Vermin Patrol For Howl 69

Update from Howl 68 – Steven Woodnut (32) of Athol Road, Hendon, Sunderland who was convicted of starving his two dogs has walked out of prison after his sentence was reduced by a month. Woodnut was jailed for six months after an RSPCA inspector found two dogs kept in the backyard of his home were so hungry they had fed on the carcasses of two other dogs. His wife, Kim Woodnut (38) also of Athol Road was jailed for five months by Sunderland magistrates after admitting two charges of causing two dogs unnecessary suffering. Woodnut appealed against the sentence at Durham Crown Court on 22/2/99, having already completed half his time in jail. The judge reduced Woodnut’s sentence to five months. He did not lift Woodnut’s life ban on keeping animals and ordered him to pay £50 costs.


A man has been jailed for two months after a court ruled that he used two dogs, one of which was found with horrific injuries, for hunting badgers. Darren Wilkinson of Bells Lane End, Hartshorne was also disqualified from keeping a dog for 10 years. Derby magistrates heard on 6/3/99 that an RSPCA officer and a policewoman discovered the Jack Russell terriers at Wilkinson’s home. One of the dogs had most of its snout missing and the other one had bite wounds on its ears, cheek and leg. They described the injuries to the more severely-hurt dog as the worst of its kind they had ever seen. Wilkinson admitted causing unnecessary suffering to a Jack Russell terrier by failing to get medical treatment for the animal. But he claimed he had found the dog while out walking and taken it home. Wilkinson’s girlfriend Angela Yates (24) who lives with him, was given a one-year conditional discharge and disqualified from keeping a dog for three years. She had denied causing unnecessary suffering to the badly-injured dog by omitting to take it to a vet, but was found guilty of the charge at a previous hearing at Swadlincote magistrates. The badly-injured terriers has since made a full recovery after having its face reconstructed by a vet.

William Cahill of Shady Grove, Hilton admitted causing damage to a badger sett was fined £1,700 and ordered to pay £75 costs by Derby magistrates on 27/6/98. Cahill ordered a bulldozer on to his land to clear away trees and bushes which destroyed 60 metres of tunnels within the sett which could have housed more than 15 badgers. Cahill believed that the mud and heavy rain could damage the badgers and wanted to remove bushes from the area to remove that possibility.

Andrew Williams has been sentenced to 100 hours community service and fined £400 for digging out a badger set near Newbury. Williams was arrested in March 1998 with a badger cub and four dogs in the boot of his car. A second defendant failed to appear at court and a warrant was issued for his arrest.

Two Derbyshire men found guilty of digging for a badger have been jailed for two months. Lee Robert Burton (25) of Tower Road, Hartshorne and Richard Alan Atkins (31) of Elmsleigh Green, Swadlincote were found guilty on 23/3/99 of digging for a badger after a five-day trial at Coalville magistrates. Burton threatened an officer with a spade he was carrying when arrested. Three dogs were found on the site and they all had scratches on their faces. A dead badger was found at the scene and the body was still warm. When they were taken back to their house there was a concrete badger on the front garden which all three dogs immediately attacked. Both men were sentenced to two months in prison. Magistrates ordered all equipment recovered by police to be destroyed and disqualified both men from owning a dog for three years. The three dogs had since been found new homes.


Two hunt supporters who attacked a League Against Cruel Sports (LACS) cameraman filming a staghunt were jailed as an example to others. John William Bere (25) of Bishop’s Nympton, near South Molton, Devon, and Dean John Richards(38) of Bish Mill, South Molton, punched the LACS supporter during a meet of the Quantock Staghounds at East Quantoxhead then took his video camera. They pleaded guilty at Taunton Crown Court on 15/1/99 to assault and theft. Richards was sentenced to six months jail while Bere was given a four month sentence. Both men denied any offence at first then Richards said the LACS member had it in for him. Bere said he had never been in trouble before but had momentarily lost his temper and had lost his job as a result. He intends to continue supporting the hunt but a lesson has been learned. Richards said he was a countryman “through and through and hunting has been one of the most important things in his life. He has been a follower of the hunt for all of his adult life and allowed his love of hunting to rule his head.” He also admitted he had been involved in another incident with the LACS member in 1996.

A hunt ball ended in a farmyard fight as two men fought in a row over Joan Isaac, Swansea Crown Court were told on 4/3/99. The two brawled at the farm in Bryncoch, Neath. Joan Isaac (52) and twice a winner at the Horse of the Year show, had begun an affair with Anthony Edwards (37) a member of the Banwen Miners’ Hunt in the Neath Valley. Then she moved Edwards to her stud and equestrian centre at Grange Farm. Edwards and Isaac were not invited to the hunt ball. And trouble flared when Isaacs husband Wayne returned from the dance to find that Edwards had turned off the electricity and padlocked the main gate. Both men pleaded guilty to affray and each was fined £1,500 and ordered to pay £275 costs when they appeared in court. Former professional huntsman Edwards was also ordered to pay £1,000 compensation to a woman doctor after admitting wounding her. Isaac’s daughter Allison told a national newspaper: “My mother’s a trollop. I could never forgive her for the hurt she has caused my family”. The court heard that on the evening of the ball Isaac and his two sons attended a hunt ball at the Glyn Clydach Hotel. Trouble flared when Mr Isaac and a number of other people in dinner jackets and ball gowns arrived back at Grange Farm in the early hours of the next morning. There was a violent confrontation between Isaac and Edwards and one of the guests. Edwards used a devise made out of a pick-axe handle with a rope noose threaded through it. When he swung it the woman doctor suffered a heavy blow above her right eye and collapsed to the ground bleeding profusely. Isaac and Edwards then continued fighting, despite attempts by others to break-up the brawl. As a result of this affair Edwards lost his job with the Banwen Miners.

