North West Hunt Saboteurs

Vermin Patrol 2002 - Part 1

Badgers

Two hunt employees accused of interfering with badger setts by the RSPCA have had the case against them dismissed. Gary Edwards who lives on the Milton Estate, near Bretton, Peterborough and Cyril Smith Oakham, near Stamford both work as terriermen for the Fitzwilliam Hunt, had been accused of illegally blocking the holes or damaging a sett. But on 29/10/01 they were acquitted at Peterborough magistrates after the RSPCA said it did not have enough evidence to carry on. George Bowyer, joint-master of the Fitzwilliam Hunt, which is based at Milton Hall, near Bretton, Peterborough, said the RSPCA had never had a case against the men and condemned its decision to bring charges. My men have always been innocent but their names have been blackened.

Anne Hull (40) of Maldon Road, Burnham was found guilty in of aiding and abetting interference with a badger sett. But Chelmsford Crown Court overturned the conviction at an appeal hearing on 2/11/01 after ruling there was no direct evidence linking Hull with the blocking of a badger sett. The court heard how Hull was a joint master of The Essex Farmers and Union Hunt when the six-hole badger sett was partially blocked by earth-stopper and terrierman Bryn Chittenden.

Charges against a farmer, accused of interfering with a badger set on his land, have been dropped, a court was told on 2/12/01. Mark Simpson (45) of Hunter Hill Farm, Seamer, near Middlesbrough pleaded guilty to two charges which alleged he blocked the run of an active set. However, when magistrates were told neither the RSPCA nor the local Badger Watch group monitoring his land had evidence to prove the set was occupied, the Bench ordered Simpson to alter his plea to not guilty. A new hearing was meant to have gone ahead at Richmond magistrates. However, with no new evidence coming to light, the court was told the case against Simpson, had been discontinued. No further action will be taken against him.

On 7/12/01 a magistrate said lessons had to be learned on both sides after dismissing a case against a man whose actions had wrecked an active badger set. Sean Sanders (38) of New Road, Porch field admitted removing up to eight feet of undergrowth, shrubs and small trees after he had been hired to clear a plot of land. Denying committing the offence, Sanders told the court he was unaware any badgers were present. Magistrates accepted that inspection meant Sanders had not been reckless in his actions even though the clearance would have affected the active badger set.

On 27/2/02 Dolgellau magistrates heard about six men who were found allegedly digging a badgers' Tony Edwardssett in a wood. They were accompanied by a dozen dogs. The men told police they were digging for a fox which had gone to ground. They denied all charges. The court heard that two dogs were seen trying to get into a tunnel at the bottom of the hole and a squealing noise could be heard. When one of the dogs, a terrier, was pulled out of the tunnel it was heavily bloodstained and had badger hairs in its mouth. The six were: Tony Edwards (27) of Grimshaw Lane, Ormskirk; Gerrard Gary Daniel Stanley (38) of Cloucas Gardens, Ormskirk; John Garreth Griffiths (34) of Ty'n Llwyd Terrace, Trawsfynydd; Donald Keith Edwards (44) of Cysgod y Coleg, Bala; David William Thomas (36) of Old Tan y Banc,  Penrhynndeudraeth; and William Evans (40) of Pengwndwn, Blaenau Gerrard StanleyFfestiniog. All six were acquitted. Tony Edwards was also found not guilty of an additional charge of causing unnecessary cruelty to his Lakeland terrier. Donald Keith Edwards said he had seen a fox enter one of the holes in the area. All six told the court they were hunting for foxes and denied they had visited the site to dig for badgers. David Thomas, who farms at his mother's farm at Blaenau Ffestiniog, told the court: "I've got no interest in digging for badgers. "Why should I go all the way to Llanfrothen when I've got badgers on my own farm?" William Evans said outside court: "I'm glad it's over and our names have now been cleared. "The boys hunt every week and have been doing it for 20 years and we want to carry on hunting."

Three men re-appeared before Wirral magistrates on 13/3/02 charged under the 1992 Protection of Badgers Act. Stephen Baker (37) of Overpool Road, Ellesmere Port; Stephen Butler (29) of Cedar Gardens, Queensferry; and Stephen Fowell (29) of Whitfield Street, Birkenhead, all deny digging for badgers at Heswall and interfering with a badger sett. The case was adjourned until early July for evidence to be called.


Bloodsports

In July 2001 Nick Hancock, star of quiz show 'They think it's all over', was prosecuted for fishing without a valid rod licence. Hancock pleaded guilty at the Stafford magistrates court and was fined £40 with £55 costs. Tony Page of Cliffs End, Ramsgate was also unable to produce a valid rod licence after being challenged. Page appeared in court to plead guilty to fishing illegally, he was fined £25 and costs of £50 were awarded against him. Another angler, Andrew Moore was also seen fishing was also unable to produce a valid rod licence when asked. Moore pleaded guilty to fishing illegally by post and was fined £25 with costs of £50 awarded against him.

A gamekeeper was fined £2,400 for illegally poisoning five Buzzards and storing and possessing a banned agricultural pesticide. Malcolm Kempson of Cardenden, Fife went before Perth Sheriff Court after the offences in March 2000.

