Vermin Patrol 2005 – Part 3


gamekeeper convicted of deliberately snaring and killing a badger has been fined £1,200 but will not lose his job. Steven Harmson (47) of Hillhead of Findrack, Torphins, was found guilty of two offences under the Wildlife and Countryside Act and was fined for the offences at Aberdeen Sheriff Court on 19/12/05 but he will still keep his job at the Findrack Estate at Craigievar, near Alford, even if he loses his firearms licence. The RSPB stumbled across dozens of dead animals including badger, roe deer, foxes and a rabbit caught in free running snares on the estate. Harmson was convicted of deliberately setting a snare near the entrance to a badger’s sett on the estate and failing to check traps daily. The badger was found dead in the trap. Another was found dead elsewhere and a third had been caught but broke loose from a snare. Harmson has worked on the estate for 15 years, was ordered to pay £600 for each charge. A spokesman for Grampian Police said it was not clear if any action would be taken to rescind Harmson’s gun licence.

A gang of terriermen jailed for badger-baiting had their convictions quashed by Preston Crown Court on 22/12/05.  The men are Craig Jones (29) of Neville Street, Platt Bridge; Walter Hankey (37) of McDonald Street, Orrell; Kim Halliwell(48) of Aylesbury Crescent, Hindley; Lee Standen (23) of Arundel Street, Hindley; Dennis Buxton (41) of Lune Grove, Leigh; David Travis (42) of Winward Street, Leigh and Mark Law (40) of Park Avenue, Barnoldswick, had been found guilty of attempting to take a badger. Jones was also found guilty of causing a dog to enter a badger sett. Nicholas Lowe, of Manor Place, Ince, did not contest his conviction because he was already serving a jail sentence for another offence.


In 2004 John McLeod who is the gamekeeper on the Haystoun Estate near Peebles was fined £300 after police officers found a weapon and ammunition in his unattended Landrover.

On 16/2/05 near to the Waterloo Cup hare coursing event at Altcar, a car containing five men was stopped by the police and two Harris’ hawks were found inside. On a further search they discovered a holdall in the boot belonging to Dean Nugent of Snowberry Road, Huyton, Liverpool. Nugent claimed the bag contained only rabbits, but there was also a dead mallard, which had only recently been killed. Nugent admitted that he had taken it with his Harris’ hawk. Mallards cannot be killed after 1 February, or 21 February for birds killed below the high water mark. Nugent was reported for possession of a wild bird. He appeared at North Sefton magistrates on 15/6/05 and pleaded guilty to both offences. He was given an absolute discharge.

A landowner was been fined £16,500 and ordered to pay £17,026.44 costs after causing damage to moorland habitat in the South Pennine Moors Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). On 22/8/05 Walshaw Moor Estate Limited pleaded guilty at Keighley magistrates to three offences relating to track building and dumping material on a grouse moor. Magistrates ordered restoration works to be carried out at the estate’s expense.

Lady Jane Benson (57), formerly Lady Jane Lowther who is the Joint Master of the Ullswater Foxhounds has been banned from driving for 12 months after failing a roadside breath test in the centre of Penrith. Benson was arrested and taken to the police station where she was asked to complete another breath test. She was unable to give a reading despite two attempts and a custody sergeant believed it was because she was too drunk. Benson of Rose Cottage, Askham, was also fined £270 with £58 costs by Eden magistrates on 31/8/05 after she admitted failing to provide a specimen of breath for analysis.

Charlotte Denis (20) a gamekeeper from Cirencester, Gloucestershire was arrested for wearing her “Bollocks to Blair” T-shirt at the 2005 Midlands Game Fair. Denis was stopped by police as she left the Countryside Alliance stand because of the “offensive” slogan. After agreeing to wear a friend’s coat, Denis was released without charge.

A Devon man who admitted the manslaughter of his 13-year-old stepson while he was out lamping received a nine-month jail sentence, suspended for two years on 2/9/05. Byron Evans (13) was shot while out lamping with his stepfather Philip Rowe (50) of Stafford Lane, Colyford. Rowe pleaded guilty at Exeter Crown Court on 26/7/05 to manslaughter by gross negligence.

Ivan HolmesFarmer and foxhunter for 12 years Ivan Holmes was pictured in the saddle on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway line between Pickering and Grosmont. At Scarborough magistrates on 7/9/05 they were that a large number of bloodsports supporters staging a demonstration ambushed a train carrying an MP. The train was forced to stop.” A police sergeant shouted a warning to Holmes not to ride his horse on to the station platform. Holmes later told police that had been his original intention but he decided not to, Holmes (52) of Tylas Farm, Old Byland, Helmsley, admitted aggravated trespass and threatening behaviour. He was given a 12-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay £20 costs.

Naomi Tamzin BarrettNaomi Tamzin Barrett (41) of Tythebarn, Branscombe, Seaton, East Devon admitted stealing £1,500 from the Axe Valley Hunt Supporters’ Club. Barrett also pleaded guilty to falsifying a Lloyds TSB Bank statement to lead members of the club into thinking the transactions were genuine, At Exeter Crown Court on 20/9/05 they heard how Barrett committed the offences while she was club secretary. The court agreed to allow a charge of stealing £372 from the East Devon Pony Club to lie on file. The case has been adjourned until 21/10/05, at Exeter Crown Court for sentencing.

On 10/10/05 Andrew Cass (51) from Unthank Lane, Holmesfield, South Yorks who is a joint master of the High Peak Hunt was cleared of assaulting a saboteur despite striking here with his riding crop. The sab suffered a 6cm wound in the incident. On 5/10/05 Derby Crown Court heard how two sabs, from Manchester had attended the the hunt to monitor what they were doing. A jury was shown a video of Cass apparently bringing down his crop and striking one sab. Giving evidence Cass conceded that the footage – taken by a saboteur – made it “fairly obvious” that he had hit his alleged victim. Cass had denied assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Ryan Lowe (24) of Baird Road, Harraby; Peter David Irwin (24) Lingmoor Way, Harraby and Lee Michael Venus (21) of Dalesman Drive, Carlisle pleaded guilty to poaching at Tynedale magistrates on 11/10/05. The court heard how the trio were arrested after a gamekeeper on the Unthank estate became suspicious when he spotted their car parked in a lay-by. The gamekeeper called the police who found 27 dead rabbits next to the car. Each were fined £100 and ordered to pay £20 in court costs.

