North West Hunt Saboteurs

Vermin Patrol 2003 - Part 3

Badgers

Edward `Danny' PhillipsOn 25/9/03 Edward `Danny' Phillips (58) of Broadstone Terrace, Catbrook, near Tintern - a terrier man with the Curre and Llangybi Foxhounds appeared before Abergavenny magistrates. Phillips denies a charge of wilfully interfering with a badger sett by digging it up. A hunt saboteur told magistrates he and two others had been following the hunt for about four hours when the fox went to ground in a field. He said they watched the scene from about 100 metres away. He said that initially there were hounds marking the site where the fox was, then they were replaced by terrier man Phillips and a few others on quad bikes with spades. They got off the quad bikes, briefly examined or looked at where the fox had gone to ground, and then proceeded to dig around that area. He watched for about 45 minutes before leaving, then telephoned the police and the local badger group. On 26/9/03 the case was thrown out of court - after a debate about the animals' toilet habits. The deputy district judge ruled there was no case to answer as it could not be proved it was occupied by badgers.


Bloodsports

Two Cleveland poachers resorted to "barbaric" means to illegally snare spawning salmon. John Richard Spaven and Darren Smitheringale, both of Thames Road, Skelton, near Saltburn, admitted using a spear to catch fish after officers discovered the weapon in the boot of their car. They pleaded guilty to three charges at Guisborough magistrates on 25/3/03. Both were fined £150 and each were ordered to pay £150 costs. The court heard how Spaven admitted using the home-made spear, which had been fashioned from a broom handle and three welded barbs, and Smitheringale said he had used the lamp to help catch fish. The men offered no defence in court.

Robert Powton
(35) of Darlington Road, West Auckland and Daniel Matthew Robinson (37) of Ashcroft Gardens, Bishop Auckland, were seen carrying a lamp and a gaff, a large hook on the end of a pole. Enviroment Agancy officers found a bag containing a net and two sea trout, one of the trout was still entangled in the net, the other was seen to have gaff marks in it’s side. The fish were examined and found to have been spawning, or about to spawn. Fish eggs were also later found in Powton’s car. Robinson and Powton were each sentenced to 130 hours community service and fined £100 with £100 costs by Bishop Auckland magistrates on 25/6/03.

Two men from west Cumbria were fined £500 each after being caught poaching salmon. John Anthony Taylor (43) of 20 Queens Crescent, Frizington and Derek Andrew Bulman (22) of 15 Arlecdon Road, Frizington, both pleaded guilty to two offences when they appeared at Whitehaven magistrates on 25/7/03. As well as being fined, the men were ordered to pay £125 costs each to the Environment Agency, which brought the prosecution.

A former pub licensee from North Wales has been banned from keeping animals for five years after he starved a dog and a rabbit to death. On 29/8/03 Flintshire magistrates heard that how Richard Jones who now lives on Cannon Drive in Bagillt, claimed in court he was an animal lover, admitted two charges of causing unnecessary suffering to the rabbit and a lurcher-type dog found in outbuildings at the rear of the Swan Inn at Rhewl near Mostyn. In addition to the five-year animal ban, he was ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work under a community punishment order.

A father and son were charged with assaulting two police officers outside Nantwich Civic Hall in January 2003. Anthony Kirkham (58) and his son Timothy (20) both of Ridley Farm, Tarporley, both are keen supporters of the Cheshire Foxhounds and Cheshire Forest Hunt were arrested outside the civic hall, which was staging The Cheshire Foxhounds Farmers Hunt Ball. Both men were charged with actual bodily harm, resisting or obstructing a constable in the execution of duty, with Tony Kirkham also charged with threatening behaviour and his son with obstructing a person assisting a constable in the execution of duty. They both appeared at Crewe magistrates in August 2003 and both were found guilty of resisting a police officer and sentenced to 200 hours community service. They were both also found guilty of assault and sentenced to 200 hours community service to run consecutively. They were ordered to pay £300 costs and £50 compensation. (see other recent conviction)