A farmer has been found guilty of driving his Land Rover at a group of hunt protesters. Sampson Smith (45) of Church Lane, Ashington denied aiming his vehicle at the protesters. On 15/1/99 Chichester Crown Court heard how a police officer had witnessed the incident. He said Smith had sped at a group of protesters then shunted back and forth at the group of 30 people before getting out and brandishing a cane above his head. The jury convicted Smith of dangerous driving and was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,184. He was also banned from driving for 12 months and ordered to retake a driving test before going back onto the road.

John Parker (34) was convicted on 5/3/99 of two charges of causing unnecessary suffering to two bull terriers by entering them for illegal dog fights. He and his wife Clare (34) of Kexby Lane, Kexby, near Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, were also convicted of permitting suffering by failing to treat a whippet with a broken leg. On 12/4/99 Gainsborough magistrates sentenced John Parker to four months in jail and banned him from keeping dogs for ten years. Clare Parker was ordered to do 80 hours community service and pay £300 costs she was also banned from keeping dogs for five years.

A terrier dog was buried alive after being beaten half-dead with a spade Warrington Crown Court heard on 29/1/99. When the police dug the animal up some hours later it had suffocated. Mark Quinn (30) of Cambridge Street, Widnes, Cheshire was returned to prison after failing in an appeal against a six-month jail sentence. Quinn and another man Christopher Syze were found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to a rough-haired terrier after a trial before Runcorn magistrates. Quinn was jailed for six months and banned from keeping an animal for life and Syze was jailed for two months and banned from keeping an animal for 12 years. Quinn’s girlfriend, Marie Shaw arrived at his home to be told by Syze “Keep out of it. We’re terrier men and this is how it is done. Syze grabbed the dog and threw it towards Quinn who struck it a heavy but glancing blow with the spade.

Georgina Blundell of Pasturo farm, Stadhampton, Oxfordshire who is a member of the Vale of Aylesbury Hunt was cautioned by the police following an incident with an anti-hunt protester. The incident happened at a her farm in November 1998 when Blundell hurt the protester with her horse.

On 24/5/99 Leonard White (65) a gamekeeper from Margaret Place, Dorchester, Dorset appeared before Bridport magistrates charged with using poison to kill birds of prey on a shooting estate in Sydling St Nicholas. When White was stopped in his truck the police found a bag containing a spoon, a syringe and a bottle of poison that has been banned since the early 1990s. Magistrates found him guilty of two charges of possessing poison and a syringe under the Wildlife and Countryside Act and possessing various firearms. He was fined a total of £4,500.

A live rabbit was tied with twine to the mechanical hare at Hawick dog track before being subjected to 22 seconds of terror as a greyhound chased it round the stadium. The animal died from multiple injuries during the incident which was witnessed by police and an investigator from the SSPCA. At Jedburgh Sheriff Court on 17/12/98 Roy Burns (50) of Old Craighouse Cottage, Lockerbie the owner of the greyhound, admitted three cruelty charges involving the rabbit. Burns took four live rabbits, in a sack, to the track terrifying the animals and causing them unnecessary suffering. Burns, who was said by the SSPCA to have shown no remorse for his actions, also admitted removing one of the wild rabbits from the sack and repeatedly attempting to encourage a greyhound to bite the animal. A third charge, to which Burns also pleaded guilty, claimed that he had ill-treated, tortured and terrified the rabbit knowing it would be dragged while being chased by the dog at high speed around the track while unable to protect itself or escape. Burns also cut the rabbit twice with a knife while it was still alive. Burns told officers the rabbits were suffering from myxomatosis and would have died anyway. Frank McFarlane (49) of Fairhurst Drive, Hawick, the manager at the track, was convicted of two charges of aiding and abetting Burns. On 1/4/99 Jedburgh Sheriff Court sentenced them to only 200 hours community service each and banned from all ‘official’ greyhound tracks in the UK.

David Sung (38) of 24f Randolph Crescent, Little Venice, London admitted causing criminal damage to a cat, however, a second charge against him of causing unnecessary suffering was dropped. Marylebone magistrates heard on 8/1/99 how a neighbour of Sungs had found a cat on his doorstep in a pool of blood. During an operation on the cat, the vet found an air riffle pellet. Neighbours then placed posters on trees in the area asking for any information on the shooting of the cat. It was then discovered that Sung was renowned for taking pot shots at pigeons from the balcony of his apartment. Police took away Sung air rifle for tests and they found the pellets matched. Magistrates fined him £400 and ordered him to pay £200 costs. He was also ordered to pay £1,004 vet fees and £760 compensation. Sung he is also a keen huntsman and has shot squirrels, hares and pigeons. Following his appearance in court Sung said he will carry on shooting.

