) and Antonio Bradley (21). Both were charged with misdemeanour animal cruelty and felony dogfighting and baiting. Cheryl Lacourse (44) was charged with felony dogfighting and baiting. Those cases have been continued to 23/1/03. Police seized 17 dogs from homes on Princess Place Drive and North 30th Street. Some of the dogs had wounds and scars consistent with fighting. Ellerby who owned seven of the dogs seized admitted that his dogs did at times go up to two days without food, but he has denied breeding or using the dogs for fighting purposes.
The following four were arrested during a so called ‘peaceful’ demonstration in Parliament Square on 16/12/02 by bloodsports supporters to protest against the Hunting Bill.
They were all due to appear before Bow Street magistrates on 23/12/02 however, David Sherwood (46) from Whittonstall, Northumberland, was charged with being drunk and disorderly. Sherwood who is the kennel man with the Braes of Derwent Hunt did not appear in court and did not enter a plea but had written to the clerk explaining he could not afford the travel costs.
Veterinary surgeon David J Dugdale (41) from Freckenham, Suffolk, was been charged under Section 4 of the Public Order Act after being arrested for using threatening words and behaviour. He pleaded not guilty.
Salesman Marcus Wright (28) from Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, was charged with assault on a police officer. He did not enter a plea and was bailed to reappear on 13/1/03.
Student George Todhunter Bramley (20) from Gillingham, Norfolk, was charged with breach of cordon and demonstrating in a non-designated area. Bramley also wrote to the court telling of travel difficulties but pleased not guilty in his absence. He was bailed until 6/1/03
Four others were arrested during the demo (click link to see pictures of the demo), no further action will be taken against a 14-year-old boy from South Molton, Devon, arrested in possession of an offensive weapon, and a 28-year-old man from Stagshaw Bank, Northumberland, arrested for breach of the peace. A 23-year-old man has received a formal caution following his arrest for theft and a 31-year-old man has received a formal warning following his arrest for highway obstruction.
Also in the USA – RALEIGH – A Wake County man faces sentencing on felony charges related to running one of the biggest dogfighting operations ever shut down. Samson G. Pruitt (29) pleaded guilty 20/12/02 to felony dog fighting and cruelty to animals in connection with the 81 pit bulls removed from his house. Pruitt also pleaded guilty to possession with intent to sell and deliver marijuana and maintaining a dwelling for the purpose of selling a controlled substance. Pruitt will be sentenced 27/1/03. When eviction papers were served on Pruitt by the police they noticed about a dozen pit bull terriers near the house and equipment used in breeding and fighting dogs. They then returned with a search warrant and found about 60 dogs chained to trees in woods behind the house, as well as many dogs in metal cages or dog houses made out of blue plastic barrels. Inside the house they found a baby Nile crocodile, three boa constrictors, six pythons and two poisonous snakes (Western diamondback rattlesnake and a Gaboon viper, which is considered one of the deadliest snakes in the world). All but a few of the pit bull terriers were euthanized because they suffered from a parasite that attacks an animal’s intestinal tract causing diarrhoea. The snakes and reptiles are being cared for elsewhere. In 1997, Pruitt was arrested in what was then one of the biggest dogfighting cases. Authorities seized 27 pit bulls from his home, then west of Hillsborough. Pruitt and two others pleaded guilty to misdemeanour charges of animal cruelty and were sentenced to probation. Pruitt ended up serving active time for failing to report to his probation officer.
On 21/6/02 Paul Sly was jailed for 16 weeks for stealing rare birds’ eggs by Coventry magistrates. The court was told Sly of Meadfoot Road, Willenhall, had also admitted eight other offences under the Wildlife and Countryside Act. Police and RSPB officers found 30 dead birds and an assortment of eggs in a garage at his home. Some were of rare species including peregrine falcon, chough stone-curlew, corncrake and little tern. It was revealed in court that he been convicted twice before of stealing eggs.
Carlton Julian D’Cruze (41) from Whitemeadow Drive, Crosby was sentenced on 4/9/02 to six months in prison after admitting possessing more than 400 rare eggs, including ospreys and golden eagles. On 8/10/02 a panel of three appeal judges sitting at Liverpool Crown Court ruled that South Sefton magistrates, who imposed the sentence, had been too harsh. They decided to reduce the sentence to five months.