JEFFERSON, USA – Five men arrested after police uncovered a cockfighting ring in Arcade have pleaded not guilty on 11/10/05 to animal cruelty-related charges. The men were arrested after Arcade police raided a wooded area. Responding to complaints of gunshots, police converged on the site and found a cockfighting and rooster breeding operation and 91 roosters, including some that were dead and others that were dying. Police arrested the property owner Jesus Solacheand five other men who investigators say were involved in the ring. Charges against Solache (40) of Lilburn, include keeping a disorderly house, having illegal livestock, and 91 counts of cruelty to animals. Alberto Cintron Hernandez (24) of Duluth; Raul Mireles (21) of Norcross; Jonathan Navarro (19) of Norcross; and Luis Armando Martinez (24) of Lawrenceville are charged with discharging a firearm within the city limits and animal cruelty charges. A judge set trial for 5/12/05 according to Jackson County State Court records.

At Forfar Sheriff Court on 13/10/05 James MacDonald (33), his brother, Samuel MacDonald (25) and Shaun Mahon(18) all of Heatherywood Caravan Park in Kirkcaldy, admitted a separate charge each of hare coursing. James MacDonald had been banned from keeping dogs for three years at Perth Sheriff Court in June, after being convicted of filming a hare being ripped apart by lurchers. James MacDonald was ordered to carry out 100 hours of community service and fined his brother and Mahon £250 each.

Simon UptonSimon Upton (40) of Margaretting, Essex, felled one hunt saboteur by riding at him and hit another twice on the head, Basildon magistrates heard on 18/10/05. Upton who is the joint master of the Essex Union Hunt, also abused the seven other sab as he circled them in a field. Upton admitted three counts of assault by beating and was fined £750. Upton was told he used “aggressive” force by magistrates’ who also ordered him to pay compensation to the three sab. The court was shown a four-minute video with Upton, charging around on a horse. In the clip, the huntsman is heard saying: “Ah, we meet again,” before his horse starts to canter around and through the group. The court heard how Upton charged his horse into the sabs in order to split them up and to separate them out. “After knocking one to the ground and bruising a second, Upton struck out at a third sab, who was hit twice on the head, for this Upton was £300 for assault and ordered him to pay £150 compensation. He was also ordered to pay £225 for each of the other assaults and to pay the other two sabs £100 compensation. With court costs of £455, the total came to £1,555.

Otis Ferry (22) of Keeper’s Cottage, Eaton Mascott, Shrewsbury who is the master of the South Shropshire Hunt, will appear at Cirencester magistrates on 15/11/05 on a drink-driving charge. He has been ordered to appear in court  for an alleged offence in the town.

Essex hunt master Douglas Hill denied assaulting three people, including a police officer, during a fox hunt when he faced Chelmsford magistrates on 25/8/05. Hill of Church Road, West Hanningfield, also denied damaging a police officer’s jacket and using threatening and insulting language in a manner likely to cause distress. He pleaded not guilty to five charges relating to an alleged incident in the Danbury area and was bailed to reappear at Chelmsford magistrates on 27/10/05, when a date for his Crown Court trial will be set.

On 7/10/05 Dominic Jones (28) of The Kennels, Hensleigh was fined and surrendered his firearms licence after losing a shotgun while hurrying to start a meet. Exeter magistrates heard how Jones who is the Master of Tiverton Staghounds, was called out by two local farmers to fetch fallen stock. Jones took three guns with him, including a .410 short-barrelled, small-bore shotgun. He did not regularly use the gun but placed it alongside the others under a seat in his vehicle. Hurrying back to start a meet later that day, he locked the two other weapons back in his gun cabinet at the Staghounds’ kennels at Hensleigh, Tiverton, but forgot he had taken out the shotgun earlier. When he was called out again the next day he noticed the gun was missing and he reported the matter to police. The shotgun is still missing. Jones admitting contravening the terms of his firearms licence relating to secure storage of weapons. Magistrates fined Jones £500 and ordered him to pay £55 in court costs.

Five men admitted hunting hares with a pack of dogs they are Kevin Leslie (23) of Fowler Avenue, Aberdeen, Steven Booth (30) of Provost Rust Drive, Michael Sim (22) of Moir Drive, Colin Stewart (21) of Cummings Park Drive, who appeared from custody and Donald Stewart (35) of Strachan Place, all pleaded guilty at Stonehaven Sheriff Court on 15/9/05. The five were after hares on the Fasque Estate at Fettercairn. On 12/10/05 Colin Stewart who is already in prison for an earlier offence had 60 days added to his sentence. Booth and Leslie were sentenced to 80 hours community service whilst Sim was fined £300 and Stewart was put on probation for a year.

A first conviction has been secured for an offence under the Hunting Act. Adam Pengilley (19) of Adlam Road, Liverpool, was fined £155 with £35 costs by South Sefton magistrates on 6/10/05 after being caught leaving the Leverhulme Estate in Lydiate, in possession of two lurchers and lamping equipment.

A Gardiner-area rancher accused of allowing illegal hunting of bull elk and deer by out-of-state residents on his property pleaded guilty on 27/10/05 in Billings to federal charges. John Daniel McDonald (38) who has a ranch in the Cinnabar Basin area, pleaded guilty to two felony counts of violating the Lacey Act, which regulates the interstate sale, purchase and transportation of wildlife. For the past few years McDonald has accepted money from out-of-state residents in exchange for providing them lodging and big game hunting. McDonald was paid thousands of dollars for the illegal hunting of eight bull elk and one buck mule deer. During his supervised release, McDonald would be barred from accompanying anyone hunting, fishing or trapping anywhere in the world or acting as an outfitter or guide. McDonald also agreed to a lifetime revocation of his hunting privileges in Montana and in 19 other states. McDonald agreed to forfeit all mounts seized in the case and two rifles. McDonald is due to be sentenced on 25/1/06.