Two County Durham couples have been convicted of using pet rabbits as bait for hunting dogs. Bishop Auckland magistrates heard how Jean DixonJohn JordanMichaela Shorrocks and Steven Johnson were watched by their neighbours as they set their lurchers onto pet rabbits. Johnson received a 200 hours community service order and was ordered to pay £400 costs. The other three were each ordered to do 180 hours community service and pay £300 costs.


A gamekeeper has been charged with three animal cruelty offences, after an incident in which a fox was caught in a snare. Jason Dakin (26) of the Kennels, Whitfield, Northumberland, faces two charges of killing wild animals by prohibited means and one charge of cruelty and neglect.

William McGregor (33) from Kinross, Fife, was accused of torturing a fox while it was trapped in its den by using terriers equipped with radio location collars. Dunfermline sheriff court was told on 26/3/99 that McGregor denied torturing and terrifying a captive fox by using two terrier dogs to prevent it escaping from its earth. During the trial the owner of the wood told the court the accused had no permission to hunt or kill foxes on his land. The court was told that police searched McGregor’s house and found a diary. The entry for 2/1/99 read: Went to Dalgety Bay to where there are some fox holes. There was one with a dog fox. Birky’s dog tried for about one hour but it was too fat. Tried Cougar. He did very well for an hour and then let the fox go. Police also found two terriers suffering from injuries. On 17/4/99 McGregor appeared at Dunfermline Court but the Sheriff was not persuaded that he had blocked the escape holes of the earth. However, he found him guilty of neglecting his two dogs by failing to feed them properly or provide them with prompt veterinary care and fined him £250.

An allotment holder was fined £50 by Gateshead magistrates on 30/3/99 for using a chicken as live bait to trap a fox that was killing his birds. The bird was freed after the RSPCA discovered the trap at an allotment on Washing Well Lane, Whickham. Alan Wales (42) of Southfield Road, Whickham, pleaded guilty to using a live animal as a decoy. The chicken was shackled in the cage with a piece of nylon twine. Wales was also ordered to pay £50 costs.

John Walter Hemus (56) of Hoole Lane, Chester appeared before Chester magistrates on 26/5/99 charged with causing unnecessary suffering to a fox by not giving it food and water for up to two weeks. When the RSPCA arrived at the his house they found the fox in a 2m by 2m cage. It was emaciated, its fibs were showing and it had no body fat and its muscles were wasted. The RSPCA also found dead and decomposed rabbits and hares in a bin, the body of a Canadian goose in a bin bag and in the hedge they found a dead rabbit and three dead mammals. The fox was taken to a nearby animal hospital where happily it has since recovered. The police searched Hemus’s house and found weapons and ammunition. In court Hemus said he liked shooting as a sport and was regularly invited by farmers to shot vermin on their land. Magistrates found him guilty and sentenced him to only 180 community service with £250 costs. Hemus also admitted possessing a rifle, shotgun and ammunition without a licence.


Donald Hall of Northumberland Street, Alnmouth, Northumberland who runs the Beaches restaurant in Alnmouth was banned from keeping horses for seven years after admitting cruelty. On 26/2/99 Alnwick magistrates fined him £3,000 with costs of £4,851. His horse was described by a vet as emaciated and very lame in one foot. The foot was said to have an untreated infection, with pus oozing from the hoof. A similar charge against Hall’s estranged wife Susan who lives next door to him in was withdrawn because she had agreed to a five-year voluntary ban on keeping animals.

A horse owner’s lifetime ban on keeping animals was upheld by Durham Crown Court on 8/1/99. A stallion belonging to Thomas McCabe (48) of Lincoln Ave, Silksworth, Sunderland, was found at his Ryhope allotment with a weeping wound. When McCabe appeared before Sunderland magistrates on 2/10/98 he pleaded guilty to two cruelty-related charges. He was fined £150, ordered to pay £987 costs and banned from keeping animals. However, he appealed against the ban to be overturned and the costs cut. The court reduced the costs to £350 but ordered the ban should stand.

Thomas Moulding (31) of Dalton Avenue, Lynemouth, Northumberland has been banned from keeping animals for life after allowing his horse to die from neglect. Moulding was charged after RSPCA officers found his horse covered with sores and lice on waste ground. On 11/3/99 Gateshead magistrates ordered Moulding to pay £600 in fines and costs after he admitted cruelty to the horse. The horse was suffering from dehydration, malnutrition, diarrhoea and a high temperature. The horse was taken away by vets to recover but died four days later.


Gordon Nickless of Beechwood Close, Dawley, Telford, Shropshire was found guilty in June 1998 of 70 charges relating to the taking and possession of wild finches including siskins. He was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay £401.50 costs. Magistrates ordered that the birds and equipment to be forfeited.

A Dutchman who tried to buy 16 peregrine falcons to smuggle out of Scotland has been fined £2,000. Wilhelmus Enzlin(53) of Jan van Eychgracht 84, 5645 Tj Eindhoven, Holland also had his car impounded and £4,000 in cash seized. Enzlin was arrested in an operation involving Scottish and Dutch specialists in wildlife crime. Enzlin had pleaded guilty to trying to buy the falcons at an address in Brora, and at Aviemore. At Inverness Sheriff Court on 28/1/99 the court dropped proceedings against two other accused.

