Craig Trevelyan (32) of Caer Bryn Road, Pen y Groes, Carmarthenshire appeal against his conviction for illegally digging for badgers in a Gloucestershire forest will take place in September. The hearing, due to take place at Gloucester Crown Court, was adjourned in May 2006 because witnesses for Trevelyan were abroad. The court heard that Trevelyan now wants to take a job in Iraq. He was a sergeant with the Royal Welch Fusiliers but then left the Army. Trevelyan was released on conditional bail and told his appeal would be heard between 25 and 27 September 2006. He was convicted by Gloucester magistrates of wilfully interfering with a badger, killing a badger and digging in a badger sett. Trevelyan was jailed for six months, banned from owning a dog for seven years, banned from driving for a year and ordered to forfeit his car. Later, the court released Trevelyan on bail pending his appeal and reinstated his driving licence.
A gamekeeper has been convicted of shooting a short-eared owl on a Lanarkshire grouse moor in May 2004. Mark Palmer(23) gamekeeper for a shoot on Abington Farms Estate (often known as the Leadhills Estate) appeared at Lanark Sheriff Court on 31/7/05. Palmer was seen driving across the moor on a quad bike then stop the bike, take out his shotgun and walk towards the spot where an owl had landed on the hillside. When it flew up, he fired three shots at it, and it fell to the ground. He collected the spent shotgun cartridges, but failed to find the owl. After a search of the heather, the two witnesses found the bird, still alive but badly injured. It died a few minutes afterwards. Palmer was later detained at his home, where clothing was recovered matching the description provided by the witnesses. Palmer was convicted of killing a short-eared owl and fined £500. It was his first conviction. He remains employed on the estate.
Robert Chiplin (22) of West Bagborough was fined £80 for attacking a property on an estate owned by the League Against Cruel Sports in Somerset. Chiplin, who has long-standing involvement with hunting, received the fixed penalty notice for criminal damage at the LACS sanctuary near Dulverton on Exmoor, on 4/5/06. He was also charged with failing to provide a blood specimen following an unrelated allegation of drink driving.
David Scott (40) who is a gamekeeper admitted at Elgin Sheriff Court on 9/5/06 to killing two protected buzzards on a Scottish estate near Elgin when he found them in a legal crow trap. Scott was fined £200.
Douglas Hill (63) of Church Road, West Hanningfield, near Chelmsford, Essex is thejoint master of the Essex Farmers and Union Foxhounds, was involved in a clash with members of the North East London Sabs, at Maldon, Essex, a month after the ban on hunting with dogs was introduced. On 10/4/06 at Witham magistrates Hill was warned he could go to prison after being convicted of assaulting a policeman and two sabs. Hill was also convicted of damaging property and harassment at a hunt meeting in 2005. Hill who denied all five offences, was released on bail pending reports. Hill had denied spitting blood in a police officer’s face before wiping his bloody hand on the officer’s fluorescent police jacket. He also denied striking a hunt sab with a whip and another sab with his hand. On 15/5/06 Hill was ordered to undertake 220 hours of community work, pay a £250 fine and £1,600 in court costs and £1,050 compensation.
On 18/5/06 Crawley and Horsham hunt supporter John Wesley pleaded guilty to driving without due care and attention, having no insurance and failing to report an accident. On what should have been the first day of the trial, Wesley pleaded guilty. Horsham magistrates gave Wesley nine points on his licence but he received less than £500 in fines, costs and compensation, and was only ordered to pay £80 of more than £2000 damage he caused, after he rammed a hunt monitor’s minibus off the road. The incident had occurred during the first meet of the Crawley and Horsham hunt after the introduction of the Hunting Act in February 2005. Wesley is already banned from driving having been convicted for having no insurance on a more recent occasion. However, more recently Wesley has received bail conditions preventing him attending the Crawley and Horsham hunt after he was charged with assaulting two female hunt monitors. That trial is set for 6/7/06.
Andrew Barron (17) of Fraser Avenue, Hawick, was found guilty of deliberately hunting a deer with a dog near his home. He was charged under the Protection of Wild Mammals Scotland Act, which became law in Scotland in 2002. Sentence was deferred for six months at Jedburgh Sheriff Court on 19/5/06 for Barron to be of good behaviour. The trial heard how the teenager had been out with a group of friends last year shooting rabbits. But when four deer broke from the woods, a lurcher which was in Barron’s company was let off the lead.
A hunt terrier man bit off part of a fencing contractor’s nose when he intervened in an argument he was having with the master of the South Devon Hunt at the Devon County Show. Exeter Crown Court heard on 19/5/06 how Gavin Aplin had spent the day at the show and was in a group of people which included South Devon Hunt master Ian Pearce. The court heard how Anthony Pearce (32) from of Farlecombe Farm, Bickington, Newton Abbot approached the hunt master in an aggressive manner and started having a go at him for being too soft on anti-hunt protesters. Pearce was jailed for 15 months after admitting unlawful wounding. Aplin intervened, telling Pearce to calm down. Pearce did not calm down but threw a punch at Aplin. As a result, Aplin grabbed the Pearce to stop him hitting him any more. The two men then fell to the ground and Pearce bit Aplin’s nose, before spitting out a mouthful of blood and phlegm in the direction of Ian Pearse. Aplin’s right nostril was completely severed. The end of his nose was hanging off completely. Aplin’s nose was sewn back on, but he has been left with permanent scarring as a result of the attack.
On 24/5/06 a farmer admitted threatening a hunt monitor during a confrontation at a hunt meet in Devon. John Poole (66) of Broadclyst Station, Exeter was bound over by Exeter magistrates after the incident at the Eggesford Hunt.
On 30/5/06 a second attempt to prosecute a huntsman on a charge of hunting with dogs was dropped. Trevor Adams (47) from Eildon, near Melrose who is the huntsman from the Buccleuch Foxhounds was acquitted in the first Scottish trial of its kind in 2004 but charged again a year later. However, the procurator fiscal has now decided to take the case no further.
