On 13/9/04 three men were given a lifetime ban from keeping dogs and each ordered to pay £1000 in costs after pleading guilty to disturbing a badger sett. Wayne Robert Hitchcock Senior (45) Wayne Robert Hitchcock Junior (21) both from Norwich Street, Derby and Ian William Hartley (29) of Thurlow Court, Oakwood, Derby, admitted the charge at an earlier hearing and then appeared at Derby Magistrates Court. As well as the ban and costs their dogs were confiscated. A youth, who cannot be named for legal reasons also pleaded guilty for offences under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992 at Derby Youth Court the previous week and was given a three-month referral order and a five-year disqualification from keeping a dog. A member of the public had tipped off police that the men were digging at a sett. Police officers were dispatched along with a police helicopter which hovered overhead and followed the group back to a layby where their car was. Police were waiting for them at the layby. Two Patterdale terrier type dogs were later recovered shortly afterwards and taken to the vets by the RSPCA. Both were injured, one seriously. The dogs had transmitters on their collars and the men were discovered with locator devices on them. The judge also ordered them each to pay £1,000 costs at a rate of £10 a fortnight. (HOW MUCH!!!)
On 28/9/04 Leslie Fowell (34) of Rock Ferry, Merseyside was sentenced to 12 weeks imprisonment at Wirral magistrates for eight offences under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992 (four offences of cruelly ill-treating a badger and four offences of willfully injuring a badger). He was also disqualified from keeping dogs for two years. The offences came to light this year when officers were investigating an incident near to a badger sett. Fowell was arrested at his home and during a search of it the police found still photographs and video-tapes showing his Staffordshire Bull terrier and other dogs fighting with badgers. The tapes showed several savage and prolonged attacks by the dogs on badgers. The video also showed the badgers being attacked at night and illuminated by high-powered lamps. When interviewed Fowell admitted that he was present with his dog during all the attacks.
Three men were arrested in Rossendale on 12/10/04 on suspicion of animal cruelty following a joint operation between Pennine police and the RSPCA designed to tackle suspected badger baiting. The three men, a 63-year-old from Whitworth, a 57-year-old from Harrogate and a 43-year-old from Nelson, were arrested following the execution of a police warrant at an address in Whitworth. The warrant was executed as part of Operation Imperial and involved six RSPCA staff and around 20 police officers. The arrests are the third set of badger baiting related arrests this year in the Pennine area; 11 people have already been dealt with by officers following similar operations in Rossendale and Pendle. The three men have been released on police bail and 10 dogs which were seized have been taken to an undisclosed location.
Lucy Ferry admitted her part in the pro-bloodports demonstration in London on 15/9/04. She was given a 12-month conditional discharge at Bow Street magistrates on 21/9/04 after admitting obstructing the traffic. Ferry, who was also ordered to pay £40 court costs. Jackie Coward (18) girlfriend of Ferry’s son Otis, pleaded guilty to the same charge and also received a conditional discharge and was order to pay court costs. Magistrates heard how at 6am on the day of the Countryside Alliance protest in Parliament Square, police were in the process of setting up cordons. As a police carrier came to a set of red lights, two vehicles appeared to park up at the lights. The defendants got out of the cars. They walked away so that when the lights turned green, the carrier was unable to proceed. She said when police spoke to the two women, they refused to move their cars. Coward said: “We were making a political statement and I was quite shocked at what happened. I’m surprised I have had to come back down here. I am a poor student from up in Newcastle”. Coward admitted that her car had been blocking the highway.
On 25/9/04 an 18-year-old man from Castleford was arrested in connection with an incident and in which a schoolboy was shot in the head in an area popular with lampers. On 27/9/04 three more men, 60, 44 and 25, were arrested on suspicion of attempting to pervert the course of justice. The youngster was walking close to a golf course near Castleford with his father when he was shot.
At Tower Bridge magistrates on 29/9/04 a bloodsports supporter who took part in the demonstration outside Parliament on 15 /9/04 swore and spat at police who tried to move him out of the road. Brett Parsons (31) from Stickle Ball Hill Farm, Sticklynch, Glastonbury, Somerset admitted threatening behaviour and obstructing the highway and was ordered to carry out 75 hours unpaid community work and fined £75. Parsons, Parsons was also told to pay £50 towards prosecution costs.
Holderness police seized a vehicle and spoke to five men following allegations of illegal hare coursing, after a crackdown on the practice in the Holderness area on 30/9/04. Officers have spoken to five men from Lancashire and Manchester after a tip-off from members of Farmwatch. They were found on land at Owstwick, near Burton Pidsea, and are thought to have been hare coursing. Police talked to the men and confiscated their Volkswagen Transporter vehicle, which will be stored until the inquiry is concluded.
