Vermin Patrol 2009 – Part 2


A joint Essex Police and Natural England investigation was launched following a report from the North East Essex Badger Group that a badger sett had been interfered with and possibly gassed. The investigation confirmed that a badger sett had been gassed using an Aluminium Phosphide gas generating product. The owner of the land, Richard Butler of Halstead, Essex pleaded guilty to five offences relating to the inadequate storage and transportation of fumigant pesticides and the interference of a badger sett. Butler received a total of £2000 in fines for these offences.

A gamekeeper on the royal family’s Highland estates at Balmoral was fined after a badger was killed by one of his snares, breaching wildlife crime legislation. On 17/6/09 Robbie Elliot, 45, admitted he had failed to check a snare at least once a day at Birkhall, the snare had killed a badger, which had lain there for at least two weeks. Elliot was fined £450 at Stonehaven sheriff court for breaching the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 after Sheriff Patrick Davies rejected a defence plea for leniency. The gamekeeper was, however, cleared of a second similar charge of failing to check a snare after pleading not guilty to that offence. The snares were placed near a “stinkpit”, where animal carcasses are dumped into a small pit to lure predators such as foxes, stoats and weasels, which are then snared and killed by gamekeepers.

At Dumfries Sheriff Court on 22/7/09 Anthony Rogers, 58, of Breconside Farm, Moffat, was accused of snaring and beating to death six badgers. Rogers, has pleaded not guilty to a total of nine charges in connection with the deaths of the animals which were alleged to have been beaten with a blunt instrument. Six of the charges relate to snaring and killing the badgers and a further charge alleges he cruelly ill-treated the animals. He is also accused of setting in position a quantity of snares in close proximity to a badger sett which he knew to be active. On 19/8/09 he admitted two charges contrary to the Wildlife and Countryside Act and one of breaching the Protection of Badgers Act and was fined £3,500.

On 20/8/09 Richard Michael Butler, of Gosfield, near Halstead, was fined £1,500 at Colchester magistrates’ after he admitted interfering with a badger sett. Butler admitted obstructing a badger sett entrance and was fined £1,500. The 53-year-old also pleaded guilty to using a pesticide in a sett, which badgers appeared to be using, without approval and was fined £500. Butler also admitted storing a toxic gas generating product without locking it up, not storing it properly and using it without the relevant training.

Gerand Monk, left, and Paul BillingtonOn 2/9/09 Gerard Monk, 27, of Millbrook Close, Wheelton, near Chorley and Paul Billington, 37, of Llydir Lane, Rossett, Clywd, who were caught badger digging by an undercover RSPCA inspector has avoided jail. Monk and Billington were filmed digging a badger sett near Whitchurch in Shropshire. Both men fled the scene when they realised they were being watched, but were later arrested and eventually found guilty of six charges after a two-day trial. The pair were sentenced at Shrewsbury magistrates to four months in prison, suspended for 18 months. Both must undertake 200 hours of community service and pay £6,000 costs each. Monk and Billington faced charges of attempting to kill, injure or take a badger, digging for a badger, interfering with a badger sett, causing a dog to enter the sett, disturbing a badger and hunting a badger. Monk said he had been rabbiting and was digging to free his dog, while Billington also claimed to be digging for Monk’s terrier, which had run down a rabbit hole. Billington said in court this was the first occasion the two men had ever met and they had arranged to meet as he was interested in buying a terrier bitch from Monk. However, they were found to have badger digging equipment with them and the court heard that there were numerous inconsistencies with the pair’s accounts.

Michael Pierce, 57, of Love Lane, St Ives, was fined £300 and ordered to pay almost £2,000 in costs after being found guilty of shooting a badger. Pierce had denied the charge, which was brought after a weapons expert matched his rifle to a bullet found in the animal. At West Cornwall magistrates in Truro on 5/11/09 they ruled Pierce’s CZ .22-calibre rifle had fired the fatal shot.

Two men denied badger baiting after a terrier suffered severe facial injuries. The dog suffered tearing to its jaw and damage to an eye in the alleged incident near Catterick, North Yorkshire. The RSPCA is prosecuting Mark Howells, 28, of Taransay Walk, Darlington, and Donald Blair, 30, of Walnut Avenue, Colburn. At Northallerton magistrates on 3/12/09, they both pleaded not guilty to animal cruelty, interfering with a badger sett and putting a dog and a ferret down a badger sett. The court heard that the pair were spotted in the woods by gamekeeper Neil Clark at noon. They were standing near a badger sett and had spades on the ground and a third man was standing nearby with a ferret in a box, it was alleged. The case continues.


hunt master from Durham will appear in court on 18/6/09 after being charged with assaulting two female hunt monitors. LACS monitors were monitoring the South Durham Hunt when the attack by Gary Watchman is alleged to have taken place. Watchman will appear at Sedgefield magistrates, in Newton Aycliffe following claims he hit both women with his whip while trying to stop them filming his hunts activities.

Hunt supporter Benjamin James Elliot, 21, of The Stables, Winterbourne Came, near Dorchester was ordered to pay £1,065 in fines and costs on 23/6/09 after magistrates watched 30 minutes of film footage showing him using his Land Rover to stop a hunt monitor’s car travelling freely on a Dorset road. The prosecution told magistrates at Blandford that Elliot’s manner of driving was “designed to intimidate and harass”. He admitted driving without reasonable consideration and causing a highway obstruction. Magistrates heard how Came, used a blue Land Rover to help “box in” the monitor’s car as they attempted to monitor the Cattistock Hunt near Abbotsbury. Magistrates imposed a fine of £400 on each offence and a total of six penalty points.

A terrierman and whipper-in for the South Dorset Hunt is to go before Bournemouth magistrates. In two cases Christopher Leadbeater will face charges of interfering with different badger setts in March and November last year.

Peter Easterby Two land owners have been found guilty of hare coursing following a two-day trial during. Former racehorse trainer Peter Easterby, 79, and Major John Shaw, 56, were convicted at Scarborough magistrates’ on 30/7/09 of attending and allowing their land to be used for hare coursing events in March 2007. During the trial the court heard and saw video evidence from two animal welfare activists who secretly filmed footage during dog trials at land belonging to Easterby and Shaw. The events were organised by the North Yorkshire Greyhound Field Trialing Club.

