Police were alerted by a member of the public when they saw three men trying to interfere with a badger sett, Reedley magistrates were told on 5/2/09. The gang fled and left behind a terrier dog – which was later knocked down by a train and killed. Following a chase officers caught John Paul Fielden of Oxford Road, Burnley. Interviewed later, Fielden initially claimed he had been out with friends trying to track down foxes. He denied owning the dog which was killed. Fielden, admitted interfering with a badger sett. Another charge of hunting wild animals with a dog was withdrawn. Magistrates bailed him for pre-sentence reports and warned him that they could not rule out imposing a prison sentence.
On 13/3/09 police and animal welfare experts investigating alleged badger baiting conducted searches in Workington. The cross Border operation was conducted by officers from Cumbria and Dumfries and Galloway police, the RSPCA and the Scottish SPCA. It followed an incident that happened near Lockerbie on Saturday when two men in their thirties were arrested following the disturbance of a badger sett and the killing of a badger. A spokesman for Dumfries and Galloway police said that as a result of the searches conducted in Workington, a number of items had been seized including two terrier dogs, computers and DVDs. No more details of the people involved have been disclosed, but the two men have been bailed to appear at Dumfries Sheriff Court in April.
John Paul Fielden, 20, of Oxford Road, Burnley, was chased by police after digging out a badger sett avoided a jail sentence. On 15/3/09 magistrates heard how Fielden was caught by two officers in Cliviger after villagers spotted him and two friends interfering with a sett. Fielden, was handed a 12-month prison sentence suspended for 90 days and a one-year community order. He was also ordered to pay £75 costs and had items found at the scene seized. A court heard last month that Fielden and his friends fled after being chased by police when they were caught digging out a badger sett. However, they left behind a terrier dog which was later knocked down and killed by a train. Fielden was eventually caught by PCSO Dave Johnson and PC John Fairhurst close to the A646. He and his friends were found to have left behind a spade, netting, a transponder and a metal ring, which magistrates were told could be used to interfere with a badger sett. Another charge against Fielden of hunting wild animals with a dog was withdrawn at the earlier hearing.
One of the Queen’s gamekeepers at Balmoral is being prosecuted for wildlife offences after two badgers were killed by snares laid on the estate. Robbie Elliot is to appear at Stonehaven sheriff court in June. He has been accused under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 of failing to properly check the snares. It is understood the badgers were found in May last year, trapped in snares in a forested area of the Highland estate near Birkhall, the Scottish summer holiday home of the Prince of Wales. Elliot, 45, has denied the charges of failing to do so at earlier hearings.
Operation Seal was set up jointly between Northumbria Police and the RSPCA’s special operations unit. It followed an intelligence-led operation into badger baiting and cock fighting in Northumberland. On 29/5/09 search warrants were executed at three houses in the Lynemouth, Blyth and Whitfield areas of Northumberland under the Wildlife and Countryside Act and the Animal Welfare Act . Three men, one aged 32 and two 21-year-olds, were arrested. Police said a number of items, believed to be connected with badger baiting, had been seized. All three have been released on police bail pending further inquiries.
Michael Pierce, 57, was charged on 15/6/09 with shooting a badger dead after one of the protected creatures was found with a bullet wound last year. Pierce is charged with two offences under the Protection of Badgers Act 1992 – killing a badger and using a firearm to kill a badger. Pierce was held after a badger was discovered shot dead on land in Towendack, St Ives, Cornwall. The Cornwall Badger Rescue and Brock Badger Group learned about the dead animal and informed Devon and Cornwall police. Police Wildlife Protection Officer Sergeant Simon Dobson went to the scene and the badger was taken for a post-mortem examination. A vet confirmed the badger had been shot and a bullet was recovered as evidence. Pierce, from St Ives, has been bailed to appear before West Cornwall magistrates court on 30/6/09.
On 12/1/09 three men were found guilty of hunting with dogs after being caught in a field near Basingstoke. John Cole(65), John Giles (21), and Frederick Stevens (42), all of Winchester Road in Ash, were convicted at Basingstoke magistrates. Magistrates also ordered the men to give up their lurcher dogs. They were found in the field with four lurcher dogs. Cole, Giles and Stevens were each fined £200 and ordered to pay £100 towards court costs.
The girlfriend of Otis Ferry was arrested on 13/1/09 for allegedly perverting the course of justice. Francesca Nimmo, 22, was being quizzed by police along with Countryside Alliance official Adrian Simpson. Otis Ferry, Nimmo and Simpson, 53, are suspected of trying to influence a witness in his original case for robbery and assault.
Six men pleaded guilty to charges of hare coursing Alfred Harris, 21, George Stevens, 20, Danny Harris, 21, Robert Harris, 22, Sam Harris, 20, all from South East London, and Shaun Clark, 37, from Basildon, appeared at Harlow magistrates on 29/1/09. Magistrates ordered five of the men to pay a £275 fine, £100 in costs and £15 victim surcharge payment and the sixth, Clark, received a £350 fine, £100 costs and £15 victim surcharge. At the time of the incident they were in possession of a Subaru Legacy car which will be crushed by police.
On 3/2/09 up to a dozen people have been arrested for offences related to trespass, criminal damage and the illegal killing of animals following the largest Thames Valley Police operation against rural crime of its kind. Helicopters, dogs and officers from across the county were involved in the three-month crackdown against groups of men who drove into remote parts of the county at night for the fun of killing wild animals. The so-called ‘lampers’ used lamps to stun deer and rabbits before mowing the animals down with four-wheel-drive vehicles.
A retired farmer who set a baited trap in a way that was outlawed more than 100 years ago was fined £1,400 at Dumfries Sheriff Court on 5/2/09. Jonathan Galbraith (66) of Hightae, near Lockerbie, set the springer trap in the open after he lost a number of birds at his pheasant shoot at Dalton, near Annan.