On 6/11/05 three gamekeepers were charged over the killing of protected animals using cyanide and illegal traps. The men were caught after a massive police sting, following tip-offs from members of the public. Police swooped on the Kelso home of Maurice Gibson (61) and discovered illegal poisons, including cyanide, and snares and traps. He faces seven charges, animal welfare officers also found the carcasses of several horribly-maimed badgers. The protected animals had been caught in the snares which self-lock, causing a wounded animal to fight to free itself. A few days earlier, a raid at part-time gamekeeper Joseph Paxton’s (69) home in Jedburgh uncovered illegal poisons and the carcasses of birds of prey. Paxton was charged with 10 offences It is believed he is accused of laying poisoned bait which killed several birds. His colleague, gamekeeper, Tony Lowrie (52) also of Jedburgh, is charged with three offences of poisoning protected species.

Joint master and huntsman of the South Shropshire Foxhounds Otis Ferry appeared in court charged with drink-driving in Gloucestershire. Ferry is accused of being over the legal limit when he was stopped in Cirencester. At Gloucester magistrates court on 15/11/05 Ferry (23) of Keeper’s Cottage, Eaton Mascott, Shrewsbury pleaded not guilty and was granted unconditional bail. The case was adjourned for a pre-trial review 3/1/06.

The kennel huntsman of the Avon Vale Foxhounds in Wiltshire was arrested on 21/11/05 following an incident where hunt monitors were attacked and robbed of their video equipment. The incident occurred when 4 hunt monitors were present at a meet of the Avonvale FH, they were filming the huntsman putting hounds through a patch of scrub when a group of hunt supporters approached the monitors and attacked them. One monitor was ridden down by a quad bike and another monitor was attacked and struck on the neck by the mounted kennel huntsman. He then grabbed her video camera and rode off with it. He was released on bail.

Colin Marshall (22) from Mill of Prony, Ballater, is accused of trespassing on the Crannach Estate with a firearm and attempting to kill, injure or take a hen harrier. He also faces two charges of intentionally disturbing the dependent young of a hen harrier and possessing a shotgun. On 1/12/05 Stonehaven Sheriff Court adjourned the trial until 17/2/06.

On 7/12/05 Spanish police arrested seven people at a ranch that let hunters shoot lions, tigers and wolves in exchange for money. Police who raided the ranch in the southwest Extremadura region arrested the hunters who were about to shoot a lion and a tiger, and also found a freshly killed tiger. The police also found remains of wolves, which are protected species in Spain. The man who leased the land housing the ranch bought animals from zoos and kept them in cages until hunters paid to have them set free and shoot them.

Barnstaple magistrates heard on 9/12/05 that Christopher Marles (44) of of New Buildings, Farringdon punched and kicked a member of the International Fund for Animal Welfare. Marles was charged with assault causing actual bodily harm. No plea was entered during the hearing and the case was adjourned until 5/1/06. The alleged attack happened during a meet of the Devon and Somerset Staghounds.

John Arthur Parker (40) from, Kexby, near Gainsborough, Lincolnshire who has a previous conviction for dog fighting has been given a two-year community punishment and rehabilitation order after breaching a ban on keeping dogs and possessing a pit bull-type dog. Magistrates ruled that as part of the community punishment and rehabilitation order, 80 hours would be made up of work within the community. Parker was also ordered to pay £250 towards costs. Parker also has a convicted of cruelty to animals in connection with dog fighting in 1999.

Tony Wright who is the huntsman for the Exmoor Foxhounds, Simonsbath, Somerset appeared before Barnstaple magistrates on 19/12/05 and entered a not guilty plea to breaking the hunting ban in Devon. The case was adjourned to 16/1/06.

On 19/12/05 Trevor Adams who is the master of the Buccleuch Foxhounds has been charged with breaking anti-hunt legislation. Adams allegedly contravened the Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act 2002.

A huntsman responsible for more than 100 dogs has been found guilty of animal cruelty. Philip Simmonds (51) who is in charge of the welfare of hunting dogs at The Kennels in Cambridge Road, Barton, denied six charges involving unnecessary suffering to three pack dogs in his care. At Cambridge magistrates the court heard how Simmonds stitched a six inch gaping wound on a beagle’s leg without giving the dog a local anaesthetic. They were also told how Simmonds caused a second beagle unnecessary suffering by delaying having it put down when it was terminally ill with kidney failure and heart problems. In the third case, Simmonds was accused of causing suffering to a mink hound by failing to have it treated for chronic ear problems. The dog had to be put down following an RSPCA visit. Simmonds was charged with the offences after he was reported to the RSPCA by a helper at the kennels. On 21/12/05 he was found guilty of all charges and we be sentenced on 19/1/06.


On 3/11/04 at Calderdale magistrates pigeon fancier Henry Stanley Reid of Brow Lane, Shibden, Halifax, pleaded guilty to attempting to take a wild bird. He was fined £200 and £60 costs. The court heard how he set a home-made cage-trap, similar to a Larsen trap, baited with three live zebra finches.

On 17/5/05 both Thomas Armstrong Aggregates and the quarry manager Alan Hodgson pleaded guilty to nest destruction at Carlisle magistrates. The court heard RSPB evidence that during early June active sand martin nests would almost certainly have contained eggs or small young. Thomas Armstrong Aggregates were fined £3,000 and ordered to pay £138 costs and Hodgson was fined £375.

A Stourbridge father and son have been warned they face jail after admitting they disturbed some of the UK’s rarest birds of prey in Scotland. At Redditch magistrates Clive Lingard (60) and son Jonathan (33) from Whittington Road, Norton pleaded guilty to a string of offences of intentionally disturbing protected birds. On 1/11/05 the pair were handed six-week sentences suspended for two years and ordered to pay a £1,500 fine each as well as £750 each towards costs. On 3/10/05, two other men appeared with the Lingards and pleaded guilty to three offences of intentional disturbance of birds at a nest. Thomas Barrett of Lyttleton Avenue, Bromsgrove, was fined £1,000 for disturbing a golden eagle and was ordered to pay £750 costs. Alan Mark Porter of Holcroft Road, Stourbridge, was fined £1,000 per offence for disturbance of golden eagle and hen harrier. He was also ordered to pay £750 costs.