On 10/9/01 a Pittsylvania County, VA man was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to disseminating images of pit bull fights across state lines. "Fat Bill" Reynolds, the publisher of American Gamedog Times and a Web site through which individuals could purchase a video featuring footage of dog fights, also was ordered to pay a fine of $10,000, as well as costs associated with prosecuting the case. Reynolds' former girlfriend was sentenced to probation and community confinement.

Samson PruittKNIGHTDALE - A man accused of running a dog fighting ring in Wake County made his first court appearance on 2/11/01. Samson Pruitt has been charged with several crimes, including cruelty to animals and dog fighting - both felonies. A Wake County sheriff's deputy planned to evict Pruitt at a house on Smithfield and Poole roads when he discovered the dogs. Authorities found 81 pit bulls, mostly puppies, and a treadmill used for dog fighting in Pruitt's house. Authorities also found 11 snakes, some of which are poisonous, in the house, as well as a baby crocodile. Bags of marijuana and other drug paraphernalia were also discovered there. Authorities arrested Pruitt and charged him with animal cruelty. Authorities said Pruitt was arrested for dog fighting three years ago in Orange County. He spent a year in jail for that crime. Pruitt is in jail on $25,000 bond.

Three men and a boy accused of holding illegal dog fights at a house in Cambridge denied all the charges against them when they appeared at Ely magistrates on 12/12/01. Andrew Crowe (35) of Brampton Road, Cambridge, Mark Willis (31) of High Street, Chesterton, Glenn Brown (27) of Stourbridge Grove, Cambridge, and a 14-year-old boy denied a total of 16 charges relating to dog fighting and cruelty to animals. Crowe denied permitting unnecessary suffering to two pit bull terriers, causing two dogs to fight, attending a dog fight, possessing two dogs which have been bred for fighting and using premises for dog fighting. Brown denied permitting unnecessary suffering to two pit bull terriers, attending and assisting at a dog fight and possessing a dog which has been bred for fighting. Willis denied attending and assisting at a dog fight and possessing a dog which has been bred for fighting. The 14-year-old denied attending and assisting at a dog fight. A pre-trial review will be held at Ely magistrates on 15/1/02.

On 21/12/01 four men from Worcester were fined more than £2,000 after they were caught hare coursing. The group, all from the Lower Smite Caravan Park site at Hindlip, each admitted two charges of entering land in pursuit of game. David Butler (52), David Butler junior (27), John Butler (19), and Harry Butler (25) all from the caravan park off Pershore Road, were each fined £510. Both David Butlers were ordered to hand over their cars. A fifth man, Harry Smith (33) of Cherry Brook Close, Hereford, was also fined £510. The five faced the charges with 10 others following incidents at Southstoke, Wallingford, Oxon, and nearby Chain Hill, Wantage. The 15 who come from the West Midlands, Worcestershire, South Wales, Hereford, Hampshire, and Surrey were all fined between £155 and £510 by magistrates at Didcot, after all admitted entering on to land in pursuit of game.

On 16/1/02 an Oregon man was been jailed for using a bow and arrow to kill two of his neighbour's dogs. Brian Raymond Rowe (48) was sentenced to 90 days after being convicted on two counts of first-degree aggravated animal abuse. He killed his neighbour's Labrador retrievers while they roamed near their homes in Portland. Rowe was also ordered to serve 60 days in a work-release centre. Rowe, an archery hunter, still faces a $300,000 (about £209,000) lawsuit filed for negligence and loss of companionship. At his trial, Rowe agreed not to own a bow and arrows, nor to own any pets or be around other people's animals. 

A dog suffered in agony for days from a broken back after its owner failed to get help. The greyhound was found lying on a urine soaked floor in an outhouse. The dog's owner, Brian Waggott (51) of East Clere, Langley Park, near Durham, admitted causing unnecessary suffering to an animal when he appeared in court at Consett on 22/1/02. Magistrates banned him from owning a pet for five years for the offence and ordered him to do 120 hours community service with £260 costs. The greyhounds had been injured when it ran into an iron fence while chasing a hare.

Martin Joseph Quinn (41) of Africana Road, Moss Bank, St Helen's, Merseyside, was caught on land in Lincolnshire chasing hares. Lincoln magistrates were told on 24/1/02 that Quinn and a co-accused were spotted on a farmland in Metheringham fen with two lurcher dogs. A farm employee saw the pair hare coursing with dogs. They were watched for 20 minutes and then reported to the police. The co-accused's dog was seen to attack and kill a hare. Quinn returned to a vehicle and left the co-accused to continue pursuing hares. Quinn admitted trespassing with intent to pursue game. Quinn told the court he only went to look at a dog. "I was not on land but I've admitted it to get it over with," he said. The self-employed builder was fined £110, including costs. 

On 14/2/02 Brisbane District Court fined Thi Hong Tran (59) and his wife Hen Van Tran (52) $500 each for offences relating to cockfighting, while Ghi Van Le (41) was sentenced to six weeks jail. The trio were also prohibited from owning or possessing an American Fighting Cockerel for two years and ordered to pay court costs of $5,803. Following a raid on a house at Ellen Grove in Brisbane's south Police and RSPCA found about 20 people, 11 cockerels and sparring gloves in the raid.