A Devon huntsman is facing prison after being found guilty of deliberately assaulting an animal rights activist. Christopher Marles (48) of Farringdon, used his horse to knock Helen Weeks to the ground as she filmed the East Devon Hunt, Honiton magistrates heard on 11/2/09. He was serving a suspended sentence for attacking another hunt monitor when the assault happened in March 2008. Marles admitted assault but had denied he intended to hurt her. In October 2006, he was sentenced to nine months, suspended for two years, for causing actual bodily harm to 58-year-old Kevin Hill. Mr Hill was left with two black eyes and needed six stitches after being punched while filming the Devon and Somerset Staghounds. In the latest attack, magistrates heard Ms Weeks was filming near Whimpole as Marles repeatedly rode his horse into her. Magistrates found Marles had intentionally assaulted Ms Weeks with his horse. Marles was an amateur whip with the hunt. He no longer holds that position. On 13/3/09 at Exeter Crown Court he was sentenced to six months in jail for the offences. To watch the video of the attack click here.
On 2/3/09 John Deutsch, 55, of Ebrington Farm, Chipping Campden was granted unconditional bail at Gloucester Crown Court where he was charged with robbing two fox hunt monitors. He also faced charges of affray and common assault on both women.
A huntsman for the Duke of Northumberland has been charged with illegal hunting. Robert McCarthy, 34, of the Kennels, Cannongate, Alnwick, is alleged to have breached the Hunting Act of 2004 in an incident. He is due to appear at South East Northumberland magistrates 3/3/09. McCarthy also has a previous conviction – on 7/8/08 he pleaded guilty to two offences of Badger Sett Interference.
Jason Bradford, 37, from Walsall, Tom Connors, 22, from Cardiff, and Brian Powell,43, from Pontypool, were arrested near Faringdon. They were held as part of a crackdown on hare coursing in Oxfordshire called Operation Migrate. Bradford and Powell were fined £500 and ordered to pay £315 costs at Oxford magistrates on 9/3/09. Connors was fined £330 and also told to pay £315 costs. Charges against a 15-year-old boy were dropped.
On 10/3/09 charges of illegal hunting were dropped against Heythrop huntsman Julian Barnfield. The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) dropped the case against Barnfield. The huntsman was charged with four offences of hunting a fox, relating to incidents between November 2008 and February 2009.
On 10/3/09 charges against Otis Ferry of perverting the course of justice were abandoned due to the lack of evidence. Ferry’s girlfriend Francesca Nimmo, 22, Adrian Simpson, 53, and a third man were also arrested on suspicion of perverting justice will also not be charged.
The Earl of Yarborough has been banned from driving after hitting speeds of 125mph in his BMW on the A1. Lord Charles Pelham (45), the 8th Earl, admitted speeding near the Cambridgeshire town of Huntingdon. The earl, who lives on his family’s 28,000-acre Brocklesby estate, was stopped by police in his BMW 750i in the early hours. He was educated at Eton College, and is known locally as the leader of the annual Boxing Day Brocklesby Hunt. Huntingdon magistrates heard on 16/3/09 how Lord Yarborough told police he was travelling to London because there were concerns over the wellbeing of his son. The court heard police calculated the BMW had been travelling at speeds of between 105 and 125mph. He was banned for 90 days, magistrates also fined him £600 with £35 costs and a £15 Government-imposed victim surcharge.
A greyhound trainer who kept more than 30 dogs in “concentration camp” conditions with no food, water or light has been locked up for causing unnecessary suffering. Robert Freeman, 19, from Saron Ammanford, Wales, had been entrusted with looking after the animals when his father John, 52, fell ill at the kennels in Tiptree. Colchester magistrates heard on 20/3/09 how Freeman from Swansea left the dogs in cages covered in urine and excrement without food or water for days causing some of them to go “kennel crazy”, biting at the bars and walking round in circles constantly. Freeman who runs his own company training railway workers, was ordered to serve 90 days in a young offenders’ institute after he pleaded guilty to nine charges of causing unnecessary suffering. The court heard the National Greyhound Racing Club (NGRC) visited the kennels in Tiptree in February last year after a tip-off from a concerned member of the public. The RSPCA and police were called onto the property when conditions had not improved and seized 30 dogs and three puppies, many of which were underweight, were flea-ridden, had eye problems, a broken tail and untreated injuries. All of the dogs seized have since recovered, are now at a healthy weight and most have been re-homed. Freeman pleaded guilty to one charge of failing to prevent suffering to animals. He was given a 90-day sentence, which was suspended due to his ill health. He was also fined £500, ordered to pay £2,000 towards the £20,000 RSPCA bill and will be electronically tagged so he cannot leave his house between 9pm and 6am. Both men were banned from keeping animals for 10 years.
Jimmy Cash, 45, of Lybury Lane, Redbourn was fined £700 after being court hare coursing by police. He pleaded guilty to one poaching charge and a hare coursing offence under the new Hunting Act 2004. At Stevenage magistrates on 8/4/09 he was fined £350 for each offence, plus £400 costs and £15 to help victims of crime.
On 18/4/09 a date was finally set for the Scarborough trial of Clarissa Dickson-Wright on hunting charges. Dickson-Wright, of Midlothian in Scotland is accused of hunting hares with dogs and attending hare coursing events in March 2007. The offences are alleged to have taken place in Nunnington, near Helmsley and Amotherby, Malton. Dickson-Wright is due to stand trial on 1/8/09. Sir Mark Prescott, of Newmarket, is accused of similar offences and will also attend trial on that day. Five other people, who are being prosecuted for a number of alleged hunting related offences by the Crown Prosecution Service, will stand trial on 27/7/09. They are Miles Henry Easterby, 79, of Great Habton, Malton; Andrew Lund-Watkinson, 58, of Newton-on-Rawcliffe, Pickering; John Shaw, 55, of Welburn, Kirkbymoorside; Jacqueline Ann Teal, 43, of Scarborough Road, Norton; and Elizabeth Margaret Gibson, 45, of Appleton-le-Street, Malton.
Nigel Bell, 53, from the Wick and District Beagles, admitted the breach after he was filmed chasing the animal by anti-hunt monitors. Avon and Somerset Police confirmed Bell was cautioned on 29/4/09 at Thornbury police station in connection with the incident.
