Vermin Patrol 2007 – Part 1


On 5/1/07 a Joint police and RSPCA swoop has captured five people on suspicion of digging a badger sett near Stroud. Gloucestershire Constabulary said a 19-year-old, an 18-year-old, two 16-year-olds and a 15-year-old were all from Mountain Ash in South Wales. Police acted after a call from a concerned member of the public. They were detained on suspicion of digging into a badger sett. Officers also seized an air rifle at the scene.

Badger digger?

Six alleged members of a badger-baiting ring appeared on 14/2/07 at Bedlington magistrates charged with conspiracy to hunt wild mammals with dogs. lan Walton (51) of Avebury Place; Brian James Cole (30) from Avebury Place; Sean Dilger (26) from Alderley Way; and Lee Lawton (37) from Avebury Place, all of Cramlington, are charged with conspiracy to hunt wild mammals with dogs. Similarly charged are Wayne Lannen (23) from Coniston Road, Wallsend, and a 17-year-old boy from the Cramlington area who cannot be named for legal reasons. All six were sent to be dealt with at Newcastle Crown Court in March 2007. Their unconditional bail was renewed. During the long-running operation, three raids were made on houses in Cramlington last year and two men were arrested. On one of those raids police also recovered items thought to have been stolen from churches in Tynedale, including a 6ft eagle-shaped lectern snatched from Holy Trinity Church, Matfen.

In courtA Gang of four teenagers, the youngest aged 15, appeared before Gloucester magistrates accused of badger-baiting on 26/2/07. The four defendants, all from Mountain Ash, Glamorgan, South Wales, were charged with interfering with badger setts. Christian O’Reilly (19) of Craig Street, was also charged with possessing an offensive weapon, possessing a firearm without a certificate and with hunting a wild animal with dogs. Scott Palmer (18) of Pentwyn Avenue, was also charged with hunting a wild animal with dogs. One 15-year-old, was also charged with hunting a wild animal with dogs and the fourth defendant, also aged 15, faced the one charge of interfering with badger setts. The case was adjourned until 26/3/07 and all four defendants were granted unconditional bail.

On 11/3/07 three men were charged in connection with a badger-baiting ring in the Borders. The move follows dawn raids on three houses in Hawick, Roxburghshirel. Police said three men aged 24, 18 and 16 would appear at Jedburgh Sheriff Court on 22/3/07.


On 10/2/07 eight people were arrested on suspicion of poaching after a police raid near Dumbleton. Officers swooped after reports of a group of men coursing. Eight men were arrested and taken to Cheltenham Police Station. They included a 29-year-old from Charlton, near Pershore, and a 15-year-old, 18-year-old and 32-year-old from Rowley Regis in the West Midlands. A 21-year-old from Wednesbury, a 33-year-old and 19-year-old from Tipton and a 43-year-old from Brierley Hill, all in the West Midlands, were also arrested. The 15-year-old was issued with a final warning. The others have been charged with poaching and will appear at Cheltenham magistrates on 9/2/07.

Colm Davis of Courtclough Upper, Blackwater who shot a pheasant in his front garden, was fined €130 for killing a protected wild bird out of season by the judge at Wexford District Court on 18/1/07. Davis admitted the offence. The garda told the court that the defendant had two firearms licences and both of them were revoked following the incident.

On 19/1/07 two hare coursers were handed ASBOs to stop them practicing the illegal sport on farmland in Cambridgeshire. George Lee (24) and John Bruce (39) both of Belvedere, Kent, were caught hare coursing. The pair were spotted by a member of the public, and were arrested with help from the force’s helicopter. They were fined £650 and ordered to pay £60 costs when they appeared at Cambridge magistrates and have now been given post-conviction ASBOs which ban them from entering Cambridgeshire, Suffolk or Norfolk.

Bloodsports supporter Otis Ferry has avoided a driving ban despite drinking at least seven shots of vodka during a night out. Ferry (24) of Keeper’s Cottage, Eaton Mascott, Shrewsbury who is the master of the South Shropshire Hunt, was found to have 55mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath. The legal limit is 35mg per 100ml of breath. But during a special reasons hearing, Gloucester magistrates on 20/1/07the court was told that Ferry’s friends had bought him treble vodka Red Bull drinks, but he believed he was drinking single shots. Ferry escaped a driving ban, but was fined £500 and ordered to pay £364 costs.

Mervyn DowellOn 30/1/07 a hunt steward was fined £80 for using threatening behaviour towards two hunt monitors on Boxing Day. Mervyn Dowell, a steward for Cotley Harriers, harassed and threatened League Against Cruel Sports monitor Graham Forsythe and Helen Weeks from Protect Our Wild Animals, as they attempted to video the Harriers near Yeovil.When the monitors tried to retreat to the safety of their car, they found it completely blocked in by hunt supporters. Dowell, of Burridge Farm, Chardstock, Axminster, who was given an £80 fixed penalty fine.