On 2/9/03 a gang of hare coursers caught poaching in Norfolk were fined a total of £2050. King's Lynn magistrates also confiscated a car belonging to one of the five men. Leonard Gaskin (46) Steven Gaskin (29) and Charley Gaskin (18) all from Coventry, had denied trespassing in pursuit of game and using any dog for the purpose of killing or taking any game. Nelson Smith (42) and a 17-year-old, both from Cleeve Prior, Worcestershire, also denied both charges. The group drove along private tracks in two cars and had six lurcher-type dogs with them. When police questioned the men, they found Steven Gaskin had blood on his hands and over his trousers. "He said all the dogs were his, he was training one of them and he had been coursing. Nelson Smith, who had sold his car since the incident, was fined £1000. Leonard Gaskin was fined £600, Charley Gaskin £300 and the 17-year-old £150. Each was ordered to pay £30 costs.

Four men who assaulted a farmer at the kennels of the Blackmore Vale Hunt have been remanded on bail for the preparation of pre-sentence reports. Ryan Carvill (23) of County Down, Ireland; Marc Beale (28) of Coldharbour, Sherborne; Adam Knight (24) of Bar Lever Lane, Charlton Horethorne, and Martin Starks (18) of South Down, Charlton Horethorne, admitted causing actual bodily harm to Glenn Hodges, who was kicked and punched at the hunt kennels. All four accepted being part of a joint enterprise but Taunton Crown Court was told on 4/9/03 that Beale did not accept kicking and Starks did not remember and did not accept using either his fists or his feet. The case was adjourned to a later date.

McClellanville USA- Charleston County Sheriff's deputies made four arrests after breaking up a dog fighting match on 7/9/03. Vincent Simmons (21) of McClellanville, Michael Leon Jones (21) of McClellanville, Marcus Simmons (26) of McClellanville and Moultrie S. Sanders (24) of Georgetown, were charged with felony dog fighting. On a routine patrol South Santee Road the police noticed a crowd of about 20 to 25 people in the woods near Greater Mt. Zion Church. When they went to investigate the crowd, they discovered a dog fight had just taken place and another one was about to start. The crowd scattered once the deputies arrived. Vincent Simmons began fighting hard with one Deputy. He broke away and then broke into a nearby home, where deputies found him hiding under a bed. He has been charged with first degree burglary and assaulting an officer as well as dog fighting. Deputies recovered a female pit bull with several wounds. The dog belongs to Marcus Simmons, but is now in the care of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Vincent Simmons was denied bail, Marcus Simmons, Sanders and Jones each had bail set at $5,000.

On 10/10/03 six men appeared before a Cleveland court to face dogfighting charges. Archie L. James (38) Eric Gross (46) James D. Summers (41) John E. Thomas (38) Dan Murphy (43) and Robert E. Hunter Sr. (39) are charged with one count each of cruelty to animals and conspiracy to commit the crime. They are free on bail while awaiting a trial date, which has not been set. Five more defendants are scheduled to appear in court, including Joseph M. Baldini Jr. (31) who is accused in a police affidavit of being "a major organizer'' of the dogfight in a yard at 7655 Millfair Road. Seized in the raid were 12 pit bulls, one of which had to be euthanized because of its injuries; a beagle; one Samoyed mix and her litter of seven puppies, one of which didn't survive; one cat; and 10 birds, including roosters, chickens and geese.

On 14/10/03 seven people, one a 15-year-old boy, were arrested during a dogfighting raid near Fulshear in Fort Bend County, USA. A sheriff's department spokeswoman said 13 pit bulldogs, some with wounds, were found at the location Sunday and placed with the county's animal control office. Deputies had been tipped off about dogfighting at a residence at the end of Reynolds Road. Quinn Solomon (18) and Alex Solomon (43) of Thompsons; Calebe White (29) and Lawrence Perkins (25) of Houston; and Norris Johnson (23) and Roland Johnson (17) of Simonton were charged with dogfighting, a Class C misdemeanour. The 15-year-old boy was released to family members.