On 11/5/09 Robert MacIntyre, of St Patrick’s Walk in Heysham, pleaded guilty at Preston magistrates after he was spotted by a member of the public releasing two lurcher-type dogs to chase a hare on farmland. MacIntyre, 22, was fined £350 and ordered to pay £2,500 costs plus a £15 victim surcharge. He was also ordered to forfeit all hunting-related materials in his possession. At the same hearing, a Lancaster man pleaded guilty to failing to meet the needs of a lurcher-type puppy. Zachary Robinson-O’Connor, 23, of Barley Cop Lane, Lancaster, was fined £350 and ordered to pay £5,000 costs plus a £15 victim surcharge. He was banned from keeping dogs for two years, deprived of keeping the three lurcher-type dogs formerly in his care and ordered to forfeit all hunting-related materials in his possession. Hunting paraphernalia, including rabbit carcasses, terrier locator collars, maps, lamps, spotlights and books and DVDs on hunting and lamping were seized from both men’s homes, together with mobile phones, a laptop, and cameras.
On 22/5/09 Huntsman Otis Ferry was fined £350 and given a one-year conditional discharge after admitting a public order offence at a hunt in Gloucestershire. Ferry was charged with affray, robbery and assault after a dispute with two hunt monitors. The dispute with the hunt protesters happened when Ferry, from Eaton Mascott in Shropshire, was a guest of the Heythrop Hunt, which covers Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire. Fellow hunt supporter John Deutsch, 55, was also fined £350 after admitting affray. Both men were ordered to pay £100 costs.
A Redbourn man was banned from entering farmland throughout two counties with a dog after he was caught illegally hunting hares. Jimmy Cash,45, of Lybury Way has been given a two year anti-social behaviour order (ASBO), following a conviction under the 2004 Hunting Act . The order, issued at Stevenage magistrates on 5/6/09, prohibits him from trespassing, either on foot or in a vehicle, on agricultural or privately-owned land privately owner, with a dog anywhere in Hertfordshire or Cambridgeshire. He has been convicted of two offences in connection with an incident near Royston.
A Cumbrian man is set to face a trial after being accused of two acts of illegal hunting. John Harrison, 48, who is the Huntsman of the Ullswater Foxhounds of Grassthwaite Howe, in Glenridding near Penrith, appeared at Eden Magistrates charged with two counts of hunting a wild mammal with a dog. He pleaded not guilty to both offences, and will now go on trial before a district judge in Penrith over three days from 16-18/9/09. Harrison was granted bail. Both his solicitor and a representative from the Crown Prosecution Service will appear before magistrates in Carlisle on 17/8/09 for a review of the case ahead of the trial.
Dogfighting and Pit Bulls
On 12/2/09 three men who were arrested at a West Midlands house with 20 suspected illegal dogs, however they were bailed by police. The men were all arrested at a property in Edgbaston Road, Smethwick, in a joint operation with the RSPCA.The house was also raided in 2008 when 12 illegal dogs were found. The men will return to answer bail. The 20 dogs involved are believed to be illegal pitbull terriers and a banned Japanese Tosa.
An investigation into organised dog fighting has led to two arrests in West Yorkshire and the seizure of two pit bull terriers, a gun and ammunition. West Yorkshire Police and officers from the RSPCA raided a house in Fairfax Avenue, Drighlington, on 13/2/09 as part of an investigation into dangerous dogs and organised dog fighting. Officers seized two pit bull terriers, a quantity of suspected drugs, pornography, a firearm and ammunition. A man aged 37 and a woman aged 38 were both arrested on suspicion of possession of a dangerous dog, along with drugs and firearms offences. The dogs are currently in kennels and both people have since been bailed.
The owner of an illegal pit bull terrier used in dog fighting and left without veterinary treatment escaped being locked up. Mohammed Fedar (20) of Westfield Road, Smethwick, swaggered out of West Bromwich magistrates on 14/2/09 and posed gangster style for photographs after getting a 20-week sentence suspended for 12 months. Fedar was also banned from keeping animals for 10 years. He must also do 250 hours of unpaid work after admitting possessing an illegal dog and causing unnecessary suffering. Magistrates also ordered destruction of the dog. The dog, on a five-ft chain in the back garden, had 69 separate wounds caused by fighting with punctures to his mouth and ears and blood around his nose. There were inch-long infected gashes to his legs with wounds ranging from two days to weeks old. Fedar must pay £500 toward court costs.
A teenage yob who encouraged dogs to fight one another in the street faces jail if he lets them wreak havoc again. Thomas Broadhurst (19) of Regal Road, Croxteth, encouraged fighting between the animals in Croxteth. Now he faces several years in prison or a hefty fine if he allows a dog to run loose or without a muzzle again. Broadhurst was made subject to a two-year anti-social behaviour order (Asbo) yesterday. He is still allowed to walk a dog, but the animal must be muzzled and on a lead. Broadhurst, could be jailed for five years if he is spotted with a dog running freely. Liverpool magistrates court heard on 18/3/09 his behaviour intimidated people living in his neighbourhood. The order also means Broadhurst faces a stiff penalty if he is caught riding any motorbike, scrambler, quad bike or go-ped in public in Liverpool, unless he is properly licensed and insured. It further bans the teenager from associating with certain named individuals. He is not allowed to enter certain parts of Croxteth and faces a stiff penalty if he causes harassment, alarm or distress to anyone in Liverpool, outside of his own family. The order was obtained by Merseyside police, Cobalt Housing and Liverpool’s anti-social behaviour unit.
Six people appeared before Lincoln magistrates charged in connection with a nationwide RSPCA investigation into dog fighting. Seven men and two women were charged after the RSPCA raided the homes of alleged dog fighting enthusiasts in Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Birmingham and Teeside. On 20/2/09 John and Claire Parker, both 44, and of Kexby Lane, Kexby; Owen Batey (40) of Cannock Road, Middlesbrough; Kenneth King (35) of Main Street, Ragnall; and Mohammed Farooq (33) of Daniels Road, Bordesley Green, Birmingham all appeared before magistrates. A 16-year-old boy from Birmingham, who can not be named because of his age, also appeared before the court. Three other people have also been charged in connection with RSPCA investigation but were not required to appear in court. In total the nine people face more than 60 charges. No pleas were entered and the case was adjourned for a four week trial beginning at Lincoln magistrates 7/9/09. A pre-trial hearing will take place at Lincoln Crown Court on 16/6/09, which all nine defendants were ordered to attend.