On 25/02/02 at Nass District Court Frank Coyne of Allenwood County Kildare was charged with being involved in a dog fighting event held at Coyne's home on the 31/3/01. About twenty people were at the event which was raided by the Gardaí. The people ran away when the Gardaí arrived leaving Coyne to deal with the Gardaí. The dog fight was being held in a shed which Coyne said he rented to a man from Dublin, but would not give any further details to the Gardaí. Two Staffordshire bull terriers were found in the shed with severe injuries and had to be destroyed. Coyne was fined a total of Euro 1,890 1,488.50)

An illegal hare courser has been fined £420 after admitting trespassing and hunting with dogs on farmland. Reuben Butler was in a party of three men, two of whom had dogs, Spalding magistrates heard on 5/3/02. The offence on happened while foot-and-mouth controls were still in place. Butler was taken to Spalding Police Station where he admitted illegal hare coursing. For daytime trespassing in pursuit of gain Butler of Crawley was fined £70 and for illegally hunting with dogs he was fined £350. He was also ordered to pay £60 costs.

Allegations of animal cruelty were adjourned by magistrates in Bodmin on 7/3/02 after not guilty pleas were entered to a total of six charges. Stephen Heard (44) of Allen Road, Padstow, denies five charges of causing unnecessary suffering by failing to provide reasonable care and attention to beagles and foxhounds at his hunt kennel at Tregonetha. He also pleaded not guilty to failing to dispose of a horse carcass at the kennels without undue delay. The hearing was adjourned until April 5 when a pre-trial review will take place.

On 8/3/02 a man charged with two counts of causing suffering to a dog has been refused his request to have the dog back in his care during the court proceedings. Paul Nightingale of Thornfield Avenue, Waterfoot, did not appear at Rossendale magistrates but was represented by his solicitor who made an application that his crossbreed terrier be returned to him. But the magistrates believed the dog was being looked after adequately in the care of the RSPCA and refused his request. Nightingale is pleading not guilty to both offences that he was concerned about the care his dog was receiving while not with him. The dog disappeared and was found by a dog warden and taken to kennels in Whitworth. When Nightingale collected it two days later he was told it needed medication for a mouth ulcer. The case was adjourned for a pre-trial review on 4/4/02. This man has a previous conviction for badger digging and ill-treating a dog.

Three men who attended a cockfight in a warehouse on St George's Quay have been conditionally discharged by magistrates on 13/3/02. Alan Stewart (42) of Vale Road in Lancaster, David Brockhill (34) of Hale Carr Lane in Morecambe and John Harrison (41) of Oxcliffe Road in Morecambe all pleaded guilty to attending the event. Harrison also pleaded guilty to taking part in bets at the fight, and was fined £150. In addition to their conditional discharges, Brockhill and Stewart were both ordered to pay £162 in prosecution costs. Harrison was ordered to pay £195.80 in costs. Several dead cockerels, some with their heads removed, were found at the scene by police. Other cockerels were also found in boxes and cages, making noises that sounded as though they were in distress. Numerous birds required veterinary treatment to their feet and heads. Cockfighting paraphernalia, such as spurs, binding tape and weighing scales, was also found at the warehouse. Lists relating to betting were also seized.

At Maidstone magistrates on 13/3/02 Gregory Harbron (20) of McKenzie Road, Lordswood, Chatham plead guilty to fishing without a valid rod licence. He was fined £100 and had costs of £80 awarded against him. Robert White (26) of Shipley Court, Whait Street, Maidstone was proved guilty in his absence to fishing without a valid rod licence. He was fined £150 and had costs of £80 awarded against him. Barry Taylor (25) of Bicknor Road, Parkwood, Maidstone was proved guilty in his absence to fishing without a valid rod licence. He was fined £80 and had costs of £80 awarded against him. A Webb (40) of Courtenay Road, Maidstone was proved guilty in his absence to fishing without a valid rod licence. He was fined £80, a further £40 for giving a false name and address and had costs of £80 awarded against him.

On 18/3/02 police raided a cockfighting tournament at a Philadelphia garage, arresting 84 people as others fled through doors and windows. Officers found 66 live roosters and 13 dead ones, a 12-by-18-foot fighting ring, a four-foot high trophy for the winner and a fully stocked bar. They seized $51,769 from those arrested and a loaded 9mm handgun. Police also confiscated sharp spurs that cockfighters attach to the birds and hypodermic needles to inject them with stimulants and anticoagulants. Those arrested are being held pending hearings on charges including cruelty to animals, illegal gambling and liquor violations. Pennsylvania is one of nearly 30 states in which it is a crime to conduct or attend a cockfight. It is legal in Louisiana, New Mexico and Oklahoma.