The case against 12 men charged with running an illegal dog fight was adjourned at Nass District Court on 7/10/04. The case was adjourned until 17/11/04. The alleged offences are said to have occurred at Broclagh, Roberstown, Co.Kildare. The men have all been charged under the Cruelty to Animals Act 1911. They are: Anthony Burke, Corstown, Oldcastle Co.Meath, Richard Bernard, Dark Road, Castletown Carlow, Troy Jordan, River Road, Allenwood Co.Kildare, James Ferris, Allenwood South, Co.Kildare; Richard Somerville, Dunard Drive, Navan Road Carlow; Paul Malone, Dunmore Lawn, Tallaght, Co.Dublin; Karl Bree, Nangor Crescent, Clondalkin, Co.Dublin; John Moody, Coolamber Crescent, Templogue, Co.Dublin; Thomas Codd, Cloonmore Crescent, Tallaght, Co.Dublin; David Deegan, Maplewood Park, Springfield, Tallaght, Co.Dublin; Michael Quinn, Slieve Bloom Road, Drimagh, Co.Dublin and Joseph Blake, Loreto Avenue, Rathfarnham,Co.Dublin
Two bloodsports supporters who dumped animal carcasses (see below) in the street during the Labour Party conference pleaded guilty at Brighton magistrates on 20/10/04 to breaching the Public Order Act. Stuart Trousdale (33) from Gatcombe is the huntsman of the Isle of Wight Foxhounds and James Butcher (39) of Ashley Road in Ryde, horrified local residents by unloading two dead calves and a cow from a pick up truck near the conference venue in Brighton. They pleaded guilty to breaching the Public Order Act through threatening and disorderly behaviour. Their defence claimed they are not hooray Henrys, out to make a point. They are hard-working members of their community. “They are countrymen who feel that, as they see it, their way of life is under threat. “This is a crime of passion.” Both regretted any upset they had caused. Trousdale, who earns £10,000 a year, was fined £80 and ordered to pay costs of £70. Butcher was fined £167 and ordered to pay £70 costs.
Jonathan Broise (46) of London Road, Petworth was accused of riding his horse at a hunt saboteur and breaking her shoulder has been cleared. Broise who is the huntsman with the Chiddingfold, Leconfield and Cowdray Hunt, denied a charge of actual bodily harm. On 27/10/04 the defence successfully argued there was no case to answer and the jury at Hove Crown Court was ordered to return a not guilty verdict. It had been claimed that Broise had pushed a 60-year-old hunt saboteur, out of the way at a meet in September 2003.
On 12/11/04 seven men were convicted of a charge in relation to hare coursing. They were found guilty of entering a St Osyth farm to pursue daytime game by a district judge after a two-day trial at Chelmsford magistrates. After the verdict was delivered, their solicitors announced they will all lodge appeal notices. Lee Ambrose(35) of Hovefield Avenue, Basildon, Walter Buckley (35) of Fenton Road, Braintree, Thomas Harbour (48) of Acacia Road, Basildon, Tom Harbour (22) of Grange Road, Pitsea, Joe Lee (43) of Cranham Hall Site, Little Waltham, and Leonard Lowe (21) of Howefields in Wickford, all denied charges of entry to pursue daytime game and jointly using dogs to kill game. The judge found there was no case to answer for any of the defendants on the charge of jointly using dogs to kill game, and threw it out. Billy Broomfield (19) of Dunmow Road, Braintree, had admitted jointly using dogs to kill game. He denied a charge of entry to pursue daytime game along with the others but was also convicted. A charge of careless driving against him was thrown out. Thomas Harbour had denied a further charge of driving a car off-road, but was convicted. Each defendant, apart from Broomfield, was ordered to pay a fine of £100, with a contribution to costs of £150. Broomfield wa told that because of his guilty plea, he would be fined £50 for jointly using dogs to kill game, and issued no separate penalty for the offence he was convicted of. He must also pay £150 towards costs. All the men were told they could pay their fines at a rate of £5 a week, but the fines will be suspended once the appeal notices are formally lodged.
A farmer who ran over an illegal hare courser has been cleared of deliberately trying to injure him. John Hoyle suffered a damaged vertebrae and shoulder after he was knocked over the farmer on his land near Sleaford, Lincs. Hoyle who admitted trespassing, told Lincoln Crown Court on 19/11/04 that the farmer “tried to kill” him. But the jury found the farmer not guilty after he insisted he braked but could do nothing to avoid a collision. Hoyle and a friend had travelled from their homes in Manchester to hunt hares.
Chester racecourse boss Richard Thomas – a master of the Cheshire Hunt – had to intervene when a fight broke out at a hunt ball. Police are investigating the alleged assault in front of 500 guests in which a man got punched on the nose, causing it to stream with blood and security guards piled in to form what one onlooker called ‘a rugby scrum’. Thomas, who at first denied a brawl had occurred, later explained that two of his fellow hunt supporters had been involved in a fracas. Thomas said he was walking past at the time and grabbed the alleged perpetrator by the arm before security guards took over. The man was unceremoniously ejected and is believed to have taken a taxi home. When first asked whether a fight had taken place Thomas, who lives in Churton, said: ‘I don’t think so.’ But later he admitted that he was concerned about attracting bad publicity. He said: ‘Chief executive in fight at racecourse would be an absolute disaster! Alleged victim Douglas Thompson (40) from Great Barrow, a former master of the Vale of Lune Harriers, whose shirt was covered in blood, has complained to police about what took place.