Following a seizure of two egg collections in 1998, two North Devon men were fined a total of over £8,000 at Barnstable magistrates in October 1998. The collections amassed by Patrick Barrow and Peter Wotton included a haul of over 1,000 eggs. Both pleaded guilty to charges of possessing birds eggs and egg cabinets. Wotton also pleaded guilty to a charge of disturbing peregrines.

Kevin Gray (35) of Scobell Street, Tottington near Bury was convicted of offences under the Wildlife and Countryside Act on 7/4/99 by Bury magistrates. They heard diary extracts describing how he had been involved in the taking of eggs from sites around the country. The notes were taken by his friend Jan Frederick Ross (44) of Bury Road, Tottington who at an earlier hearing had admitted nine offences and was found to be in possession of 304 wild birds eggs. On 5/5/99 magistrates fined Ross £5,000 with £600 costs and Gray £1,200 with £450 costs. They also ordered their equipment to be confiscated. Both now face separate proceedings for intentionally disturbing protected birds after being stopped in Scotland.

Albert Henthorn (59) of Chapel Row, Broad Lane, Rochdale told Oldham magistrates that he spent years collecting birds eggs so he could show them to his grandchildren, he also claimed he was concerned about the missing countryside!!! On 4/5/99 Henthorn admitted taking and possessing birds eggs and having equipment to take the eggs. When his house was searched they found nearly 300 wild birds eggs in glass-topped wooded boxes. Magistrates fined him £600 with £45 costs.

Police found a hoard of rare birds eggs and a stuffed merlin in a Fife house. The 50 eggs were found in a case at Pentlands house and in a biscuit tin in his attic. Pentland was fined £2,500 to be paid off at £20 per fortnight and ordered the eggs and stuffed birds to be forfeited.


A long-serving member of the Southern Regional Fisheries Board has resigned following a conviction for salmon poaching at Waterford Circuit Court on 29/7/98. John Doherty (66) of the Quay, Cheekpoint, Co Waterford, was fined £125 for salmon fishing in the River Suir during the closed season. Doherty told the court he had found five dead salmon in his weir. This was a most unusual occurrence which he had never seen in 40 years of fishing. However, a regional fisheries officer, said it was unacceptable for a board member to be treated so leniently when “ordinary” fishermen received much harsher punishments.

Three salmon poachers netted during a surveillance operation on a Northumberland river all pleaded guilty on 26/11/98. Alnwick magistrates heard that fisheries enforcement officers mounted an operation on the banks of the River Coquet near Guyzance. The court heard how the three men were seen to inflate a dinghy and set two nets across the full width of the river. All three men admitted unlicensed netting of salmon. Robert Ball of Whickham Street, Sunderland and Robert Harrison of Byron Street, Sunderland were both fined £700. Robert Middleton of St Peter’s View, Sunderland was fined £250. Magistrates ordered their nets and dinghy to be forfeited, and each man was ordered to pay £172 in costs.


A top dog breeder has been barred by a South Devon council from holding a licence to run a breeding kennels. After a day-long hearing on 14/11/98 at Totnes magistrates court a South Hams Council decision to refuse a breeder’s licence to Marian Aitken of Stoke Gabriel, was upheld. Aitken, who runs the Rhosneigr breeding kennels for Skye terriers, at Aish Road, under the name of Marian Crook was appealing against refusal to grant the licence. She was ordered to pay £700 of the council’s £1,500 claim for costs. Magistrates took 15 minutes to reach their decision after hearing council concerns about the mental state of the dogs bred as well as the way they were kept and cared for. Aitken was president of the Skye Terrier Club between 1979-1989.

Circus trainer Mary Chipperfield was convicted of callously kicking and beating a baby chimpanzee which was made to sleep in a tiny box. Mary Chipperfield (61) who appeared in court under her married name of Mary Cawley. Chipperfield’s husband Roger Cawley (64) was convicted of cruelty to a sick elephant, which he whipped around a circus ring at their winter training quarters near Andover to “see how sick she was”. Magistrates acquitted Cawley and Chipperfield, on six counts each of permitting unnecessary suffering to elephants. He also cleared Chipperfield of a further three cruelty charges relating to camels. The court heard how the chimpanzee was made to sleep in a dog’s traveling box inside a dark, unheated barn at Croft Farm in Middle Wallop. Video footage played at the trial showed Chipperfield beating the chimp with a riding crop while trying to put her to bed in the tiny box. She also kicked the animal in the back up to 15 times while holding it by the arm. At one point, Chipperfield took away her only comfort, an orange ball, callously saying “you can bloody cry” as the chimp sobbed in the background. The court was shown harrowing footage of farm worker Stephen Gills (65) beating elephants with an iron bar, a shovel, a broom and a pitchfork. The elephants were regularly abused by Gills who was employed at the farm as a “beastman”. His attacks were so violent that he once broke an iron bar. Gills was jailed for four months in November last year after he admitted 11 charges of animal cruelty. (See Howl 68 for more details of Gills court case). On 9/4/99 both appeared before Aldershot magistrates Mary Chipperfield was fined a total of £7,500 for the 12 charges of cruelty and Roger Crawley was fined £1,000 for cruelty to the sick elephant. The court also ordered the pair to pay costs of £12,240.

A slaughterman who assaulted a female Meat Hygiene service vet in an abattoir was fined £500 on 2/2/99. Magistrates were told that Mohamed Akram Sheikh (43) from Cholton, Manchester prodded the official in the shoulder while abusing her. Sheikh denied the charges of common assault and obstruction but was convicted on both counts and was ordered to pay £50 costs.