A hunt enthusiast was jailed on 20/3/02 for having an illegal gun to kill foxes. James Hearne (26) of Bryn Coch Road, Sarn, Bridgend admitted swapping his terrier dog for the illegal gun to kill the animals. But the court heard his experience being in jail on remand means he will never go hunting again. After four months custody, Hearne told how he felt like a "caged animal" and he will never touch another weapon. Cardiff Crown Court heard how Hearne had swapped a terrier dog at a country fair in Ludlow for the gun to kill animals "humanely". He told police he the gun for the purposes of shooting foxes. Hearne admitted possessing a firearm without authority, possessing expanding ammunition without authority and was jailed for 18 months.


Eggs/Birds

Police found a number of dead wild birds in a freezer when they raided the home of James Jennison of Teg Fan, Pontyberem Road, Ponthenry, South Wales. They also found a raven that appeared to have died from multiple shot wounds and a buzzard that had been poisoned by the banned pesticide Fenthion. A collection of 50 wild birds' eggs was also seized, including three house sparrow eggs with a label showing that they had been illegally collected. On 11/4/00 at Llanelli magistrates Jennison pleaded guilty to three charges under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. He was given conditional discharges for possession of the poisoned buzzard and the shot raven and was fined £90 for illegally possessing the three house sparrow eggs. Jennison was ordered to pay £60 costs and all the dead birds and eggs were seized by the court.

Wayne Langley of Attlee Avenue, Blackhall, County Durham pleaded guilty to possessing 18 wild birds' eggs. He was fined £250 and £55 costs.

Wynbrook Ltd, Sandhills Park, Newark, the contracts manager, Stephen Day, and his brother, Michael Day, were each fined £200 and ordered to pay total costs of £55 for 'recklessly' destroying a bat roost.

Jason Walker, of Bentley Close, Loughborough, was given 140 hours of community service after pleading guilty to charges relating to possessing more than 150 wild birds' eggs. The court also ordered Walker to pay £200 costs to the RSPB and forfeiture of Walker's equipment.

In August 2001 John Webber, of Sambourne Lane, Pill, Somerset, was fined £250 and £90 costs for illegally setting a trap to take wild birds. Webber had no permission for using this Larsen and the decoy bird had not been supplied with the legally-required water or shelter.

On 17/8/01 Michael Terrence Davidson of Houghton-le-Spring, County Durham appeared at Durham Crown Court and was given a three-month suspended sentence and also ordered to pay court costs of £1,150. It was the first case involving the sale of eggs under endangered species regulations and the first time that a custodial sentence has been handed out to an egg collector. It was also the first time that an egg collector has been convicted based largely on evidence from computer records as well as diaries.

When Marc Jackson (25) of Fernleigh, Leyland, appeared before Leyland magistrates on 3/1/02 he pleaded guilty to taking a wild bird and also of unlawfully confining a magpie in a cage (a Larson trap) which was not sufficient in height, length or breadth to permit the bird to stretch its wings freely. Jackson was ordered to pay a fine of £300 and court costs of £200. 

A man who smuggled endangered birds into Britain tied up in plastic tubes and stuffed in suitcases has been jailed for six and a half years. Raymond Humphrey (52) from Tilney All Saints, Norfolk bird smugglingwas found guilty of smuggling, keeping and trading rare species of animals following his arrest at Heathrow airport carrying suitcases containing 23 birds. Humphrey was also found to have a menagerie of endangered animals at his home. Humphrey denied 23 charges of importation, keeping and trading in endangered species and theft of birds of prey but was found guilty on 18/1/02 at Isleworth Crown Court. The court heard Humphrey was Raymond Humphrey arrested by Customs and Excise officials last July along with two other men carrying suitcases packed with the exotic birds tied up in tiny tubes. He was arrested when officers observed him meet Peera Jungthirapanich(23) and another man. Inside the suitcases they discovered 23 birds of prey all the birds were in a state of distress after being bound, stuffed into plastic tubes with air holes drilled in them, and held in place with pieces of broken chopsticks. When they were taken to the animal reception centre at the airport, six were found to be dead.

On 13/3/02 detectives seized a sizeable collection of birds eggs and rare birds in what has been described as "a nationally significant find". Assisted by officials from the RSPB, officers raided a house in Thornton, Merseyside, where they discovered more than 300 eggs and some 30 stuffed birds. A 40-year-old man, arrested as a result of the raid, has been released without charge on police bail pending further inquiries. Included in the confiscated collection were clutches of "extremely rare" osprey, little tern and avocet eggs as well as climbing equipment and stuffed marsh harriers and kestrels.

Matthew Gonshaw (39) of Cherrywood Close, Bow, east London, was found guilty of stealing eggs from some of Britain's rarest birds when he appeared before Thames magistrates on 27/3/02 charged with several offences under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. He is due to be sentenced on 22/4/02. Gonshaw, who had denied the charges, was found guilty of the theft of four marsh harrier eggs from the Isle of Sheppey, Kent; the theft of six chough eggs from Colonsay in the Inner Hebrides; the theft of two red-throated diver eggs from North Uist in the Outer Hebrides; and the theft of three dotterel eggs from the Cairngorms. He was acquitted of stealing three Red Kite eggs from Oxfordshire. On 22/4/02 he was jailed for three months.