At Sudbury magistrates on 8/12/04 Matthew Giles (25) of Stovolds Hill, Cranleigh, Surrey; Joe Kerry (28) of Gurney Road, Norwich; Matthew Wenham (20) Ellens Green, Horsham; Edward Lee (21) of Parkers Lane, Bracknell, Berkshire; Alfred Kerry (29) of Stovolds Hill, Cranleigh, Surrey; and Wesley Butcher (30) of Stovolds Hill, Cranleigh, Surrey, all pleaded guilty to trespass in search of game. They all took part in an illegal hare coursing event at Great Barton, near Bury St Edmunds. During the hearing Butcher said: “We have all got rid of our dogs and now we know it is illegal we are sorry. We will not be doing it again.” All six were fined £100 and ordered to pay £20 in court costs.
VANCOUVER – On 7/11/04 a trial date of 25/3/05 was set for Eduardo J. Ribaya, a Vancouver man linked with dogfighting. Ribaya (52) is charged with five misdemeanors stemming from a raid at his home. The charges include possessing animal-fighting equipment and keeping an unlicensed kennell, and three counts of keeping unlicensed animals. Ribaya was convicted of 1995 dogfighting charges in California. Acting on a tip, Vancouver police raided Ribaya’s rental farm house on Port of Vancouver property looking for signs of animal fighting. Seized items included a stick thought to be used to pry open a dog’s mouth in a fight, veterinary medicines for wound treatment, a suturing kit and photos of dogfighting. Officers also found 21 pit bulls, including five puppies.
On 25/11/04 four police officers were injured and three bloodpsorts supporters were arrested during a protest outside an hotel where a Labour Party dinner was being held. Eggs were thrown during the confrontation at the Holland House Hotel and a Welsh MP claimed he received homophobic insults. “At one stage, missiles were thrown and previously unseen levels of aggression were shown to police officers. The Rhondda MP said he received homophobic insults. “When I was trying to come in there were a large number of people shouting very unpleasant homophobic stuff at me”. “One of the police officers was from an Asian family and she had all sorts of racist taunts. “The irony was that people were carrying banners that said, ‘Fight prejudice’.
A hunter was jailed on 3/12/04 for having an illegal shotgun to shoot foxes. Darren Burton (35) of Fairwater, Cardiff had the shotgun pistol and ammunition hidden in his car. The court heard police searched the vehicle after he was arrested on suspicion of drink driving. Burton had gone to Fairwater Police Station in Cardiff to give cigarettes to a relative in the cells. Police smelled alcohol on his breath and arrested him but he told them he wanted to move his car somewhere safer because there was a gun in boot. The court heard how Burton was “keen on outdoor pursuits” and used an air rifle to hunt rabbits on a farm near his home. A situation arose that when Burton was shooting rabbits he saw an owl being taken by a fox. “He decided to kill the foxes in the area and was given this weapon by a man he knew.” Burton admitted possessing a prohibited firearm and ammunition. The judge jailed Burton for two years.
A huntsman from the Buccleuch Foxhounds was cleared of deliberately using a pack of hounds to hunt foxes in breach of anti-hunting legislation. Trevor Adams(46) from Melrose denied the charge and claimed the hounds were used to “flush” out foxes so they could be shot. The sheriff at Jedburgh on 10/12/04 ruled that the dogs were not out of control at any time. At an earlier hearing, the sheriff was told that a tenant farmer had refused Adams’ Fox Control Service entry to his land at Courthill.
A Derbyshire police spokeswoman said that a 63-year-old man was arrested and cautioned for a public order offence after he verbally abused a hunt saboteur in the presence of a police officer. The offence followed a meet of The High Peak Hunt at King Sterndale, Derbyshire on 11/12/04. A police spokeswoman also said: “A victim reported threats of physical violence and, while an officer was taking a report from the victim, the alleged offender appeared and continued the verbal abuse.” “The man, from the Hartington area, was warned by the officer to behave but continued with the abuse.”
A gamekeeper was fined on 15/12/04 after being caught with a deadly poison which has been used to kill rare birds of prey. David Stewart (39) of Taymist, Ballinluig, Perthshire was fined £1200 after he was found to have two hazardous chemicals. Stewart, who runs shooting parties, admitted illegally storing alpha chloralose in his car and Cymag in his unlocked garage. Chloralose has been used to kill thousands of birds, including golden eagles, kestrels and buzzards, in recent years. Two tins of Cymag were found in Stewart’s garage. The chemical, which gives off a lethal gas, has been used to clear mole and rabbit holes but will be banned at the end of the year.