Four men were caught hare-coursing, at Angmering Park, on the South Downs. Thomas Joseph Connors, 31, from Wallington, Surrey; Edward Mark Connors, 40, from Horley, Surrey; James O’Brien, 38, from Saltbox Hill, Biggin Hill, Kent and James Robb, 24, from Stanmore, Middlesex, used dogs to hunt wild hares on the Downs between Worthing and Arundel. Each of the men was fined £200 and ordered to pay costs of £250 each when they appeared at Worthing magistrates’ on 31/7/09.

A Crowborough man arrested after shooting squirrels to feed his pet ferrets, walked free from court after magistrates accepted he had a “reasonable excuse” for carrying an air rifle in public. Matthew George Good, 21, was arrested after a police patrol spotted him concealing a .22 Webley Hawk air rifle behind a tree on the edge of Tunbridge Wells Common. Good, of Belvedere Gardens, admitted he had been shooting on the common as friends had told him it was allowed by the Lord of the Manor of Rusthall under ancient by-laws. Jeremy Aldous, portfolio manager for landowners Target- follow, denied such permission existed. Facing a charge of possessing a loaded air weapon in a public place at Sevenoaks magistrates on 3/8/09, unemployed builder Good explained how he had spent time shooting at “vermin” on farmland before walking through woods. Pc Philip Smith, of Kent Police, said he spotted Good crouching by a tree, but he had started walking away as he approached. Pc Smith said he questioned Good and found him to be in possession of 200 airgun pellets and a cocked and loaded rifle in a “broken” position with the barrel folded down. Defence counsel John Luckhurst described Good as a keen sportsman, “obsessed” with shooting and fishing and fully aware of gun etiquette and safety procedures. Good said: “My grandfather was a gamekeeper. I have been brought up knowing gun safety since I was a small child.”

Robert McCarthyThe case against Robert McCarthy, 35, of The Kennels, Cannongate, accused of illegal hunting has collapsed after a judge ruled there was insufficient evidence to convict him. McCarthy, a huntsman with the Percy Hunt, was alleged to have been chasing a fox with a pack of dogs while on horseback. But on day two of the three-day trial, at South East Northumberland magistrates on 13/8/09, District Judge Stephen Earl said the prosecution had failed to put forward sufficient evidence to convict McCarthy.

Clarissa Dickson-Wright Clarissa Dickson-Wright escaped punishment on 1/9/09 after she admitted being a spectator at an hare coursing event. Dickson-Wright and race horse trainer Sir Mark Prescott joined hundreds of hunt supporters for two days coursing event held on farmland near Malton, North Yorkshire, in March 2007. The event was secretly filmed by animal rights activists and the case against Dickson-Wright, 62, and Prescott, 61, was a private prosecution brought by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW). At Scarborough magistrates District Judge Kristina Harrison gave both defendants an absolute discharge and awarded no costs against them, but warned that future offenders would be dealt with more seriously.

John HarrisonOn 18/9/09 a district judge threw out a case against a huntsman accused of two counts of hunting foxes with dogs because of insufficient evidence. At Penrith magistrates the court heard several witnesses see terrier men digging out foxes from two holes using terrier dogs and tracking devices, while John Harrison, 48, of Grassthwaite Howe in Glenridding, who is the huntsman of the Ullswater Foxhounds, appeared stood by with the pack of hounds. However, despite producing videos and testaments from six hunt monitors who had secretly watched the hunt, there was no clear proof that a fox was ever involved in the hunt. Speaking after the verdict, Harrison said that he did not know what the terrier men were doing digging their holes.

On 23/9/09 an Angus man was fined £300 after being found guilty of hunting rabbits on private land without permission. James McPhee, 43, from Monifieth, had been charged with hare coursing but after trial at Forfar Sheriff Court, Sheriff Alan Miller ruled there was not enough evidence to convict him. McPhee, 27 Brook Street, had pleaded not guilty to hunting hares with three lurcher dogs, he claimed he was there to hunt for rabbits as food for his three ferrets.

Martin Johnstone was spotted digging holes and sending a dog down to hunt foxes on wasteland near to Drumchapel. The 32-year-old was arrested after police arrived and saw him and a fox running from a hole he had dug. At Glasgow Sheriff Court on 19/10/09, Johnstone, of Fraser Avenue, Dumbarton, admitted deliberately hunting the animals. His co-accused Alexander McCafferty, 25, of Boghead Avenue, Dumbarton, had his not guilty plea accepted. Sheriff Norman Ritchie reduced Johnstone’s fine from £600 to £500 because of his early plea of guilty.

Three men were spared jail at Newton Aycliffe magistrates on 26/11/09 after admitting organising a cock fight and causing unnecessary cruelty to animals. They were seen pitting two cockerels against each other in a County Durham field. Police found cock-fighting paraphernalia at the scene, including 2in metal spurs and drugs to treat injuries and so avoid using vets. The court were told how the birds had been prepared for fighting, having had their natural spurs honed down, enabling steel spurs to be attached, and the birds’ wattles and combs removed. James Sheldon Welch, 19, of Yarm Road, Darlington, admitted he was a regular gym user and steroids found among the drugs were his. Walter David Welch, 19, of Honeypot Lane, Darlington, said he had been “at the wrong place at the wrong time” and “went along for the ride”. Both Welchs were given ten weeks’ imprisonment, concurrent for each offence, suspended for 12 months, and made to do 80 hours unpaid work. They were each ordered to pay £500 towards the RSPCA’s costs, estimated at £6,800, and banned from keeping animals for five years. Thomas Mounsey, 18, of Durham Road, Bishop Auckland, will be sentenced at Darlington Magistrates’ Court today, but it was indicated he should receive the same sentence.

James Sheldon Welch Walter David Welch Thomas Mounsey
James Sheldon Welch Walter David Welch Thomas Mounsey

Two men are facing jail after slaughtering nine protected birds at a beauty spot. Paul Reed, 27, and Dane Ord 22, were part of a gang of three who startled Kittiwakes at cliffs beside Marsden Rock with a torch before firing on them with an air rifle. They then set two dogs on them as they fell to the ground. The birds were later found in a bloody pile by a member of the public. Both men pleaded guilty on 29/11/09 to killing all nine birds. They will be sentenced in December.