Mars bar with nail inOn 8/2/07 a hunt supporter was cautioned after trying to puncture a tyre with a nail hidden in a Mars bar. The attack on a hunt monitor’s car came as the Heythrop Hunt. Two women monitors from the Protect Our Wild Animals (POWA) group were filming the hunt, when one of them noticed a woman acting suspiciously near Womantheir vehicle. “A closer inspection revealed that the woman had placed a two-inch nail, embedded in a Mars bar, in front of one of the tyres,” said POWA spokeswoman Penny Little. “Swift action on the part of the monitor who owned the car ensured that the evidence was seized, despite attempts by the hunt follower to take it back, and the entire episode was captured on film.” The film was given to police and the woman was arrested and cautioned.

Anthony AlliboneDulverton Farmers huntsman was found guilty of assault after he rode his horse at hunt monitors. Anthony Allibone (49) of The Kennels, East Anstey, near Tiverton, Mid Devon, had pleaded not guilty to assault on the pensioner who was monitoring the hunt. But on 9/2/07 after a seven-hour trial at West Somerset magistrates sitting at Minehead ordered him to pay £100 compensation and a fine of £100.

Seven men were fined after being caught poaching in the Cotswolds. They all admitted coursing – hunting for rabbits or hares with dogs when they appeared before Cheltenham magistrates on 12/2/07. They seven were Dean Dallow (21) of Wednesbury, Lee Garrington (29) of Pershore and Craig and Scott Richards(32) and (19) both of Rowley Regis, were fined £400 for their part, because of a previous conviction for the same offence. Malcolm Fletcher (33) and Richard Smallman (20) both of Tipton, and David Quinn (43) of Brierley Hill, were given £300 fines.

Otis Ferry (again) who is the master of the South Shropshire Hunt, was thrown in a police cell after a raucous night at a BAFTAs after-show party on 11/2/07. Ferry was cautioned by police after throwing a photographer’s keys into the gutter outside London club.

A Northern Ireland Gaelic footballer is to appear before a court next month accused of keeping an illegal pit bull terrier for dog fighting. Tyrone player Gerald Cavlan (30) from Willow Gardens is charged with two counts of keeping a dangerous dog and four of keeping dogs without a licence. Cavlan was not in Dungannon magistrates on 12/2/07 for the hearing. The USPCA said at the time that a vet examined the male dog and found injuries consistent with wounds inflicted during dog fighting.

Hunt supporterhunt supporter subjected a grandmother to a torrent of verbal abuse and caused several hundred pounds worth of damage to her car in a bid to stop her monitoring the Vale of the White Horse Hunt. The monitor found her vehicle blocked onto a grass verge by hunt supporters who then shouted a volley of abusive and lurid language at her. Video footage handed to Thames Valley police shows a 68-year-old man, understood to come from the Cirencester area, forcibly pulling her car door open while swearing at her. Later on the same man reversed his own vehicle towards her forcing her to leap out of the way. On 22/2/07 the man was handed two adult cautions after admitting criminal damage to the sum of £540 and a public order offence.

Two men were fined for endangering migrating fish species by using illegal nets on the Welsh coast. Anthony Julian Jones, from Cardiff, and Kevin James Webber, from Tonypandy, were prosecuted after being caught using the fixed nets near Pendine, David SmithCarmarthenshire. Each man was ordered to pay a £175 fine with £75 costs by magistrates in Ammanford on 7/207.

David Smith (57) from Northdene Terrace, Seaham who is a builders’ merchant pleaded guilty to burying dead greyhounds at his home without a licence. It is claimed that Smith shot about 10,000 dogs with a bolt gun. On 16/3/07 he was fined at Durham Crown Court following a private prosecution by the Environment Agency, after police said he had committed no offence. Smith was fined £2,000 and also ordered to pay £2,000 costs. He admitted a single charge under the Pollution Prevention and Control (England and Wales) Regulations that he disposed of waste – the bodies of deceased dogs – on land without a permit.

On 28/2/07 the master of the Banwen Miners Hunt was found guilty of punching his horse in the head in a temper tantrum after losing a race. Lodewijk De Smet of Waun Hir Farm, Betws Ammanford, Camarthenshire yanked hard on the reins and galloped towards horrified spectators and children after hitting the animal. The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons said De Smet – who is also a vet – was guilty of using unjustifiable force against his horse. The Austrian vet had been competing in a relay race with his wife for the Banwen Miners Hunt. On 6/3/07 De Smet was cleared of a charge of professional misconduct by a disciplinary committee of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.