Eight bloodsports supporters appeared at Bow Street magistrates on 21/12/04 in connection with a hunting protest inside the House of Commons. They all pleaded not guilty to disorderly conduct charges under Section 5 of the Public Order Act. The men were given unconditional bail to return in January. They were Otis Ferry (22) of Keeper’s Cottage, Eaton Mascott, Shrewsbury. Ferry is also the joint master and huntsman of the South Shropshire Foxhounds. Luke Tomlinson(27) of Down Farm, Westonbirt, Gloucestershire, who is a friend of princes William and Harry. David Redvers (34) of Corsend Farm, Hartpury, Gloucestershire; Richard Wakeham (36) of Alma Terrace, York; Nicholas Wood (41) of Bowden Park, Lacock, Wiltshire; John Holiday (37) of Ledbury Kennels, Bromesberrow, Herefordshire. Holiday is also the huntsman of The Ledbury Foxhounds; Robert Thame (35) of Piper’s Cottage, Paley Street, Maidenhead, Berkshire, Thame also hunts with the Bicester and Whaddon Chase Hunt; and Andrew Elliot (42) of Laurel Cottage, Allbright Lane, Bromesberrow, Herefordshire, Elliot rides with the Ledbury Foxhounds.
The ex-owner of an owl sanctuary has been given 240 hours community service and told to pay £10,000 after being found guilty of wildlife offences. Bruce Berry (63) was convicted in September, after being exposed in an undercover BBC documentary. A jury at Southampton Crown Court heard on 6/10/04 how he sold and displayed endangered birds illegally and stole a falcon. A BBC investigation also revealed mistreatment of birds at his New Forest Owl Sanctuary in Ringwood. Berry was ordered to pay £5,000 costs for both the defence and the prosecution and was given the maximum length of community service. He was given 80 hours for the theft of the saker falcon and 80 hours, to run consecutively, for selling two marsh harriers without a licence, one of which died. He was also given 80 hours, to run concurrently, for selling a tawny owl for £80 without a licence. He was also sentenced to 80 hours consecutive for displaying tawny owl chicks without a licence and 80 hours concurrent for displaying tortoises without a licence. The court heard that Berry ordered staff not to try to find the falcon’s owner when it was handed in to the sanctuary after being found by a member of the public. At his trial, Berry who pleaded not guilty was convicted of a total of five counts, but cleared of releasing barn owl chicks into the wild and using false documents to obtain licences. The New Forest Owl Sanctuary closed in July 2003 and has since reopened under new ownership.
Julian Rous (35) of Mill Road, Maldon was banned for life from keeping animals after the carcasses of more than 30 starved birds were found in an aviary at his home. Chelmsford magistrates heard on 4/10/04 that Rous told RSPCA inspectors he had “lost interest” in the birds, and despite noticing some of the birds were dying because of a lack of food and water, had done nothing about it. The court heard the birds would have suffered a long, drawn-out death because of their treatment. Rous admitted four counts of causing unnecessary suffering to animals. As well as the life ban, Rous was given an 120-hour community punishment order and ordered to pay £650 costs.
On 26/10/04 a pigeon fancier was charged by police after bird traps used to catch wild hawks were allegedly found in his back garden. The six traps were allegedly used to illegally catch the birds of prey and then kill them. One of the traps was found baited with live wild and exotic finches, which are typically used to capture sparrowhawks, a protected species. Wildlife crime officers from Lothian and Borders Police found the traps after a tip-off led them to search the house near Haddington, East Lothian. Police said the man, believed to be in his late 40s, will be reported to the procurator fiscal for various offences under the Wildlife and Countryside Act as well as the Protection of Animals Act.
Two farmers were banned from owning horses for five years after magistrates found them guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to ponies. David Phillips (70) and his nephew Arthur Phillips (57) both of Heathcock Farm, Cwm Tysswg, Tredegar, allowed ponies to suffer due to a lack of care Abertillery magistrates heard on 29/10/04. They were both convicted of two counts of causing unneccessary suffering to two ponies, and Arthur Phillips was convicted of three counts of terrifying ponies in a barn. Magistrates heard how Phillips was seen screaming and waving his hands at three ponies in a barn, terrifying them. David Phillips was fined a total of £1,000 and Arthur Phillips a total of £500. They were both disqualified from owning equines for five years and deprived of both ponies impounded by the RSPCA. The sentences were suspended for 21 days to allow both men to appeal.
A former champion show jumper and a pony owner was cleared of cruelty charges to a bay mare. The part-Arab pony was put down after a fall in a charity ride. North Avon magistrates cleared Robert Rowsell of Pontypridd, south Wales, now a top trainer, of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal on 8/11/04. The owner Laura Ashelford also of Pontypridd, was found not guilty of permitting the pony to be subjected to cruelty. The pony, Fanta, fell and split its skull after a 10-mile charity ride at the Beaufort Estate in Badminton, Gloucestershire. Ashelford had admitted using a lunge whip on the pony Fanta when she refused to go into her horsebox after the ride. Rowsell denied using a blue pipe to beat the pony. A witness said the pony reared up and fell to its left-hand side striking its head on a horsebox.