On 6/4/09 two suspected fighting dogs were seized and three people arrested after police and RSPCA raids in Lancashire. Officers visited addresses on Clinton Street, Logwood Street and St James’s Road in Blackburn as part of an investigation into dog fighting. Two men, aged 22 and 25, and a 22-year-old woman were arrested on suspicion of animal cruelty and are being questioned by police in the town. The dogs will now be looked after by RSPCA officers, who also seized some tropical fish and a bearded dragon.
John Knibbs (45) of High Field, Harrowby Hall Estate, Grantham, pleaded guilty to five charges at Grantham magistrates including failing to prevent two Presa Canarias dogs he owned from fighting and owning equipment in connection with dog fighting. Knibbs also admitted owning five pit bull terriers which are banned under the Dangerous Dogs Act. Knibbs was sentenced to 22 weeks in prison. He is already serving time for other offences. He is banned from keeping or owning any animal indefinitely. He must wait at least 10 years to appeal the ban. The prosecution followed a raid on Knibbs’ home, during which RSPCA inspectors also found a dead bull terrier discarded in a bin. The dog had died from malnutrition. The court was told how RSPCA inspectors had discovered a breaking stick used to separate fighting dogs, dog fighting books and DVDs, weighing scales and medication to treat injured animals.
An allegation that a Glodwick couple organised dog fights has been withdrawn by the RSPCA. Raja Hussain (28) and Tasleem Akhtar (33) appeared before magistrates in Oldham on 1/6/09, when all charges against Akhtar, of Mansfield Road, were dropped. Her husband admitted eight charges relating to animal welfare and keeping dangerous dogs, but previous charges relating to dog-fighting were withdrawn. Hussain, who gave his address as Brook Lane, was banned from keeping any domestic pets for a period of five years after he signed over the ownership of three pit bull-type dogs to the RSPCA. The charges against him related to causing unnecessary suffering to three dogs by failing to provide them with veterinary care, failing to protect two dogs from pain, suffering, injury and disease, and keeping dangerous dogs without the correct paperwork. One dog, called Hitler, was confined in a recess under the stairs by a metal gate, surrounded by urine -soaked newspaper, and had fresh wounds, a badly swollen face, puncture wounds on the inside of his lips, face, neck and forelegs, and no food or water. A second, Sandy, was in a puppy crate in the kitchen and had a severe ear infection, and the third, Demon, was in an outside wire mesh dog pen. Demon had multiple healing bite wounds to his face and forelegs, and a “nasty wound” to the tip of his tail. Hussain was also ordered to complete 100 hours of community service in the next 12 months, and told to pay £250 towards the RSPCA’s £17,800 costs of vets and boarding fees, and £2,111 of investigation costs.
A Louth businessman who hung a dead rook from a tree in order to scare away other birds has lost his appeal against a conviction for breaching the Wildlife Act. Giancarlo Orlandi, a restaurateur from Main Road, Termonfeckin, claimed in Dundalk Circuit Court that 30 birds were making his life a “living hell”. Orlandi appeared in the court on 19/2/09 having previously being prosecuted on three charges and fined £1,500 for his mistreatment of the birds. Orlandi was prosecuted on three summons under sections 13 and 22 of the Wildlife Acts 1973-2000, which protects rooks and other native animals from destruction.
Henry King, 41, of Ilderton Road, Rotherhithe, was found guilty at Camberwell magistrates on 19/2/09 of illegal possession of 28 wild birds and neglecting dogs. On 20/2/08 he was sentenced to 10 weeks in custody and banned from keeping all animals for 10 years. A 17-year-old boy who cannot be named was also found guilty of possession of two wild birds and will be sentenced at Camberwell Youth Court on 18/3/09. An anonymous tip-off led police and RSPCA inspectors to the permanent traveller site in Ilderton Road. They found the birds in cages in outhouses and a caravan, and two injured dogs that had not been taken to a vet. They also discovered two traps and specialist glue used to catch the birds. The dogs have been rehomed and the birds released back into the wild.
More than 100 birds suspected of being illegally trapped and caged were seized from a house in Maidenhead on 7/4/09. Following a tip-off, Thames Valley police wildlife officers carried out a warrant in Powney Road under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. The officers found over 100 birds, including 13 wild birds, in wire cages. The rest were domestic birds which had been bred in captivity. The birds included Goldfinches, Siskins and Black Caps. A 57-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of possession of wild birds and released on bail until 4/6/09.
A falconer whose owls starred in a Harry Potter film has been jailed for animal cruelty. Kenneth Lea, 51, of Bierley Lane, Bradford, pleaded guilty to 17 charges relating to the neglect of animals at Old Park Farm, Welbeck Lane, Wakefield. Lea was jailed on 11/5/09 for 12 weeks concurrent and banned from keeping animals for five years. A vet called to the farm during last year’s RSPCA swoop, as Lea was being evicted, described it as squalid, filthy and abandoned. The court heard that when Wakefield Council pulled funding at the farm, Lea got into debt to pay to feed the birds and struggled to look after them on his own.
A Midlands man has been charged with illegally selling owls. Officers from West Mercia Police, the National Wildlife Crime Unit and Royal Society for the Protection of Birds searched a property in Foley Park, Kidderminster, on 15/6/09. As well as seizing a number of wild birds, including barn owls, police found a stash of firearms. The man, who is in his 50s, was arrested on suspicion of the prohibited sale and purchase of barn owls and possessing wild birds. He was released on police bail and is due to appear at Kidderminster magistrates on 25/6/09.