Equine

The owner of an Shire mare is awaiting sentencing by Bath magistrates on 23/1/02 after pleading guilty on 8/1/02. The horse was found emaciated, almost totally bald and crawling with lice - very dejected. There was practically no grazing in the field, just odd piles of straw. It was a ramshackle place with old cars. The paddock also contained the carcasses of four other horses including one foal. The owner Dennis Wall of Peasedown St John, Somerset, who is known to have kept horses for years also pleaded guilty to failing to dispose of carcases properly. The mare has now have made a full recovery and is looking for a suitable home. 

On 14/1/02 farmer Vincent Nash (63) was convicted of causing unnecessary suffering to the two horses which the vet had to put down. Nash of Pillhay Farm, Hewish, near Weston-super-Mare, was given a conditional discharge for two years. He was ordered to pay £2,000 towards the RSPCA's prosecution costs of £5,980.

A fantasist who lived out his SAS dreams by using ponies as target practice for his crossbow was jailed for two years on 23/1/0. Police raided Mark Telford's home in Wordsworth Avenue, Mark Telford Whickham, Gateshead after the attack and found that he was making a copy of an M16 assault rifle. Newcastle Crown Court heard that Telford had a sick obsession with the SAS and boasted he had mastered the crack unit's techniques in bringing down animals. While most of his hatred was directed at animals, on one occasion he even shot a child who was running down the street outside his home. He was condemned as "sick and twisted" by the owners of two show ponies which were grazing in a field when he shot them with 18 inch steel bolts. Telford used a Commando 2 crossbow in the attack - one Horse and crossbow boltof the most powerful in the world. Next morning the horses were found cowering by their owner with the bolts still lodged inside them. Both animals recovered. Telford (28) denied the attack but at an earlier hearing at Newcastle Crown Court was found guilty of two charges of damaging property. Telford was jailed for two years after being convicted of damaging property. He admitted manufacturing a firearm, possessing an unlawful firearm and possession of the crossbow and bolts. He was jailed for 20 months for manufacturing the gun, a further 20 months to run concurrently for possessing the gun, three months for shooting the horses to run concurrently and four months for possession of the crossbow and bolts, to run consecutively; a total of 24 months. 

A woman has been banned from keeping horses for life after she was found guilty of neglecting the same horse twice in less than a year. Deena Khan (53) of Burford Road, Whalley Range, Manchester was successfully prosecuted last year for causing unnecessary suffering to the pony. She received a five-year ban from keeping equines and the pony was confiscated but she successfully appealed against the sentence at Manchester Crown Court in October 2000. The pony was returned to her in good condition. But following a complaint the pony was found once again an emaciated condition. On top of her lifetime ban Khan was fined £100 and ordered to pay £300 in costs.

Stephen Graham (40) of Stoney Gate Gardens, Felling, Gateshead, was found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to his three-year-old horse on 28/2/02. It was unable to stand on its left rear leg due to an untreated gash caused by a four-inch long wire wrapped around its fetlock. Gateshead magistrates also heard how the horse's compound at Stoneygate Lane, Felling, was littered with glass, barbed wire and metal and there was no water. However, magistrates gave Graham a conditional discharge and allowed him to retain ownership of the horse. Graham was sentenced to a two-year conditional discharge and ordered to pay £225 costs.


Assorted

At Witney magistrates on 6/12/00 Stephen Davis, a greyhound trainer from Ducklington, Oxfordshire, pleaded guilty to 5 offences under the Animal By-Products Order 1999 for using non-approved equipment and premises for rendering animal by-products, failing to correctly dispose of it and failing to keep a record of incoming animal by-products. He was fined £500 and ordered to pay £500 costs. 

At Cannock magistrates on 21/12/00 Owen Brothers Ltd who operate a slaughterhouse at Coven near Wolverhampton, pleaded guilty to an offence under the Animal By-Products Order 1999 for spreading macerated sheep guts on agricultural land as fertiliser. The company were fined £950 and ordered to pay £961.88 costs. 

On 7/1/02 a US man has been charged after allegedly shooting dead a dog because it sniffed him in the street. Trinidad F. Moraga Jr is accused of shooting the dog in the head. It had trotted up to him and sniffed him, say witnesses. He is charged with animal cruelty and disorderly conduct and being held in custody in Tucson, Arizona. Witnesses told police the dog walked up to Moraga and sniffed him as the man walked down the street. He responded by pulling out a .40-calibre handgun and shooting the dog in the forehead, witnesses say. The dog died instantly. Moraga continued walking down the street, witnesses say, and officers arrested him about two hours later. Moraga Jr., 21, is also being held for drug charges. 

Detectives have hit out at the leniency of a five-year sentence passed down on magistrate Jonathan Wilkes (40) for possessing pipe bombs. Thames Valley Police say they are considering whether to appeal for a tougher sentence. Wilkes was jailed for five years after being convicted at Oxford Crown Court on 17/1/02 of building a deadly cache of pipe bombs with intent to endanger life. The former justice of the peace on the Oxfordshire circuit was found guilty after a nine-day trial of a single charge of building the eight remote-controlled and booby-trapped devices. The father of one, formerly of Freeland, Oxon, but now living in Royan, France built the devices to target the new boyfriend of his former lover, the crown court was told during the trial. Wilkes was cleared of a further charge of possessing a single bomb with intent to endanger life, but was convicted of possession of the device. The devices, water bottles packed with 3kg of metal nuts and described by the prosecution as "truly terrifying in their potential to maim or kill", were discovered in Syreford, Glos, and Freeland, Oxon. 