On 1/3/07 two Nelson men become the first in the county to be prosecuted under the Hunting Act 2005. They were arrested after being found near a badger sett with three dogs, one of which had a blood-stained muzzle. But Blackburn magistrates heard that the men had been hunting rabbits, a fact accepted by the prosecution after items of clothing and equipment had been sent for forensics examination. John Ryan Greenwood (29) of Hammond Street, and Daniel Frank Anness Graves (21) of Waidshouse Road, pleaded guilty to hunting rabbits with dogs. Graves was fined £50 and Greenwood £100 and both were ordered to pay £95 costs.

Ian Graves (45) of Waidshouse Road, Nelson allegedly stole back his pet dog from an RSPCA compound after it was seized by police. Graves had his dog impounded after it was taken as part of an investigation into badger baiting involving his son. On 17/3/07 he was taken to court over the theft, but denied the charge and had the case against him dropped after the baiting allegations were not proceeded with. The lurcher dog was taken after Graves’s son Daniel was arrested in connection with the badger baiting investigation. Daniel Graves and John Greenwood, of Hammond Street, became the first people in Lancashire to be prosecuted under the 2005 Hunting Act and pleaded guilty to hunting rabbits, but were cleared of badger baiting.

At Aberdeen Sheriff Court on 23/3/07 Alexander Cowe (34) of Rosario, Lumsden, Huntly was accused of killing a protected bird – a peregrine falcon – on an estate in Aberdeenshire. Cowe is said to have poisoned the bird at Clova Estate (grouse shooting estate), at Lumsden, near Huntly . Cowe is also accused of having a bottle of poison at his home address and at Tomatin Estate. Cowe is further accused of having a pesticide in his possession at his home address and elsewhere. This pesticide contained carbofuran, which can be used to poison birds of prey, it is alleged. The case was continued without plea until 12/4/07.

Paul McMullenOn 26/3/07 Paul McMullen (36) of Musker Drive, Bootle, Merseyside was convicted of using his dogs to kill a fox. McMullen was arrested after a woman reported a group of men with dogs digging into a badger set in Cheshire. He had denied hunting a wild mammal with a dog but was found guilty by magistrates in Chester. McMullen was fined £750 and ordered to pay £5,000 in costs. Two other men and a youth were sentenced for last year. Paul Kelly (21) of Outer Forum, Norris Green, Liverpool, pleaded guilty on 6/11/06 to hunting a wild animal with a dog and was ordered to pay £500 in fines and £2,896.09 costs. Mark Kenneth Walsh (18) of St Augustine’s, Netherton, Liverpool, admitted a charge of hunting a wild animal with a dog on 16/10/06. He was fined £500, ordered to pay costs of £2,896.07 and forfeit a number of spades and locator collars, and his dog, a tan and white terrier, was confiscated. The youth pleaded guilty at Sefton Juvenile Court on 16/10/06 to the same charge and was sentenced on 3/11/06 to an 18-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay costs of £500.


‘To much dismay, a lenient sentence has been passed on a man Mark James (47) of Eifl Road, Trefor, on the Lleyn Peninsula, North Wales, was given a conditional discharge and ordered to pay £56 costs after he was caught trapping garden birds to feed to his snake. James claimed that steel rat traps scattered around the garden were in place to deal with a serious rat problem, but admitted that he had accidentally caught a bird. During an interview, James admitted catching and freezing tits and feeding them to his snake, but maintained that they were ‘bycatch’ in his bid to rid the area of rats because, he claimed, the local authority had failed to do so. At Caernarfon magistrates on 10/1/06 James pleaded guilty to charges of killing and possessing wild birds.

The owner of a bird shop in Enfield was fined £2,500 and ordered to pay £6,000 costs after admitting illegally possessing nine goldfinches and having illegal wild bird traps set up in his garden. The RSPCA visited the Crews Hill Bird Centre, Theobalds Park Road, Crews Hill, Enfield, and found five goldfinches. The home of the owner, Kamran Motahammadani, at Plough Hill, Cuffley, Potters Bar, was then searched and four more caged goldfinches were found, plus two traps set to catch wild birds in his garden. Motahammadani claimed the birds had been given to him and said the traps were being used to catch an escaped canary, but he was convicted at Enfield magistrates on 10/1/06. The goldfinches were released back into the wild.

The proprietor of an auction house has been fined £6,000 after offering protected wild birds’ eggs for sale. Colin Peeke-Vout, who runs Willingham Auctions, Willingham, Cambridgeshire, was handed the fine by Cambridge Magistrates on 13/4/06 after pleading guilty to three charges of possession of, advertising and offering for sale 69 eggs.

A Burnley taxidermy dealer was fined £2,000 for buying and offering for sale a variety of stuffed birds and other animals. Alec Cunningham of Plumbe Street, Burnley pleaded guilty to five charges at Burnley magistrates on 26/4/06. Cunningham also pleaded guilty to possession of birds eggs and was fined a further £200. All the seized items were forfeited.