On 1/11/03 seven dogs were found and a sum of cash was seized when gardaí and animal cruelty inspectors raided an illegal dog fight in Co Kildare. A number of men were found at the premises in Robertstown near Newbridge where the fight was disturbed just before midday. Gardaí along with members of the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) carried out the raid after a tip-off about the event. A man in his thirties was arrested and later released without charge after being questioned.

A gamekeeper was fined £250 for illegally possessing poison, 11 gin traps and a wild buzzard's egg. Ronald Allison (66) was the only suspect when a buzzard was poisoned on Balmanno Estate in Perthshire. At Perth Sheriff Court on 13/11/03, Allison denied the charges against him but changed his plea midway through a trial. The buzzard had been killed with the banned pesticide Carbofuran. The court heard that there was no legitimate reason for a gamekeeper to have any Carbofuran. Allison pleaded guilty to three charges. Others, relating to the killing of a crow and a buzzard and the poisoning of protected birds with Carbofuran were dropped by the Crown.

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. - Two men were convicted on 14/11/03 of animal cruelty charges stemming from a raid on a building where pit bulls were being trained to fight. Dean Clymer (36) and Jaron Bratton (19) both of Yonkers, were convicted in Westchester County Court on two counts each of animal fighting, a felony, plus other counts of injuring animals and failing to feed them. They face up to four years in prison when they are sentenced on 5/3/04. Seventeen pit bulls were found in a feces-strewn bunker equipped with a treadmill and other devices to strengthen the dogs for fighting. Officials said several had been injured, apparently in fights, and three had to be put to death. Several were also reported malnourished. The raid came after the Yonkers Animal Shelter reported the theft of seven pit bull puppies within five days. A third defendant, Kyle Ellison (20) also of Yonkers, pleaded guilty to animal fighting before going to trial. He had claimed he was simply hired to clean the dogs' cages for $20 a day.

Eight people were arrested on 16/11/03 when officers from the Hall County Sheriff's Office raided a cockfighting ring in Gainesville. Of those taken into custody, three are facing felony charges of keeping a gambling place. A spokesperson with the Sheriff's Office, said they confiscated more than $4,500 in cash and seized 35 chickens from 3395 South Meadow Court. Two other animals were dead and three were seriously injured, The three facing charges of gambling, cruelty to animals and keeping a gambling place are: Dustin Dzung Nguyen (30) 3395 S. Meadow Court, Gainesville. Sinh Van Huynh (62) 720 Golden Roadway, Norcross. Ba Van Nguyen (47) 3395 S. Meadow Court, Gainesville. The five facing gambling and cruelty to animals charges are: Minos Anthony Delcambre (40) 1133 Highway 11, Bethlehem. Nghia Luong (32) 1135 Evergreen Way, Dacula. Minh Duong (42) 897 Monroe Highway, Bethlehem. Willie Clark Bradley III (59) 1581 Highway 138 N.W., Monroe. Hoang V. Tran (47) 2808 Barrett Road, Gainesville. All defendants except Delcambre were released from the Hall County Detention Center on bond. Delcambre also was being held on a warrant for his arrest in another county.

REDWOOD CITY - The suspected kingpin of an illegal cockfighting operation was arrested on 16/11/03 just two days after deputies raided his hidden coop out on the Coast, authorities said. Mario Zuaso Moreno (52) faces charges including 20 counts of animal cruelty, 40 counts of owning fighting fowl and 120 counts of failing to provide care and shelter for animals. San Mateo County Sheriff's deputies arrested Moreno on Sunday morning, before serving a search warrant on his Redwood City home. The search turned up cockfighting paraphernalia as well as seven roosters shoved into two burlap feed bags, one of them dead. On 14/11/03 deputies discovered more that 100 roosters and hens being kept in filthy conditions inside a shack on a piece of Coastside property Moreno had been renting. The Sheriff's Office seized all 112 chickens, some of which had their combs and wattles removed, or had suffered apparent fight injuries. The Peninsula Humane Society has since euthanized them. This is not Moreno's first arrest for suspected cockfighting, according to court records. In 1994, he pleaded no contest to one count of owning fighting cocks, a misdemeanor, in exchange for prosecutors dismissing 19 other counts against him. He was sentenced to 48 hours in County Jail and three years' probation.