On 11/12/09 the trial of three gamekeepers collapsed after being accused of accosting suspected poachers. Jeremy Wearmouth, 42, of Keepers Cottage, Gunnerside, near Richmond; Douglas MacLean, 31, of Richmond; and Lewis Williams, 23, of Thirley, Gunnerside, were found not guilty of assaulting and threatening two rabbit hunters from Manchester after a trial at Teesside Crown Court. Williams was also cleared of possessing a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence. During the trial, the jury heard that in the middle of the night, Michael Collins, 22, and Luke Doyle, 19, were found near a van beside a moorland road in Swaledale. The pair had permission by the parents of a university friend to shoot rabbits on their land in Aysgarth, but got lost in the dark and ended up six miles outside their boundary on the Gunnerside estate. The pair claim they were assaulted and threatened by the three gamekeepers and that Williams held a shotgun to Collins’ head.

On 14/12/09 11 people were arrested in a police operation against hare coursing. The neighbourhood policing teams in Wantage, Faringdon and Hungerford are running an operation targeting anyone who is hare coursing and committing any related offences. Arrests have so far been made near Steventon and East Hanney with everyone arrested bailed to dates early in 2010.

A hunt master was cleared of assaulting two campaigners who were trying to film his activities from bushes. Gary Watchman, joint master of the South Durham Hunt, demanded that two camouflage-clad women “get off private land” when they attracted the attention of hounds in Sedgefield. On 14/12/09 at Bishop Auckland magistrates they found him not guilty of hitting the two LACS protestors with a riding crop. The court was told that when Watchman discovered the pair, he became angry and said they were trespassing. He admitted his anger with campaigners who repeatedly “crop up” at his farm, in Bradbury, and while he is out hunting. He said: “I did not use foul language. I was annoyed because of the length of time these people have been pursuing us.” Both LACS protesters said he hit them with a riding crop and barged into one. They also said he tried to take equipment. The bench acquitted Watchman of both charges.

Dogfighting and Pit Bulls

On 5/6/09 a pair of dogs with Pit Bull Terrier characteristics were seized by police during a raid. Police executed a search warrant at a property in Ashton Avenue, Schole-moor, Bradford, under the Dangerous Dogs Act which covers the seizure of dogs and entry of premises. One man was arrested from an address in another part of the city.

On the 16/6/09 a convicted drug dealer who admitted having an illegal American pit bull terrier escaped a ban on keeping animals. Neighbours of Colin Boyle of Northgate, Peebles were alarmed about the dangerous combination of his drug record and owning a dog which could inflict terrible injuries and even kill. The offence came to light in December 2008 when Boyle, was jailed for nine months for drug dealing and a friend he had given the dog to handed it in to the police, saying he could not cope with the animal. It was put into the custody of the Scottish SPCA and held in kennels for six months pending Boyle’s court case. At Selkirk Sheriff Court, Boyle, 43, pleaded guilty to possessing an illegal dog and was ordered to pay £1750 compensation to the Scottish SPCA for kennel costs. The court also ordered that the pit bull terrier, banned in Britain since 1991, be humanely destroyed. But charges of keeping an animal for fighting and failing to provide for its health and welfare were dropped by the Crown after plea-bargaining.

A man described key player in a major dog-fighting scene was sentenced to four months in jail and banned from keeping dogs for life on 29/6/09. Barkat Hussain, 44, from Unett Street, Smethwick, West Midlands, trained pit-bull terriers for fighting and kept related medical supplies. He admitted keeping and training pit-bulls dogs in breach of a court order. He had previously been jailed and banned from keeping dogs, following involvement in a mass dog fight. District Judge Mark Layton said Hussain had shown a blatant disregard for court orders and liked training animals to fight. A raid on the premises in Dudley Road, Winson Green, where Hussain worked as a barber uncovered treadmills used for building dogs’ muscles. Medical kits including skin staplers, syringes, and a solution used by vets to exterminate dogs were also discovered. Two of the dogs in Hussain’s possession were kept in cages while another was found tethered to an upstairs balcony with 59 separate wounds.

Qamar ShamimQamar Shamim stuck two fingers up outside court after admitting possession of the banned Japanese Tosa, described by police dog handlers as the strongest dog they had ever had on a lead. Shamim also pleaded guilty to keeping two more banned breeds, both pitbull type dogs, following a raid at his home in Edgbaston Road, Smethwick. Officers seized 13 animals from back garden kennels at the property, three of which were found to be prohibited breeds, while the rest were all legal dogs including bulldogs, Rhodesian ridgebacks and Staffordshire bull terriers. It is thought the Japanese Tosa, which was kept in a smaller kennel away from the other dogs, was imported from a breeder in Tennessee, USA, Warley Magistrates Court heard on 11/8/09. Shamim, aged 31, had pleaded not guilty to the charges but changed his plea after independent reports commissioned by his own legal team confirmed the three animals were all illegal breeds. Shamim was due to be sentenced today. It has not yet been decided what will happen to the dogs. He was given a 20-week prison term, suspended for 12 months and was also ordered to do 150 hours of unpaid work and pay £3,300, including £3,000 towards kennelling costs. On 18/9/09 at Wolverhampton Crown Court the 10-year disqualification order was reduced to seven years and an order to pay £3,000 compensation slashed to £1,000.

On 18/9/09 seven men arrested at houses in Edinburgh appeared in court charged in connection with an organised dogfight. Terence Carlin, 21, and James Carlin, 23, both of Hay Gardens; Edmond Reid, 22, of Niddrie House Square; Ryan Moore, 21, of Hay Gardens; Mark Richardson, 22, of Cumnor Crescent; Darren Sutherland, 25, of Bingham Broadway; and Calum Gallagher, 20, of Gilberstoun, all Edinburgh, were charged under the Animal Health and Welfare Scotland Act 2006. Sutherland was also charged with road traffic offences. All the accused pleaded not guilty at Edinburgh Sheriff Court to the charge that they attended an animal fight at the Duddingston Mill public house in Duddingston Park South. Ryan Moore also denied being in charge of a dog that took part in a fight with another dog. James Carlin, Darren Sutherland and Calum Gallagher were all granted bail with the special condition that they did not enter the Duddingston Mill public house. The other four men were remanded in custody.