A falconer was fined £500 and ordered to pay £500 costs after the RSPB filmed him disturbing nesting peregrines in Nottinghamshire. On 7/7/06 at Mansfield magistrates Martin Groves of Leas Road, Mansfield Woodhouse, was found guilty on two charges of disturbance and one of being equipped to commit a disturbance offence. The Home Office recalled Groves to prison as he was out on licence for another matter. Three other men were cleared of all charges. They were Stephen Lewis of Salmon Lane, Annersley Woodhouse, Lee Butler of Hazel Crescent, Shirebrook and John Cooper of Langham Place, Mansfield.


Trainer Richard Guest of Brancepeth Manor Farm in County Durham was fined £2,750 by racing regulators following a criminal conviction of causing unnecessary suffering to a horse. Guest (41) and stable employees Richard Dalton and Louise Tidman, appeared at Durham magistrates on 15/2/07 follwoing the death of a horse. The trio were each given two-year conditional discharges. The horse was put down after developing a severe infection in her near-hind leg. Guest’s fine took into account four different factors, including the guilty plea to the criminal offence, the court costs of £14,731, the unusual nature of the injury to the mare and the favourable results of an inspection at Guest’s yard. Dalton and Tidman were both fined £250, a figure which reflects their personal circumstances. Guest pleaded guilty to failing to exercise reasonable care and supervision.


On 21/12/06 a circus boss and his employee were given suspended sentences and a fine of €25,000 for causing a collision in which a mother and daughter were killed in Galway. Stephen Courtney (35) from Earl Street, Longford town, and Francisco Daria (24), a Venezuelan national with addresses in Cherry Wood Park, Dublin, pleaded guilty at Galway Circuit Criminal Court to several charges relating to the collision. The mother and daughter were killed when a runaway circus trailer collided with their car. The judge sentenced Courtney to two years in prison and fined him €25,000 for intentionally or recklessly engaging in conduct that allowed a trailer to be attached to a lorry unit and another trailer in a defective manner. The sentence was suspended for two years. Daria – who had driven the circus lorry that pulled the trailer – was found guilty on two counts of dangerous driving and was sentenced to three years in prison on both charges, to run concurrently. The judge suspended both sentences for two years and disqualified the accused from driving for seven years.

A building firm was fined £7,000 after admitting destroying the breeding site of a protected species. Gerald Patrick McHugh of King Street, Seagrave, company secretary of McHugh Construction, pleaded guilty on behalf of the firm to destroying a structure or place used by great crested newts and a charge of damaging or destroying a breeding site of the same creatures. At Melton magistrates on 24/1/07 they fined the firm £3,500 for each charge, plus £70 costs. McHugh was also charged with the same offences, which he admitted. He was fined £700 for each. It is an offence to kill, capture or disturb newts, or to damage the places they use for breeding or resting.

A vet working at Alder Veterinary Hospital, Liverpool who became so addicted to the drugs he was using on animals was struck off on 2/2/07 after a misconduct hearing was told that he tried to staple a greyhound’s leg rather than its tail. Michael Mario McCarthy (31) escaped with a police caution and he was struck off the Register of Veterinary Surgeons for 10 months after admitting disgraceful misconduct. He also admitted three charges of stealing controlled drugs when he worked at the hospital and during other periods of employment.

On 5/2/07 a leading greyhound trainer has pleaded guilty to seven charges of possessing unauthorised animal “remedies”, some of which could be used to enhance the performance of dogs. Paul Hennessy from Rathvawn, Garryduff, Gowran, Co Kilkenny was fined €4,200 and ordered to pay €800 in expenses at Kilkenny District Court today for the possession of illegal substances. The prosecution was brought by the Special Investigations Unit of the Department of Agriculture and Food following a visit by veterinary inspectors to Hennessy’s premises.

A three-year ban on operating a pet shop has been imposed on a Barry woman by Vale of Glamorgan magistrates on 14/2/07. Margaret Pring of Charter Avenue, Barry who admitted two offences of failing to provide suitable accommodation for pets at her shop, ‘Kate’s Pets’, at Main Street, Cadoxton, was conditionally discharged for a year. Pring was also ordered to pay a contribution to Vale Council costs of £300.

A Norfolk meat company was fined £7,500 on 21/2/07 at King’s Lynn magistrates and ordered to pay £5,888 in total costs after admitting causing river pollution. It is the 10th time that Bowes of Brandon Road, Watton, Norfolk has been convicted of environmental offences, all of them breaching the same section of the water.