On 9/2/09 at Denbigh magistrates, Anita Ashley (56) who once had 140 horses on her land at Coral Springs, Llandegla, was found guilty of three offences relating to animal welfare. She was acquitted on a further five charges, and her friend, Duncan Lloyd (70) was cleared on eight charges. Lloyd had already admitted failing to provide food and shelter for a foal found lying in mud in a field at Ty Newydd, Llandegla. Ashley was found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to an Alsatian pup which she sold to a couple who spotted an advert in a Mold shop window. It was later found to have a broken leg. The second finding of guilt related to two Highland cattle which Ashley kept at Coral Springs. She was found guilty of failing to control them after witnesses described how the animals were allowed to roam in adjoining woodland, presumably in search of food, because of the lack of grazing on her land. The final finding of guilt related to a stallion owned by Ashley which was kept in a stable at Ty Newydd. Both Ashley and Lloyd were cleared of failing to provide proper care for a Labrador pup kept in the boot of an old car and a German Shepherd which was in the car itself. On 31/3/09 she was banned from keeping dogs, cattle and horses for 10 years. The District judge at Llandudno court imposed a three months jail term, suspended for two years. Ashley’s friend Duncan Lloyd, 70, of T Newydd, Llandegla, who admitted a single offence of failing to provide adequate shelter for a foal, was fined £200 and ordered to pay the £15 victims’ surcharge. Prosecuting counsel for Denbighshire county council, said there was a civil order which required Ashley to pay £40,000 within 28 days. Ashley had been acquitted on a further five charges while Lloyd had been cleared on eight counts. On 26/9/07 Ashley was fined £180 because she did not have passports for her horses. Ashley pleaded guilty at Denbigh magistrates to a single charge of failing to obtain a passport. She was also ordered to pay £120 costs. Two charges of causing unnecessary suffering to animals and one of failing to obtain a dog breeding licence were dismissed.
A parish councillor was banned from keeping animals for ten years and ordered to pay more than £3,000 in costs after pleading guilty to three counts of animal cruelty. Anderson John Crowe, 43, a councillor for Widdrington Station and Stobswood and formerly of The Parks, Broomhill, caused unnecessary suffering to a chestnut stallion. On 20/2/09 Alnwick magistrates heard how Crowe, who now lives in Widdrington, left the two-and-a-half-year-old horse in a field in Warkworth with a head collar which was too tight, infected wounds on his skin and feet and sunburn on his nose. Crowe was also ordered to pay £3,441 in costs and was given a 12-month community order with 200 hours of unpaid work.
Pauline Rushin, 68, of the Hallsteads, Kniveton, appeared at Derby magistrates on 20/2/09, pleading guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to seven horses. A previous conviction in 1992 of causing suffering to a dog had been taken into account. Mrs Rushin received a 12 month community order and she will have to complete 150 hours unpaid work. She was disqualified from keeping large animals for life although she can appeal against this in 10 years time. She will have to pay a £300 contribution towards costs, but because of her small £125 pension income, this was reduced.
An 84-year-old horse show judge has been jailed in “one of the worst cases of neglect” seen in recent times by the RSPCA. Monica Hope Hewitt, aged 84, pleaded guilty to 13 counts of causing unnecessary suffering to the animals at her home in Roston, between Uttoxeter and Ashbourne. She allowed 31 ponies and four dogs to suffer for what a vet estimated to be a “period of up to five years”. The court heard that seven of the ponies and two of the dogs had to be put down. Hewitt’s daughter, 56-year-old Monica Mary Hewitt, of Rocester, pleaded guilty to 15 counts of causing unnecessary suffering in relation to the incident and was given a four-month sentence, suspended for 12 months. Monica Hope Hewitt was sentenced to four months in jail at Derby magistrates on 6/3/09. Hewitt, who has been a judge for the Welsh Pony and Cob Club since 1990, also had four Jack Russell terriers in pet carrying cases. Hewitt senior was sentenced to concurrent terms of four months for each of the 13 counts against her. She was banned from keeping animals for life. Her daughter was also ordered to undertake 200 hours’ unpaid work and given a community order for 12 months.
The father of a family who neglected more than 100 horses, ponies and donkeys on a Buckinghamshire farm was jailed for six months. James Gray, 45, and four family members were also banned from keeping equines by Aylesbury magistrates on 12/6/09. Gray’s wife Julie, 41, and daughters Jodie, 26, and Cordelia, 20, were given 150 hours community service. Son James, 16, was given a supervision order. During the sentencing hearing, James Gray senior, a horse trader, was ordered to pay costs of £400,000 to cover the expenses of the investigation by the RSPCA and the trial which was held at Bicester magistrates. Julie Gray was ordered to pay £750 costs. Both daughters must pay £500 costs. Jodie Gray, the only family member not to live at the farm, has an unknown address. Along with Cordelia, the women gave notice of appeal against sentence. Gray, 45, and his son were found guilty of 11 charges under the Animal Welfare Act 2006. His wife and daughters were each found guilty of two charges. The trial heard RSPCA staff and vets removed 115 animals from Spindle Farm in Amersham.
A father-of-four was convicted of killing a cat in a ‘slow and painful way’. Ian Smedley, 33,of Blakeney Crescent, Melton, pleaded guilty at Melton magistrates on 13/12/07 to causing the death of his neighbour’s pet by setting a snare. Smedley, who is serving in the Armed Forces, claimed the plastic loops were attached to the bottom of his garden gate to stop animals getting in, not to kill. Smedley’s neighbour discovered their nine-month-old pet cat dead with a noose around his neck. They called the RSPCA and Insp Claire Mitchell discovered and removed another two snares from Smedley’s garden. Smedley was sentenced to 150 hours’ unpaid community service, to be completed within a year, ordered to pay £250 costs and banned from keeping animals for five years.
On 24/2/09 Brendan Rogers, 33, of Robert Avenue, St Albans was jailed for 18 weeks for cruelty to animals after three dead cats with extensive injuries were found in his car in Hertfordshire. Rogers was arrested in a car park Stevenage magistrates heard, they were also shown x-rays of the cats with extensive fractures and few unbroken bones. Rogers pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to animals. He was also banned from keeping animals for life and had his dog seized and taken into care by the RSPCA.