A businessman who was at the centre of animal rights protests over his export of live calves has appeared in court accused of plotting to smuggle cocaine worth £22m into the UK. Christopher Barrett-Jolley (55) the former head of an aviation company, pleaded not guilty on 25/2/02 to importing 271kg (597lb) of cocaine to Southend airport. Barrett-Jolley is the former head of Phoenix Aviation, which ran a controversial veal export business from Baginton airport in Warwickshire during the 1990s. Jill Phipps an animal rights activist, was crushed to death by a lorry at one of the protests against Barrett-Jolley's trade in 1995. Barrett-Jolley, from Somerset, appeared at Basildon Crown Court on 25/2/02 with his two co-accused - his brother-in-law Peter Carine (49) from Henshall, North Yorkshire, and Martin Lake (60) from Storrington, West Sussex. The pair also denied smuggling the drug. All three were remanded in custody and are due for trial on 9/9/02.

DENVER (AP) The Denver Zoo, criticized by animal rights activists for its decision not to separate two Asiatic black bears that fought often, paid a $700 federal fine for failing to protect one bear, which was fatally mauled by the other. A female bear after an attack by a larger male bear left her with a crushed throat, a mangled leg and internal injuries. The zoo was fined on 27/2/02 after an investigation by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Under the terms of a settlement, the facility did not admit or deny that it violated the federal Animal Welfare Act by not separating the bears.

Keith HubbardSlaughterman Keith Hubbard (38) of Atherstone, Warwickshire who was accused of killing  colleague Steven Smart with a bolt gun has been found not guilty of manslaughter on 8/3/02. Hubbard had denied killing at a mass slaughter site at Great Orton airfield in Cumbria. The pair had been culling sheep as part of the battle against foot-and-mouth disease. It had been alleged that Hubbard had put a bolt gun to the head of Smart of St Leonards, East Sussex while the pair were "mucking around". Smart died 12 hours after he was shot. Hubbard had told the court that he had loaded and primed his bolt gun after killing a sheep and stumbled over the bodies of dead animals. He said the gun went off accidentally next to the head of Smart.

On 15/3/02 Stephen Hall (23) of Kensington Road, Hull was jailed for six months after a trainload of commuters saw him having sex with a goat. Hall pleaded guilty to one charge of buggery with an animal after the assault on the female goat. Hall had a previous conviction for indecent assault against a six-year-old girl. Hall was seen holding on to a belt that had been put around the nanny goat's neck with one hand, while masturbating with the other. He was then seen with his trousers around his ankles having "penetrative sexual intercourse" with the animal. Forensic tests matched semen taken from Hall's clothing to that found at the scene and samples of the goat's hairs were also found in his underwear.


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

At Banbury magistrates on 13/7/00 Martin Francis, a sheep dealer from Burford, Oxfordshire, pleaded guilty to 4 offences under the Animal By-Products Order 1999 and the Protection of Animals Act 1911 for failing to dispose of sheep carcases without undue delay and causing unnecessary suffering to sheep. He was fined a total of £4,500 and ordered to pay £1,360.31 costs. 

At Witney magistrates 21/11/00 Colin Timms, a farmer from Crawley, Nr Witney, pleaded guilty to 8 offences under the Cattle Identification Regulations 1998. He was given a two year conditional discharge and ordered to pay £750 costs. 

At New Forest magistrates on 01/12/00 Barry Douglas Meaker pleaded guilty to an offence under the Animal By-Products Order 1999 for failing to correctly dispose of sheep carcases and two offences under the Protection of Animals Act 1911. He was banned from keeping sheep for five years, given a conditional discharge for 24 months and ordered to pay £660 costs. 

A livestock dealer who imported sheep into Ireland during the foot and mouth crisis was sent to prison on 25/1/02. John Walsh from Warwick Road, Carlisle was sentenced to three months after being convicted on four charges. An Irish District Court in Dublin was told that he brought 290 sheep from a market in Carlisle to Co Roscommon without a proper animal health certificate. The tags on the animals were removed and the sheep were passed off as Irish. Some were unloaded at a farm in Northern Ireland where a foot and mouth outbreak was later confirmed. Police and officials found that Walsh had sold sheep to a Co Roscommon factory using a false name and was paid IR£13,000. The court was told that Walsh, who also faces charges relating to tax returns, had already spent more than six months in custody before these proceedings. 