The Court of Criminal Appeal in Dublin on 30/5/06 quashed the convictions of two men convicted of cruelty to animals at a dog fight in Co Kildare. Troy Jordan (35) of Blackthorn Cottage, River Road, Allenwood South, Co Kildare, and David Deegan (32) of Maplewood Park, Springfield, Tallaght, south Dublin, were convicted at Naas Circuit Court on 13/7/05 of cruelly ill-treating two animals at a dog fight. Jordan was jailed for 18 months for the offence and Deegan was given an 18-month suspended prison sentence by Judge Pat McCartan.
A coursing club official was fined on 30/5/06 for obstructing a wildlife ranger and refusing to give the ranger his name. The court heard that Offaly’s Ballinagar Coursing Club had lost its licence as a result of the incident. Charles Colgan (62) of Cappincur, Tullamore, was fined €200 for obstruction and €100 for refusing to give his name. At Tullamore District Court they heard how a ranger had been checking boxes of hares being loaded into a van. But Colgan told him to get out of the van, and had pulled him. The ranger said Colgan had told him to f*** off” – and had refused to move when he said he had being assaulted. Colgan who said he been involved in coursing for 40 years told the court he might had told Bugler to “feck off”.
Cumbrian magistrate Stephen Furniss (56) from Wasdale Park, Seascale was convicted of salmon poaching after being found guilty after a two-day trial, and ordered to pay £2,500 costs and a £500 fine. Magistrates in Carlisle heard on 1/6/06 Furniss was seen fishing in a holding pool on the River Ehen, near Braystones. Furniss was observed catching two salmon using a ‘snatching’ or ‘foul-hooking’ method. This involves dragging a sharp hook through the water across a fish, so that the hook will become embedded in the flesh of any part of the fish’s body. Furniss also had his fishing tackle confiscated.
On 2/7/06 police issued two stallholders at a farming show with £80 fines for displaying T-shirts bearing the slogan “Bollocks to Blair”. Officers questioned staff on two stands at the Royal Norfolk Show after receiving a complaint, subsequently issuing two fixed-penalty notices of £80 for the offending garments.
A farmer from Wramplingham, Norfolk whose gamekeeper used a rat poison that killed two birds of prey was fined on 11/7/06 – securing the first-ever prosecution for “secondary poisoning”. Central Norfolk magistrates expressed concern that the poison, Difenacoum, was freely available to the public at garden centres without guidance on how to use it safely. The birds had eaten dead and dying rats that had consumed the poison, making them a “secondary” recipient of it. Farmer Rosalyn Vincent (55) of Home Farm was fined £2,000, after pleading guilty at an earlier hearing to not providing her gamekeeper Leslie Brooks with training in the proper use of pesticides. But she had declined to enter a plea to two charges of allowing him to use rat poison in breach of regulations. Vincent was also ordered to pay £400 costs.
One of the Queen’s gamekeepers on the Sandringham Estate has been charged with wildlife offences. Dean Wright (25) of Anmer, near King’s Lynn, Norfolk, is accused of contravening pesticide regulations by failing to collect rat carcasses. He is also accused of causing unnecessary suffering to a tawny owl that was caught in a trap. The case was due to be heard at King’s Lynn magistrates on 11/7/06 but was adjourned until 2/8/06. The incident relating to rat carcasses is alleged to have taken place at Shernborne. Wright is also accused of setting a trap to cause injury to a wild bird, using a trap to kill or take a wild bird, and causing unnecessary suffering to a tawny owl that was caught in the trap. These offences are all alleged to have also happened at Shernborne.
An Aberdeenshire gamekeeper who poisoned wild birds and kept illegal pesticides has been fined £850. Hector McNeil (56) of Whitehillock, Glenbuchat and who worked on Glenbuchat estate for 30 years, had admitted killing a raven, of which there are only two breeding pairs in Grampian. Aberdeen Sheriff Court heard on the 12/7/06 that McNeil had poisoned gulls eggs, a food source for ravens, to protect pheasant and red grouse numbers. McNeil was fined £350 for killing a common gull and a raven, £400 for keeping 118 common gull eggs and £100 for keeping a banned pesticide.
Majid Mushtaq (27) from Lytham Road, Fulwood Preston was banned from keeping dogs after admitting illegally owning five Pit Bull Terriers. Mushtaq was ordered to pay £1,000 and banned from owning a dog for two years at Preston magistrates on 12/7/06. Magistrates ordered the destruction of the seized Pit Bulls as Mushtaq did not have a licence to keep them. Mushtaq pleaded guilty to five counts of possessing a fighting dog without exemption.
On 5/5/06 at Cannock magistrates Tony Billington (37) of Eaveswood Close, Bamber Bridge, Preston, was found guilty of racial abuse. He was fined £600 plus costs. The racial abuse followed his appearance at the same court where he was found guilty of digging for badgers. Click here to watch the video of his court appearance.
On 4/8/06 Tony Wright become the first person convicted for breaking the ban on fox hunting with hounds. Wright (52) of Exmoor Kennels, Simonsbath in Somerset had denied breaching the Hunting Act, when he led the Exmoor Foxhounds. But he was fined £500 with £250 costs at Barnstaple magistrates in a case brought by the League Against Cruel Sports. He was the first fox huntsman to be summoned to court for defying the law which came into force last year in England and Wales. The League told the court during a week-long hearing that Wright broke the hunting ban by signalling the Exmoor Foxhounds to pursue two foxes at Drybridge in Devon. But the league alleged the hunt went further than that by allowing hounds a “prolonged period of pursuit” of a fox on two occasions. Wright is to appeal against his conviction.
The kennel huntsman for the Cumberland Foxhounds was banned from driving for 16 months after being convicted of driving while more than twice the legal alcohol limit. Thomas Hudson (50) of Croft Court, Wigton, was stopped by police and was breath tested after the officer smelt alcohol and was found to have 89 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. The legal limit is 35. On 4/8/06 at Carlisle magistrates Hudson admitted drink driving. Hudson, who has managed the hunt kennels for 20 years, finished work early and went to the pub for a few drinks before driving home to Wigton.
A gamekeeper is to be reported for wildlife offences following a raid on a Scottish country estate. On 8/8/06 the 55-year-old man was questioned after various items were discovered on the estate, near Lauder in the Borders. It is understood the raid, a joint operation between the police, RSPB, SPCA and the Scottish Executive, went ahead after two poisoned ravens were found by walkers.