Clive Lingard Jonathon Lingard Alan Porter
Clive Lingard Jonathan Lingard Alan Porter

Alan Porter (48) of Holcroft Avenue, Wall Heath who admitted intentionally disturbing a hen harrier and a golden eagle was fined £2000 and was ordered to pay £750 costs. Thomas Barrett (68) of Lyttleton Avenue, Bromsgrove, was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay £750 costs after admitting disturbing a golden eagle.

Gregory Peter WhealGregory Peter Wheal (42) of the Bungalow Estate, Lady Lane, Longford, Coventry has been branded the country’s worst offender for stealing wild birds’ eggs. Police discovered 75 eggs in his latest haul when they searched his home. After hearing of his seven previous convictions, magistrates warned Wheal that he faced a jail sentence. Wheal admitted possession of 75 wild birds’ eggs along with keeping equipment capable of being used to collect them. His past fines total nearly £5,000 and cover seven offences. His convictions included one in 1996 when he was fined £1,000 after being found on the Isle of Mull with egg-blowing equipment which the RSPB believed was intended for use with golden eagle eggs. In 1994 he was fined £2,500 after being found in possession of eight whimbrel eggs on the Shetlands, and in 1990 he was found guilty of disturbing the nets of roseate terns and fined £300. On 12/1/06 Wheal was jailed for four months.


Two women were banned from caring for horses on 20/9/05 after being convicted of animal cruelty charges. Therese Prynne (33) of St John’s Road, Lowestoft, admitted causing unnecessary suffering to a horse and Michelle Randlesome(43) of Field View Drive, Lowestoft, was found guilty of permitting unnecessary suffering after denying the charge. At Lowestoft magistrates they were both disqualified from caring for horses, Randlesome was fined £750 with £500 costs and Prynne was fined £500 with £250 costs.

Michelle Doolan, of Rutland Road, Tyldesley, pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to a three-year-old Arab cross colt. She appeared before magistrates in Wigan on 3/10/05 and was told she must complete 150 hours of community punishment and pay a total of £500 and was also banned from keeping animals for 10 years.

Lee Howard (39) of Douglas Street, Middlesbrough, denied causing unnecessary suffering to 11 hens, 13 horses, four dogs and a rabbit. He is also charged with abandoning three dogs in circumstances likely to cause them unnecessary suffering. A pre-trial review will be held at Bishop Auckland magistrates 14/12/05.

An emaciated horse was left to starve by Rodney Johnston (46) of Third Avenue, Woodlands, South Yorkshire. Johnston then tried to delay his prosecution by falsely claiming relatives had died. But today the horse is back to full health with new owners in Wales after the RSPCA found it a new home. On 16/11/05 Johnston admitted causing unnecessary suffering to the animal, and was sentenced to a 240-hour community punishment order, banned from keeping horses for 10 years, and ordered to pay £3,081 costs. Johnston also pleaded guilty to an offence under the Bail Act and was ordered to carry out 50 hours of unpaid work, to run concurrently with his community punishment order.

Louise Hempleman-Adams (44) of Ashwicke, near Marshfield has been banned from keeping animals for two years after neglecting two ponies so badly they became lame. Fashion and luggage designer Hempleman-Adams appeared before Yate magistrates on 16/12/05 to admit two charges of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal. The hooves of the 2 ponies were allowed to grow so long they resembled Persian slippers, and both were forced to walk on their heels. Hempleman-Adams is the sister-in-law of explorer David Hempleman-Adams, was also fined £1,000, and ordered to pay £750 court costs. The ponies are now recovering at Horseworld at Whitchurch near Bristol.


Peter Dennis of Spennymoor, County Durham disturbed great crested newts and was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay £500 costs in March 2005. Despite advice from English Nature, Dennis went ahead and cleared a pond of weeds on land that he was developing.

In May 2004, the Norfolk Police and the RSPB raided a mansion in Hanworth, Norfolk and seized a large quantity of items, including taxidermy specimens, animal skins, birds’ eggs. Another further warrant was executed at an address near Leicester. At Norwich Crown Court on 7/7/05 Michael Barclay, a Company Director from Hanworth, Norfolk, pleaded not guilty to 26 charges. These included 10 charges relating to the purchase of more than 150 clutches of bird of prey eggs and the purchase of taxidermy specimens; 15 charges relating to the Fraudulent Evasion of Prohibition on the import of animals skins. John Charles Metcalf, a retired Magistrate from Long Lane, Billesdon, Leicestershire, pleaded not guilty to eight charges. A trial is due to start in February 2006.

On 9/9/05 former Paradise Wildlife Park director Steve Sampson was jailed for his part in an elaborate £1m landfill tax scam. Sampson (42) who lives at the zoo in White Stubbs Lane, Broxbourne was jailed for 2½ years along with William Hurley (55) a bankrupt from Cheshire, and disgraced former East Herts Council employee Andrew Watts (43) from Bishop’s Stortford. They were all found guilty of conspiracy to steal and forgery offences. Hurley got a further six months for acting as a director while banned. Paradise Wildlife Park accountant and auditor Salvatore Solazzo (45) of Ferney Road, Cheshunt, was acquitted.

Steven Harper (44) of Lower Alt Road, Hightown, admitted at North Sefton magistrates on 14/9/05 to contravening the Control of Trade in Endangered Species regulations put a snowy owl up for sale on ebay. The court heard he made £300 from selling the owl. Harper pleaded guilty to not having the necessary article 10 certificate required for the sale of an endangered species. He was granted a conditional discharge and ordered to pay £65.

A tractor company boss said by a Judge to have put the public at risk when he supplied unauthorised animal drugs to farmers has been jailed for six months. At Preston Crown Court on 3/10/05 Robert Hughes (39) of Brewer’s Barn, Netherbeck, North Road, Carnforth, pleaded guilty to two charges of possessing veterinary medicine products without authorisation and 17 counts of selling prescription only animal drugs without prescriptions. The court was told that Hughes had previous convictions in Scotland and Penrith for similar offences for which he received fines.