On 25/9/09 six people were jailed for their part in one of Europe’s largest dog-fighting syndicates. Claire Parker, 44, of Kexby Lane, Kexby, Lincolnshire, was sentenced to 18 weeks in prison. The jury was told the ring was smashed following an investigation by the BBC’s Panorama programme. Parker was also banned from keeping animals for 10 years. The court found that the syndicate had links to a gang in Northern Ireland, with paramilitary connections, who supplied illegal American pit bull dogs. Members of the ring attended fights as far away as Finland. Parker, was found guilty of holding a fight in the garage at her home, which she shared with her husband, John Parker. He has since died in prison. She was found guilty of being present at a dog-fight, keeping a premises for dog-fighting and possessing three pit bull dogs. She denied all the charges. Gary Adamson, 38, of Ramsey Crescent, Yarm, North Yorkshire, who pleaded guilty to six charges in connection with illegal dog-fighting, was given 23 weeks in prison. Mohammed Farooq, 33, of Daniels Road, Bordesley Green, Birmingham, who was found guilty on two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal and possessing training equipment for dog-fighting, was sentenced to the maximum penalty of 26 weeks. Owen Batey, 40, of Cannock Road, Middlesbrough, was given 23 weeks in jail, having admitted setting two pit bulls on each other, being present at a dog-fight and owning a pit bull. Christopher Burgess, 42, of Longstone Way, Ladybrook, Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, who pleaded guilty to one charge of keeping a banned dog, received 160 hours of community service. Both Adamson and Batey were banned from keeping animals for life. Another member of the ring, Kenneth King, 35, of Main Street, Ragnall, Newark, Nottinghamshire, was sentenced to 23 weeks, he was also banned from keeping animals for life and ordered to pay £1,500 in costs for eight charges related to fighting banned pit bull terriers which he had earlier admitted. (see below for appeals)

Claire Parker, Gary Adamson, Mohammed Farooq and Owen Batey

On 1/10/09 Norman King, aged 40, of Tannery Lane, appeared at Warrington magistrates’, charged with possessing a pit bull type dog – a controlled breed. The dog was impounded pending the outcome of the court case.

Katie HillA woman bred illegal fighting dogs in her Wolverhampton home and sold them for up to £300 each, a court heard. The pitbull terrier dogs were found when police swooped on the house in a drugs raid. Twelve dogs have been kept in kennels ever since the raid at a cost of more than £38,000 and face being put down. Katie Hill, aged 24, of Filey Road, Bushbury, pleaded guilty to breeding a litter of 10 puppies from two adult dogs at Wolverhampton magistrates on 22/10/09. “In interview, the defendant admitted they were pitbull dogs and she had sold them for between £200 and £300 per dog from previous litters.” Hill, who is on jobseekers allowance and looking after her boyfriend’s two children while he is in prison, was fined £500 for possession of cocaine. After initially pleading not guilty to breeding from fighting dogs, she changed her plea to guilty yesterday before her trial started. On 28/10/09 she was ordered to repay just £1,000, because she is unemployed and lives on benefits. Instead she was given an 18-week prison sentence, suspended for a year, and ordered to carry out 180 hours unpaid work. She was also banned from keeping dogs for 10 years and given a 12-month supervision order.

Two men from Blackburn were jailed and banned from keeping animals after they admitted fighting their dogs, in a case brought by the RSPCA. Both admitted goading and fighting their dogs in broad daylight on Troy Street Fields, in Blackburn, after the police were handed mobile phone footage incriminating the pair. Aftab Razzaq, 25, of Clinton Street, Blackburn, was sentenced to four months in jail after he admitted causing and participating in a dog fight with his pit bull terrier type dog. Razzaq was also sentenced to three months custody after he admitted causing unnecessary suffering to the dog by failing to get treatment for his injuries and one month custody for a welfare offence related to the filthy conditions in which the animal was kept. The sentences will run concurrently. Usman Hussain, 22, of St James’s Road, Blackburn, was sentenced to three months in jail. He had pleaded guilty to taking part in a dog fight with his Staffordshire bull terrier Reefer. Both men were also banned from keeping any animal for 10 years. They were told by magistrates that the dog fight had been pre-arranged in a public place, where innocent members of the public could have been put at risk. Both Razzaq and Hussain indicated to the court that they intend to appeal against their sentences.

Raja HussainAn animal welfare case against a Glodwick man banned from keeping pets was adjourned on 1/12/09. Raja Hussain (28), of Mansfield Road, admitted eight charges relating to animal welfare and keeping dangerous dogs. He was banned from keeping pets for five years after he signed over the ownership of three pit bull-type dogs to the RSPCA. He appeared before Oldham magistrates charged with breaching the disqualification after a dog, cat and fish were found by RSPCA inspectors at his home. The case was adjourned until 14/12/09 and he was granted bailIn June Hussain had admitted 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.

On 3/12/09 a woman who held dog fights in the garage of her Lincolnshire home was jailed after her appeal against conviction failed. Claire Parker will immediately begin her original 18 week prison sentence after she failed in her appeal against conviction of dog fighting charges. Parker was found guilty of jointly using her garage as a venue for dog fights, as well as attending a dog fight and jointly possessing three pit bull terrier type dogs. The 43-year-old, of Kexby Lane, Kexby, Lincolnshire, also saw her 10 year ban on keeping all animals upheld and must pay £2,000 costs, in accordance with her earlier sentence. Her late-husband John Parker was also due to stand trial in September 2009 on dog fighting charges, but he died before the hearing while in prison for other offences.

Mohammed Nasir Farooq will also begin a 22 week custodial sentence after his conviction on four charges, including attending and taking part in a dog fight at Parker’s property, was upheld. Lincoln Crown Court, sitting at the town’s magistrates court, was told Farooq acted as a time keeper at a fight staged in Parker’s garage. His appeal against convictions of keeping pit bull terrier type dogs for fighting and possession of items used in connection with dog fighting – namely two treadmills – also failed. The 34-year-old, of Daniel’s Road, Bordesley Green, Birmingham, was banned from keeping all animals for life and must pay £2,000 costs, in accordance with the original sentence passed following trial. He had previously admitted joint possession of three pit bull type dogs.

A youth, who cannot be named for legal reasons, also failed in their bid to overturn convictions of joint possession of items used in connection with an animal fight and jointly keeping a pit bull terrier type dog for use in animal fights. The youth, who had previously admitted joint possession of three pit bull terrier type dogs, saw the original sentence of a six-month referral order upheld, as well as a five year ban on keeping all animals. However, both the youth and Farooq were successful in their appeals against conviction of two charges each of causing unnecessary suffering to pit bull terrier type dogs.

Adamson (23 weeks), King (23 weeks) and Owen Batey (23 weeks) were all jailed in September 2009 after they admitted the charges – including causing an animal fight to take place and taking part in a dog fight – against them. All three were also banned from keeping animals for life and ordered to pay £1,500 costs each.

The investigation also led the RSPCA to Christopher Burgess who admitted one charge of joint possession of a pit bull type dog. He was sentenced to 160 hours unpaid work and £250 costs.