Joint master and huntsman of the South Shropshire Foxhounds Charles Frederick Otis Ferry (23) of Keeper’s Cottage, Eaton Mascott, Shrewsbury admitted drink driving after changing his plea half way through a trial at Stroud magistrates on 11/8/06. Ferry was accused of being over the alcohol limit when he was stopped in Cirencester for driving too slowly. Ferry will be sentenced on 16/10/06 at Gloucester magistrates.
An MP apologised to a member of a ferret club after his Jack Russell savaged her polecat to death in front of crowds at a county show. Andrew Turner, the Conservative MP for the Isle of Wight, was walking around the island’s annual show on 13/8/06 when his nine-year-old terrier caught sight of a four-year-old polecat, which was being exercised on a harness. The dog sank its teeth into the polecat and it took four people and a bucket of cold water to force him to loosen his grip. By then it was too late to save the polecat and he was put down by the show’s vet. The MP apologised to the polecats owner, Patricia Price, a member of the Isle of Wight Ferret Club, which was organising ferret racing at the showground.
A policeman was cleared of hitting a bloodsports supporter over the head with a baton during a demon. Pc Barry Jenkinswas found not guilty at Southwark Crown Court on 16/8/06 of causing actual bodily harm to Simon Harrap, a farmer from Farnham, Surrey. The court heard Pc Jenkins was involved in a “violent struggle” when police lines clashed with bloodsports supporters in Parliament Square in 2004. Harrap suffered a head wound but could not remember when it happened.
On 23/8/06 a dog owner criticised a stag hunt for trying to buy her silence after her terrier was ripped apart by two of its hounds outside her home. Catherine Hodgson, a magistrate who is chairman of the North Devon bench, tried to beat the hounds and used her body as a human shield in a vain attempt to protect her pet dog. But sadly the 14-year-old Jack Russell border cross was left “horribly wounded” and had to be put down. Tiverton Staghounds offered her £1,000 in compensation for “shock and trauma” on condition she remained silent. Later, however, the hunt withdrew the confidentiality clause when Hodgson of East Worlington, Devon, pointed out that she had a duty to inform police. She said: “When we got the hunt’s letter offering hush money it made me so angry. I want everyone to know what happened.” The hunt’s solicitors offered the compensation and promised to pay vet bills plus the cost of a new dog. They sought confidentiality but, when the Hodgson refused, the firm agreed this would be “inappropriate”. The couple have now accepted the compensation. The joint master of Tiverton Staghounds, John Lucas, said both hounds involved had been destroyed. “I have apologised profusely to the couple concerned,” he said.
A hunt supporter was convicted of attacking a saboteur in clashes on the last day before hunting with dogs was banned. Wayne Spencer (39) of Oakhurst Lane, Billingshurst, West Sussex was found guilty of assaulting Simon Clear but cleared of actual bodily harm. Spencer admitted kicking Clear on the legs while he lay in a ditch towards the end of the hunt and admitted he wished he had “done a lot more to him than that”. The incident happened after the final meet of Chiddingfold, Leconfield and Cowdray Hunt at Petworth Park. A judge fined Spencer £400 with £700 costs at Lewes Crown Court on 25/8/06. Spencer was also cleared of unlawfully wounding another protester, who received a broken nose and a deep cut above her eyebrow and needed surgery at Worthing Hospital after receiving a “headbutt, kicks and punches”.
On 4/8/06 two Merseyside men appeared before Chester magistrates court accused of hunting a fox with dogs. Mark Walsh (18) from Bootle and Paul Kelly (20) of Norris Green Liverpool faced charges relating to the death of a fox in Great Barrow Cheshire. They were bailed until October. Another man Paul McMullen (35) from Bootle and a juvenile failed to appear.
Mahfoud Abdessaid of Bannold Road,Waterbeach, near Cambridge was given a conditional discharge and ordered to pay £55 costs on 20/10/05. Abdessaid pleaded guilty to five charges of using traps to catch goldfinches, two charges of possession of traps and one charge of possession of seven wild birds. Abdessaid used Chardonneret traps in his back.
Ronald Jackson of Brigg Road, Filey, North Yorkshire, used a broom to knock down a house martin nest from a house belonging to his brother-in-law. While destroying the nest, Jackson was mobbed by several agitated house martins. Two live young house martins, incapable of flight, were later recovered from the ground and were taken to a sanctuary for hand-rearing. On 7/11/05 Jackson pleaded guilty at Scarborough magistrates court to the destruction of a house martin’s nest and was fined £400 plus £50 costs. During interview Jackson admitted to intentionally destroying the nest and clearing away the resulting debris.
Britain’s most notorious illegal collector of rare birds’ eggs has fallen to his death after losing his footing as he climbed a tree in a Yorkshire wood. In May 2006 Colin Watson (63) from Selby, was three-quarters of the way up a 40ft larch near Campsall, Doncaster, when he slipped and fell. It is not known which species he was hoping to add to his collection that proved his downfall. But to the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, Watson was public enemy No 1. He had a string of convictions spanning 14 years for an activity that has been illegal under the Wildlife and Countryside Act since 1981.Watson’s Record – 1980, Inverness Taking golden eagle eggs. Fined £400. 1982, Shap Disturbance of peregrine falcons. Fined £250. 1985, Selby Possession of eggs. Fined £1,700. 1988, Perth Possession of equipment capable of committing an offence and attempting to take golden eagle eggs. Fined £2,000. 1990, Lerwick Possession of equipment capable of committing an offence and possession of two snipe eggs. Fined £1,300.
Wayne Derbyshire (38) of East Acres, Widdrington, Northumberland admitted stealing more than 900 protected wild birds’ eggs. He had denied possessing equipment used to take protected eggs, but was found guilty at Bedlington magistrates on 14/6/06. On 27/6/06 he was sentenced to serve 280 hours’ unpaid community work. Derbyshire must complete 280 hours’ unpaid community work for the offence of going equipped and will be supervised for 12 months, and 180 hours each for the taking and possessing offences, which will be served concurrently. The court ordered that his climbing equipment, maps and binoculars be confiscated. After the hearing, Northumbria Police said they would apply for an Asbo which would ban Derbyshire from nesting areas.