A company that runs a mink farm at Crowhill Farm near Ringwood has been fined £5,000 with £15,000 costs after admitting 15 charges of cruelty and breaches of animal welfare rules. The case against the Hampshire farm, where animal rights activists released 6,000 mink in 1998 is the first of its kind in Britain. But all the charges against the farmer Terence Smith(73) whose farm trades under the name of TT Smith (Mink) Ltd were dropped. The prosecution claimed that some of the cages had faeces piled up underneath them. Some of the cages were missing nesting boxes and nipple feeders were broken. Blocked drains were overflowing with maggots and faeces and they did see a number of injured mink. The court heard some of the animals were so badly hurt that bones were protruding from infected wounds, some of which were inflicted by other mink. Some were in such a bad condition that they had to be put down. This is the second conviction in connection with this mink farm see Howl 68 for more details.

Two men are facing handling and cruelty charges following the theft of three prize bulldogs from a Northumberland village. Dog breeders and show judges Peter and Linda Robson had the dogs snatched from their home in Prestwick in a night-time raid. One of the bulldogs was returned to the couple when she was thrown out of a moving car which drove through the village. The other two are also back home after police raided two houses. On 8/4/99 Neil Craig (34) of Pretoria Street, Scotswood, Newcastle, appeared before city magistrates charged with handling a stolen British bulldog and cruelty to animals. On 9/4/99 David Passmoor (34) of Hollygardens Avenue, Stanley appeared before Derwentside magistrates charged with handling a stolen bulldog.

Pig farmer Brian Hobill (35) of Hogwood Farm, Oxhill, Warwickshire admitted polluting a brook on his farm with untreated slurry. Droitwich magistrates fined him £7,500 with £647 costs.

A former equerry to Prince Philip had his shotgun licence revoked and his two guns seized. Graham Vere Nicholl (58) had pleaded guilty to one charge of affray and three charges of criminal damage following an outbreak of violence during a summer party at a farm near Dulverton in Somerset. Vere Nicholl chased two guests with a shotgun, slashed the tyres of three cars and smashed his shotgun over an Alfa Romeo. He was ordered to pay £2,000 compensation to the people he chased with his gun, a fine of £1,000 and £750 for damage to the car.

A fish farmer who illegally shot three cormorants and then stored their bodies in a freezer was only discovered when a policeman working with a television film crew called at his premises on a completely different matter. When they called at Nigel Early’s Bulldog Fish Farm, at Snapper, near Barnstaple they asked Early’s mother if it was alright to examine the freezers at the farm. In one of them, along with cuts of venison, were the corpses of three cormorants. When interviewed by police about the matter, Early said he had shot the birds because they had become entangled in nets over tanks of fish from which they could not be released, so he felt that shooting them was the most humane thing to do. On 28/4/99 Barnstaple magistrates heard Early (40) plead guilty to three charges of intentionally killing wild birds and one of possessing a shotgun capable of being used to kill a wild bird. They fined him £200, gave him a conditional discharge for six months and ordered him to pay £100 costs.

Farm Animals

A farmer serving a 15-year ban from keeping animals has been jailed for two months for neglect causing suffering to 15 lambs. William Jones (60) of Hafod y Bryn, Bwlchwyn Wrexham, will also serve a two-month suspended sentence for the offences committed on land in Hurleston. Jones who has five previous cruelty convictions, pleaded not guilty to the charges with partner Elaine Smith (48) also of Hafod y Bryn, Bwlchwyn, Wrexham. They were both found guilty and were sentenced to 60 hours community service and banned from keeping animals for two years. Jones has been in jail for two previous convictions of causing unnecessary suffering to farm animals 1993 and 1996.

Farmer and rare pig breeder David Watkiss (58) of Bouquet House, Prestwood, Buckinghamshire has been jailed for three months after being found guilty of 41 charges of animal cruelty. The sentence, which he unsuccessfully appealed against, related to starving pigs, failing to dispose of carcasses, causing distress, and neglecting a cow (See Howl 67). In a separate case he was convicted of causing unnecessary suffering to six Dartmoor ponies and was ordered to carry out 100-hours community service with costs of £2,000. On appeal the £2,000 costs were quashed and the community service order replaced with a month’s imprisonment to run concurrently with the three-month sentence. Watkiss founder of the now disbanded Rare Breeds Animal Conservation Trust, also received a life ban on keeping all animals, except his present dog, and the Rare Breeds Survival Trust terminated his membership. His business partners in the Trust James Cozens (43) from Princes Risborough, and Jeremy Smith (36) from Monks Risborough were both found guilty of permitting unnecessary suffering. They were each fined £900 and ordered to pay £1,500 in costs for the case involving the ponies. For their involvement in the case concerning the pigs and cow, they were banned from keeping all animals, except cats and dogs, for ten years and fined £1,450 and £1,200 respectively after being found guilty of 28 offences. They were each ordered to pay £5,000 in costs. Cozens was refused an appeal and ordered to pay a further £3,000 in costs.