Jane Adamson was also banned from keeping dogs for 10 years and given an 18-month community and supervisory order after she pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to a dog, by failing to obtain veterinary treatment for the wounds suffered by her husband Gary Adamson’s dog Pablo. She was also ordered to pay £150 costs.

Full charge details: Gary Adamson (26/01/1971), of Davenport Road, Yarm, Cleveland, admitted six charges: causing an animal fight to take place, taking part in an animal fight, possession of items used in connection with an animal fight, keeping a pit bull terrier type dog called Pablo for use in connection with an animal fight, jointly causing unnecessary suffering to a pit bull terrier type dog called Pablo by failing to provide veterinary attention in respect of injuries caused by fighting and possession of a pit bull terrier type dog known as Pablo.

Owen Anthony Batey (26/11/1968), of Cannock Road, Middlesborough, admitted three charges: causing an animal fight to take place, being present at an animal fight and possession of a pit bull terrier type dog known as Banjo.

Christopher John Burgess (24/11/1966), of Longstone Way, Ladybrook, Mansfield, admitted one charge: joint possession of a pit bull terrier type bitch.

Kenneth Harold King (14/12/73), of Main Street, Ragnall, Newark, Nottinghamshire, admitted eight charges: causing an animal fight to take place, taking part in an animal fight, causing unnecessary suffering to a pit bull terrier type dog known as Chief by causing the animal to fight with another, causing unnecessary suffering to a pit bull terrier type dog known as Chief by failing to obtain veterinary attention in respect of injuries sustained in a fight with another dog, possession of items used in connection with an animal fight, keeping a pit bull terrier type dog known as Chief for use in an animal fight, possession of two pit bull terrier type dogs, and joint possession of a pit bull terrier type bitch.

Jane Adamson (22/12/1970), of The Old Market, Yarm, Cleveland, admitted one charge: causing unnecessary suffering to a pit bull terrier type dog named Pablo by failing to obtain veterinary attention in respect of injuries sustained in a fight.

Claire Amanda Parker (15/12/64), of Kexby Lane, Kexby, Lincolnshire, failed in an appeal against conviction of three charges: being present at an animal fight, jointly keeping a premises for use for an animal fight and joint possession of three pit bull terrier type dogs.

Mohammed Nasir Farooq (16/9/75), of Daniels Road, Bordesley Green, Birmingham, admitted one charge: joint possession of three pit bull terrier type dogs. He failed in an appeal against convicted of a further four charges: taking part in an animal fight, being present at an animal fight, joint possession of items used in connection with an animal fight and jointly keeping a pit bull terrier type dog for use in an animal fight. He was successful in appeal against conviction on charges of jointly causing unnecessary suffering to a pit bull terrier type dog by causing it to fight with another dog and jointly causing unnecessary suffering to a pit bull terrier type dog by failing to obtain veterinary attention in respect of injuries sustained in a fight with another dog

A youth aged under 18 admitted one charge: jointly had possession of three pit bull terrier type dogs. The youth failed in an appeal against conviction of a further two charges: jointly having possession of items used in connection with an animal fight and jointly keeping a pit bull terrier type dog for use in an animal fight. The youth was successful in appeal against conviction on charges of jointly causing unnecessary suffering to a pit bull terrier type dog by causing it to fight with another dog and jointly causing unnecessary suffering to a pit bull terrier type dog by failing to obtain veterinary attention in respect of injuries sustained in a fight with another dog.


Police and bird conservation experts seized more than 5000 eggs in a raid on a home in a Scots village. Officers from Lothian and Borders Police and Tayside Police, along with representatives from the RSPB, took the haul from a house in Torphichen, near Bathgate, West Lothian on 26/6/09. They also seized equipment used by egg collectors. A 57-year-old man has been reported to the procurator fiscal.

A wild bird club official escaped immediate jail after admitting illegally keeping one of the UK’s rarest species at his South Yorkshire home. Sean Fitzpatrick, 42, former chairman and an honorary life vice president of the National Council for Aviculture, was handed a 16-week combined suspended prison sentence and curfew order between 9pm and 6am. He admitted keeping 20 red-backed shrikes at his home in Brunt Road, Rawmarsh, Rotherham, a species so rare it is believed there is a maximum of five breeding pairs left in Britain. He was also found to have three stonechats, which have a similar appearance to robins and are not endangered. On 28/7/09 Fitzpatrick had denied the offences and was on trial at the town’s Magistrates’ Court – but changed his pleas to guilty on the second day. He admitted three counts of possessing live wild birds between September 2007 and July last year, along with two charges of selling red-backed shrikes in November 2007. He changed his pleas when he was unable to prove his initial claim that the birds in his possession had been legally bread in captivity. Nearly all the birds later died. Fitzpatrick was also ordered to pay £750 in costs. Fitzpatrick mounted an appeal to his 16 week suspended sentence. In response, the sentence was altered and Fitzpatrick has been imprisoned for eight weeks.

Derek Shaylor of Kidderminster, appeared at Kidderminster magistrates on 7/8/09 charged with two offences of prohibited sale of barn owls and a further offence of prohibited purchase of another barn owl. Intelligence had suggested that Shaylor was offering owls and other raptors for sale on the internet without the appropriate Article 10 Certificates. He promised prospective buyers that the birds were legal and that A10s would follow on. Checks with Animal Health confirmed that neither Shaylor nor any of the birds had been issued with valid permits. Shaylor was arrested and interviewed. He admitted selling the two barn owls without A10s and also the prohibited purchase of another barn owl without a valid A10. He was charged with the three admitted COTES offences. Shaylor pleaded guilty to all charges and was fined £200 for each offence (total £600). Magistrates also ordered the forfeit of a female barn owl that was still in his possession.

Allan Malcolm DycheA hoarder amassed a vast illegal collection of nearly 500 wild birds’ eggs in his bedroom. Police uncovered a “mini museum” of eggs when they raided grandad Allan Malcolm Dyche’s home in Abergele. On 11/8/09 at Llandudno magistrates Dyche, 58, admitted hoarding 474 eggs – including one from a protected avocet. But he later insisted he’d done nothing wrong, saying he’d not personally stolen the eggs from nests. The force’s wildlife officer Sergeant Rob Taylor discovered a cabinet with drawers full of eggs in an upstairs bedroom during the raid at Dyche’s home in Peel Street, Abergele. Dyche said he’d inherited most of the eggs from his dad and got others from an unidentified man at a Rhyl car boot sale for free. He pleaded guilty to one count of possessing eight eggs of rare wild birds. Dyche also pleaded guilty to possessing 466 other eggs of wild birds. He was sentenced to a 12-month community order. He must do 80 hours unpaid work – with light duties – and be electronically tagged to monitor a 28-day curfew between 8pm and 6am. He must also pay £60 prosecution costs.