SYDNEY, Australia – A man caught with six eggs from endangered species in his underwear as he was preparing to fly to Bangkok was fined $20,000 by a judge who rejected his claim that he only wanted to surprise his girlfriend. Wayne Frederick Floyd pleaded guilty to exporting regulated native specimens without a permit or exemption. Floyd was about to board a flight from Sydney to Bangkok, Thailand, when a customs officer frisked him and noticed a suspicious bulge around his groin, the New South Wales District Court was told on 18/7/06. A strip search revealed six eggs hidden inside a stocking in his underwear. Two of the eggs never hatched. The others contained two gang gang cockatoos and two galahs, both listed under CITES.
On 25/5/06 at Guildford magistrates Delia Stacey of Strachay Close, Tidmarsh pleaded guilty to starving a pregnant horse to death. Stacey also pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary cruelty to two more horses at her Pepperbox Stud, in Surrey. She was ordered to serve 120 hours community service, pay £9,000 costs and was banned from keeping horses for three years. She now has 21 days to sell or pass on her remaining horses to someone else. It was not Stacey’s first court appearance, she was fined £15,000 by Reading magistrates in April 2006 after failing to make health and safety improvements to a number of bed-sits she owns. She pleaded guilty to the charges after repeatedly ignoring notices by Reading Borough Council to make the renovations.
A Telford man who caused unnecessary suffering to three pregnant donkeys was banned from keeping any equine animals for two years on 1/6/06. Michael Whittingham (59) of Cliffe Crescent, Ellerdine was also fined and ordered to pay £5,000 in costs when he appeared at Telford magistrates. Whittingham was fined £100 on each of three charges of causing unnecessary suffering that he had admitted part way through the trial. Whittingham had initially denied causing suffering to seven donkeys, but had pleaded guilty to three offences. No further evidence was offered on the other four charges.
Dean Jackson was banned from keeping all animals for life at Walsall magistrates on 7/7/06, after his horse was found to be suffering from a tethering injury. Jackson pleaded guilty to two offences – cruelly tethering and failure to provide veterinary attention. As well as the lifetime ban on keeping all animals, Jackson was also given a 300 hour community punishment order, 4 month suspended prison sentence (2 months for each offence) and ordered to pay £2,500 towards costs. The horse has now been signed over to the RSPCA and has fully recovered from his tethering injury.
Swedish rider Helena Lundback was fined 3,000 Swiss francs on 11/8/06 after she was seen mistreating a horse in training for the Dublin Horse Show.
A pony owner who used a controversial technique in a bid to cure inflammation in her animal’s hoof was found guilty of causing it suffering. Mary Jo Kowalski (52) of Lower Street Baylam, Ipswich, was banned from keeping horses for a year by Ipswich Crown Court on 30/8/06. She must also complete 100 hours of unpaid work and pay £10,000 in costs. The pony was suffering from laminitis, a condition like standing on a bruised human foot, and had to be put down after the hoof was cut and mutilated.
Yet again puppy dealer John Walsh (55) of Low Row, near Brampton, was ordered to pay almost £2,300 to Allana Hamilton (22) after she won a case of unfair dismissal. Walsh walked out of the Carlisle tribunal after the chair refused his request to postpone the hearing on 28/4/06. Hamilton said she worked for him from March to October under a verbal contract and looked after 50 kennels virtually by herself. She said the day before she was due to leave for a holiday, she received a text message from Walsh which said: “Sorry, I have to let you go, things aren’t working out. Get in touch when you get back from holiday.” When she phoned him on her return, he said if she ever wanted to see October’s wages she would have to find herself a lawyer, the tribunal heard. (Also see story below)
Farmer William Robert Mason (40) of Grane Road, Haslingden who confronted a dog owner with a loaded gun over sheep worrying walked free from Burnley magistrates on 1/5/06. Mason who also works at Clitheroe Auction Mart had the weapon over his shoulder when he went to the man’s house to remonstrate with him. Mason who has no previous convictions, was also told to pay £55 costs after he had earlier admitted having a loaded firearm in public.
Paul Dunn (52) of Stockport, Greater Manchester is accused of threatening a police officer and a community support officer with a snake appeared in court on 4/5/06. Dunn denied one charge of affray and two of assaulting a policeman and police community support officer. He was given unconditional bail and told to return to Stockport magistrates 29/6/06.
A Devon district councillor who shot a seagull to stop it spreading disease was found guilty of intentionally killing a wild bird. Dr Brian Boughton (62) of Rose Hill Villa, 49 South Ford Road, Dartmouth, used an air rifle to shoot the seagull that had nested in his roof. He denied the offence. He was conditionally discharged for a year and ordered to pay £400 costs by Totnes magistrates on 17/5/06. Boughton, a Labour member in South Hams Council, said he was acting to protect public health and safety.
Bosses of a Carlisle abattoir were ordered to pay £5,000 in fines for animal cruelty offences. West Scottish Lamb Ltd was due to go on trial at the city’s magistrates’ court on 24/5/06 accused of two charges, but the trial was called off after the firm entered guilty pleas. It was accused of keeping 13 ewes inside without ensuring every animal had access to drinking water and of keeping 464 sheep outside with insufficient access to water. Charges were brought by DEFRA. Management were fined £2,500 and ordered to pay £2,500 court costs.
A farmer used a humane animal killer to “put down” his sick wife – then turned it on himself, an inquest heard on 29/6/06. Richard Parker-Morgan (61) shot his wife Brenda (63) with a bolt gun at their farmouse. An inquest heard he told the 999 operator: “My wife is dead. I put her down like I put the animals down.” He also killed their two dogs and cat before turning the bolt gun on himself. But he was still alive, bleeding from a head wound, when police arrived at Pink House farm in Shirenewton, near Chepstow, south Wales, 3/12/06. He died in hospital three days later. Gwent coroner David Bowen recorded a verdict of unlawful killing against Brenda Parker-Morgan and said her husband had killed himself.