A Nottinghamshire couple has been banned for five years after admitting causing unnecessary suffering to two lizards at their Newark pet shop. Kevin Kelham (45) and his wife Julie (43) from Newark pleaded guilty at Newark magistrates in October to two charges of unnecessary suffering to a sand agama and a leopard gecko. The Kelhams kept the reptiles at All Pets pet shop in Cartergate, Newark, which they ran until about 12 months ago. However, magistrates heard that they still run a market stall selling reptile accessories and offering ‘advice’. The court also heard that Julie Kelham had received a five-year ban in the late 1980s for causing unnecessary suffering to a dog. The Kelhams were each fined £300 and ordered to pay a further £300 costs.

stanley thompsonOn 30/10/05 Stanley Thompson (28) from Whitehaven who performs as Sparky the Clown for Jolly’s circus was arrested following a clash with animal rights protesters. Members of the Manchester Animal Protection were handing out leaflets at the main entrance to the circus when Thompson pushed a camera into the face of one of the protesters. She was taken to the Royal Bolton Hospital with a minor injury to her mouth and bruising. Thompson was arrested and released with a caution after he admitted common assault. A second man, aged 20, another member of the circus, was also arrested and later given an £80 fixed penalty notice after he admitted a public order offence when he flicked a cigarette butt into the protesters.

Jason Allen (32), of Glen Road, West Cross, Swansea who is accused of causing unnecessary suffering to a baby monkey had the case against him adjourned on 1/11/05 at Swansea magistrates. Allen faces two charges for allegedly causing unnecessary suffering to a black capped capuchin monkey. The RSPCA claims that the monkey was forcibly separated from its mother at too early a stage. Magistrates granted an adjournment until 22/11/05.

Following a trial at St. Helens magistrates on 8/11/05 Bett Homes (Northwest) Ltd, were convicted of 2 offences against the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, Reckless disturbance of a water voles. Reckless destruction of shelters and places of safety of water voles. The company was fined £2,500 on each charge and ordered to pay £500 costs (total £5,500).

Two men behind Britain’s largest “black fish” scam were fined £90,000 on 16/11/05. John Duncan (57) and Jerry Ramsay (51) both from Ollaberry, Shetland netted £3.4million by fiddling their catch quotas. They landed an extra 7600 tons of North Sea mackerel and herring in Denmark without declaring them to fisheries officials. The fines, imposed at the High Court in Edinburgh, are on top of £495,000 each that prosecutors have already taken. Duncan, master of the Shetland-based Altaire, was fined £50,000 and Ramsay, the mate, was ordered to pay £40,000. They admitted flouting European Union fishing regulations.

A North Wales slaughterhouse was fined £ 8,000 on 17/11/05 after lambs were crushed to death in pens. A DEFRA vet spotted the dead animals when he visited Caernarfon Abattoir. He also saw that 15 sheep packed in another pen, waiting to be slaughtered, were badly bruised. There was also no drinking water for the animals. Caernarfon Abattoir managing director Graham Butt pleaded guilty to four offences of cruelty to animals. He was ordered to pay £2,000 costs.

On 1/12/05 10 captains – representing 90 per cent of Whitby’s fleet appeared at Hull Crown Court and where they were fined £122,800 for fiddling their books to hide the fact they were exceeding fishing quotas imposed by the European Commission to protect the North Sea’s dwindling stocks. They pleaded guilty to 55 charges of not recording accurate accounts. Among them was Arnold Locker who is the chairman of the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations. Individual fines ranged from £3,000 to £12,000.

mark rowlandMark Rowland (19) of Westgate, Hillborough, near Swaffham, Norfolk admitted 11 charges included advertising birds’ eggs and trying to sell a coyote skin as a wolf-skin rug. Rowland also admitted offences involving a stuffed black bear, buzzard, kestrel and owls. Swaffham magistrates sentenced Rowland to eight months jail suspended for two years and gave him 200 hours of community work on 2/12/05. He must pay costs of £225 and also accept the forfeiture of the specimens related to the charges. He had asked for a number of other offences to be considered. Magistrates were told that police raided Rowland’s home in April and found eggs, stuffed birds and animal skins.

Kevin David Lyons (40) of Baxter House, Winnington, Cheshire was jailed for 18 months for false imprisonment on 7/12/05 and police said they hoped the sentence would act as a warning to others. The incident happened when an RSPCA inspector visited Lyons’ home after receiving reports of cruelty to a dog. Lyons was physically threatening and held the inspector for 20 minutes before she persuaded him to release her.

Barry Haggerty (58) from Olney, Buckinghamshire was caught on CCTV repeatedly driving his car over a cat has been spared jail. Haggerty claimed he ran over the cat 11 times because he wanted to put it out of its misery. He pleaded guilty to a charge of animal cruelty and was sentenced by Milton Keynes magistrates on 22/12/05 to six weeks in prision, suspended for 52 weeks. He was also ordered to do 60 hours’ community service and to pay the prosecution costs of £4182.

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

A Farming couple who face animal cruelty charges have had their trial put back so they can find a new solicitor. Francis Beavis (63) and his wife Inger (61) of Hill Farm, Oxenton, each face 16 cruelty charges. Their trial should have begun at Gloucester magistrates on 14/9/05 but they turned up without representation. The trial was listed for a progress hearing at Gloucester magistrates on 28/9/05 when a trial date will be fixed.

William John Jones of Cwm Farm, Blaenycoed, was convicted on 20/9/05 of causing unnecessary suffering to his cattle and breaking a ban on keeping livestock. In May 2002, Jones was banned from keeping animals for 10 years and given a six-month suspended prison sentence, for allowing eight cows to die. In May 2003 Jones was found to be keeping cattle again. He served a six-month jail term for breaching the ban and also the suspended sentence. At Carmarthen magistrates they convicted Jones in his absence of breaching the ban again after more dead and dying animals were found at Cwm Farm in April 2005. Jones has now been made the subject of an arrest warrant by the courts. On 1/12/05 he failed to appear before town magistrates to be sentenced.

A farmer who starved sheep to death, leaving their bodies to rot, was fined £8,000 on 22/9/05. At Caernarfon magistrates Robert Arfon Hughes (48) of Braich y Big, Garndolbenmaen admitted five charges of animal cruelty plus allowing sheep carcases to rot on his fields. He also pleaded guilty to failing to dispose of rotting carcases. Hughes was ordered to pay £400 costs.