Three men have been fined thousands of pounds after a court heard how they sold poultry unfit for human consumption from a filthy farm. Owner Brian Clay (72) his brother Frank (66) and Vali Moosa Yusuf (30) of Oldham, admitted breaching regulations over the animals’ welfare, slaughter and transportation at Halifax magistrates on 3/3/07. The court heard how the chickens had their throats slit with a knife without being stunned and bags of blood and feathers were left lying around Sunnybank Farm, Royd Lane, Ripponden. Brian Clay was ordered to pay £4,800 in fines and costs. Frank Clay faces £2,100 in fines and costs and Yusuf £2,500. At Halifax magistrates on 11/9/00 Yusuf pleaded guilty to offences under the Welfare of Animals (Slaughter or Killing) Regulations 1995 and the Specified Risk Material Regulations 1997. Yusuf was fined a total of £250 and ordered to pay £100 costs.

On 15/3/07 two shopworkers were arrested as police seized 16 stuffed animals under new powers aimed at protecting endangered wild species. Kevin Cosgrove (67) the former owner of the Sellitall antiques shop in Blackburn Road, Accrington, and manager Paul Barrett, were later released on bail as part of the investigation. But Cosgrove said the raid, a week after his shop was criticised by war veterans for selling a Hitler Youth uniform, was the final straw and it would now close. Officers recovered a range of birds and animals, including three tawny owls, a European eagle owl, a sparrowhawk, two buzzards, two peregrine falcon, a Eurasian owl, a red squirrel, a Scottish wildcat, a mounted otter’s head and a mounted badger’s head.

On 23/3/07 Marlon Brown (23) was found guilty of stealing a rare squirrel monkey from his cage at Chessington World of Adventures. Brown was among a group who stole the endangered Bolivian monkey from the theme park in south-west London in July 2006. He denied the theft but traces of his blood were found in SpongeBob the monkey’s enclosure, a court heard. On 29/3/07 at Kingston Crown Court he was jailed for 12 months.

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

Farmer Angus Campbell may face a ban on keeping livestock after admitting causing unnecessary suffering to animals when he appeared at Chippenham magistrates on 25/1/07. Campbell (49) of Home Farm, Spye Park, near Calne also pleaded guilty to failing to dispose of dead livestock. On 21/2/07 Campbell was banned from sheep farming for ten years. In addition, the farmer also faced charges after breaching a two-year suspended sentence imposed on him in 2003 for similar offences. He will also have to complete 60 hours’ of community service and pay £2,000 towards the £6,000 court costs. The court granted the farmer three months to sell off the flock when he pointed out that the ban comes in the middle of lambing season.

A Kent farmer was banned from keeping animals for five years for causing unnecessary suffering to cattle and poultry at his farm in Halstead. Craig Sargent (46) of Clarks Lane, Halstead was also fined £12,000 and ordered to pay £20,000 in costs. RSPCA inspectors found a bull at Oaks Farm with hoofs so overgrown they were like Turkish slippers. Other cows were living in up to 3ft (1m) of slurry. At Sevenoaks magistrates on 31/1/07 they banned him from keeping sheep, cattle, birds and pigs. The court also heard Sargent also had a chicken shed containing birds so badly feather-pecked their backs were bleeding. Sargent was found guilty of three counts of causing unnecessary suffering to the bull, cattle and poultry. He was also found guilty of failing to ensure cattle had dry bedding and failing to provide fresh drinking water to cattle, pigs and sheep.

Farmer Michael Salvidge (51) of Poplar Farm, Easton escaped a custodial sentence after admitting causing animals to suffer. Salvidge admitted causing unnecessary suffering to a cow and pig, as well as failing to comply with animal by-product regulations.At Wells magistrates on 16/2/07 Salvidge was given a two-month prison sentence, suspended for a year, with a residency requirement at Poplar Farm, and was ordered to pay £200 towards prosecution costs.

Hampshire farmer John Kilford (62) of Oak Tree Farm, Cadnam was given 28 days to find new homes for his cattle after he admitted seven offences of causing unnecessary suffering to animals. At New Forest magistrates on 28/2/07 they banned him from keeping cattle for life and told him he was told to complete 180 hours of unpaid work and pay £1,544 costs.


Colette Alcock (35) of Alisa Avenue, Marto, Blackpool kept more than 60 animals at her home has admitted shocking cruelty to a pet rabbit. Alcock was found with a rabbit whose teeth were so long they had grown into its cheeks, causing an abcess and the most severe eye infection a vet had ever seen. Alcock – who had 40 rabbits, five dogs, three cats, several kittens, two parrots, fish, two budgies, a hamster and three ferrets in her home and rear garden – was banned from keeping rabbits for 10 years. On 5/1/07 at Blackpool magistrates Alcock was also given a two year conditional discharge and ordered to pay £350 costs. She pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to an animal.