In November, Rowan County sheriff's deputies charged Roderick Hawkins (18) of 928 Third St., Spencer, and Michael Lee Walker (32) of 1162 Rachel Lane, Salisbury, with felony dog fighting.

A man whose lurcher allegedly killed a cat has been ordered to control a Jack Russell terrier said to have been with the dog at the same time. Jimmy Scott Murray (36) of Sandersons Croft, Kirkby Thore, had denied at an earlier hearing having a lurcher and a Jack Russell which were not kept under proper control. On 10/12/03 the case relating to the lurcher was withdrawn after the Eden magistrates were told Murray no longer owned the dog. Murray accepted having a Jack Russell which was not kept under control.

Bloodsports supporter Vinnie Jones has been ordered to do 80 hours of community service after admitting air rage charges. Jones was also ordered to pay £300 compensation to a Vinnie Jonespassenger he admitted assaulting on board a flight from London to Tokyo. Jones was fined another £500 for an offence of using threatening words or behaviour towards the cabin crew and was further ordered to pay £300 in costs. At Uxbridge magistrates on 12/12/03 Jones from Tring, Hertfordshire, admitted an offence of common assault on a male passenger and using threatening words or behaviour against members of the cabin crew. He became angry after being told he was being annoying, inciting Jones to launch a tirade of insults and threats.


Eggs/Birds

Raymond HumphreyOn 23/6/03 Raymond Humphrey (52) of Sheperdsgate Road, Tilney All Saints, Norfolk had his sentence of six and a half years reduced to one year following an appeal at London's Court of Appeal. (click here for details of his conviction)

Keith Williamson
of Mitchell Avenue, Northside, Workington is accused of possessing 100s of rare birds eggs and almost 100 dead birds. He will appear at West Allerdale magistrates on 11/8/03.

Two egg thieves were convicted on 28/8/03 of stealing from the nests of one of Britain's rarest birds. Jan Ross (49) and Brian Mortimer (41) from Bury, Lancashire, were caught near Inverness with a haul of 21 wild birds eggs, including nine belonging to the rare little tern of which there are only 2,000 breeding pairs in the UK. Ross was fined £1,500 and Mortimer £1,200 at Inverness Sheriff Court after being found guilty of possessing wild eggs and having equipment for taking eggs.

Daniel Amos of Norfolk Avenue, Tottenham, London appeared before Enfield magistrates on 28/4/03. He pleaded guilty to five charges related to the taking and possession of wild birds. He was fined £500 with £200 costs.

Basheer Kielaney of Norman Way, Acton, London appeared on 16/4/03 at Ealing magistrates. He was accused of six registration offences and several cruelty offences. He pleaded guilty to four registration offences and was fined £100 for each offence plus £383 vets costs. He also had two birds forfeited.

In July 2002 Wesley Muat of Mardale Road, Liverpool advertised a pair of breeding peregrines for sale. James Dobbie of Craignethan Crescent, Netherburn, Larkhall answered the advert and bought the birds. Both pleaded guilty at Huyton magistrates, Muat was sentenced to 100 hours community service with £55 costs on 7/3/03. Dobbie was fined £250 with £55 costs on 22/5/03.

Philip Vellas of Powney Road, Maidenhead pleaded guilty to 11 charges relating to the trapping of wild birds. He was also found guilty on 21 further charges involving possession of wild birds and cruelty offences. On 13/6/03 at Bracknell magistrates he was sentenced to 220 hours community service and banned from keeping birds for 10 years. All the birds were forfeited and he was told to pay £5000 costs.