A 21-year-old Telford man could face up to five years in prison after admitting trading in endangered species of tortoise following a dawn raid on his home. David Johnson, of Captain’s Meadow, The Rock, admitted six charges of illegally selling either Hermann’s or spur-thighed tortoises when he appeared before Telford magistrates on 23/3/09. Johnson, also admitted illegally buying a Hermann’s tortoise and furnishing a false document to obtain a permit. The case was adjourned to Shrewsbury Crown Court for sentencing. Johnson was bailed.
A fisherman who clubbed 21 grey seal pups to death on a remote Scottish island was jailed for 80 days. Jimmy Stewart, 47, admitted mutilating, beating and crushing the animals on the Shetland island of East Linga. Stewart, who battered the heads of the seals with a wooden fence post, was jailed at Lerwick Sheriff Court on 25/309. Charges against a second man also accused of being involved, John Eunson, were earlier dropped.
Two years of dumping waste has resulted in a five month prison sentence for a Buxton man. On 27/2/09 Timothy Leslie Birchenough of Wibbersley Farm, Doves Holes, near Buxton was sentenced on five counts in relation to the illegal operating of a waste site. The charges were brought by the Environment Agency under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 at Nottingham Crown Court. Charges were also brought by the Trading Standards Division of Derbyshire County Council and the Department for Business, Enterprise & Regulatory Reform. Mr Birchenough received a total of 17 months imprisonment for a variety of charges.
On 1/4/09 the owner of a circus was charged with an assault alleged to have occurred during a protest about their show. Ryszard Tomaszewicz, 49, who co-owns Circus Mondao, was charged with assault on an animal rights protestor. The protestors were outside the circus when the assault is alleged to have occurred. Tomaszewicz is accused of assaulting a female protestor who was handing out leaflets at the site demonstrating against the use of the animals.
Ben McLeod, 50, Yeaman Place, Edinburgh ran an illegal pet shop from a flat in the Edinburgh boasting he could get people “any dog they wanted” has been fined £300. McLeod advertised dogs for sale on social websites and in local free papers and kept several animals at his home, despite not having suitable facilities or a licence. At Edinburgh Sheriff Court on 16/4/09, he admitted a breach of the Pet Animals Act and was fined.
Farm Animals (Guardians Of The Land – My Arse!!!)
A farmer is to face Whitehaven magistrates on a series of farm animal welfare charges. Anthony Green, 26, of High Stowbank, Kirkland. Fourteen charges were listed against him at the magistrates court on 15/1/09. Green did not appear before the magistrates but through his solicitor entered not guilty pleas on two of them and guilty to the rest except two which were withdrawn by the prosecution. The two denied charges relate to his alleged failure to provide suitable diet to a cow and a lamb in order to protect the animals from suffering. A trial was fixed for 26/2/09. Two other charges which he has admitted accuse him of being responsible for farmed animals and failing to ensure on one occasion an adequate supply of fresh drinking water and, on the other, a sufficient quantity of material such as straw and hay for two pigs in a trailer. Other charges concern failure to keep an up to date register of sheep and failing to report the movement of sheep and calves. He has also pleaded guilty to one other offence of failing to dispose of a pig carcass and a lamb carcass without undue delay under the animal by-product regulations.
Police and animal welfare officials swooped on a farm near Bromham because of concerns about the well being of a large number of livestock. Police officers were executing a warrant looking for stolen goods at Wyatts Lake Farm at Westbrook on 29/1/09 when they came across the carcass of a pig. They found more dead pigs on the farm and called in a RSPCA inspector, a vet from Defra, animal health officers from Wiltshire County Council and environmental health officers from Kennet District Council who spent several hours at the farm checking on the condition of pigs and chickens. Lance Beale58, who grows vegetables at Wyatts Lake Farm, is banned from keeping livestock following a long running court case and said a company, not him, was responsible for the welfare of the animals on the farm. However, information from Companies House shows he is listed as a current director and company secretary of the said company. The Police said the carcasses of about eight pigs were found and one pig, which was lame and malnourished, was despatched by a police firearms officer. On 29/12/05 Beale was banned from keeping livestock for ten years by a judge at Salisbury Crown Court after he was convicted of 14 animal welfare charges relating to sheep he kept at Wyatts Lake Farm between November 2000 to January 2001.
A mother and daughter who caused unnecessary suffering to a potbellied pig which later died have been banned for life from keeping the animals. Delia Williams, 60, and Crystal Jones, 22, of Winch Wen, Swansea, were also given a two-year conditional discharge. A vet told magistrates on 17/2/09 the pet pig had suffered from malnutrition for “weeks if not months.” They were cleared of a second charge of causing it unnecessary suffering by starving it. Sentencing the women, magistrates ordered each to pay £1,500 costs.
A Dove Holes farmer was given a 17 month prison sentence for illegal waste tipping and animal welfare offences including causing unnecessary suffering to an injured calf. Timothy Leslie Birchenough, 50, of Wibbersley Farm, Dove Holes, has now been banned from keeping cattle or sheep for a period of ten years, appeared before Nottingham Crown Court on 5/3/09. Birchenough, admitted five offences which included two charges of failing to correctly dispose of rotting animal carcasses and two charges of failing to ensure the needs of his cattle were met. He was sentenced to five months in total for the animal welfare offences and received a further two months imprisonment for breaching a suspended sentence imposed in January 2007. A further five month prison sentence was imposed after Birchenough obtaining credit totalling £37,506.10 while an undischarged bankrupt between January and July 2005. No order was made for costs or compensation, estimated to be in excess of £47,000.
A West Cumbrian farmer who admitted causing suffering to pigs, sheep and cattle has been banned from keeping or working with farm animals for 15 years. Anthony Green, 26, of High Stowbank, Kirkland, near Ennerdale, now has just one month to remove the remaining stock from his 10-acre smallholding. He admitted causing suffering to animals and failing to keep proper records for their welfare and movements. Green, who admitted 12 charges, must also carry out 250 hours of unpaid work over the next year. The ban covers sheep, cattle, goats and pigs. On 28/3/09 he was told he has also to pay £500 court costs.
On 31/1/09 US rap star DMX was sentenced to 90 days in prison for theft, drug possession and animal cruelty offences. Real name Earl Simmons (38) admitted one count of animal cruelty after authorities found 12 neglected dogs and three carcasses, along with drug paraphernalia and weapons after a search at his home.