A Teignbridge man was jailed for nearly five years for abusing a young boy over a long period of time and having sex with his pet dog. Steven Deacon (22) of Rydon Acres, Kingsteignton, was sent to prison for four years and nine months at Exeter Crown Court on 30/6/06. He was also given an extended sentence for four years after release. Deacon, who has no previous convictions, had pleaded guilty to six charges of indecently assaulting the boy between 1999 and 2004. He also admitted two charges of sexually assaulting the boy and one of raping him. He also admitted engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child in 2004. His not guilty plea to a second offence of raping the boy was accepted. The defendant also admitted two charges of intercourse with a living animal, a female dog, between 2004 and 2006. The dog was his own pet.
On 30/6/06 two men were bailed over the theft of rare monkeys, including five marmosets from Drusillas Zoo in Sussex. They were arrested after Sussex police officers raided properties in Tunstall, Staffordshire. Eighteen monkeys were found – four of them from Drusillas and 14 more from zoos in Devon and Cambridgeshire. The men, both 35 and from Tunstall, were held on suspicion of burglary and handling stolen property. They were bailed to re-appear at Eastbourne Custody Centre on 27/806 while further inquiries are carried out.
A bogus “dog osteopath” was found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering after a puppy he treated had to be put down. Kenneth Woodacre (60) of Heath Lane, Leigh, had clumsily manipulated the dog’s spine and pulled its legs so hard it was left virtually paralysed, Wigan magistrates were told on 13/7/06. The former greyhound trainer was also found guilty of unlawfully describing himself as an osteopath, when he was not registered. He was given a 12-month conditional discharge for each conviction. Lyndsay Casteel (35) of dog training firm Bark Busters faced charges of aiding Woodacre in harming the dog and posing as an osteopath, but walked free after the judge concluded she didn’t know Woodacre was a fraud.
On 19/7/06 a circus clown was given an on-the-spot fine after clashing with animal rights demonstrators. Sparky the clown was arrested on suspicion of assault and fined £80 for disorder after an incident at Peter Jolly’s circus, currently in Howden. The clown – real name Stanley Thompson (29) from Cumbria was arrested after an incident involving about eight demonstrators at the gates of the circus. This is not the first time Sparky has been arrested for attacking animal rights people click here for details.
On 3/8/06 jockey Paul O’Neill (26) was given a one-day ban for head-butting his horse. The suspension was the minimum the Horse racing Regulatory Authority (HRA) could impose on him after he was caught on camera butting his mount, City Affair, after it unseated him on the way to the start of a race at Stratford. The incident was missed by the racecourse stewards, but caught by TV cameras. The HRA was inundated with complaints from viewers saying O’Neill should be banned for life.
A burglar who stole a parrot which bit him, leaving blood at the scene, has been given a six-month suspended prison sentence. Tristan Maidment (23) of Greenhills, Edington, Wiltshire was caught after police found enough blood on the floor beside the Macaw’s cage to get a DNA sample. Maidment admitted burglary at Frome Pet and Aquatic Centre and two animal cruelty offences. He also pleaded guilty to theft, two deception charges, driving offences and failing to surrender to bail. On 4/8/06 Magistrates ordered that he underwent treatment for alcoholism, but was told he faced no separate penalty for the animal cruelty offences.
On 7/8/06 an abattoir was been fined £20,000 for polluting the River Ribble. Dunbia (England) Limited, of Gisburn Road, Sawley, was fined after bosses pleaded guilty to the offence at Hyndburn magistrates. Abattoir waste from the company, formerly known as Rose County Foods Limited, discoloured a 300-metre stretch of the river the court was told. Dunbia, which runs an abattoir and beef de-boning plant, had been spreading the effluent, including abattoir washing waters containing blood, on farm fields in the area. As well as the £20,000 fine, the company was also ordered to pay £1,277.72 costs to the Environment Agency, which brought the prosecution.
On 23/8/06 Marlon Brown (22) from Bowater Close, Brixton, South London was charged with the theft of a squirrel monkey from a zoo in Surrey. The monkey was reported missing from Chessington World of Adventures but was found two days later playing with children in Clapham. Brown was released on bail following his arrest by the Kingston burglary team. He is due to appear before Kingston magistrates on 14/9/06.
Two men accused of animal cruelty after allegedly hitting live turkeys with a pole appeared in court on 24/8/06. Daniel Palmer (27) of Highfield Road, Dereham, and Neil Allen (30) of Pippin Close, Dereham, are both accused of ill-treating the birds at Beck Farm, in Felthorpe, near Norwich, while working for Bernard Matthews. The case has been adjourned until 7/9/08.
Farm Animals (Guardians Of The Land – My Arse!!!)
Farmer William Jones (67) of Hafod y Bryn Farm, Bwlchgwyn, near Wrexham was jailed for six months on 24/4/06 after a court heard how he starved cows in appalling conditions. Jones was also disqualified by Flintshire magistrates from keeping any animals for 15 years. Jones had pleaded not guilty to two charges of cruelty to two cows, causing them unnecessary suffering by not giving them an adequate diet, and a third charge of causing unnecessary suffering to his livestock through inadequate feed and poor accommodation. Jones has previous convictions for cruelty to animals and previous bans had been imposed on keeping animals, along with two jail sentences. Magistrates said Jones would be sentenced to three months on each charge, the final three to run concurrently, making a total of six months in jail.
Farmer William Robert Mason (40) of Grane Road, Haslingden confronted a dog owner with a loaded gun over sheep worrying walked free from court on 1/5/06. Clitheroe Auction Mart worker Mason had the weapon over his shoulder when he went to the man’s house to remonstrate with him. He had no idea of the impact it would have on the victim, Burnley magistrates heard. Mason who works part-time as a farmer, had earlier admitted having a loaded firearm in public. Mason, who had no previous convictions, was also told to pay £55 costs.
Farmer Frank Cook from Bourne End, Bedfordshire fired a warning shot just behind a terrier, peppering its back leg with pellets but sparing its life. Cook (77) says he went to the neighbour, apologised and offered to pay any vet’s bill although the dog was wagging its tail and did not appear to be seriously hurt. But the neighbour said he had called the police. Minutes later, six police cars appeared and dozens of officers poured out, five of them armed. On 6/5/06 Cook was released without charge .