A couple were ordered to pay £3500 on 29/09/05 after keeping maggot-infested sheep on their farm. John Oldfield (35) and his wife Amanda (29) failed to provide sufficient food or water for their flock. The couple, of Low Road, Stowbridge, near Downham Market, pleaded guilty to charges of causing unnecessary distress to the animals, not disposing of carcases and 12 charges of cruelty. At Lynn magistrates both were each ordered to do 200 hours’ unpaid work in the community and pay £3,500 between them in compensation to the RSPCA. They are not allowed to keep sheep for five years, from 1/11/05.

A businessman convicted for a second offence of animal cruelty says his convictions had no relevance on his ability to operate a pig farm. Alfonso Luis, owner of Alfonso’s Catering Meats, said whatever happened in the past would not happen again. On 29/9/05 Luis was fined £800 and banned from keeping sheep for 12 months after pleading guilty in the magistrates court to failing to provide water for sheep. Luis was last year banned from keeping rabbits.

On 11/10/05 Thomas Morgan of 8 Bryn Wyre, Lledrod, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, appeared before Aberystwyth magistrates charged with causing unnecessary suffering to animals, failure to dispose of 29 sheep carcasses, and failure to maintain proper records. He pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to 5 sheep, failure to collect and dispose of 29 sheep carcasses, and failing to maintain proper veterinary medicine records. He was fined a total of £1300, and costs were awarded in the sum of £1250.

Farmer Martin Leigh (42) pleaded guilty to 23 charges relating to the management of Chads Farm in Tushingham. These included obstruction of inspecting officers, causing animals unnecessary suffering and failing to return the cattle passport of a deceased animal. He was also found to be in breach of ‘standstill’ regulations introduced in the wake of the foot and mouth crisis. On 14/10/05 magistrates handed Leigh the maximum 12-month sentence. A six-month sentence for breach of ‘standstill’ regulations will run concurrently.

Lee Howard (39) of Beaumont Road, North Ormesby, Middlesbrough was charged on 18/10/05 with cruelty five months after the discovery of almost 30 dead animals at a stable. Howard is accused of causing unnecessary suffering to 11 hens, 13 horses, four dogs and a rabbit. He is also charged with abandoning three dogs in circumstances likely to cause them suffering. Howard has been bailed to appear at Bishop Auckland magistrates’ on 9/11/05.

Julian Jones (42) of Broadmuir Croft, Turriff, Aberdeenshire, and Valerie Merson (43) of Mid Skeith, Deskford, Moray, are being prosecuted under the Welfare of Animals Transport Act for crimes allegedly committed during a journey between Carmarthenshire and Aberdeenshire. The pair are accused of failing to ensure they had the necessary documentation for a cargo that comprised 31 calves, six collie puppies, six bantam hens and an American kestrel. They are accused of carrying two of the calves in a trailer with sharp, protruding edges. The charge also states that neither the van nor the trailer had partitions to prevent the animals from being thrown about during the journey. They are also accused of transporting the animals by road over a distance of more than 30 miles without specific authorisation. Jones is further accused of being the transporter of the animals and failing to produce documentation to animal health and welfare inspector Karin McGivern. He faces a separate charge under the Protection of Animals Act in connection with the same journey. It alleges he breached an order banning him from keeping animals for life, imposed at Ceredigion Magistrates Court on March 23, 1999. The pair deny all charges. Jones did not turn up at court on 14/11/05 and the case was put off for a fortnight. It will call again at Aberdeen Sheriff Court on 28/11/05.

On 5/12/05 farmer James Wilson Gamble of Drumlee Road, Ballymoney, was convicted at Coleraine Magistrates Court on 2 December 2005 to three offences of providing false information and one offence of failing to maintain a herd record under Cattle Identification Legislation. Gamble was fined £600 plus £22 costs.

A West Devon farmer who already has a string of convictions for cruelty to animals was found guilty of 13 separate charges relating to animal welfare at his farms at Lydford and Bridestowe. On 8/12/05 magistrates at Cullompton found Richard Piers Brendon (53) of Luxmoor and Great Bidlake farms guilty of charges including cruelty to animals, failing to provide adequate dry bedding and failing to keep medical records. He was cleared of one charge of causing suffering to a Galloway cow. In 2004 Brendon was convicted of 26 charges of causing cruelty to his animals and fined £20,000 and has a record of similar convictions stretching back to 1993. Sentencing was adjourned until 16/1/06.


Two women have been charged on 1/9/05 with causing unnecessary suffering to more than 350 animals following a high-profile raid. Hundreds of dogs, cats, rabbits and guinea pigs were seized from a North Norfolk smallholding in one of the biggest ever operations in the country. The RSPCA confirmed that Elizabeth King (53) and Beryl Barker (72) both of Broadwood Close, Trimingham, near Cromer, will appear before Cromer magistrates on 30/9/05. King faces 44 charges of causing unnecessary suffering to 352 animals. Barker is accused of 42 counts of causing unnecessary suffering to the 133 dogs, 45 cats, 52 rabbits, and 122 guinea pigs.
Paul Hurley
Paul Hurley (20) of Cleator Moor, Cumbria let a four-month-old puppy starve to death in his empty flat was jailed for four months by Whitehaven magistrates on 1/9/05. Hurley was also banned from keeping animals for life. At an earlier hearing Hurley had admitted causing unnecessary suffering to the male lurcher dog.

A policeman who used a spade to kill a badly injured cat which had been run over in Stoke-on-Trent has been found not guilty of cruelty at Fenton magistrates on 5/9/05. The RSPCA brought the prosecution against Pc Jonathon Bell, who said he put the injured pet out of its misery by hitting it over the head four times.