Two North Wales Police officers who were filmed kicking and throwing their pet dogs around have lost pay, but been allowed to keep their jobs. On 4/2/09 Pcs Anja Mason(29) and Craig Macleod (34) were both docked 10 days’ pay, the force has confirmed. They admitted causing suffering to the two dogs after a neighbour filmed the abuse at a house in Prestatyn.
Joan Adams’ (67) terraced home was so filthy even fleas refused to live there, a court heard. Two dead kittens were left rotting in a cupboard, 4ft piles of excrement covered the floors and five cats had to be put down after the RSPCA were called. Adams was given a 12-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months and ordered to complete 150 hours of unpaid work. She was also banned from keeping animals – despite an attempt to keep two of the cats she was most fond of. At Manchester magistrates on 4/2/09 Adams’ daughter Anne (43) who had earlier pleaded guilty to the same offences but was absent from court. A warrant was issued for her arrest.
On 11/2/09 Elsie Nash (79) of of Kingsbury Road, Erdington, Birmingham was convicted of cruelty after keeping 40 cats at her home while banned and was given a suspended prison sentence. Nash was sentenced to 12 weeks’ imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, and banned from keeping any cats for life. Nash, had previously been convicted of 13 charges of animal cruelty, at Birmingham magistrates.
A drunk reveller who repeatedly kicked and stamped on his dog’s head at Surbiton station has been banned from owning animals and sentenced to two weeks in prison. Shane Walker, 20, Bridge Wharf, Chertsey, admitted beating his auntie’s pitbull terrier, horrifying onlookers and leaving his pet whimpering, Kingston magistrates heard on 12/2/09. But because he is currently serving four months in prison for burglary, his two-week sentence will run concurrently and he will not serve any extra time. Walker has been banned from keeping any animal but will be allowed to apply to have the order lifted after 12 months.
A man who hit a puppy with a frying pan has been given a suspended sentence after admitting causing unnecessary suffering to the animal. John Bagster, 20, of The Acres in Barnack, near Stamford in Lincolnshire, was also banned from keeping animals for 15 years at Grantham magistrates on 12/2/09. He was sentenced to 21 weeks in a young offenders institution for each of three charges – to run concurrently – were suspended for one year. Bagster was also sentenced to 120 hours community service and ordered to pay RSPCA costs of £700. He had pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to charges of physically assaulting an animal and failing to provide veterinary attention causing the puppy to suffer unnecessarily.
A starving dog ate its dead kennel mate after their owner left them without food for weeks. The Border collie died in agony in the locked shed he was forced to share with his alsatian pal. She fed on his remains until she also perished from hunger. Owner Marianne Stribling, 27, admitted causing unnecessary suffering to the dogs and failing to feed a pet rabbit. It was later put down by tipped-off RSPCA vets. On 30/1/09 Stribling told magistrates at Barnstaple, Devon, she owed £20,000 on a credit card and could not afford to feed the animals. Stribling will be sentenced on 19/2/09.
On 19/2/09 Declan Baker, 18, from Forfar, who put a four-week-old kitten in a microwave was given 120 hours community service and banned from keeping pets for seven years. Baker drunk half a bottle of whisky before cooking the young cat. A horrified friend rescued the kitten, which was convulsing and struggling to walk but it had to be put down by vets. Baker admitted the animal cruelty charges against him. Baker was also ordered to pay £150 compensation to cover vet’s fees.
A dog-owner who lost his temper, grabbed an air pistol and shot his pet in the eye in front of a child was banned from keeping animals for two years and ordered to pay fines and costs of £2,200 on Monday. Yeovil man Simon Galliott, 33, was told by magistrates his actions towards his Staffordshire bull terrier were “appalling” and he could have been sent to prison. He admitted causing unnecessary suffering to the dog when he appeared before South Somerset magistrates on 24/2/09. Galliott was fined £1,200 and ordered to pay £1,000 costs.
A couple admitted causing suffering to a dog, cat and reptiles. Scott and Maureen Beaumont, now of Grove Road, Chatham, committed the offences while living in Charing. They both pleaded guilty of causing suffering to a German Shepherd dog, a cat, a green iguana, a blue tongued skink and a white monitor lizard. The dog was too thin, the cat had a collar on that was too small and caused injury and the reptiles were all under fed. They were also found guilty of not providing a proper environment for the animals. On 23/2/09 they were ordered to carry out a 130 hours community punishment order and pay £1,500 in costs.
A mother and daughter left a cancer-stricken pet dog to suffer without treatment. Sylvia Henman (53) of St Augustines Road, Chesterfield, and daughter Kizzy Henman (28), of St Augustines Mount, Birdholme, Chesterfield, were jailed after pleading guilty at Chesterfield magistrates on 4/3/09 to causing unnecessary suffering to an animal. Both mother and daughter were sentenced to six weeks in prison and banned from keeping animals for ten years.
A pair of brothers have been banned from keeping animals for 10 years after admitting cruelty to two dogs. Andrew Jackson, 21, and Adam Jackson, 19, of Clement Street, Accrington, pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to one dog and failure to provide an adequate diet to another at Hyndburn magiastrates on 5/3/09. The Jacksons’ were banned from keeping animals for 10 years, ordered to pay £200 fine each, £200 costs each and £15 victim surcharge each.
A mother and daughter have been banned from having animals for life after a dog and two cats were left to fend for themselves in a flat which resembled “a kennel”. Christina Trickett, 42, and her daughter Ann-Marie Bell, 21, were later questioned over the discovery. Trickett, formerly of Bonfire Hill Road, Crawshawbooth, but now of Stanley Street, Bacup, and Bell, of Bacup Road, Rawtenstall, each admitted two offences of causing unnecessary suffering to a dog and four offences relating to the welfare of the two cats. On 17/3/09 magistrates imposed a lifetime ban on the pair from keeping animals and ordered them to pay £250 costs.