A pony was in a poor state when he was examined by RSPCA inspectors in a field near East Boldon. His hooves were so long they were curling up at the toe and “looked like clogs”, South Tyneside magistrates were told on 30/11/04. Olga and Angus Airey both 41 of King George Road, South Shields, admitted cruelty to the animal. They were fined £1,619 each and disqualified from keeping a horse for five years. The good news is that the pony was taken into care and thousands of pounds have been spent to restore him to health and he is now to be re-homed.
Ernest Horsfield was jailed for three months on 20/12/04 and disqualified from owning any animal for life after keeping three horses cooped up in a farm outbuilding for almost five years. Ernest Horsfield (66) of Greenbury Farm near South Cowton admitted animal cruelty charges over the effective imprisonment of the horses, which were never allowed out for exercise. One stallion’s hooves grew to up to 20 inches, so long that it struggled to walk. Magistrates at Northallerton heard that the three animals were also left without clean bedding, and were found by inspectors from the RSPCA with little else in the stable but their own manure. Horsfield’s daughter Deborah (39) also pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to the animals. She was sentenced to 200 hours of community service and was banned from owning any animal for life. She was ordered to pay £750 costs. Sadly the two mares had to be put down. However the remaining horse is being cared for at an RSPCA centre, and officials hope to find him a new home when he is fully recovered.
Three counts of animal cruelty have been filed against a laboratory animal supplier accused of negligent care for three chimpanzees at Holloman Air Force Base. The District Attorney filed the charges on 7/9/04 against Charles River Laboratories Incorporated, which is based in Wilmington, Massachusetts. Also named as defendants are the company’s president and the chief veterinarian at the Alamogordo Primate Facility, which the company manages at Holloman. A criminal complaint alleges two chimps died in late 2002. The complaint also alleges a third chimp was wounded and later recovered.
On 16/9/04 a former Shropshire zoo manager sacked for selling monkeys dismissed allegations that he intended to smuggle animals to Spain. Stephen Riley (48) barricaded himself in his flat for 23 days with two wallabies and 14 tortoises when he was dismissed from his job as animal manager at Tropiquaria tourist attraction, Watchet, Somerset. An employment tribunal in Exeter heard how Riley had built up a huge personal collection of exotic animals, including rare snakes, a tamarind monkey and a meercat. Judgment was reserved and the parties were told they would be informed of the decision by post.
A Shropshire company and its directors have been fined more than £8,500 with almost £2,000 in costs for breaking animal welfare regulations. Highbury Poultry Farm Produce Ltd of Manor House Lane, Higher Heath and directors Kevin Sketcher and Simon Worsnop were fined on 27/9/04 at Market Drayton magistrates. They were fined £600 for the first offence regarding welfare of animals regulations. DEFRA claimed the company caused suffering to animals, two live birds, by discarding them in a bin of “dead” animals. The other charge was that Highbury Poultry failed to ensure people involved were acquainted with the provision of the legislation and for this the company was fined £3,000 and ordered to pay £1,000 costs. The same two charges were also admitted by the company directors who were each fined £2,500 and ordered to pay £475 costs.
Two Cumbrian teenagers are facing jail sentences after they butchered a sheep for dog meat. it was brutally killed by having its nose cut off and throat slit. The pair from Longtown were on trial at Carlisle magistrates on 2/10/04 charged with causing unnecessary suffering to sheep after 21 animals were found dead in a field. The teenagers, aged 15 and 17 at the time of the offence, were warned by magistrates that a jail term would be considered when they return for sentencing on 3/11/04. A farm labourer was cautioned earlier this year after he admitted his part in the slaughter.
OAKLAND – San Leandro’s former “sausage king” was declared guilty as charged on 24/10/04 with murdering three meat inspectors at his family-founded San Leandro linguisa plant. At Alameda County Superior Court the panel found Stuart Alexander (43) guilty of the first-degree murders of three U.S. Department of Agriculture compliance officers. Jurors also found Alexander guilty of trying to shoot dead a state food inspector who dodged Alexander’s bullets as he sprinted from the now-defunct linguisa plant. Alexander murdered the government agents as retaliation for, or to prevent them from, doing their jobs, jurors concluded after nearly six months of hearing testimony and evidence.
A retired North Devon poultry farmer was fined after admitting using illegal gin traps to protect poultry on his smallholding, and crushing a hedgehog trapped in one of the devices. Paul Baker (44) from Chasty, near Holsworthy pleaded guilty to setting gin traps to snare foxes that he believed were killing his birds. Barnstaple magistrates heard how an RSPCA Inspector discovered two gin traps when he visited Baker’s farm. One of the traps had caught a hedgehog, which although still alive was so badly injured it had to put it to sleep to prevent the animal suffering further. Baker was charged with crushing a hedgehog. He was fined £350 and ordered to pay costs of £200.
A zoo where a keeper died after he was struck several times by an elephant was fined £25,000 on 29/11/04. Elephant keeper Richard Hughes died following the incident at Chester Zoo. Hughes suffered brain damage after being hit by a 30-year-old cow elephant. Professor Gordon Reid, director of the North of England Zoological Society, which runs Chester Zoo, admitted at Chester Crown Court that the law on health and safety had been broken.