A farmer who starved a flock of sheep and failed to treat a sick goat was banned from keeping both types of animal for two years. Esmee Ferguson (49) of Botley Road, Curdridge, Hants faces losing her 133-strong flock following the sentence imposed by Fareham magistrates. Magistrates suspended the ban pending an appeal lodged after the hearing. Ferguson had been convicted of causing unnecessary suffering to a flock of sheep by failing to provide them with an adequate diet and of failing to treat a goat’s foreleg, causing it unnecessary suffering. And she had admitted three further charges of failing to dispose of animal carcasses, including a calf and four sheep in accordance with Ministry of Agriculture regulations and one charge of failing to tag the calf that died. Ferguson has a previous conviction for causing unnecessary suffering to sheep by failing to treat sheep scab.

Chickens were left to starve on a allotment because the owners could not afford to feed the birds as well as their children West Kent magistrates heard on 22/4/99. When Kevin Brown (33) and his wife Ann Brown (32) of Montgomery Road, Royal Tunbridge Wells appeared before magistrates at Sevenoaks they both admitted 17 offences of causing unnecessary suffering by failing to provide proper care. The court heard how they bought 600 birds from a farmer as a money-making project, however, they were “end of lay” stock. When the RSPCA went to the allotment they counted 535 chickens. There was no food and a number were dead. Others were later destroyed and 463 survived.


Robert McKee (24) of West View, Haslingden, Lancashire admitted causing unnecessary suffering after leaving his bull mastiff on its own in a flat, feeding it only once every three days. By the time the animal was rescued she was only half her normal weight and was suffering dehydration and some kidney failure. The bones of its pelvis and ribcage were prominent.

Two dogs were cooked to death after being locked in a car for three hours on a baking hot day Guildford magistrates heard on 16/12/98. Diana Percy (33) a Glasgow University student left her mothers Lady Bute’s dogs locked in her car as she wandered around the Royal Horticultural Gardens while the temperature soared inside the car. A vet said the dogs were subjected to cruelty of “a hideous nature”. When Percy returned to the car she poured water over the dogs’ heads but they died. Percy admitted two charges of causing unnecessary suffering.

A man ”systematically starved” his pet greyhound almost to death magistrates heard on 29/10/98. When three-year-old dog was rescued by an RSPCA inspector, he was only just alive. The owner Stephen Bond (20) of Bitton Park Road, Teignmouth was banned from keeping any animal for 25 years after the chairman of Teignbridge magistrates told him they were ”quite appalled” at photographs of the dog taken when he was found. Bond admitted causing unnecessary suffering to the dog. He was ordered to pay £344.61 costs at the rate of £5 a week. The dog is was now in good health.

A man who kicked a dog to death and then attacked its owners has been jailed for four years. Dean Hicks (21) from Sheffield admitted one charge of cruelty to animals and one of having a dangerous dog in a public place. He also admitted four charges of assault. Derby Crown Court heard on 27/9/98 that Hicks who had taken heroin and alcohol, attacked a border collie and then set upon its owners.

An internationally renowned dog breeder avoided going to prison on 21/1/99 after being convicted of cruelty to animals. Phyllis Colgan (51) of Winster, Derbyshire was found guilty by Leicester magistrates of 16 counts of allowing unnecessary suffering to her pedigree Newfoundland dogs. Ten of the animals died of heat exhaustion after being transported in the back of a hired box van. Colgan, who has bred dogs for 30 years, was given an absolute discharge and ordered to pay £2,000 costs. Sixteen dogs had been loaded into cages in the lorry. Another 16 were loaded into Colgan’s camper van which had been customised to carry show dogs. Colgan and her son-in-law Duncan Elliott (34) of Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, who was driving the hired lorry, were moving the dogs to new kennels in Derbyshire. She told the court it was only when the two vehicles stopped at services on the M1 that she realised something was wrong. Seven dogs collapsed and died at the scene. Three others were taken to a local vet where one died and two had to be put down. Elliott was convicted of 16 counts of conveying animals in a manner likely to cause unnecessary suffering. He was also given an absolute discharge and ordered to pay £160 court costs.

David McLaren (21) from Failsworth, Manchester tortured and killed three dogs after being thrown out of a party he had gate crashed. The court heard how he had returned to the house drunk and started smashing furniture before killing 16 goldfish. McLaren then attacked the three pet terriers. Magistrates sentenced him to 12 months in jail.

Vivienne Marie Holdstock (40) and her husband Ronald John Holdstock (45) both of Harefield Avenue, Worthing forced their show dogs (Afghan hounds) to spend hours in a cage so small it would be illegal to use for transportation. Both appeared before Worthing magistrates on 30/7/98 and pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to each of their four dogs. Vivienne Holdstock was ordered to pay £400 compensation and her husband Ronald was ordered to pay £250 compensation. They were both disqualified from keeping any animal for 10 years.

Michael Raftery (32) of Holland Street, Tunstall, drowned or attempted to drown animals in a bucket of water, Stoke-on-Trent magistrates heard on 15/1/98. He then dumped the animals some dead, others dying – behind a scrapyard where they lay undiscovered there for around 20 hours. The court heard he killed the cats after his former wife Fay Jones (28) of McKinley Street, Tunstall contacted him because she was unable to cope with them. The adult tabby and six kittens died as a result of Raftery’s actions. Jones was banned from keeping any animal for life and ordered to pay £280 costs for her part in the cruelty case. She admitted eight charges of permitting unnecessary suffering to an animal. A further charge of causing unnecessary suffering was withdrawn. Raftery admitted unreasonably killing the tabby cat and three kittens. He also admitted ill-treating four kittens and three charges of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal.