On 23/3/09 Daniel Winspear, 18, was ordered to carry out 250 hours of unpaid work following his drunken attack on the animal at a house party. He was alone when he repeatedly smashed a tortoises shell, but was later found smiling in his seat with a baseball bat still in his hand. Winspear, of Hartlepool, admitted causing unnecessary suffering to a protected species and was told to pay the court £1,652, which including legal and vets bill and the investigation costs and he was banned from keeping animals for 10 years.
Anita Ashley, 56, of Coral Springs, Llandegla, has been banned from keeping certain animals for 10 years after being found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering. Ashley had once kept 140 horses on her land. But during a two week trial she was convicted on three counts of causing unnecessary suffering to a pup and to a second Alsatian. She was also convicted of failing to treat an Arab stallion which couldn’t eat properly because of the condition of his teeth, and of failing to look after two Highland cattle which were allegedly left to roam. On 30/3/09 she was sentenced at Llandudno magistrates. She was banned from keeping dogs, cattle and horses for 10 years. Ashley’s friend Duncan Lloyd, 70, of T Newydd, Llandegla, who admitted a single offence of failing to provide adequate shelter for a foal, was fined £200 and ordered to pay the £15 victims’ surcharge. Ashley had been acquitted on a further five charges while Lloyd had been cleared on eight counts.
Christopher Collyer, 25, of Kings Crescent, Morecambe was convicted on 14/4/09 of killing a seven-year-old Springer Spaniel in Keighley. He was sentenced to 24 weeks in prison by Bradford magistrates. The court heard that Collyer had been given the dog by his parents, who were moving house and could not take Charlie with them. The dog was found hanging in a concrete bunker in Hainsworth Woods, Keighley, by a member of the public. He was also banned keeping animals for life. Collyer’s parents, Mandy Collyer, 47, and Ian Collyer, 56, now of West Byland, Illingworth, Halifax, had admitted causing unnecessary suffering to the animal by failing to provide veterinary care for Charlie, who was suffering a severe skin condition when he died, and were sentenced to community orders which included an unpaid work requirement of 200 hours and 160 hours respectively.
On 15/4/09 Gary Williams, aged 44, and his daughter Rebekah, aged 18, were prosecuted after worried neighbours called RSPCA inspectors to their former home in Calder Crescent, Whitefield. Neighbours saw a distressed cat desperately trying to escape the house through a half-open bathroom window. Bury magistrates were told how the RSPCA found 20 cats in all. One of them, a kitten, was dead. Another was so desperate for water it was trying to drink from the shower head in the bathroom. There was cat excrement everywhere and you could see fleas moving on the carpet. The owners had gone on holiday and let a friend feed the cats, but he left them no or little water. The food was too dry to eat. All the cats have since been given expert veterinary care, been nursed to full fitness and given new homes. In court, the two defendants, now of Leegate Drive, Blackley, pleaded guilty to five animal cruelty charges. Neither had previous convictions. Miss Williams was banned from keeping pets for 10 years, given a two-year conditional discharge and made to pay £250 in court costs. Her father was banned from keeping pets for life, given 150 hours community service and ordered to pay £500 court costs.
A couple have admitted breaching animal welfare rules after a vet cut off the tails of five Doberman puppies. Janet and Neil Read said they believed that as the pups were going to be guard dogs they were protected by recent changes in the law. However, the docking was illegal and the couple, from Cosby, pleaded guilty to two breaches of the 2006 Animal Welfare Act. They also admitted permitting the vet to remove the whole or part of the dogs’ tails, other than for medical treatment. At Harborough magistrates on 22/4/09 Janet Read (37), and Neil Read (47), both of Whitebarn Drive, were given a conditional discharge for two years and ordered to pay £100 costs.
The owner of a Bradford animal sanctuary has been banned for life from keeping animals. Alan Littlewood, 64, owner of Buckwood Animal Sanctuary at Buck Mill Lane, Thackley, was sentenced on 13/5/09 at Bradford magistrates after being convicted of causing unnecessary suffering to a border collie by failing to obtain veterinary treatment. Littlewood, who keeps 17 dogs at the sanctuary, was also found guilty of failing to take reasonable steps to ensure the needs of dogs at the sanctuary were met by failing to provide veterinary treatment or medication when required. Littlewood was given a conditional discharge and banned for life from keeping animals. Littlewood was also ordered to pay £700 costs and told he could apply for the disqualification to be lifted after 12 months.
A couples prolonged neglect caused months of suffering for a 17-year-old dog which had to be put down. Andrew Isaacs, 43, and his wife Mandy, 42, have been banned for life from keeping animals by Manchester magistrates on 15/5/09. The Isaacs, of Leeswood Avenue, Chorlton, admitted three counts of causing unnecessary suffering by failing to give Max a proper diet, vet care and protection from pain.
Andy Williams, 27, of Deerfield Road in March, Cambs, was sentenced to a 12-week custodial sentence by Wisbech magistrates on 26/5/09 and has been banned from keeping a pet for 10 years after attacking his English Bull Terrier which suffered a broken leg during the attack. Williams, who denied the assault, was caught by his neighbours punching, throwing and dragging his dog in an aggressive attack. The family, who witnessed the incident, said that the dog ran away. They caught the dog and Williams came to retrieve her. But, as he walked away, he punched the dog, threw her to the ground and punched her again.
One cat died of starvation whilst 12 others were left without proper food or water whilst their Fleetwood owner went away. Blackpool magistrates heard on 3/6/09 how Raymond Cherry, of Southfleet Avenue, had gone away leaving the animals with an increased amount of food, believing it to be an adequate supply. Cherry, 66, pleaded guilty to failing to meet the needs of 12 cats and causing unnecessary suffering to two others. He was banned from owning any animal for ten years and ordered to pay £500 costs.
A “manipulative and predatory” man was jailed for stamping his ex-girlfriend’s rabbit to death. Steven Appleton, 23, from Trethomas, near Caerphilly, killed the pet because she would not let him into her house on a nearby estate. Appleton was convicted of causing unnecessary suffering to the grey female rabbit during a trial at Caerphilly magistrates . He was given a 26-week custodial sentence by the magistrates on 8/6/09. In addition to the term of imprisonment, Appleton was also banned from keeping animals for 10 years.