An anonymous complaint led to a Preston pensioner being banned for keeping horses for five years. Edward Eccles (71) of Middleforth Green, Penwortham received the ban on 26/7/02 for causing unnecessary suffering to a horse he owned. Eccles was also found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to the same mare last year by magistrates. Eccles was also fined £250 with £750 costs when he appeared before Preston magistrates on 2/7/02.
An animal feed manufacturer was fined £10,000 for a discharge into a river which wiped out more than 600 fish. Blackburn magistrates heard on 17/9/02. Worston Brook, B Dugdale and Son Ltd of Bellman Mill, Salthill Industrial Estate, pleaded guilty to permitting polluting matter to enter controlled waters. As well as the fine the company was ordered to pay £1,527 costs.
Two pilots who smuggled a £22m cargo of cocaine in to Britain have each been jailed for 20 years. Pilot Christopher Barrett-Jolley (50) of Hensall, North Yorkshire was found guilty of smuggling a £22m cargo of cocaine from Jamaica into Southend airport. Christopher Barrett-Jolley was the man behind Phoenix Aviation who transported live exports from Coventry airport in the mid 90s.His brother-in-law and co-pilot Peter Carine (50) also of Hensall, North Yorkshire was also found guilty by a jury at Basildon Crown Court on 5/12/02. Barrett-Jolley said he had been involved in a large number of “sensitive” charter flights for governments across the world. He claimed British agents had once paid him £26,000 to help fly a captured Russian missile back to England (NUTTER)
Farm Animals (Guardians Of The Land – My Arse!!!)
A businessman left hundreds of hens to starve to death following a dispute with a farmer over rent. Leslie Longshaw (41) of Willowcroft Way, Harriseahead, near Kidsgrove was given 100 hours community service and banned from keeping animals except domestic pets for five years, after he left the birds without food and water for two weeks. Longshaw had been running a business selling eggs based at Bodkins Bank Farm in Mow Cop, for two years. On 19/6/02 North Staffordshire magistrates heard Longshaw, had rented the land and sheds housing the hens since August 1999. But he claimed after an argument with his landlord over rent he was unable to get access to the animals. 110 decomposing hen carcasses were found in and around the sheds and around 150 surviving hens were slaughtered. Longshaw pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to animals and failing to dispose of animal by-products, hen carcasses, in a prescribed manner. In addition to the 100 hours community service magistrates ordered Longshaw to pay costs of £2,459.
A farmer has been given a two-year conditional discharge and ordered to pay costs of £459 after 68 sheep carcasses were found on his land at Hollin Lane, Rossendale. Laurence Suthers (57) pleaded guilty to 49 offences of failing to dispose of sheep carcasses at Rossendale magistrates on 16/9/02.
A slaughterman was found not guilty of recklessly shooting at stray sheep he had been employed by a local council to kill during the height of the foot-and-mouth crisis. A jury at Cardiff Crown Court on 4/10/02 cleared Adrian Walker (33) of Tollstone House, Grosmont, near Abergavenny. During the four-day trial Walker had been accused of breaking health and safety regulations by firing at the sheep more than 30 metres away in a field in Gilwern, near Abergavenny. Walker was employed by Monmouthshire County Council to kill the 21 ewes and 11 lambs during the foot-and-mouth crisis. He stopped the shooting after distressed residents, living yards from the field voiced their concerns about what was happening.
Monmouthshire County Council was fined £100,000 on 22/10/02 after a slaughterman it employed took shots at stray sheep in a field. They admitted two charges of breaching the Health & Safety at Work Act. Slaughterman Adrian Walkerwas found not guilty of recklessly shooting at the stray sheep in a field in Gilwern, Abergavenny (see above article). Cardiff Crown Court heard how Walker had been employed by the council to provide a 24-hour service for the slaughter of sheep and cattle. The court heard Walker was paid a £35 call-out fee, £25 for every sheep he shot and disposed of and £10 for each lamb. The court heard how Walker was clearly inexperienced in using a rifle in the circumstances which he did. He had no experience of shooting unrestrained animals with a rifle. The council was also ordered to pay £8,360 costs to be paid within 28 days.