Falconer John Simcox appeared in court in Chester on 10/9/09 to be sentenced for possessing a wild goshawk, making a false statement in an attempt to register a wild bird and making a false statement for the purpose of obtaining a certificate for a wild bird. Simcox, 63, admitted the charges at a hearing at Chester, Ellesmere Port and Neston magistrates. Simcox, of Malvern Avenue, Ellesmere Port, was sentenced to eight weeks in prison for each offence, to run concurrently. The court heard Simcox had been a falconer for several years and was well known in the community. Simcox Jnr, 38, also pleaded guilty to possessing a wild bird at an earlier hearing and was given a 12-month conditional discharge.

Andrew Peter SeedAndrew Peter Seed, 45, of White Lodge, Low Willington, Crook, County Durham appeared in court on 12/8/09 charged in connection with the smuggling of endangered and exotic bird eggs in and out of the country. Seed appeared before Bishop Auckland magistrates after hundreds of rare eggs were seized from his home during a raid. He faces 18 charges relating to the smuggling of eggs following a joint investigation by Durham Police, RSPB and the National Wildlife Crime Unit. Four charges relate to allegations that Seed has been involved in the unlawful import of birds’ eggs from the USA and Australia. Species involved include American birds of prey and Australian parrots Eleven charges contrary to the Control of Trade in Endangered Species Regulations relate to allegations that Seed has been involved in the illegal trade in birds’ eggs. Species include the golden eagle, Egyptian and griffon vulture, peregrine, red kite, plus a number of non-European species. Seed is also charged with one count of making a false representation in an attempt to obtain birds’ eggs and two charges contrary to the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. These relate to allegations that Seed was in possession of 293 birds’ eggs of rare breeding birds and possession of egg-collecting equipment. Seed entered no plea and was granted unconditional bail to appear back at Bishop Auckland magistrates on 6/10/09. But magistrates declined jurisdiction and told Seed his case would eventually be heard at Durham Crown Court.

A Mitchelstown man, who has had a lifelong fascination for birds, was fined €600 for illegally capturing wild birds including greenfinches and bullfinches. Vincent Pigott, of 6 Mandeville Park, Mitchelstown, appeared before the District Court on 10/12/09. Pigott admitted to catching some Greenfinches and Bullfinches in wooden traps. A total of 50 birds were found in Pigott’s aviary – though a number of those had been purchased legally.


What is believed to be the first prosecution over an obese horse in the UK took place in Blackpool. A married couple from Cleveleys in Lancashire were banned for keeping horses for five years by Blackpool magistrates on 13/10/09. Keith and Lynn Hall of 228 Anchorsholme Lane East had pleaded guilty to cruelty charges relating to two Shetland ponies. A 12-year-old stallion had been allowed to become grossly overweight and a 21-year-old mare, had such overgrown hooves that she was lame and in terrible pain. The couple pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering. They were both banned from keeping horses for five years, ordered to pay costs of £500 each and given a curfew which forces the couple to remain resident in their home between the hours of 10pm and 6am.


On 14/5/09 David Johnson, 21, a reptile dealer from Telford, Shropshire, was sentenced to 8 months imprisonment at Shrewsbury Crown Court for eight offences contrary to the Control of Trade in Endangered Species. The charges related to the prohibited sale of a total of 197 Annex ‘A’ tortoises (Hermann’s and Spur-thighed), the prohibited purchase of a further 200 Hermann’s tortoises and making false statements to obtain permits i.e. Article 10 certificates. Whilst on Police bail Johnson purchased a further 200 Hermann’s on invalid Slovenian permits and then sold them on without A10s. The Judge later stated that this deliberate offending on bail sealed his sentence.

A Muslim smallholder in Kent was fined on £3,000 and told to pay £3,799 costs at Bromley magistrates on 14/8/09 after he slaughtered sheep using halal methods but without pre-stunning the animals. Zeki Ismail’s small farm in Keston was raided after he bought six sheep at a market in Ashford, Kent. Ismail admitted failing to stun the sheep before killing them, religiously slaughtering the animals outside of a slaughterhouse, supplying food containing specified risk material for human consumption, and failing to tell the local authority that six sheep had moved onto his smallholding.

David Milnes, 57, of Kirkstone Drive, Middleton, Manchester was arrested on suspicion of illegally selling two young barn owls at the Appleby Horse Fair has now been charged. Milnes was charged on 30/9/09 with the prohibited offering for sale of the barn owls, against the control of endangered species regulations.The charge came after a police investigation into the sale of the barn owls without a permit. Milnes will appear before Eden magistrates on 14/10/09.

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

On 3/8/09 Philip Stuart Andrews (44), of Alders Farm, Oldham was been prosecuted following the maltreatment of animals he kept on his Alt farm. Andrews admitted causing unnecessary suffering to one of his cows at the farm after failing to provide essential foot care. The animal’s hooves had become so overgrown it could not walk properly. Andrews also pleaded guilty to failing to provide access to a dry lying area for eight pigs, one cow and a calf. He was fined £350 and Oldham Council was awarded £815 costs.

Francis BeavisFarmer Francis Beavis has been given a suspended prison sentence and banned from keeping or owning animals for life. Beavis, of Crown Drive, Bishop’s Cleeve, admitted breaching a court order disqualifying him from having custody of cattle on five separate occasions when he appeared at Stroud magistrates on 27/8/09. He was also ordered to do 240 hours community service and pay more than £7,000 in prosecutions costs incurred by Gloucestershire County Council’s Trading Standards Service. He was sentenced to 22 weeks in prison for each of the five offences, which was suspended for two years. Beavis and his wife Inger both have a long history of animal cruelty offences, having a total of more than 50 convictions between them. The court heard that when the couple, who farmed at Hill Farm, Oxenton, near Bishop’s Cleeve, were disqualified from having custody of livestock in August 2006, they transferred the ownership of their cattle to a trust, making their daughter Annika the sole trustee. (Previous convictions)

Two Monmouthshire farmers appeared in court on 6/10/09 accused of cruelty to three cows they were supposed to be looking after. Michael Carver, 59, of Ty Saer Cottage, Raglan, was charged with causing three animals to suffer unnecessarily on three occasions, plus six counts of breaking restrictions designed to limit the spread of bovine TB by moving animals unlawfully. Clive Jenkins, 44, of Plas Ivor, Cross Ash, Abergavenny, is accused of three counts of causing an animal unnecessary suffering which could have been reduced or avoided, three counts of failing to protect an animal in his care from suffering and 22 counts of unlawfully moving an animal. Both pleaded not guilty to all charges at Abergavenny magistrates. Jenkins owns Plas Ivor farm, where the charges allegedly took place, where Carver is his employee. A trial was set for 7/1/10 at Cwmbran magistrates.