On 5/1/07 Shenol Hussein (20) of Cotton Hill, Bromley, was sentenced at Greenwich magistrates after being found guilty of two counts of animal cruelty. The court heard Hussein was seen attacking his father’s pit bull terrier Bailey as he walked along the road. Several witnesses saw Hussein kick the dog repeatedly and drag it along the pavement by its lead. Hussein was arrested and was later sentenced to one month in prison, suspended for six months, and was ordered to carry out 36 hours of community service and pay £500 costs.

A 15-year-old has been banned from owning animals for five years after being sentenced for animal cruelty and burglary. Along with accomplice Daniel Davenport (21) of Nashe House, Nashe Way, Fareham they stole two guinea pigs and a rabbit after breaking into a shed. The pair admitted they had been drinking when they broke into the back garden. At Fareham Youth Court on 10/1/07 the youth was given a 24-hour attendance centre order and his mother, who accompanied the boy at his sentencing, was ordered to pay £90 compensation. Davenport of Nashe House, Nashe Way, Fareham, is to be sentenced on the same offences soon. Both had pleaded guilty to the charges at the first opportunity.

Derek BentonDavid BentonTwo brothers who allowed their dog’s weight to rise by almost four stone in two years have been convicted of causing unnecessary suffering. Derek Benton (62), and his brother David (53) both from Fordham, Cambs were found guilty on 12/1/07 of providing their pet Labrador with an inappropriate diet. They were given a three-year conditional discharge by magistrates in Ely.

Jordan Johnstone (22) of Gloucester Avenue, Accrington let his dog starve until it was less than half its normal weight has been banned from keeping animals for five years. Johnstone pleaded guilty to animal cruelty and was fined £100 with £700 costs at Hyndburn magistrates on 16/1/07.

Jones familyA couple were banned from keeping animals for life for causing unnecessary suffering to 36 animals at their three-bedroom council house. Glyndwr and Margaret Jones, from Gorseinon, Swansea were given 56-day suspended jail sentences and fined £2,000 each by a district judge on 16/1/07. Their son Michael (19) was banned from keeping animals for two years and ordered to do 150 hours community work. The RSPCA prosecution said 100 animals were found in “appalling conditions”. The Joneses were found guilty of three charges of causing unncessary suffering to 14 dogs and 22 cats. The parents had also been found guilty of breaching an order preventing them owning more than five pets each. Glyndwr and Margaret Jones both have a previous conviction from November 2003 for the exact same thing.

A woman has been accused of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal and helping someone pretend to be a vet. Lucie Gravell (27) of Gillfoot Road, Egremont, was due to appear before Whitehaven magistrates on 18/1/07. Gravell is accused of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal at her home by unreasonably failing to provide veterinary care for infected tail stumps. She is also accused of aiding and abetting persons unknown to say ‘that he did practice veterinary surgery whilst unregistered in that he did dock tails of certain animals, namely four rottweiler-type pups’.

Gregor Phillip Marnoch (32), of Parkview, Station Road, Birnam will go on trial at Perth Sheriff Court on 27/3/07 charged with biting a German Shepherd dog and causing the animal unnecessary suffering. Marnoch is alleged to have seized hold of the dog at a house at Broompark Crescent, Murthly and then bitten it, contrary to the 2006 Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act. A second charge alleges at the same address, on the same day, he committed a breach of the peace by shouting and swearing, and refusing to leave when requested by the occupier and the police, to the fear, alarm and annoyance of the public. He was freed on bail following a court appearance on 26/1/07.

Tania BarlowTania Barlow (28) of Foster Park, Stourbridge abandoned three pets, two dogs and a cat, in squalour without food and water for nearly a month until RSPCA inspectors broke in, a court heard. A Labrador dog was found dead from starvation and two other animals, a short-haired kitten and a Jack Russell-type dog, were both found to be suffering from severe dehydration and malnutrition. At Dudley magistrates on 26/1/07 Barlow was sentenced to three months in jail, suspended for 18 months. She was banned from keeping animals for life. Barlow pleaded guilty to two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to animals at an earlier hearing. She was also given 200 hours community service and told to pay £750 costs.

Tracy GreenOn 1/2/07 Tracy Green (30) from Salford was banned from owning an animal for 20 years after she left the family dog to die crippled and lying in its own filth. Green was charged with two counts of neglect towards her German Shepherd after the nine-year-old animal was found dead in a pool of its own urine and faeces. The dog was crippled in agony, unable to move from the kitchen of Green’s Flagship Avenue home for a week or more. Green was found guilty of failing to take the dog to a vet or provide an adequate diet. She was also handed down two 12-month community orders to run concurrently and ordered to pay £200 costs deducted from her state benefits.

A dog was left starving in the yard of a house for up to two weeks, a court was told. David William Marsh (34) of Mere Avenue, Leigh, was charged with causing unnecessary suffering to the dog. He failed to Diane Hannonattend Wigan magistrates on 2/2/07 to answer the charges and the case was proved in his absence. After hearing the evidence the magistrates found the case proved and issued a warrant for the arrest of Marsh.