Eight people have been sentenced for running an illegal slaughterhouse. Police raided the premises when investigating the trade in ‘smokies’ (sheep processed using blow-torches) for West Indian communities in London and Birmingham. Officers found 123 slaughtered sheep and another 215 waiting to be killed at Moelfre Farm, Llanwnnen, near Lampeter. Swansea Crown Court heard on 1/1/02 that sheep were being sheared after slaughter, but not skinned. Blow torches were used to turn the carcasses a gold colour. The eight pleaded guilty to processing unfit meat intended for sale. Farm owner David Jones admitted failing to properly dispose of risk material and was given 18 hours community service and ordered to pay £500 costs. Sheep and cattle farmer John Clayton of Nantgaredig, was sentenced to 60 hours community service and to pay £100 in costs. Malcolm Taylor of Oldbury, Birmingham, received a 12 month conditional discharge and ordered to pay £100 costs. Alan Lloyd of Llanfyrnach, was given a 12 month conditional discharge. Brothers Alun and Richard Evans, of Lampeter, each received 60 hours community service and were ordered to pay £100 costs. Trefor Williams, of Llandysul, and John Beddows, of Tregaron, were each given 60 hours of community service.
A farmer who destroyed a water vole burrow has become the first person to be convicted under four-year-old legislation designed to protect the species. Charles Butcher (53) of Sleight Farm, near Devizes was fined £750 for digging up the riverbank shelter as he widened a drainage ditch. He admitted recklessly destroying a shelter for water voles. On 21/11/02 magistrates in Devizes also ordered Butcher to pay £150 costs.
A farmer has been ordered to pay £2,000 after pig slurry leaked into a reservoir, killing thousands of fish. Roger Hobill of Welby Grange Farm, Melton, was found guilty by Melton magistrates on 25/12/02 of causing polluting matter to enter the reservoir. Hobill was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay £1,000 costs.
A North Cork farmer pleaded guilty on 18/12/02 to charges including cruelty to animals after an inspection of his farm found 47 dead cattle and many more live and malnourished cows standing among the carcasses. Finbarr O’Reilly (35) of Newgrove, Whitechurch, Co Cork, pleaded guilty to six charges. He admitted two counts of animal cruelty, two counts of failing to dispose of carcasses and two breaches of BSE regulations by failing to dispose of specific risk material in carcasses. Sentencing was adjourned sentencing until 23/4/03.
A Hyndburn man was fined £300 and banned from keeping animals for 10 years after a court found he had caused unnecessary suffering to his dog. William Baron of Blackburn Road, Great Harwood, admitted the charge when he appeared before magistrates at Hyndburn on 17/6/02. Police were called after neighbours found his elderly cross collie lying on a concrete floor outside the back yard in subzero temperatures with his head and tail shaking. It was found on a faeces-covered floor it had no body hair, had scabs and sores, and was unable to move. The dog was treated for hypothermia. The vet also found the dog had a testicular tumour and may also have suffered a stroke, and sadly decided to put him down. Baron was banned from keeping an animal for 10 years, fined £300 and ordered to pay £750 costs.
An ex-miner who committed a “despicable attack on a defenceless puppy” has been banned for life from keeping any domestic animal, however, he lodged an appeal against conviction. At Blackburn magistrates on 12/9/02 David Pickup(52) of Cherry Tree Lodge, Islington, Blackburn was convicted in his absence of cruelty to the dog and being drunk and disorderly. The three-month-old pup was punched in the face, kicked and stamped on by Pickup who flew into a drunken rage as he tried to get the animal on a bus. As well as the ban, Pickup was fined £300 with £55 costs.
Philip Prior (34) of Talbot Road, Blackpool kept up to nine pythons and two boa constrictors, one nearly 16ft long, in Bond Street, Blackpool. On 18/9/02 Blackpool magistrates banned him from keeping animals for a total of 10 years yesterday, after he pleaded guilty to seven counts of causing unnecessary suffering to the snakes. He was also ordered to pay £500 legal costs and £1,500 towards costs. Four other charges were dismissed after he returned his guilty plea. Prior has now lodged an appeal against the ban. The court was told how Prior draped the snakes around the shoulders of tourists before they were snapped with the creatures.