A founder member of an equine welfare charity has admitted to stealing £48,000 from the charity’s funds Brenda Wilks of the Essex Horse and Pony Society is awaiting trial after being prosecuted for embezzling £48,000 from the Pitsea-based charity more than two years ago. Wilks a one-time trustee of the rehabilitation centre, is set to appear in court at Basildon on 8/12/04 and has already pleaded guilty to the charges. Her husband Alan Wilks is also alleged to have received money from the charity.
Mark Inglis (22) from Tranent killed a pet rabbit with a crossbow bolt will have to wait to find out if he will be jailed. Inglis who worked at an animal testing lab at the time admitted fatally wounding the pet, which belonged to a neighbour, after shooting it in the leg with a crossbow while out hunting wild rabbits. Inglis was out at night looking for wild rabbits to kill with his new crossbow when he opened fire on the domestic rabbit. After shooting the animal, he wrenched the bolt out of its injured leg. Its shocked owners found it lying injured the following morning and it died the next day. On 15/12/04 at Haddington Sheriff Court a judge deferred sentence on Inglis after calling for background reports. Some good news is that Inglis has lost his job with pharmaceutical company Inveresk, where he worked with animals, as the result of the offence.
A man who tried to sell an alligator from the boot of his car in an Edinburgh car park has pleaded guilty to animal cruelty offences. Anthony Quinn (34) of Kirkgate House, Constitution Street kept the animal in the bath of his flat on the 15th floor of a tower block in Leith, was caught after trying to sell the creature to undercover police officers. On 22/12/04 at Edinburgh Sheriff Court Quinn pleaded guilty to keeping a dangerous wild animal in his flat without having a licence. He also admitted causing it unnecessary suffering by failing to keep it in the proper conditions, and to culpable and reckless conduct by endangering others. The Sheriff deferred sentence on Quinn for social inquiry and community service reports.
Farm Animals (Guardians Of The Land – My Arse!!!)
A farmer escaped prison but was fined after admitting to animal cruelty and ignoring a ban on keeping sheep. Joseph Scott of Wedgewood Road, Flimby was told by West Allerdale and Keswick magistrates on 9/9/04 that his record on animal welfare was appalling and he could have gone to jail. Scott pleaded guilty to six charges including causing unnecessary suffering to an animal and failing to properly dispose of animal carcasses, was given a ten-year ban on keeping sheep in October last year for similar offences at Allanby Farm. In 1997 he was prosecuted for mistreating five bullocks and in 1999, he was banned from keeping cattle while in 2000 he was fined for failing to bury animal carcasses. Magistrates fined him a total of £2,000 for all the offences. He was also ordered to pay £300 in costs.
A farmer and his sister were fined £1,400 for transporting sheep which were unfit to travel. Oldham council took legal action against William Lumb and Valerie Lumb, also known as Valerie Wimpenny, after a slaughterhouse vet asked welfare officers to inspect the animals. Oldham magistrates were told on 16/9/04 that one of the ewes was in such a poor condition that it was unable to stand. It had advanced foot rot and a claw from one of its feet was missing. All three were slaughtered and disposed of on animal welfare grounds. William Lumb, of Whitfield Dairy Farm, Smallbrook Road, Shaw, and Valerie Lumb, of Lowerfields Rise, Shaw, both admitted causing a sheep to be transported when unfit, causing it unnecessary suffering. William Lumb also admitted failing to provide a movement licence for the sheep, brought in after the foot-and-mouth crisis in 2001. Magistrates were told that the Lumbs’ company is Whitfield Dairy Farm Ltd, where Valerie Lumb is the major shareholder.
A farmer has been fined £3000 for failing to provide adequate food and veterinary care after more than 150 of his livestock starved to death. A large number of animals were still alive but, despite urgent veterinary attention, many subsequently died. Andrew McQuaker of Maybole, south Ayrshire keeps about 800 sheep and 80 cattle, pled guilty at Ayr Sheriff Court on 13/10/04 to charges of failing to dispose of animal carcasses, failing to apply for cattle passports and failing to provide adequate food and prompt veterinary care for his livestock.
On 6/12/04 a retired North Devon poultry farmer was fined after admitting using illegal gin traps to protect poultry on his smallholding, and crushing a hedgehog trapped in one of the devices. Paul Baker (44) from Chasty, near Holsworthy pleaded guilty to breaching the Pests Act 1954 by setting gin traps to snare foxes that he believed were killing his birds.
A worker at a poultry farm where thousands of dead and dying birds were discovered has been found guilty of animal cruelty. Ian Raw (41) of Moor View, Cockfield, County Durham, was found guilty of 13 charges relating to the welfare of chickens at the former Gibson’s Poultry Packing Plant, in Cockfield. The owner of the plant, Fazal Kamal Dad, of Bleak Terrace, Cockfield, failed to appear at Bishop Auckland magistrates on 17/12/04 and a warrant was issued for his arrest. When the farm was raided more than 2,000 dead, dying and diseased birds were found. The birds were bred to be slaughtered after seven weeks, but some had been left to over-develop and their legs had buckled under the weight of their bodies. Raw denied all the charges, which included failure to provide adequate accommodation and care for the birds. He was given a six-month discharge and ordered to pay £75 costs.