A Radnorshire farming couple has been banned from keeping sheep and cattle for ten years by Brecon magistrates on 12/10/09 in a case brought by Powys County Council. Andrew and Sarah Irene Thomas, of Brynwig, Llananno, Llandrindod Wells, pleaded guilty to six charges of causing unnecessary suffering to sheep and a further three charges for failing to dispose of sheep carcasses. They also asked for a further 28 charges in relation to disposal of sheep carcasses under their ownership to be taken into consideration. As well as the ban, magistrates have also ordered Andrew Thomas to carry out 150 hours of unpaid community service and pay £500 costs. His wife was also ordered to carry out 120 hours of unpaid community service and pay £500 costs.

A Llanfihangel-y-Creuddyn man was sent to jail for for 12 weeks for causing unnecessary suffering to animals. Mark James Skitt, of Penlan Isaf, was also ordered to pay £600 costs and disqualified from owning, keeping or participating in the keeping of animals – with the exception of family pets kept in the family home – for 10 years. Skitt appeared before Aberystwyth magistrates on 10/11/09 on seven criminal charges, six of causing unnecessary suffering to animals and one of failing to dispose of animal by-products. The offences were committed in Ceredigion at his farm, Brynyreglwys, Cwrtnewydd, Llanybydder. He admitted the offence under the animal by-products legislation and pleaded guilty to five offences of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal.

A farmer jailed by magistrates for leaving more than 80 sheep to drown in flooded fields across Staffordshire was let out by an appeal judge on 26/11/09. Firefighters, police and RSPCA officers were repeatedly called out to rescue sheep, up to their necks in floodwater along the River Tame, Stafford crown court heard. The animals were in the care of farmer Anthnoy Russell, 54, of Spinney Farm Bungalow, Lower Stonnall, but he failed to heed the flood warnings and turned up too late to save some of the livestock. Russell was jailed for four months by Tamworth magistrates after pleading guilty to six offences relating to animal cruelty. But in an appeal to the crown court, the judge cut the sentence to two months – and suspended it for a year. While suspending the sentence, the judge also lifted a lifetime ban on Russell transporting animals, but endorsed the magistrates’ decision to ban the appellant from keeping or dealing in livestock. In addition, Russell was ordered to do 100 hours unpaid community work and to pay £4,500 costs.

A farmer is facing eight charges of failing to care for animals on his farm just outside Carlisle. Clive Simpson, 57, of Friar Hill Farm, Roweltown, was been charged on 28/11/09 with failing to prevent unnecessary suffering to hoggets, goats and pigs. He also faces charges for four animal by-products offences relating to a failure to dispose of ovine carcasses, sheep carcasses and bones without “undue delay”. Simpson has pleaded not guilty to all 12 charges against him. The case has been brought by Cumbria Trading Standards and will now go to trial on 22/1/10.


An alleged illegal puppy farm was raided on 18/6/09 by the RSPCA after concerns were raised about the treatment of dogs. Officers were called to Brackenbank Farm, near Penrith, they removed a substantial number of dogs from the farm, including greyhounds, terriers and spaniels.

Anthony DochertyA cat killer was jailed for eight months and banned from keeping animals for life for a horrific catalogue of cruelty against his neighbours’ pets. Anthony Docherty, 23, from Clarkston, Renfrewshire tortured five cats – scalping two of them, decapitating another three and pulling the tail off. Docherty pled guilty to seven charges of cruelty during an earlier hearing at Paisley sheriff court. But he denied ever stealing the pets or shouting and screaming at them. At Paisley on 22/6/09 he was sentenced to 12 months, which is reduced to eight months due to your early guilty plea. He was also disqualified indefinitely from owning or keeping any animal, taking possession of animals and taking charge of any animals.

On 23/6/09 Craig Slee, 39, of Craig Walk, Windermere, was handed a 10-week prison sentence for an attack on a six-month-old ginger tom cat with a 12in wooden brush last year. South Lakeland magistrates also banned Slee from keeping, caring for, or having any control over how an animal is kept for five years. The court heard that Slee had come home to find the cat had defecated in its bed and Slee had rubbed its face in the mess to teach it a lesson. Slee then ran a six-inch bath and hit the cat two or three times with a 12-inch wooden brush, and at least once in the face, before putting the cat in the water. Slee was sentenced to 10 weeks in prison, reduced from 15 because of his early guilty plea. He can apply to have the ban on keeping animals reduced in two years time. He was not forced to pay costs to the RSPCA.

On 6/7/09 a vet received a caution after the death of one of his labradors, which was left in a car for six hours on a hot day. Alex Gough, 37, from Clutton, in Somerset, was cautioned by the RSPCA following the death of his labrador. It was alleged Gough’s two labradors had to be given emergency treatment, only one survived.

Adrian Hankey and Margaret WhitbyAdrian Hankey, 63, and Margaret Whitby, 60, from Fairclough Place, Stanfields, Staffs were both banned from keeping animals for the rest of their lives after the RSPCA found more than 60 pets crammed in their lounge. They discovered 35 adult dogs, 11 puppies, four cats, one kitten, two hamsters, a tortoise, one parrot, one parakeet, two love birds and one monkey – all in the same room. Three rabbits were found outside. They were each been given eight-week suspended prison sentences and told to do 50 hours’ community service apiece after admitting animal cruelty. They were sentenced on 7/7/09 at North Staffordshire magistrates after admitting 18 charges of causing unnecessary suffering and 13 charges of failing to look after an animal’s welfare. The magistrates also ordered Hankey to pay £1,000, and Whitby £500, towards vets’ fees and boarding costs.