William Jones (67) of Hafod y Bryn Farm between Llandegla and Bwlchgwyn, near Wrexham was jailed for six months and banned from keeping animals for 15 years on 18/5/06. During his trial, at Flint, the court heard Jones had previous convictions, having been jailed twice, and had twice been banned from keeping animals. Jones denied two charges of cruelty to two cows and causing unnecessary suffering.
Farmer Raymond Shepherd (51) of Retreat Farm, Gilcrux, was convicted of animal cruelty on 18/5/06 and was then jailed for failing to pay fines and attempting to defraud a seed company. Shepherd was sent to prison for 165 days for obtaining credit while bankrupt and neglecting to pay £1,500 in fines. He was also fined £400 after he was found guilty of four animal welfare charges at Carlisle magistrates. These include two charges of causing unnecessary pain and suffering to a cow. Shepherd Farming Company Limited, based in Sheffield, was also fined £4,000 for four animal welfare offences, and ordered to pay £5,000 costs. Shepherd was also sentenced for obtaining credit from Yorkshire firm W E Jameson and Son Ltd, without admitting he was bankrupt. He had been convicted at Carlisle magistrates on 29/3/06. Shepherd had obtained £2,582.80 worth of seeds from the company, but failed to pay the invoice. When bailiffs visited him, they discovered he had been declared bankrupt in 2000 for the second time. It was also discovered he owed the court £1,500 in fines. Shepherd was jailed for 45 days for non-payment of fines, and 120 days for obtaining credit while bankrupt. He fined him £400 for the animal welfare offences.
Farmer William Parker Jnr (25) of Greystones Lane, Dalton, pleaded guilty to four counts of causing unnecessary suffering to animals. The charges were brought following a number of inspections from a government vet. Parker was fined £1,200 and ordered to pay £2,000 costs at Furness magistrates on 27/5/06.
An Anglesey farmer who starved his livestock lost an appeal on 5/6/06 against a seven-year ban from keeping animals and fines totalling £4,500. Caernarfon crown court heard John Hinns (58) of Penrallt, Rhostrehwfa, kept animals in appalling conditions. Hinns had admitted causing unnecessary suffering to an animal, failing to dispose of carcasses, and failing to keep proper records. Officials also saw a pile of 30 sheep carcasses mixed with general rubbish. Hinns was told by the judge that he was “lucky” not to have been jailed by magistrates at Holyhead. He was ordered to pay £287 costs.
Nicholas John Low of Ty Isoe, Maes Maelor, on Llandegla moor, Denbighshire was jailed for defying a ban on keeping animals. On 9/6/06 Wrexham magistrates heard Low lived with three dogs, two cats and eight pups at his remote caravan. The animals were seized and are now being cared for by the RSPCA. Low was taken to court from prison where he is currently serving a sentence for non-payment of fines. The case was brought after it emerged Low was subject to a 10-year disqualification order. It bans him from keeping animals until January 16, 2008. He never accepted the order and was convicted in his absence. He was serving 140 days for non-payment of fines and was due for release on July 19. Low was jailed for 10 weeks.
A life-time ban on keeping animals has been imposed on Gilbert Rawlings (66) of Sherwood Drive Bodmin who fed chips to his poultry and kept some of them in freezers. Rawlings was also told to do 150 hours of unpaid community work and ordered to pay £500 towards more than £5,000 claimed in costs by the RSPCA after being found guilty of 16 offences relating to the care and welfare of birds. He was found not guilty of two charges relating to goats. Sentence was suspended pending a proposed appeal. At Liskeard magistrates on 22/6/06 Rawlings was also told to got rid of all the poultry he kept on rented land near Luxulyan but still owns three dogs and five cats. The magistrates accepted Rawlings had not had care or control of goats kept at the site by his partner, Lorraine Martin (52) also of Sherwood Drive, who in November 2005 was banned for ten years from keeping all animals except horses after admitting causing unnecessary suffering to ducks and goats and not caring for sick fowl. During the trial Rawlings changed his plea from not guilty to guilty and back again.
A Leitrim farmer who let more than 60 animals on his land starve to death and rot in ditches has been sentenced to 11 months in prison for cruelty and neglect. Vincent Duggan (46) of Drumdarkin House, Cloone, Co. Leitrim pleaded guilty to the offences, but has appealed his sentence. On 24/6/06 the court heard that Duggan has previous convictions for neglect, going back to the late 1990s and that a large part of his difficulties were based on his habit of running from and ignoring problems. He was sentenced to eight months in Castlerea Prison for cruelty and neglect of livestock and three months for actions including leaving animals to rot. These sentences are to run consecutively. Duggan was also sentenced to a concurrent eight months for animal-registration offences. The judge banned Duggan from engaging again in any animal farming.
Cornish Farmer, Philip Moyle (45) was banned from having custody of pigs for four years after the RSPCA discovered several pigs suffering on his smallholding in Penryn. Several pigs were found to be thin, one pig was in a severely emaciated condition and one boar was found to have been dead for at least two days. There was no food or water available. On 26/6/06 Moyle pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering, failing to provide a wholesome diet and failing to ensure access to a suitable water supply. In addition to the four-year ban magistrates also imposed a community order for 12 months, with a requirement that Moyle performs 180 hours of unpaid work in the community and pays £250 in costs.
Farmer Leslie Charles Martin (49) Meadow Home Farm, Chester Road, Saltney left sheep savaged by dogs lying in his fields was banned from owning them ever again. Martin had already been given a life-time ban on keeping pigs nine years ago. On 19/7/06 he admitted causing sheep unnecessary suffering, and failing to dispose of 15 sheep carcasses. Flintshire magistrates at Mold heard Martin looked after sheep for a Bala farmer, Martin told investigators he checked the sheep using powerful binoculars from his hay barn, but failed to spot 15 were dead in ditches after allegedly being chased and attacked by dogs. He was ordered to carry out 150 hours unpaid work and pay £467 costs to Flintshire County Council’s trading standards department. Martin looked after the sheep, sent for grazing by owner Aeron Prysor Jones of Pen Bryn Mawr, Arenig, Bala. Aeron Jones, charged with one count of causing unnecessary suffering to one sheep on Martin’s farm, pleaded not guilty by letter through solicitors.