A Teenager deliberately drove at a flock of ducks crossing the road and then turned around to hit them again, killing four. Luke Carpenter (19) of Orchard Rise, Middle Street, Rimpton, was seen deliberately killing the Indian Runner ducks as he drove through Wincanton. His car hit the birds with such force that two were thrown three metres down the road but what happened next horrified an onlooking driver. He saw the car drive around a roundabout and "quite deliberately" run over the ducks, two of which were still alive. When he reached the scene two ducks were dead and a third died in his hands. He was forced to put the fourth duck, which was pouring with blood, out of its misery with a wheel brace. At Yeovil magistrates Carpenter admitted causing unnecessary suffering to two ducks. And was given 160 hours community punishment.

A man addicted to collecting birds' eggs was jailed for three months on 26/11/03 by St Helens magistrates. He was sent to prison after being caught with nearly 300 eggs stolen from wild nests. John Latham (23) from Mendip Grove, Parr, St Helens admitted stealing the eggs, including 14 from rare kingfishers. Latham is still paying off a £2,500 fine imposed by magistrates in January for similar offences committed in the Orkney islands last year. Within two months of that sentence, magistrates were told, Latham was back stealing more eggs. The court heard he stole 282 eggs, including 14 rare kingfisher eggs from the Flash in St Helens. Latham, , also had climbing equipment, cameras, an egg-blowing kit and photographs of birds in their nests.


Equine

Allan Clynch (56) of Portland Street, Blackburn broke a court order banning him from keeping horses after he starved one so badly it had to be put down has escaped being sent to jail. Clynch formerly of Barnmeadow Lane, Great Harwood, left Hyndburn magistrates on 2/7/03 with a 12 month probation order that will extend an order given for the previous ban by six months. Clynch was also told he had to pay £10 a fortnight towards costs, totaling£3,365 for all legal proceedings. The court was told how he already had a three-year ban from May 2002.

On 15/9/03 Gemma Brookfield (26) was banned from owning horses and ponies after admitting slashing horses with a Stanley knife at her children's riding school on Mill Farm, Hillesley, Gloucestershire. She asked Stroud magistrates to take into consideration three other attacks.


Assorted

The owner of Basildon Zoo (now closed to public) Yolande Surcouf was convicted under Dangerous Wild Animals Act on 24/7/03 for selling a lioness to undercover BBC reporters. They paid her £1,500 cash and were able to drive off with lion in back of their van. She commented to the reporter "I don't care if you chop her up into lion steaks." She was fined £750 plus £500 costs.

A South African court fined a big-game owner and his former employee the equivalent of more than $6,000 on 30/7/03 for their part in the brutal beating of elephant calves, which was videotaped and broadcast on television. Riccardo Ghiazza, who imported 30 young elephants to South Africa from Botswana in 1998, and his former employee Wayne Stockigt, were found guilty in April for their part in the assault. The video showed helpless juvenile elephants being mercilessly beaten with sticks until they bled at Ghiazza's African Game Services outside Pretoria. Both Ghiazza and Stockigt, who were raising elephants to sell to zoos and reserves, pleaded not guilty to contravening the Animals Protection Act. Ghiazza was fined the equivalent of $4,995 and given a 12 months' suspended prison sentence. Stockigt, who the magistrate said was "intentionally cruel", was fined the equivalent of $1,968 and given a six-month suspended prison sentence. The 30 elephants have since been distributed to zoos in Europe and game reserves in South Africa.

The America’s largest circus will have to defend itself against charges that it mistreats elephants that perform under the big tent. A federal judge has declined to dismiss a lawsuit by animal welfare groups claiming Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus has abused Asian elephants in violation of the Endangered Species Act. The groups claim circus employees routinely beat the elephants with sharp bull hooks, keep elephants in chains for long periods of time, and forcibly remove baby elephants from their mothers before they are properly weaned. The suit was filed by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the Animal Welfare Institute, The Fund for Animals, and Tom Rider, a former Ringling Bros. elephant trainer. In his decision on 1/8/03, US District Judge Emmet Sullivan said the case in Washington can go forward because Asian elephants are considered an endangered species under federal law.