Jerry Allen Bradford (37) of Pensacola, was charged with felony animal cruelty, the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office said on 7/9/04. Bradford was being treated at an undisclosed hospital for the gunshot wound to his wrist. Bradford said he decided to shoot the 3-month-old puppies in the head because he couldn’t find another home for the shepherd-mix dogs. He was holding two puppies, one in his arms and another in his left hand, when the dog in his hand wiggled and put its paw on the trigger, making the gun discharge (Poetic Justice). The revolver and a rifle were seized from the home. Deputies found three of the puppies in a shallow grave outside Bradford’s home. The other four appeared to be in good health and were taken by Escambia County Animal Control.
Paul Lovie of Rose Street, off Haxby Road York stormed the RSPCA’s York headquarters with a sawn-off air rifle and a samurai sword has been banned from keeping dogs for 12 months. York magistrates heard on 10/9/04 Lovie had been discussing symptoms of illness in his Jack Russell terrier with a vet. He was told a home visit would cost £200. During the phone conversation, Lovie said he would take a pickaxe to the terrier to end her sufferings. That prompted the vet to call in the authorities, and an RSPCA inspector took the terrier from Lovie’s home in Rose Street, off Haxby Road, because she was in pain. The court heard that the terrier sadly died later in RSPCA care. Lovie pleaded guilty to animal neglect by not getting treatment over a four-day period and was given a 12-month conditional discharge and a 12-month ban from keeping dogs. He is also serving a 15-month jail sentence for offences committed when he went to the RSPCA’s Landing Lane.
On 21/9/04 Dean Brayson of Fillingham Close, Chelmsley Wood was sent to prison for three months and banned from owning animals for the next ten years by Birmingham magistrates. Brayson pleaded guilty to cruelly kicking a dog, causing it unnecessary suffering. The court heard the the dog had been kicked repeatedly, breaking four of its ribs and causing fragments to puncture its lung. Internal bleeding resulted in the dog being unable to breathe.
Part-time fireman Tony Wain was banned from keeping animals for 10 years on 8/10/04, after his dog almost starved to death. Derby magistrates heard that the boxer, was left starving in a flat where it howled for most of a weekend. Police broke into the premises, where there was no dog food or water. Tony Wain (27) of Church Street, Alfreton, was ordered to pay £2,035 costs and ordered to carry out 160 hours’ community work. At an earlier hearing, he was found guilty in his absence of causing unnecessary suffering to a dog. The good news is that the dog has since recovered and has now been found a new home
SANTA ANA, California (AP) On 8/10/04 James Abernathy (43) who beheaded a German shepherd he had named for his girlfriend was sentenced to 25 years to life under the state’s three-strikes law. Abernathy was convicted in June of felony animal cruelty for killing the dog, named Marie, after a fight with his girlfriend. Abernathy would have faced a maximum of six years if not for two prior convictions in 1986 for assault with a deadly weapon. He must serve at least 20 years before he becomes eligible for parole.
Edward Donaghey cut tails off puppies with scissors to make more money selling them. The dog trader carried out the practice for years before he was caught by the RSPCA. The only anaesthetic he used when docking the tails off the five terrified Jack Russell puppies was baking flour. Now Edward Donaghey(43) of Evistones Gardens, Walker, Newcastle, has been banned from keeping dogs after admitting three animal cruelty charges when he appeared before Gosforth magistrates on 20/10/04. During the investigation two dead Rottweiler puppies and several severed tails were found in a bin at Donaghey’s home. Donaghey admitted doing veterinary surgery while not registered, cruelly ill-treating the Jack Russells and subjecting them to an operation performed without due care and humanity. Donaghey was banned from keeping dogs for four years and fined £200.
Brenda Parmenter (66) and her son Roy (42) of Parsonage, Manorway, Belvedere, Kent both dog breeders and regular Crufts exhibitors admitted on 1/11/04 to causing appalling suffering to their own spaniels. But an anonymous tip-off led to an RSPCA raid on their home, where inspectors found one dog half-blind, three with open wounds and all seven of their animals being kept in “filthy” conditions in steel cages in the hallway. Both Parmenters pleaded guilty to four specimen counts of causing unnecessary suffering. They were banned from keeping dogs for two years and fined £100 each plus £50 costs.
A London man who cut the ears off his Staffordshire bull terrier puppy with a knife has been sentenced to 42 days in a juvenile detention centre. Engin Karaaslan (19) of Kessock Close, Tottenham, admitted causing unnecessary suffering to the five-month-old puppy Rocky when he appeared before Haringey magistrates on 3/11/04. Karaaslan claimed he had cut the puppy’s ears off because one of them was hanging off after a fight with another animal the previous week. The puppy was signed over into RSPCA care and has since been found a loving new home. Karaaslan has also been banned from keeping any animal for 10 years. The defendant was also convicted of performing an operation without due care and humanity and omitting to provide required veterinary attention.