Diane Hannon (42) from Old Colwyn, Conwy killed her boyfriend’s cat by putting it in a washing machine received a four-month suspended jail sentence. Hannon admitted causing unnecessary suffering and cruelly ill-treating six-year-old Paws, who was deaf. Paws suffered a heart attack, severe burns and loss of fur. Llandudno magistrates on 5/2/07 they also gave Hannon a lifetime ban from keeping any pet and ordered her to pay £300 costs.

Joanne McHugh (31) of Sidney Street, Boldon Colliery was given a suspended sentence for animal cruelty on 7/2/07 by magistrates. However, she was banned for life from owning another animal. The court heard McHugh left nine cats locked up without food or water for up to four months after she left her flat to move to the next street. The cats had to drink water from a filthy toilet bowl, and desperately scratched at walls to escape. Five starved to death. McHugh was given a six-month sentence suspended for two years. She was also banned from owning animals for life and ordered to pay £1,000 to the RSPCA.

Mason Fleming (18) of Moray Drive, Slough appeared at Bracknell magistrates on 15/2/07 charged with animal cruelty after a dog was thrown 130ft to its death from a block of flats. He was released on bail and is due to return to Bracknell magistrates 18/4/07.

On 16/2/07 at Birmingham magistrates Wasim Iqbal from Birmingham was been found guilty of abandoning six fledgling pigeons in a box by the side of a road. Iqbal was sentenced to a three-year ban on keeping pigeons, fined £100 and ordered to pay full RSPCA costs of £741.

A pet shop owner who stored dead puppies and kittens in a freezer has failed in her attempts to get out of paying £200,000 in fines and court costs. Doreen Pemberton (69) who ran The Family Pet Shop, in North Street, Romford, appealed to Snaresbrook Crown Court on 16/2/07 claiming she could not pay a £40,000 fine and £159,000 in costs. Pemberton from Hackney, was convicted on eight counts of causing unnecessary suffering to animals and 23 counts of unnecessarily exposing a dog to risk of illness or infection at Havering magistrates in December 2005. She was also given a four-month suspended prison sentence.

A sanctuary boss could be banned from keeping animals after admitting cruelty at the haven he has run for more than 20 years. Clifford Spedding (46) pleaded guilty to nine charges of animal cruelty against a variety of animals found at the Hope Animal Sanctuary, in Loftus, near Saltburn, east Cleveland. The charges relate to 93 offences of cruelty and two of keeping wild birds. Of the 93 offences, Spedding failed to provide veterinary treatment for 41 animals, while 52 animals suffered because of the conditions in which they were kept. The court was told he kept sick animals – that could not be re-homed – in terrible conditions and did nothing to alleviate their suffering. At Teesside magistrates on 22/2/07 he pleaded guilty to four of the offences, he denied 13 of the charges and the case went to trial. But Spedding then pleaded guilty to a further five charges. The other eight charges against him were dismissed. On 16/3/07 Spedding was given a four-month suspended prison sentence after admitting cruelty. He was also banned from keeping animals and birds for 15 years and given a 12-month supervision order and ordered to pay £200 costs.

On 28/2/07 Blackburn magistrates heard that John Robert Muir Layland (71) of Settle Road, Newsholmewas banned from looking after animals for life after a high profile RSPCA prosecution in 1997. He was jailed for neglect of thoroughbred horses which became known as the Gisburn 16. And when a police officer saw him walking four dogs along the lane leading to Gisburne Park Hospital, Layland had put himself at risk of going to prison for breaching the lifetime ban. Layland pleaded guilty to breach of the disqualification order. He was made subject to a three-month curfew from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. and ordered to pay £60 costs.

A Cornish property developer was been sent to prison for 13 weeks and also indefinitely disqualified from owning any animal after kicking his pet Persian cat to death and dumping her body in a river. Truro magistrates heard on 28/2/07 how Andrei Cox (34) from Trispen, Truro, became increasingly violent towards his cat as she was often muddy and soiled his new carpets. He admitted causing her unnecessary suffering at an earlier hearing. Cox eventually kicked her so hard that paralysis spread through her body, restricting her breathing and she died. He then dumped the body into a river where a member of the public found it and reported the death to the RSPCA. It is understood that Cox will appeal against his sentence.

A woman who kept 95 rabbits living in their own filth in her garage was condemned by the RSPCA after receiving a lifetime ban from keeping animals. Karen Brook (49) of Leyton Drive, Idle, Bradford, was given the ban at Bradford magistrates on 2/3/07 after the rabbits were found suffering from illness and injury, sadly all of them had to be put down. Brook, who pleaded guilty to five charges of causing unnecessary suffering, said she bought two rabbits four years previously but they multiplied and inter-bred.