A Shropshire farmer was banned from keeping animals for 10 years after forcing livestock to live among 100 rotting carcasses. Edward Jones (54) from Upper Walton Farm, Worthen left the bodies of about 100 dead sheep and cows in sheds and fields still stocked with about 100 living animals. Two sheep were also found trapped in fences and vets said they would not have survived if they had not been freed. Jones was sentenced to a seven-month suspended prison sentence at Shrewsbury magistrates on 4/8/06. He pleaded guilty to all charges. Jones admitted seven counts of causing unnecessary suffering to sheep, one count of causing unnecessary suffering to a cow, three charges of failing to dispose of cow carcasses and three charges of failing to dispose of multiple sheep carcasses. He was banned from keeping livestock for 10 years, with a two-month limit to dispose of his remaining livestock of around 100 animals. He was also ordered to complete 150 hours’ unpaid work and pay court costs of £2,932.
A farmer from Southwaite and his wife and son have denied six charges of animal cruelty. Ian Littleton (55) of Burble Farm, Macey Bank, his wife Linda (51) and son Steven (19) appeared before magistrates in Carlisle on 24/7/06. The three are charged with: Causing unnecessary suffering to six calves by failing to seek veterinary advice on disease prevention and control; Causing unnecessary suffering to a ewe by failing to give it appropriate care; Failing to dispose of 26 calf and 14 poultry carcasses; Failing to give a calf an ear tag as identification; Failing to allow livestock access to animal by-products. Littleton senior is also charged with failing to provide records relating to the administration of any veterinary medical products to animals when asked to do so by an authorised officer. Mrs Littleton and Steven Littleton are charged with attaching a false ear tag to a weaned bull. The case was adjourned until 18/8/06 for a case management hearing. All three are on bail.
Kevin Knapton (43) of Becher Street, Derby is already banned from keeping animals for 10 years and has now been convicted of another offence of cruelty towards a dog. The RSPCA is now seeking a life ban against Knapton after he was found guilty of denying veterinary treatment to a Jack Russell dog even though it was suffering from a skin disease. At Southern Derbyshire magistrates on 1/5/06 Knapton told how he was looking after the dog for its owner, who was serving a jail sentence in Leicester. The dog has since made a full recovery and is now in kennels. Knapton had been banned from keeping animals in 2000 in an almost identical case involving a mongrel dog. On that occasion, Knapton admitted causing unnecessary suffering to the dog and was fined £200 by magistrates. In the recent case, Knapton failed to attend court. Magistrates convicted him in his absence of causing unnecessary suffering to the dog and of being in custody of an animal while he was disqualified. A warrant was issued for Knapton to be brought to court and sentencing was adjourned until then.
David Lee Jones (27) of Ebbw Vale was jailed for four months at Caerphilly magistrates on 4/5/06 after letting his pet dog starve to death. Jones had pleaded guilty at Blackwood magistrates to abandoning the dog and causing it to die of starvation before being sentenced.
Gareth Freney (23) of Llandrillo, near Corwen was accused of hitting his dog with a hammer walked free from court on 2/6/06 after the case against him collapsed. Freney had allegedly hit his 12-year-old labrador with a hammer after coming home from a night. But the case was yesterday dismissed by Denbigh magistrates court because of a lack of evidence. The only prosecution witness, his father Kenneth, failed to turn up at court.
On 6/6/06 at Leicester magistrates the court heard how Victor Matevos (58), of Milton Crescent, Beaumont Leys, Leicester, swore and made obscene gestures at RSPCA inspectors who had called in to investigate complaints about his house full of cats. Matevos was due to appear in court to face charges of using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour. Matevos was fined £200 and ordered to pay £120 costs.
A kitten killer has avoided prison as he seeks help for mental health problems. Christopher Lavery (27) of Ennerdale Road, Cleator Moor, Cumbria had been warned previously that he faced a prison sentence after he admitted smashing the cat’s head against a wall before throwing it into bramble bushes. But he was spared jail, with magistrates instead imposing a probation order. At Whitehaven magistrates on 8/6/06 they heard that Lavery also admitted three charges of common assault on two teenage girls. They heard that he had followed a 16-year-old girl in Cleator and had hit her on the bottom “four or five times”. He told the girl that this was a bit of fun but she was scared and had run on to meet her friend. The pair had to walk back past Lavery to get home. The court heard that he grabbed hold of one of them and pushed the other away when she tried to intervene. Lavery was made the subject of a two-year supervision order and told to pay costs of £138.
An unlicensed dog breeder has been ordered to pay more than £6,500 costs to Huntingdonshire District Council because she failed to co-operate with an investigation into her premises. On 17/6/06 magistrates at Huntingdon also fined Sharon Sharpstone £500 after she admitted running a dog breeding establishment without a licence. A second charge of running unlicensed premises at Anchors Lodge, Holme Road, Ramsey St Mary’s, was withdrawn.
A couple who claimed they could not afford veterinary treatment for their dogs have been banned for life from keeping all animals. David (50) and Patricia Morgan (52) of Haslam Hey Close, Ainsworth were visited by an RSPCA inspector after he received a number of complaints, Bury magistrates heard on 27/6/06. At an earlier hearing, both pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to the dogs by failing to provide veterinary care. Magistrates told the couple they would be banned from keeping animals for the rest of their lives, and they must find a new home for their tropical fish. They were each ordered to complete 280 hours of unpaid community service and pay £716 costs.
A dog breeder from Brampton has been banned from keeping animals for life and ordered to pay £48,485 costs after losing his appeal. John Walsh (55) of Denton Hall Kennels, Low Lane, Brampton who has previous convictions relating to animals, was found guilty earlier this year of animal cruelty and the transportation and abandonment of nine young puppies. Magistrates had heard how Walsh left nine puppies in a parked car at Weymouth ferry port on a hot summer’s day while he took another six puppies over to Jersey. Walsh appealed against his conviction on the grounds that the puppies did not suffer. However, Dorchester Crown Court, on 30/6/06 the judge upheld the conviction and sentence, of a 100-hour community rehabilitation order, imposed by Blandford magistrates, but extended the 10-year ban on keeping dogs to a lifetime ban.