On 4/11/04 American wrestler Jake “the snake” Roberts was accused of mistreating a snake. RSPCA inspectors seized the snake from the home he shared in London Colney with best friend and business partner Valerie Burnham, sadly it died three weeks later. A post mortem carried out found that the snake had been suffering from pneumonia. It also had a severe mite infestation and mouth infection. The snake had gone almost a year without eating and was so thin it was triangular in shape instead of round. The wrestler, real name Aurelian Smith Junior (49) failed to turn up at St Albans magistrates and his whereabouts are unknown. Burnham (69) appeared on the same charge of causing unnecessary suffering to a snake by failing to provide it with proper care and attention. Snake handler Kevin Wicks (32) from Bracknell, who is said to have owned the snake, is charged with permitting unnecessary suffering to a snake. All three had pleaded not guilty to the charges on a previous occasion. Burnham and Wicks were cleared on the charge and Smith was found guilty. A warrant was issued for his arrest and the court said it was considering a community penalty order.
Two experienced greyhound trainers whose dogs died in vehicles parked outside a race-track were cleared of animal cruelty charges on 5/11/04 at Mildenhall magistrates. James McArdle of Lester Piggot Way, Newmarket and Sally Ann Clark(43) of Brightlingsea Road, Thorrington, Essex whose greyhound puppies died in separate vehicles at the Mildenhall Stadium, were told they had done everything they could to “lessen any risk there was” of heat stroke.
A former dog show judge admitted 23 charges of animal cruelty when she appeared before magistrates on 16/11/04. The court heard that Alessia Duggan’s terraced house in Handsworth, Birmingham, was overrun by starving dogs living in filthy conditions. Duggan said she kept the animals for sentimental reasons after a series of family tragedies.
On 23/11/04 a groundsman was found guilty yesterday of shooting a racing greyhound in the head and cutting off both ears in a botched attempt to kill it. Owner John Hurley paid Andrew Gough £10 to humanely kill five-year-old after it retired from racing due to a toe injury. But Gough (28) dumped the mutilated dog alive with a hole in its head on a mountain in Rhymney Valley, South Wales. The prosecutor said: “The dog was subjected to quite brutal ill-treatment in a botched attempt to kill it.” The ears were cut off so identity tattoos on his ears could not be traced. Vet Timothy Ingham said the head wound was probably caused by a bolt gun not fired properly. Gough denied ill-treating the dog. He was found guilty in his absence. A warrant was yesterday issued for his arrest. On 30/11/04 when Gough appeared at Caerphilly magistrates he said he intends to launch an appeal. But Gough was warned by magistrates that he could face jail. Gough now of Tir-y-berth Street, Tir-y-berth, surrendered at Blackwood police station earlier in the day because a warrant for his arrest was issued when he failed to appear for his trial. Gough pleaded not guilty to failing to surrender to custody. He told the magistrates he was left stranded in Bristol on the morning of the trial when the battery in his works van went flat. But the chairman of the magistrates found Gough guilty of failing to surrender and fined him £50. On 22/12/04 Gough was jailed for six months and banned from keeping animals for life.
A North Wales farmer who allowed a pet to starve to death was banned for life from keeping dogs. Two other painfully thin dogs, rescued by the RSPCA from Dafydd Jones’ Anglesey farm, have since recovered. On 24/11/04 Holyhead magistrates ordered the charity to seize 10 other dogs owned by Dafydd Jones (62) of Tan y Fynwent, Llanddona, near Beaumaris. He was found guilty earlier this month, in his absence, of three charges of causing unnecessary suffering to dogs at the farm. Jones again failed to turn up at the Holyhead magistrates but was ordered to pay £2,500 costs and given a three year conditional discharge.
Workers called in to evict a mum from her North Wales home found four starving dogs tied up, so thin bones showed through their skin Flintshire magistrates heard on 9/12/04. Magistrates have decided to delay their decision until January 2005, while a report is drawn up about Sheila Marian Hendren, who was released on bail. Hendren and her son Ian Hendren, now living at Lloyd’s Guest House in Brook Street, Chester, had pleaded not guilty to four charges of causing unnecessary suffering by failing to provide the dogs with proper care. A trial was due to be held at Flintshire magistrates’ court but the RSPCA dropped the charges against Ian Hendren when his mum changed her pleas to guilty. The RSPCA also asked for a £2,400 legal bill to be footed by Hendren.
A milkman who starved two dogs to death is facing jail after a court watched a video-nasty of how the emaciated pets were found ‘butchered’ and buried in his garden. John Cole (53) of 1 Glossop’s Croft, Old Whittington, Chesterfield, had been looking after the dogs before RSPCA officers received a tip-off they had been killed and buried. At Chesterfield magistrates on 17/12/04 Cole pleaded guilty to two counts of causing unnecessary suffering by failing to provide care. Magistrates adjourned the case for pre-sentence reports until 6/1/05.