A farmer who caused unnecessary distress to sheep was told he narrowly missed being sent to jail. Sean Murphy (48) of Oxford Road, Bootle was warned by magistrates after 37 of his sheep were found dead. However, they sentenced him to 240 hours community service. Murphy was also banned from owning animals for 10 years, except family pets. RSPCA inspectors had found the dead sheep at Moss Nook Farm, Rainford. On 20/3/02 St Helens magistrates heard that 10 of them were found huddled together in one corner of a field. A further 140 animals were still alive but were in a poor physical condition. A post-mortem on one of the sheep found no sign of disease and concluded the deaths had been caused by its body condition, combined with cold weather conditions and a lack of shelter. Murphy had been a sheep farmer for 26 years, he is now working as a landscape gardener. Murphy was also ordered to pay £1,500 towards costs. Murphy was appearing before the magistrates for sentencing after being found guilty last month of causing unnecessary distress to sheep. He was also found guilty of causing unnecessary harm to two ewes in the flock. He was cleared of failing to feed livestock a wholesome diet and failing to dispose of the carcasses.

Animal welfare officers who visited a remote Rossendale farm found a haul of rotting sheep and cattle carcasses. Burnley Magistrates heard on 14/2/02 how officers discovered one skeleton of a large beast but couldn't be sure what it was among the decaying bodies. A dog was standing next to one of the carcasses. Farmer John Brian Askew (65) of Height Farm, Rooley Moor Road, Stacksteads, was given the maximum 240 hours community punishment and must pay £200 costs. He admitted three offences of contravening an animal health act or an order made by the Minister of State and one of failing to bury a carcass of cattle in a field accessible to dogs. On his premises was found 11 sheep or cattle carcasses in various states of decay.


Domestic

On 6/1/02 an Illinois woman was been put on probation for tossing live kittens out of her car window as she drove along. Only one of the four kittens survived hitting the pavement. Unfortunately, the surviving kitten bit its rescuer and had to be destroyed for rabies testing. A witness travelling behind Nora Knack's (49) car took down her number plate and called the police. Knack was found guilty of two counts of aggravated cruelty to animals and cruelty to animals. Knack was sentenced to 12 months probation, ordered to pay $700 (around £483) in fines and costs and perform 60 hours community service. The judge also ordered her to undergo a psychological evaluation. 

Two men have appeared in court charged with keeping 17 venomous vipers without licences. Mark Craddock (37) of Luxmore Close, Plymouth and Darren Golden (40) of Conway Gardens, Plymouth are both being prosecuted by Plymouth City Council for contravening the 1976 Dangerous Wild Animals Act. Although the two cases are being dealt with separately, both men have appeared before Plymouth magistrates on 9/1/02. Craddock pleaded not guilty to six counts of unlawfully keeping a dangerous animal. He was charged with having no licences for a sidewinder, two eyelash vipers, two sand vipers, one rock rattlesnake, two horned vipers and one lower Californian rattlesnake. Golden was also charged with six counts of unlawfully keeping a dangerous animal. He pleaded not guilty to the charges involving a panamint rattlesnake, two horned vipers, one rhinoceros viper, one gaboon viper, two other horned vipers and one eyelash viper. Both cases were adjourned for pre-trial reviews on 30/1/02. 

A man who let his dog starve to death over 15 days has been banned from keeping animals for life. Alan Helps (19) of Cumberland Road, Rochdale trapped two dogs in a room in his house. He wedged the door shut with the handle of a broom and left two bags of unopened dog food for the animals. By the time they were found one had died and the other was skeletal and barely alive. They were found surrounded in their own faeces and urine. Helps pleaded guilty at Rochdale magistrates on 29/1/02 to two counts of causing unnecessary suffering and two counts of abandoning the dogs. As well as the life ban, he was given a two-year community rehabilitation order and ordered to pay £245 costs.

A man who admitted leaving his cancer-stricken dog untreated and starving is facing a jail sentence. RSPCA inspectors found 18-year-old Labrador with a bleeding cancerous tumour four centimetres long on her head in Shaun Crossley-Wilson's Breightmet home. She was found dehydrated and underweight, wedged between a window and a cushion in his front room Bolton magistrates heard on 15/2/02. Crossley-Wilson, currently of the Salvation Army Hostel in Duke Street, Bolton, pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering. Three other people were questioned by the RSPCA in relation to the matter. Magistrates told him: "We are strongly of the mind to opt for a custodial sentence." The case was adjourned until 14/3/02 for pre-sentence reports to be prepared.

A cat with a lump in its mouth, open wounds and maggots was left without veterinary care by its owner magistrates at Stoke-on-Trent heard on 20/2/02. Anthony Aston (39) of Burnett Place, Norton, had not noticed that his pet cat was infested with maggots as a result of four wounds to its rear right leg. Aston had at an earlier hearing pleaded not guilty to a charge of unnecessary suffering to the cat by unreasonably omitting to provide proper care and attention. Magistrates found the case against him proved and he was disqualified from keeping any animal for a period of 10 years and ordered to pay £600 costs. Susan Wallace

On 25/2/02 a woman who threw her pet iguana at a policeman has been convicted of two charges of animal cruelty. A tank was set up at the Isle of Wight magistrates to house a green iguana, during the trial. Owner, Susan Wallace (47) of The Close, Seaview, Isle of Wight, was found guilty of two charges of causing unnecessary suffering to the reptile by throwing it and another charge of common assault. She admitted a charge of criminal damage. The case was adjourned for pre-sentence reports. The court heard that Wallace, known as the Lizard Lady among local drinkers, had brought the iguana into the Anchor pub and was asked to leave when she started to upset customers by placing the iguana on their shoulders and heads. He described how after he had asked her to leave twice, he escorted her from the pub where she attacked him by throwing the iguana at him twice and kicked him once.