Feras over animal-rights activists prompted a Caterham stockbroker to move her car after a night's drinking, a court has heard. Sharni Clark (26) wanted to get the Ford Ka inside the family's security gates in Tupwood Lane when she was caught. The banker ignored a policeman's warning not to drive just minutes beforehand, Redhill magistrates heard on 21/8/02. The court heard the family home had been targeted by animal-rights activists. The trader's father was finance director of a large drugs company that tested on animals. A breathalyser test showed Clark was more than twice over the legal limit. Clark was fined £500, ordered to pay £60 costs and banned from driving in the UK for 18 months.

Four men who formed part of a food fraud gang selling condemned poultry have been jailed for a total of 10 David Lawtonyears. The group had made more than £1m by selling 450 tons of unfit meat to hospitals, schools and leading supermarkets. On 19/9/03 at Nottingham Crown Court the court heard that the gang, based at rat-infested and sewage ridden premises in Denby, Derbyshire, butchered one million unfit chickens and turkeys before selling the meat on for almost £1m profit. David Lawton (55) of Beech Avenue, Sandiacre, Derbyshire, a former manager at Denby Poultry, was jailed for four years and three months. Robert Mattock (59) of Longley Hall, Norland, Sowerby Bridge, West Yorkshire, was handed a two-year sentence. Occasional Denby worker George Allen (47) of Downall Green Road, Ashton in Makerfield, Greater Manchester, was given a 15-month sentence. Gary Peter RobertsDrewett (33) AKA 'Maggot Pete' of St Johns Road, Bletchley, Buckinghamshire, the owner of MK Poultry, a food processor in Northampton, which supplied the meat and added European health stamps to the produce, received a two-and-a-half-year jail term. A fifth defendant Mark Durrant (31) of Kingsford, Milton Keynes, a manager at MK Poultry, was given a 12-month suspended sentence. Ringleader Peter Roberts, 68, known as "Maggot Pete", was convicted of the fraud in his absence after fleeing before the start of the 12-week trial. Police said a warrant has been issued for the arrest of the former owner of Denby Poultry Products, of Francis Street, Derby, who is believed to be in Spain.

Three photographers appeared in court on 26/9/03. Stephen Bach (27) of Hill Street, Blackpool, admitted nine offences of breaching trading laws by taking photographs without council consent. He was fined £1,800 with £379 costs. Justices were told that Bach had 12 similar previous convictions on which he owed fines of £2,578. Peter Byrne (30) of Station Road, Blackpool, admitted 10 trading standards offences. He was fined £2,000 and told to pay £409 costs. Magistrates heard he had three previous, similar convictions on which he owed £800 in fines. David Gilgrass (34) of Progress Court, Blackpool, was found guilty of five trading standards offences after a trial in his absence. He was fined £1,000 with £259 costs. The court was told he owed fines of £500 for three previous, similar offences.

An award-winning film producer and conservationist has been fined £4,350 for trying to smuggle more than 200 live frogs and reptiles out of Australia. Michael Linley - who has worked for National Geographic and written several books on amphibians - said he was attempting to save the animals from death. He was arrested at Perth International Airport after customs officials found 217 frogs, lizards and snakes in his suitcases. On 13/12/03 Linley, a producer of the wildlife programme Survival, pleaded guilty to 31 federal and state charges of attempting to smuggle protected animals. He had also told police that he had smuggled two geckos out of the country in January, leading to one of the charges. He is due to be sentenced on the state charges - for which he faces a maximum fine of £50,000. Wildlife officials have set the animals free in the wild.


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

Michael Gillett of Kilncroft, Thackthwaite, Dacre, near Penrith, was fined £1,200 by Penrith magistrates on 2/8/03 for six charges of breaching the 20-day standstill rule imposed on livestock. Gillett was fined a further £600 relating to three charges that he failed to accurately record animal movements, and a further £100 for failing to provide a movement record to an inspector. Gillett was also told to pay £1,500 court costs to Cumbria County Council.