A former Kennel Club judge and exhibitor has been jailed for the second time in two years after admitting causing unnecessary suffering to five dogs. Chelmsford magistrates sentenced Jennifer Bosson (52) also known as Jennifer Garbutt of South Hanningfield, Essex, to four months imprisonment for five counts of cruelty and an additional two months for breaching a previous disqualification order. Bosson was previously convicted of cruelty to animals in February 1997. That conviction resulted in a four-month jail term and a lifetime ban on having custody of any animal. This time Bosson said “I don’t know what all the fuss is about, it’s only a couple of dogs needing their coats done.” The dogs were signed over to the RSPCA and successfully rehomed.

Following an appeal hearing on 5/3/99 at Chelmsford Crown Court a judge reduced the sentence on former police dog trainer Kenneth Boorman (46) to three months instead of four. Boorman was convicted of six charges of cruelty while at the Essex Police Dog Section headquarters. He ordered the police handlers to chastise dogs by hanging them over fences and kicking them. Andrew White (38) who was also given a four month sentence after being convicted of seven cruelty offences had his appeal rejected by the court. However, the judge reduced his sentence to 28 days in jail, suspended for a year.

When police officers raided a flat they found the remains of a dog which had been left to starve. The dog had become so hungry it tried to eat the metal door on a fridge and it had been gnawing at tins in a bid to find food. Gordon Palmer (42) of Poplar Crescent, Dunston, Gateshead was jailed for three months at Gateshead magistrates on 24/2/99. He was also banned from keeping any pet for the rest of his life. He told police he had left the flat to move to Springfield Road, Winlaton, after getting divorced. When the police found the dog it had been dead for over two months.

Victoria Smith (21) of Patterson Road, Cirencester starved her two pet dogs for six weeks until they were little more than skin and bone. The prosecution told Cheltenham magistrates on 5/8/98 that an RSPCA inspector had visited Smith’s home following complaints about the dogs. Smith pleaded guilty to two charges of causing unnecessary suffering to animals by failing to provide the necessary care and attention. She was banned from keeping pets for five years and fined £200. Both dogs are now back to full weight and have been rehomed.

A Plymouth woman who starved a dog and caused horrific suffering to another has been banned from keeping pets for 20 years. Lorraine Bostick (38) of Sussex Place, the Hoe was also put on a year’s probation, and ordered to pay £250 costs when she appeared at Plymouth magistrates on 27/2/99. Bostick had already pleaded guilty to two charges of causing unnecessary suffering to the dogs. The dogs had been found in Bostick’s former home in Shrewsbury Avenue, Whitleigh. Sadly one of the dogs died, however, the other has now recovered.

A couple who caused unnecessary suffering to their pet dog by not feeding it properly have been banned for keeping dogs for life. Anthony Edwards (38) and Susan Edwards (37) both of Mount Pleasant, Fenton, Stoke-on-Trent kept the dog for about six months. Stoke magistrates heard on 26/2/99 how an RSPCA inspector visited the Edward’s house and found the dog was thin and its ribs and spine could be seen through its coat. Both admitted causing unnecessary suffering. As well as the life ban each of them was fined £100 with £202.25 costs.

Michelle Martin (23) of Midland Street, Accrington admitted causing unnecessary suffering to an animal when she appeared before Hyndburn magistrates on 3/2/99. Martin was banned from keeping animals for 10 years, ordered to pay £250 costs and given a 12 month conditional discharge. When an RSPCA inspector visited her home they found there was no electricity in the house and it was cold and damp inside. The 12-week-old dog was emaciated and extremely nervous. The lino floor in the kitchen was covered with excrement and urine.

On 23/3/99 Rochdale magistrates found Deborah Exley (37) of Steps Meadow, Wardle, Rochdale guilty in her absence of unnecessary suffering to four puppies by performing operations on them. The RSPCA told magistrates the tail docking had been performed for cosmetic reasons to make the puppies sell easier. Exley also admitted performing operations while unqualified.

A semi-comatose puppy found in the back garden of a house was a victim of hypothermia, Swansea magistrates heard on 17/3/99. An RSPCA inspector and a vet worked for two hours trying to save the 10-week-old pup, immersing it in a bath of warm water and applying artificial respiration. But it had suffered brain damage and had to be humanely destroyed to avoid further suffering. The puppy’s owner Karen Sullivan (34) of Tan-y-coed, Clydach, admitted causing the animal unnecessary suffering. She was banned from keeping any animal for five years, fined £100 and ordered to pay £200 costs. The puppy had been kept in a mesh enclosure with a wooden shelter in the back garden of her home.

A woman was warned by Barnstaple magistrates 0n 27/1/99 she could go to prison after allowing two cats to starve to death. When the landlord for the building entered the flat in Church Street, Ilfracombe he found the two dead cats and one very thin ginger cat. Jean Westren (47) of St James House, St James Place, Ilfracombe pleaded guilty to three charges of causing unnecessary suffering to animals and a further three charges of abandoning animals. When interviewed Westren said she had left the flat, but had been going back to feed the cats every day or every other day. She also told magistrates I have got nothing to say. I have pleaded guilty.