A dog trainer who hanged a pet from a lead so it foamed at the mouth and passed out, could be sent to jail. Stephen Barry King (41) of Trafalgar Road, Greenwich, was found guilty at Marleybone magistrates on 17/9/02 of cruelty to an animal and cruelly terrifying the same English bull terrier. The court heard how King was ‘helecoptering’ the two year old dog Gunner from a lead which twisted and swung a foot above the ground. He was bleeding from the mouth. He was so scared he was pooing himself and he was choking. King also grabbed the dog and then wrapped a lead round his neck and lifted the dog terrier into the air. King has suffered two years of persecution- including threatening emails and an intruder-and he had given up dog training (GOOD). King was told he must have no contact with dogs for eight years at Marylebone magistrates on 15/10/02. King was ordered to pay a total of £2,000 in court costs and complete 100 hours of community service for both of the convictions, to be served concurrently.
A couple have been banned from keeping animals for life after starving their St Bernard. The dog had severe hair loss, ringworm, lice, open sores and scabs, eye problems and an ear infection, Wigan magistrates heard on 1/11/02. He good news is that he has full recovered. Hazel Raymond (45) and Stanley Raymond (55) of Newlands Road, Leigh, called an RSPCA inspector and said they had found the dog in a park. But when the inspector went to the house she became suspicious because they had two other St Bernards. Stanley Raymond admitted causing unnecessary suffering and was given a 180-hour community punishment order. Hazel Raymond was unable to attend court due to illness and a solicitor entered a guilty plea on her behalf. She was fined £750.
A ditched lover killed her ex-boyfriend’s cat and slashed his clothes in a Fatal Attraction-style revenge attack. Business adviser Heather Radley (33) Albion Mill, Hollingworth admitted she wanted to “hurt” Ken Dawson as she flew into a “fit of rage” after they split up. In the attack she went to his home in Hyde while he was away on a business trip and killed his beloved Persian cat. The animal was found lying in a pool of blood on the living room floor. Radley then systematically cut up the clothes When she appeared at Tameside magistrates on 1/11/02 she admitted criminal damage but denied slaughtering the pet cat which had been killed with a blunt object. Despite her denials she was convicted by magistrates of killing the cat. The hearing was adjourned for sentence. On 29/11/02 Radley was handed a 180-hour community service order and was ordered to pay £487 compensation to Mr Dawson and £500 in court costs.
A millionaire former magistrate has been found guilty of unlawfully shooting dead a tenant’s beloved pet terrier. Parish council chairman and ex-JP Michael Cuttell (64) was convicted at Swindon magistrates on 12/11/02 of criminal damage for the dog’s death and a firearms offence. Cuttell was fined £500 and also ordered to pay £1,000 costs. Cuttell claimed he shot four-year-old terrier after she savaged peacocks on his estate. The prosecution told the court that after finding the peacocks, Cuttell had locked the terrier in a shed and gone back home to get his gun. He returned to execute the terrier in a single “cold-blooded” shot. Cuttell said he did not mean to kill the pet????
Brian Patrick McCann (47) a publican from Kings Cross, London has been jailed for his role in producing a so-called “squish” video in which a kitten was killed by a woman in high heels. McCann pleaded guilty to conspiring to publish obscene material. He was sentenced at Snaresbrook Crown Court on 15/11/02 to nine months in prison. A police search of McCann’s computer had revealed 40 files of “squish” or “crush” movies in which small animals such as kittens, guinea pigs, mice and even fish and earthworms were squashed to death, usually by a woman in high heels and wearing a short skirt.
A woman who kept more than 200 exotic mammals in filthy conditions has been convicted of causing unnecessary suffering to her pets. The RSPCA discovered at least 17 dead pets inside the filthy house, including a cat wrapped in a cloth in the hallway, dead bats, rats, guinea pigs, birds and a chinchilla. None of the surviving animals at Ute Siewert’s home in Vale Road, Seaford, had any water and only the cats had clean food provided. Animals kept in cages sat in faeces several inches deep and there was faeces on all the floors in all the rooms of the house. The animals included rare mammals usually only seen in this country in zoos including maras, which are like giant guinea pigs with long legs, jirds, a type of gerbil, spiny mice, fat-tailed dormice, pallas squirrels, sugar gliders and degus, which are all squirrel-like creatures. Siewert denied causing unnecessary suffering to the animals but failed to turn up at Lewes magistrates on 19/11/02. Siewert was found guilty of 19 counts of causing unnecessary suffering, dismissing an accusation of causing suffering to chickens kept in the garden. The case was adjourned until 3/12/02 for sentencing at Brighton magistrates.