A Cheshire farmer who deliberately and persistently ignored foot-and-mouth disease controls was ordered by a court to pay almost £17,000. Anthony Kirkham of Ridley Farm, Tarporley, continually failed to comply with legislation regarding the movement of animals on and off his farm in. Chester magistrates heard Kirkham had shown “contempt” for the legislation and, in doing so, demonstrated “blatant disregard” for the farming community and the public. Kirkham admitted three specimen charges under Animal Health legislation and asked for 73 further offences to be taken into consideration when he appeared before in court on 13/11/03. After continually flouting disease controls, Kirkham was issued with a DEFRA Prohibition Notice requiring him to apply for an individual licence for each animal movement. But he failed to comply with this legislation also. At the time of the offences, Kirkham was the only farmer in the UK to be subject to a Prohibition Notice for persistent disregard of foot-and-mouth disease controls. Kirkham was fined £4,500 on each of the three charges and ordered to pay £3,346 costs. (see other recent conviction)


Domestic

Victoria Spiers (25) Emma Street, Accrington kept the rotting carcasses of two dead rabbits at her house has been banned from keeping animals for five years. At Hyndburn magistrates on 12/7/03 she admitted charges of causing unnecessary suffering to three rabbits and a dog. Magistrates also imposed fines totaling£1,081.60, including £500 costs.

Christopher TaylorA puppy survived by drinking drips from a leaking shower and eating moldy pizza after its owner abandoned it for a month. The good news is that the pup has been re-homed with a nurse and is now fit and healthy. At Macclesfield magistrates on 18/7/03 Christopher Taylor (26) of Thornway, Bramhall, was sentenced to a one year community rehabilitation order and ordered to carry out 60 hours community service after pleading guilty to causing unnecessary suffering and abandoning the dog. He was also banned from keeping animals for ten years and ordered to pay £1,220 costs, including £950 in vet and boarding fees.

A man who slaughtered a young sheepdog has escaped jail but Brian Kenneth Evans (48) is being forced to flee North Wales because of an alleged death threat from animal rights campaigners Bangor magistrates were told. Magistrates also heard that Evans, whose parents live at Bull Bay, Anglesey, is moving to London. On 23/7/03 he was yesterday handed a three-month suspended prison sentence for stabbing the defenceless dog at least five times while it was tethered to a tree. At an earlier hearing Evans pleaded guilty to charges of causing unnecessary suffering to seven-month-old Welsh border collie and criminal damage. As well as concurrent prison sentences, suspended for two years, he was fined £500 and told to pay £35 costs. He was also ordered to pay £500 compensation to dogs owner.

John WalshThe owner of a Cumbrian puppy farm has appeared in court to face cruelty charges after nearly 50 puppies were imported from Northern Ireland. John Walsh (52) of Denton Hall Farm, Low Row, near Brampton, was accused of cramming 49 puppies and three kittens into nine plastic containers, causing them unnecessary suffering and distress. Walsh, who advertises as operating licensed breeding kennels from Low Row, denied the charges levelled against him at a court appearance in Stranraer on 29/7/03. Charge one claims that the manner in which the animals were being transported, in nine plastic carry cases, caused them unnecessary suffering, due to lack of adequate space, water and ventilation. A second charge alleges that the animals were found to be in a state of distress, and that nine of them were unwell and should not have been transported. It is further alleged that Walsh did not have the correct documentation necessary for the transportation of the puppies and kittens. On 11/11/03 at Stranraer Sheriff Court Walsh pled guilty to offences and was fined £500, with £2,900 costs to the Scottish SPCA.

A reptile collector was allowed to keep his collection of reptiles, including crocodiles and pythons, despite being convicted of causing them unnecessary suffering by housing them in a ramshackle barn. After a trial which cost £30,000, Colin Shaw of Wingate, Co Durham was fined £250 and ordered to pay £250 in court costs at Bishop Auckland magistrates on 31/7/03. Shaw had denied the charge.