David William Marsh (34) from Mere Road, Leigh was found guilty in his absence of causing unnecessary suffering to his border collie after he left it starving in the yard of a house for up to two weeks. Marsh appeared at Wigan magistrates on 2/3/07 after being arrested on warrant. Magistrates imposed a 12-month conditional discharge and banned Marsh from keeping any animals for 10 years. He was also ordered to pay £900 costs.

Kevin GallagerKevin Gallagher (43) of Charlotte Place, Avenham has been banned from keeping dogs after his “nearly emaciated” pet was found by the RSPCA. Gallagher admitted causing unnecessary suffering to his German shepherd by not providing it with a nutritional diet and failing to take it to the vets. At Preston magistrates on 13/3/07 Gallagher’s co-defendant Lucien Shillingford also admitted the same two offences but didn’t attend court. Both were fined £150 for each offence and Gallagher was banned from keeping dogs for six months. The defendant was allowed to keep his cat Marmalade and his fish.

On 15/3/07 a Scottish Kennel Club judge lost her breeder’s licence after she kept dogs on her puppy farm in appalling conditions. Dianne Heathcote kept fox terriers in cramped travel cages – allegedly for up to 14 hours a day with no light. Up to a third of them had matted fur and some had sores on their backs, necks and legs, according to Advocates for Animals Scotland. One dog was found dumped in a cage in a bin shed. Heathcote is vice-president of the Fox Terrier Club and judged the National Terrier Club Champion Show in April, 2005. Heathcote is also listed as a Scottish Kennel Club judge and has won numerous trophies and rosettes for her dogs. The horrific conditions at Corrie Kennels in Lockerbie were exposed by an undercover investigator from Advocates for Animals. Dumfries and Galloway Council refused to renew Heathcote’s breeder’s licence. The SSPCA were so shocked they obtained a legal order giving Heathcote two weeks to improve conditions at Corrie. The investigation did not involve the Corrie boarding kennels and cattery and Heathcote continues to be licensed to board animals there.

Rosalind Gregson (57) from Lindeth Road, Silverdale who is banned from keeping animals for life pleaded not guilty to breaching the prohibition when she appeared in court on 15/3/07. Gregson was also jointly charged with her husband, Alan (62) of 14 counts of causing unnecessary suffering to a number of dogs including shi tzus, Staffordshire bull terriers and Lhasa Apsos. Alan Gregson is also charged with aiding, abetting or counselling his wife to commit an offence. Both defendants entered not guilty pleas to all the allegations. The case was adjourned until 10/5/07 to set a trial date. More than 30 animals were removed from the property.

The animal torturer behind one of the worst puppy farms ever discovered in Northern Ireland, Graham Beck (22) from Katesbridge, Co Down. pleaded guilty to a series of animal cruelty charges on 15/3/07. Beck also admitted to having an unlicensed breeding operation, causing unnecessary suffering and receiving stolen property. His younger brother, Clarke Beck and father, Robert, were also convicted of similar offences at Armagh Magistrates Court. The trio, who are well-known to the USPCA, were responsible for feeding calves and lambs to starving Boxers, Rottweilers and Westies, allowing various dog breeds to live in concrete pits and sub-zero conditions and leaving lamb and calf carcasses to rot. The defendants also failed to provide bedding for the dogs and permitted six Westie pups to live in tiny make-shift dens, made from wooden doors. USPCA officials also discovered a treadmill used for training and strengthening fighting dogs. Other dead animals were also found on rubbish-tips, which had been set on fire.

A member of the Lurcher Search Organisation, which rescues lost dogs, pleaded guilty at Banbury magistrates on 19/3/07 to causing unnecessary suffering to an animal. Richard Penrice (52) of Deacon Way, Banbury, admitted the charge at an earlier hearing, when a charge of cruelty to the dog was dropped. Penrice was ordered to pay £1,500 costs and was given a conditional discharge, but through his solicitor he successfully argued that he should not be banned from keeping animals.

John Brennan (19) of Beattie Street, South Shields, was warned he faces jail after being convicted of animal cruelty at an earlier hearing. Brennan was back before South Tyneside magistrates on 22/3/07 to stand trial for breaching a community order imposed in January last year. But as the trial was due to begin he pleaded guilty, and admitted a further charge for turning up late at court. Brennan had been given a 15-month community order and a supervision order, and was ordered to complete 100 hours unpaid work. The case was adjourned for three weeks, when Brennan will be sentenced for both the animal cruelty offence and breaching his order. He was released on conditional bail. The court had heard how Brennan put a ferret in an eight-week-old guinea pig’s cage and laughed as the tiny animal was ripped to pieces. Its injuries were so severe that its skull was missing, its right leg was ripped off, back and ribs broken and it had several puncture wounds.


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