Griffith ProsserMerthyr magistrates head how Griffith Prosser (35) from Aberfan amputated the front leg of dog. The pet had been hit by a car 10-months earlier injuring his front leg which eventually turned gangrenous. Prosser admitted causing unnecessary suffering and practicing veterinary surgery while unregistered and was been banned from owning a dog for 10 years. The dog has been confiscated into the care of the RSPCA who brought the prosecution against Prosser. The court heard on 9/9/05 Prosser bound up the dogs leg for 10 months. When the dog’s leg turned gangrenous, Prosser placed the dogs leg on a concrete block then used an unplugged electric saw and a hammer to cut off the infected leg. After cutting off the leg he cauterised the wound with an iron bar he heated on a gas stove. Prosser was made the subject of a hospital order under Section 37 of the Mental Health Act at a separate hearing at Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court. He had admitted an unrelated charge of assault and affray, when officers visited Prosser’s home in relation to the allegations concerning the dog.

A former slaughterman was jailed after stabbing and bludgeoning his dog to death in a drink and drug fuelled rage. Paul Stevenson (38) from Langwith Junction, North Nottinghamshire stabbed the dog 16 times with a butcher’s knife, then beat it repeatedly with an iron bar before dumping its lifeless body in a wheelie bin outside his home. Stevenson admitted animal cruelty and other unrelated charges at a hearing at Chesterfield magistrates on 23/9/05 and was jailed for six months.

A retired vet who kept her poodles in cramped cages with no food or water has lost her appeal against a 10-year ban on keeping animals. Elizabeth Rogers (71) of Euximoor Drove, Christchurch, near March, pleaded guilty in August to causing unnecessary suffering to eight dogs. Seven were found in small cages stacked on top of each other and the floors of the rooms were splattered with dirt and faeces. The sentence, imposed by Wisbech magistrates included an order to pay £3,700 costs. Their decision to ban Rogers from keeping animals for 10 years was upheld by Cambridge Crown Court on 26/9/05.

Dean Bostock (29) of Church Road, Northwich neglected his pets and caused one to die from starvation was jailed for six months on 5/10/05 after he admitted causing unnecessary suffering to an animal, breaching a community punishment order and failing to attend court without reasonable excuse when he appeared at Northwich magistrates. Magistrates jailed him for five months for causing unnecessary suffering to an animal and banned him from keeping a pet for 10 years. They revoked his community punishment order and resentenced him for the original two offences of driving while disqualified, for which he has to serve 14 days in custody. He was jailed for another 14 days for failing to surrender to court.

A mother and daughter were warned they both faced jail for keeping 120 cats and dogs in conditions of “appalling squalor” at their Yorkshire home. Edwina Ashworth (55) and Rachel Ashworth (31) of Low Marishes, near Pickering both appeared at Whitby magistrates on 8/10/05. Rachel Ashworth admitted 17 of 39 animal cruelty charges, Edwina Ashworth, who was not present, has also admitted 34 out of 39 similar offences. The RSPCA offered no evidence on the remaining 27 charges which were dismissed. Both were bailed to appear before Bridlington magistrates on 4/11/05 for sentencing.

A Norfolk woman has been sentenced to 28 days in prison and given a life ban from keeping animals after she was found guilty of neglecting 53 rabbits, 26 cats, four goats and four doves. Eunice Carlisle, aka Shania Argenta and Eunice Witcher, (50), from Great Massingham, appeared at King’s Lynn magistrates, she denied 39 charges of causing unnecessary suffering to animals and breaching a 12-year ban on keeping animals that was imposed in 1993. Co-defendant John McKay (65) pleaded not guilty to 38 charges, but magistrates rejected his claims and he was sentenced to a conditional discharge and a five-year ban from keeping animals for the same offences. The court also ordered the forfeiture of all 87 animals. Carlisle and McKay lodged an appeal against their convictions but both were dismissed.

On 8/10/05 George James Paterson (22) of Harris Crescent, Harraby, and his youth co-defendant, who cannot be named for legal reasons appeared before Carlisle magistrates jointly accused of causing unnecessary suffering to domestic cats. It is alleged that they committed the offence by failing to control a lurcher dog. Magistrates adjourned the case to 8/11/05 and granted both defendants unconditional bail.

Two West Cumbrian teenagers were in court on 13/10/05 charged with kicking a puppy to death. Anthony James Gunn(19) of Buttermere Avenue, Woodhouse, Whitehaven, and a 16-year-old from Cleator Moor appeared in front of West Allerdale magistrates. They both denied causing unnecessary suffering to a puppy. Gunn is currently in custody awaiting sentence for other matters. He appeared in court via videolink, where he also denied assaulting a woman, causing actual bodily harm. A further charge of breaching an anti-social behaviour order was withdrawn. Gunn and his co-accused had their case adjourned until 28/10/05, when they will appear in Whitehaven magistrates.

Two puppies had to be put down after they were starved by a cruel couple. Julie Oakley (38) and Terry Griffiths (19) were banned for life from keeping animals on 15/10/05 for causing unnecessary suffering to the pups and another dog. Griffiths was also ordered to do 50 hours community service while Oakley was fined £250. The pair, from Sawston, Cambs, were told to pay £207 costs by JPs.

Julie Oakley Terry Griffiths

Two dog owners face being banned from keeping animals after they were convicted of cruelty charges. Owen Evans (67) and Patricia Brookes of Bury Road, Bolton, allowed a huge tumour to grow on one of the front legs of their pet Alsatian, Bolton Magistrates heard on 15/10/05. The pair were not present in court and the case was proved in their absence. Melissa Fagan, prosecuting, said an RSPCA inspector was called to the house in March after a neighbour reported seeing a huge swelling on the dog’s leg. Sadly the dog had to be put down. They will sentenced on 11/11/05.John Fletcher (32) of Swinside Road, Breightmet, admitted letting his eight-year-old Rottweiler become emaciated. Sentencing was adjourned until 25/10/05.
Holly Thacker
Holly Thacker (34) killed the family’s cat by deliberately putting it in a washing machine was jailed for six weeks on 18/10/05 by Norwich magistrates. Thacker from Norwich placed the cat in the machine after claiming that it became vicious and lashed out at her. Thacker was also banned from keeping household pets for life and the sentence also includes one day in lieu of £675 in outstanding fines unrelated to the cruelty case.