A man who twice slashed his Staffordshire bull terrier’s throat for fighting his son’s dog was jailed for six months on 13/7/09and ordered to pay £400 in costs. Jason Khalilli, 50, of Hollymoor Lane, Epsom, Surrey, was also banned by Redhill magistrates from keeping animals for life. Also David Norwood, 35, of Eastbourne, East Sussex, was given 18 weeks on 13/7/09 for stabbing his German shepherd to death.

Michelle PorterMichelle Porter, 20, was sentenced at Whitehaven magistrates on 18/7/09 for four counts of animal cruelty on the two dogs. She was also banned from keeping animals for life. Porter admitted causing unnecessary suffering to both dogs, failing to provide an adequate diet and failing to seek appropriate veterinary care for the dogs’ weight loss. It is believed both dogs had been left to starve for three weeks, despite a large bag of open dog food and six tins of dog food being only two metres away from the cages the dogs were kept in. The court also heard how the Porter fraudulently cashed in a cheque worth £97.21 at Wath Brow post office, which she stole from her mother’s handbag. She was sentenced to serve 120 days in a young offenders institute for each of the four animal cruelty charges, to run concurrently. She was also sentenced to 30 days for the fraud charge and 30 days for failing to surrender, which will also run concurrently.

Hayden Briggs, 24, of Western Avenue, Blacon, Chester was banned from keeping animals for 20 years after admitting causing unnecessary suffering to three pet dogs. Briggs avoided a prison sentence by pleading guilty on 27/8/09 to three offences at Chester magistrates. He admitted causing unnecessary suffering to a Jack Russell terrier, by failing to provide her with a suitable diet and by failing to seek veterinary care for her when she was in a deteriorating physical condition. He also admitted failing to ensure the welfare of two whippet-type dogs, by not providing them with a suitable diet. Briggs escaped a prison sentence because of his guilty plea but was given 300 hours of unpaid work and must pay £1,000 towards prosecution costs. He was also disqualified Chloe O'Connorfrom keeping all animals for 20 years.

Chloe O’Connor 19, of Hyde, was jailed for 12 weeks on 9/9/09 for shooting dead her neighbour’s cat with a crossbow. O’Connor, had been drinking with her boyfriend when she spotted the cat on the garden fence. She shot it from the bedroom of her house on Grange Road South, Tameside magistrates were told. The bolt pierced the animal’s stomach and came out the other side. When the police knocked on her door the next day, O’Connor admitted shooting the cat, saying: “I did it last night when I was drunk.” He also ruled that O’Connor could not own a pet for 10 years.

Mark KaneA South Tyneside teenager who stole a cat and forced it to inhale cannabis by trapping it in a bag was given a suspended sentence. Mark Kane, 19, was filmed on a mobile phone carrying out the “sadistic attack” on the tabby cat in January. Kane, of St Aidan’s Road, South Shields, had earlier admitted causing unnecessary suffering. He was given a three month sentence, suspended for two years, and banned from keeping animals for 10 years. He was also ordered to pay £100 in costs. Magistrates on South Tyneside were told Kane had stolen the cat from a friend of his girlfriend. The court was shown a video in which Kane was seen putting a cat in a bag, inhaling some cannabis and then blowing that cannabis into a bag, sealing the bag and then swinging the bag round his head like a lasso.

Thomas Daly from Ballyhagen, Carbury, Co. Kildare was convicted of cruelty to two greyhounds at Kildare District Court. The court heard that the ISPCA found a greyhound living in a filthy cattle trailer and another greyhound in a small mucky pen with no shelter or bedding. On 24/10/09 Daly was given a three-month custodial sentence on each count to run concurrently. He was also fined €1,1150 on each count and ordered to pay expense of €454.26 to the ISPCA.

On 11/11/09 a policeman was fined £225 for ‘hanging’ a police dog by it’s lead over a 5 foot wall when the dog refused to jump over it. PC Mark Edgar, 36, thought that German Shepherd needed more training and took him round an obstacle course while on duty at Weymouth Police Station, Dorset. He used two hands to pick up the dog and suspend the dog, using the lead as a hoist. The dog was ‘hanging’ for a short time before he was picked up and put over the wall. The dog landed awkward on the other side and needed 2 weeks of training to regain confidence. He admitted causing unnecessary suffering to the dog and he was fined £255 and ordered to pay a £15 victim’s surcharge and £85 in costs, but was not banned from keeping animals.

A man from Macclesfield was banned from keeping dogs for ten years after allowing his dalmatian dog to become chronically overweight. On 18/11/09 John Green of Chelford Road, Macclesfield was handed the ban by Macclesfield magistrates. He was also ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work and pay £780 costs. Green pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to the dog by failing to address the cause of his chronic obesity. He also admitted failing to meet the dogs needs by not providing him with a suitable diet and exercise and by not allowing him to express normal behaviour due to his condition.

A dog breeder who dumped two litters of newborn puppies in suitcases and left them to die has been banned from keeping animals for life. Amanda Cheadle, 58, of Holmesdale Farm House, Fletching near Uckfield, was on 18/11/09, handed the ban by Lewes magistrates. She had faced nine charges of causing unnecessary suffering and neglect, and was also sentenced to 20 weeks in prison for each of the charges, with each term to run concurrently. The court had previously found her guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to 10 adult collie dogs and 15 puppies. In addition she was also found guilty of keeping dogs in unsuitable conditions and of one charge of causing unnecessary suffering to a kitten.The RSPCA found two suitcases containing 15 puppies, some dead and some still alive. One contained four puppies, one of which was already dead. The other case contained 11 puppies, four of which had died. Video footage shown at court showed staff desperately trying to warm up the cold puppies using the heat of a nearby Aga.

Marc Ian YoungOn 19/11/09 a farmhand was found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to more than 100 dogs. Marc Ian Young, 29, of Hawthorn Terrace, Bishop Middleham, County Durham, had denied 11 animal welfare charges. During his trial at Teesside magistrates, he said he was overwhelmed with the workload after 144 flea-ridden dogs were found to be living amid their own faeces in unsuitable pens, cages, barns, vans and trucks at Bog Hall Farm, Mordon, near Sedgefield, County Durham. Giving evidence, Young admitted he realised the dogs were living in filthy conditions, but maintained he was following the orders of his boss, Paul Nigel Brown, who was the farm’s tenant at the time. Brown, 56, of Lawton Road, Redcar, east Cleveland, admitted charges relating to causing unnecessary suffering to 144 dogs at a previous hearing. The case was adjourned for pre-sentence reports, and the pair will appear in court on 15/12/09 to be sentenced. Not all of the animals survived, but more than 100 have been successfully rehomed.

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