A Carlisle couple who starved their dogs have been banned from keeping animals for life. David Harold (26) of Shadygrove Road, Raffles and Kim Hall (21) of Buchanan Road, Currock were both spared jail on 30/6/06 and given 18 month community orders for 200 and 100 hours respectively. They were ordered to pay £491.22 each to cover vets bills, housing for the dogs, photographs and legal expenses. Harold pleaded guilty to two charges of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal, and Hall admitted one offence. Both dogs have since recovered from the ordeal they were put through.
Samantha Pugh (21) of Tynedale Road, Grange Park Blackpool has been banned from keeping animals for three years after she left her cat in pain from a broken leg. Pugh pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to an animal when she appeared at before Blackpool magistrates on 1/7/06.
SYDNEY, Australia – A Sydney financier who tortured to death 17 rabbits and a guinea pig was imprisoned on 3/7/06 for at least 12 months. Brendan Francis McMahon (37) lost a bid to mount a psychiatric defense in a Sydney magistrates court against 18 counts of animal cruelty. He was sentenced to a maximum penalty of 16 months in prison but will be eligible for parole after serving 12 months. The dead or severely injured animals were found in or around McMahon’s office from where he ran a financial planning company and mortgage brokerage. Many of the victims had been skinned, their skulls shattered, eyes ruptured and had wounds to their genitals, the court heard. Most of the carcasses were found in a lane outside the office, though some apparently were temporarily stored inside the office, where they were killed. McMahon remained silent as he was sentenced.
On 14/7/06 Christopher Lees (18) of Wilsford Close, Druids Heath was detained for four months after a cat was hurled from the fifth floor of a tower block. Lees provided running commentary as a mobile phone was used to film the cat being repeatedly thrown 60ft from a balcony. The cat had to be put down after its ordeal. Lees who admitted animal cruelty was also banned from keeping animals for five years. Three other teenagers involved, aged 14, 16 and 17, will appear before Birmingham Youth Court on 1/8/06 for sentencing. Two have admitted causing cruelty and the third has admitted aiding and abetting the offence.
A cat owner who put one of his cats in a freezer has been called “idiotic” by the RSPCA. Tobias Thomas (28) of Wednesbury Road, Walsall, West Midlands, was fined £50 on 18/7/06 and ordered to pay £300 costs after he admitted causing unnecessary suffering. He was banned from keeping animals for five years after magistrates heard he put the cat in the freezer to stop it fighting with another cat. The cat was unharmed but an RSPCA spokesman said his actions were cruel.
A teenage girl who threw a ginger and white cat from the fifth floor of a city tower block has been sentenced to a four month detention and training order by Birmingham youth court on 2/8/06. The 16-year-old was one of a group which tortured the animal for their own entertainment. The cat had to be put down after suffering horrendous injuries. The magistrates also banned the teenager, who had admitted a charge of animal cruelty, from keeping any animal for ten years. A 14-year-old, from Druids Heath, who had previously pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting the cruelty, was sentenced to a 12 month referral order, banned from keeping any animal for five years and ordered to pay £100 costs.
Christopher Jackson (23) of Cartmel Crescent, Tonge Moor pleaded guilty to animal cruelty when he appeared at Bolton magistrates on 2/8/06. He was sentenced to four months in prison. Magistrates’ Court heard that Jackson attacked the lurcher in front of a crowd of witnesses leaving the animal unconscious in a pool of blood with a shattered jaw. He struck after the lurcher barked at his own dog, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier. Jackson was not ordered to pay any compensation.
A doctor who repeatedly shot a dog cowering under a chicken coop after attacking his chickens was found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal. At King’s Lynn magistrates on 14/8/06 Dr Christopher Wood (57) of Harwood Farm, Waterloo Road, Terrington St Clement, Norfolk, was fined £1,500 and ordered to pay £5,232 in vets’ fees and legal costs.
Jacqueline Gillard (47) from Exmouth, Devon was banned from keeping pets for three years after admitting causing cruelty to a cat by neglect. Gillard had previously been cautioned for a similar offence to another cat. Honiton magistrates heard on 23/8/06 a how six-year-old long-haired cat was emaciated, diseased, flea-infested, and had been suffering for up to a month. Gillard was also sentenced by the court to carry out a community penalty of 100 hours unpaid work. Sadly a vet tried to save the cat, but she was too ill and had to be put down.
Three members of the same family appeared before Swansea magistrates on 24/8/06 to deny charges of animal cruelty. The husband, wife and son are accused of causing unnecessary suffering to a total of 36 animals -14 dogs and 22 cats. Glyndwr Jones (55), Margaret Jones (49) and Philip Jones (19) all of Llanerch Crescent, Gorseinon, is each facing four summonses for causing unnecessary suffering. They all denied the allegations. In addition, Glyndwr and Margaret Jones denied keeping animals while debarred from doing so. The three will next appear before city magistrates on 3/10/06 for a pre-trial review hearing.
Claire Smith (22) from Carlisle allowed her dog to starve to death in a shed at the bottom of her garden was jailed for nearly four months on 1/9/06. The dog was left emaciated, filthy and with no fat at all on its muscles and bones after being abandoned to waste away in awful suffering during the depths of last winter. Smith had initially denied a charge of not providing an animal with a diet suitable for its needs but changed her plea to guilty at Carlisle magistrates. Smith was brought back before the court for sentencing on this charge and an offence of failing to comply with a community order. Smith was sentenced to 120 days in prison for allowing the dog to die and to an identical jail term, to be served concurrently, after failing to comply with a community order. She was also banned for having custody of any animal for life.
A man who battered his grandmother’s Jack Russell terrier to death before throwing the animal’s body at her was jailed for four months. Christopher Munns (18) of Hills Road, Saham Hills, near Watton, Norfolk, claimed he lost his temper after the terrier bit him. On 4/9/06 magistrates in Mildenhall, heard Munns hit the dog at least five times with a screw-studded piece of wood. Munns, who admitted causing unnecessary suffering, was also banned from owning animals for 10 years.