On 26/2/02 three people appeared before a judge accused of animal cruelty and conspiracy to publish obscene material containing animal cruelty. Craig John Chapman (27) appeared before Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court accused of conspiring with Sarah Cooke (21) to publish obscene material namely animal cruelty. He is further accused of a similar offence of conspiracy with Christine Bestford (25). Chapman is also accused of publishing an article, namely animal cruelty for financial gain. He is further charged with causing or procuring another to cruelly infuriate, terrify and torture a guinea pig; causing or procuring another to cruelly beat, infuriate and torture a kitten; cruelly terrifying and torturing a kitten and sending obscene articles by post, namely Animal Cruelty. Bestford is accused of conspiring with Chapman to publish obscene material and cruelly beating, infuriating and torturing a kitten. Cooke is charged with conspiring to publish obscene material namely Animal Cruelty and two offences of cruelty to animals, namely mice. All three defendants are set to reappear before the crown court on 7/5/02.

A mother and son have been banned from keeping animals for life after pleading guilty to neglecting their pet dog. On 5/3/02 magistrates heard how Norma and Harry Skilton, of Greenbank Road, Darlington, failed to take the four-year-old collie to a vets after the dog was infested with fleas and skin infections. The dog has since made a full recovery and is now living in a foster home. Bishop Auckland magistrates heard how Skilton (45) admitted she did not really know how to care for the dog and a man had come to her home to shave its fur in an attempt to ease the discomfort of the infection. Both Skilton and her 21-year-old son were banned from keeping animals for life, as well as being fined £200 each and ordered to pay £120 costs each.

Kenneth Bull A man has been allowed to keep two dogs - despite being convicted of a savage attack on a third. Neighbours who saw Kenneth Bull (48) of Perth Street, Breadsall Hilltop jabbing and hitting his Staffordshire bull terrier with a wooden pole begged him to stop and called the police. The dog suffered wounds to its body, throat, face and mouth. On 7/3/02 Bull pleaded guilty at Derby magistrates to ill-treating the dog and was disqualified from getting another for 10 years. But magistrates decided he could keep two other dogs he owned because he had never shown any signs of harm to them and they decided it would be kinder for them to be left with Bull. Bull was fined £250 with £200 costs. The dog has recovered and is now with a new family.

Shaun Crossley-Wilson (42) of Tarvin Walk, Halliwell, was jailed for three months after admitting leaving his emaciated dog to die. Crossley-Wilson was also banned from keeping animals for life. The dog was found wedged between a window and a cushion in the front room. On 15/3/02 Bolton magistrates were told the room was littered with faeces and smelt strongly of urine. The dog weighed seven kg under her desired weight and was blind and partially deaf, was later put down. He pleaded guilty to one count of causing unnecessary suffering to the dog.

A former part-time policeman and his wife could face a lifetime ban from keeping animals after mistreating their pets. Ex-special constable Brian Carr (36) and his wife June (32) of Mill Dam, South Shields each admitted three offences of causing unnecessary suffering to two dogs and a cat. The couple appeared before Sunderland magistrates court on 19/3/02 and the case was adjourned until 17/4/02.

A US prison guard is starting a year long jail sentence for killing a prisoner's five kittens. Ronald Hunlock (48) found the kittens in an inmates cell at Sing Sing Correctional Facility in Ossining, New York. It was against prison rules to keep them. Hunlock threw them in a rubbish crusher. He was convicted of aggravated cruelty to animals in December. Hunlock crushed the kittens to death after the inmate refused to. Their mother managed to escape and has since been adopted. He was sentenced to one year for killing the kittens and one year for trying to kill the mother. The terms will run concurrently.

An art student who made a 17-minute video of the torture and slow death of a cat acted out of a misguided desire to expose the hypocrisy of meat-eaters, his lawyer told the Ontario Court on 28/3/02. Jesse Powers (22) is a vegetarian and intended to eat the cat as part of his artistic statement. Powers and Anthony Wenneker (25) were in court for sentencing submissions after pleading guilty to one count each of animal cruelty and one count each of mischief. The courtroom wept and writhed in their seats as the videotape was played, showing the dying animal flipping around helplessly and meowing weakly as it was butchered while dangling from a noose. Some shielded their eyes while others stared numbly at the grainy image of three men slashing at the cat with a knife, a straight razor and several dental tools. They saw its eye gouged out, its bowels ripped open and its skin partly removed, all while the animal continued to struggle and cry. Near the end of the video, one of the men remarks, "Hey, it's still alive," and two of the attackers savagely kick the animal. The court heard that Powers has made at least two other ghoulish videos involving animals. In one, he beheads a chicken with an axe and films it being prepared for cooking and eating. In the other, he uses dead animals and skins of animals as marionettes, making them appear to dance to a disco soundtrack. He obtained the skins and animals from the Royal Ontario Museum, where he held a summer job in the taxidermy.

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