Christine Challinor (36) of Cedar Avenue, Newcastle, pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to the dog after an RSPCA inspector discovered the dog in an emaciated condition in her back yard. Newcastle Under Lyme magistrates heard the dog was attached to his kennel by a light chain. The inspector said he could feel the animal’s bones through his coat. In a vet’s opinion, he had not received adequate care and attention or feeding over a period of about four weeks. Magistrates fined Challinor £50 and ordered her to pay £150 towards costs and was banned from keeping an animal for five years.

Two men have been banned from owning a pet shop for two years following an RSPCA investigation in which inspectors rescued more than 700 animals. Hyndburn magistrates banned Kelvin Kirby (46) and Neil Hacking both from Hermitage Street, Rishton, Lancashire from running the Creature Comforts shop in Rishton. On 30/4/99 they each pleaded guilty to 14 charges of causing unnecessary suffering to animals. They were also ordered to do 240 hours community service each with £500 costs. The RSPCA found hundreds of rats, rabbits, hamsters and a chinchilla crammed into dirty cages in an upstairs room without food or water. Animals were later found in similar squalid conditions in six sheds at an allotment in Holt Street in the town. A total of 1,500 animals were found in the two raids and more than 700 were taken away.

A man who once told his wife he would prefer her to leave rather than his pit bull terrier has been banned from keeping animals for five years. Neil Evans from Heol Hermas was also fined £100, his wife Julie Evans received the same ban and fine after both admitted causing unnecessary suffering to the animal. Magistrates heard how a pit bull had been found by an RSPCA inspector at the couple’s home with a gaping open wound on its neck caused by a tight chain. The couple admitted they had chained the animal in the back garden. On 13/4/99 they were both was asked to pay £160 costs.

A soldier has been jailed for ironing a pet hamster, then cooking it in a microwave oven. A court martial heard on 27/4/99 that Nigel Horsley (23) had drunk 20 pints in a three-day binge when he staggered into the room with the hamster’s in. Horsley snatched the hamster from it’s cage and ordered his room mate to iron it. He refused and unplugged the iron and moved it away from Horsley who put the pet’s head in his mouth and boasted he had once bitten off a pigeon’s head. The prosecution claimed that Horsley held the hamsters down on the ironing board, then placed the hot underside of the iron on the back of its head. Horsley was laughing and he held the iron there for approximately three seconds then said he was going to microwave her. Horsley placed the hamster in the oven and switched it on. Soldiers heard him say: “I’ve put it in for 30 seconds to warm it up.” When he opened the oven the hamster was dead. Horsley apologised the next day and then went AWOL. Horsley a member of the 29 Regiment, Royal Logistic Corps at South Cerney, near Cirencester was demoted from Lance Corporal to Private after admitting the drunken act of cruelty. He was given a 140 day sentence by the court martial panel after admitting disgraceful conduct of a cruel kind.

A trainee mechanic who was looking after a dog which suffered serious head injuries admitted causing unnecessary suffering to the dog, Newcastle Under Lyme magistrates court were told on 25/4/99. Michael Prosser (25) of High Street, Newchapel was banned from keeping a dog for a total of 10 years and fined £100 for negligently keeping a dog, they also ordered him to pay £150 costs. When questioned about the swelling on the dogs head Prosser said the dog had got jammed in the corner of the garage. He said he had pulled it out by its legs to avoid being bitten. He assumed something fell on the dog’s head.

Sheila Barnes (70), of Station Road, Oakham, bred whippets for nearly 60 years before she fell ill and left the animals caged in “absolutely appalling conditions” Melton magistrates heard on 27/4/99. RSPCA officers found 30 whippets crammed into a kitchen, 11 in a garden pen, three in another pen and 14 wandering the garden. She admitted causing unnecessary suffering to 50 whippets at her home. All 58 dogs were seized from the house by the RSPCA and police. Some were in cages too small for them and there was insufficient food and water. Barnes was ordered to pay £1,000 within 28 days towards costs and banned for life from keeping dogs.

Jonathan Hall (31) of Hyde Road, Gorton, Manchester denied causing unnecessary suffering to animals in his pet shop. However, following an eight day trail at Manchester magistrates he was convicted of eight offences. On 21/4/99 magistrates ordered Hall to do 100 hours community service with 12 months probation and ordered him to pay £2,250 costs. He was also banned from running a pet shop for 15 years. Hall’s wife Marilyn was also convicted of the charges and was given a conditional discharge and was banned from keeping a pet shop for seven years.

A couple have been banned from keeping animals for 10 years because of the appalling state of their house. Leslie and Dawn Meyrick both from Caerphilly, South Wales must give up their dog, cat, 19 rabbits and 11 guinea pigs after the RSPCA reported them to the magistrates after finding their kitchen covered in rubbish. On 28/5/99 Caerphilly magistrates convicted them both of 28 charges of causing unnecessary suffering to their pets and gave them three years probation.

The founder of a pet sanctuary sent to prison for cruelty to animals has failed in an appeal against her sentence. Ann Stott(57) who set up the Crewe Animal Rescue charity, was jailed by magistrates for two months on 24/5/99 after 140 animal carcasses were found at her home and nearby properties in Edleston Road and Alton Road, Crewe. She had admitted 24 charges of causing unnecessary cruelty to animals. At an appeal hearing on 4/6/99 at Chester Crown Court a judge refused the appeal.


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