Kenneth Grindlay (21) from Dunfermline cut the tail off his goldfish because he was “bored” has avoided jail. At Dunfermline Sheriff Court on 20/10/05 Grindlay was placed on two years’ probation for maiming the pet and throwing it back into its tank. Grindlay had earlier pled guilty to maiming the fish and causing it unnecessary suffering.

Robert WalkerA Plymouth man has been jailed for 21 days for being cruel to his pet dog – three months after a court gave it back to him. Robert Walker, from Hawkinge Gardens, Ernesettle, was found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to his dog. Walker had been banned from keeping animals for 10 years in 2004 but appealed and got the dog back. He said she kept disappearing and when she came back was “a bit of a mess”. ‘The RSPCA told Plymouth magistrates on 20/10/05 how they found the dog was underweight, had seven broken ribs, five broken teeth and scabs all over her head. Sadly the dog had to be put down. Walker, who had denied causing unnecessary suffering, was cleared of a charge of causing cruelty by torture by stubbing out cigarettes on the dog’s head. As well as being jailed for 21 days, Walker was again banned from keeping animals for 10 years. On 28/11/05 at Plymouth Crown Court a judge threw out Walkers appeal against his ban and increased the ban on keeping animals for life.

Police and RSPCA officers rescued two dogs from Brian Myers (40) of Aldam Street, Darlington house, Bishop Auckland magistrates heard on 26/10/05. Myers, admitted causing them unnecessary suffering by not giving one enough food and not providing veterinary care when the other broke its jaw. Magistrates asked for pre-sentence reports and adjourned the case until 23/11/05.

Lynda Snowden (55) of Crosby Street, Maryport, and her 32-year-old sister Claire, of Wood Street, Maryport, were convicted in July of causing unnecessary suffering to kittens They were fined £300 each and banned from keeping cats for ten years. At Carlisle Crown Court on 13/1/06 Claire Snowden succeeded in having her ban lifted. At the appeal, Claire Snowden said she needed her cats for company. She will now be allowed to keep up to four cats in her own flat.

Two dogs survived by eating their dead sister after being abandoned in a squalid house, a court heard on 15/11/05. Daniel Dearing (21) of Blackhall Colliery, near Hartlepool left the three six-month-old Staffordshire bull terriers without food, was jailed for tAmrik Bassiwo months by Peterlee magistrates. Dearing admitted causing unnecessary suffering.

A cruel Wolverhampton dog owner who went on the run after hurling a puppy 20ft across a concrete yard has been locked up for four months. Amrik Bassi fled from the city’s magistrates court just before he was due to be sentenced for the attack on the seven-month-old Yorkshire terrier. Amrik Bassi (39) of Talbot Road, Blakenhall, even tried to implicate his seven-year-old son with causing his puppy’s fractured leg, Wolverhampton magistrates heard on 15/11/05. The court heard how he hurled the puppy 20ft, clubbed it with a shoe, shouted at it in fits of rage and hit it with a mop. Bassi, who has previous convictions for violence, was banned from keeping animals for 10 years. Bassi, who pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering, originally denied the offence saying he was upstairs decorating. He was jailed for three months with one month from a previous suspended sentence.

A man who dropkicked a pet hamster as if it was a rugby ball has been sent to prison for 60 days. John Ackland (31) of Manor Road, Sherborne, Dorset, kicked the pet three metres through the air, Yeovil magistrates heard on 24/11/05. Sadly the hamster was so badly injured during the attack that vets were forced to put it down. Ackland pleaded guilty to a charge of cruelty to an animal at a previous hearing.

Brendan Fancis McMahon (37) from Tamarama, Sydney, New Zealand no longer faces a bestiality charge but must appear in court to decide whether he was mentally unwell when he allegedly killed 17 rabbits and a guinea pig. McMahon appeared in Sydney’s Downing Centre Local Court on 24/11/05.

Rachel AshworthAt Bridlington magistrates on 1/12/05 the court heard how Rachel Ashworth (31) kept dogs soaked in urine and surrounded by excrement at her North Yorkshire home. Ashworth was banned from keeping pets for ten years and given 200 hours’ community punishment. She had previously pleaded guilty to 17 counts of causing unnecessary suffering to animals. Edwina Ashworth has also pleaded guilty to 34 counts of causing unnecessary cruelty to animals, sentencing was adjourned to Scarborough magistrates on 18/1/05 pending medical reports. The good news is that new homes have been found for all the animals that had been in the house.

Christopher John Knapman (26) of Hometown, East Taphouse, Cornwall was jailed for 160 days by magistrates who heard how he threw a 14- month-old puppy against a wall, breaking both its back legs. The court in Liskeard heard on 2/12/05 that Knapman had earlier assaulted his partner, Donna Harvey after returning home from a late-night drinking session. Knapman admitted assaulting Harvey and the offence of cruelty to the dog, which, the court heard, had to be put down as a result of its injuries.

On 6/12/05 David Jordan (19) of Columbine Road, Ely and James Cole (19) of Marchwood, Southampton, were charged with abandoning a hamster in a manner likely to cause it suffering. They will appear at Ely magistrates court 17/1/06. They were charged with animal cruelty after a hamster was sent through the post.

Laura Cooper (20) of Bell Avenue, Longton, and Martin Dixon (22) of Rotterdam Road, Poolfields, Newcastle, both pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to a Staffordshire Bull Terrier cross-breed. Newcastle magistrates were told on 7/12/05 how the couple, now separated, failed to feed their dog and when the dog’s condition deteriorated they didn’t take the animal to a vet. Cooper was ordered to serve 150 hours community service, while Dixon was told to carry out 180 hours of unpaid work in the community. The pair were each ordered to pay £236.75 costs and were banned from caring for animals for 12 years.

John WalshJohn Walsh (55) of Low Row, near Brampton, Cumbria who is a puppy dealer has been found guilty of animal cruelty after leaving nine dogs in a car on a hot day. Walsh will be sentenced on 11/1/06. The court heard that Walsh had previously been convicted of animal cruelty and was fined £500 by a Scottish court in November 2003. He was also blamed for taking foot and mouth disease to Ireland in 2001 by smuggling infected sheep. He was jailed for three months for that offence. On 14/12/05 Weymouth magistrates found Walsh guilty of three charges of animal cruelty.


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