Two men from the West Midlands have been jailed for beating a dog to death. Magistrates heard the Jack Russell terrier's skull had been split open with an axe during the attack which lasted up to 15 minutes. On 31/7/03 Jonathan Jacobs (20) of Nursery Road, Bloxwich, Walsall and Alan Bytheway (24) of Buxton Close, Little Bloxwich were sentenced to six and four months respectively for killing the dog, which belonged to Bytheway's mother. The court heard Jacobs and Bytheway were both drunk when they attacked the dog. They used an axe, a garden rake, a spade and a clothes pole. Bytheway had admitted the charges and Jacobs was found guilty. As well as being jailed, Jacobs and Bytheway were also banned from keeping animals for 15 years. Outside court, Bytheway's mother, said she was "sickened" by their behaviour and had disowned her son.

On 31/7/03 a reptile collector was allowed to keep his large collection of exotic animals, despite being convicted of causing them unnecessary suffering by housing them in a "ramshackle" barn. Colin Shaw of Market Crescent, Wingate, County Durham was convicted of 27 counts of causing unnecessary suffering to an array of reptiles, including crocodiles, alligators, pythons and terrapins. He was fined £250 and ordered to pay just £250 towards the £30,000 cost of bringing the case to court. An application by the RSPCA to have the animals taken from him and to revoke his licence to keep exotic pets was dismissed at Bishop Auckland magistrates. His case was backed by zoological vet Mike Linley, the court heard that Linley, who studied under David Bellamy, had produced more than 700 wildlife documentaries for Anglia Television.

Robert HowsamRobert Howsam (28) of Banksbottom, Hadfield, near Glossop was found guilty of killing two puppies he hanged from a tree. Howsam left the dogs to choke to death 6ft above the ground after pretending he was taking them for a walk. Then in a bid to cover his tracks, he invented a "fairytale" story about how he had given the dogs away to a man he had come to know while walking the animals. Howsam was convicted of two counts of animal cruelty at Glossop magistrates on 20/8/03. Howsam, who has convictions for assault, burglary and theft, was released on conditional bail. On 12/9/03 magistrates jailed Howsam, who had a previous conviction for common assault, for six months and disqualified him from keeping any animal for the next five years. The court was told that Howsam would now appeal against his conviction, sentence and the disqualification order, but a bail application was refused. On the 18/10/03 Howsam decided to drop his appeal against

Tammy Jackson (22) of New Street, Milnsbridge was banned from owning animals - apart from dogs - for 20 years after she admitted abandoning two exotic pets. Jackson pleaded guilty to abandoning a royal python and a spiny-tailed lizard without reasonable cause or excuse in circumstances likely to cause unnecessary suffering. On 27/8/03 Huddersfield magistrates fined her £125 for each offence and ordered her to pay £100 towards legal costs, which topped £2,000.

MUNCY, Pa. (AP) On 29/8/03 a McDonald's restaurant manager pleaded guilty to an animal cruelty charge for shooting a cat outside the restaurant. Danielle S. Baum (41) of Pennsdale, was ordered to pay $375 in fines, court costs. The court heard how Baum took a rifle from her car and shot and killed a feral cat in the restaurant's car park at Lycoming Mall.

A Greater Manchester couple has been banned from having custody of any animal for life after pleading guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to their pet dogs. Wigan and Leigh magistrates heard on 2/9/03 how the dogs, belonging to Keith Percival (34) and his wife Nicola (32) from Abram, Wigan were severely emaciated and had matted, overgrown coats. Both defendants were ordered to pay £500 costs and given a three-year conditional discharge.

Cat killer William SeedWilliam Seed (70) of Higher Road, Longridge is responsible for a spate of cat killings in Lancashire. Seed told a court he did not believe he had been doing anything wrong after trapping a series of pets, smashing them over the head with a hammer and drowning them. Seed appeared before Blackburn magistrates on 11/9/03 charged with three counts of criminal damage and one of attempted theft. Seed pleaded guilty to all three charges and said that his defence was that he was "stupid." He also pleaded guilty to killing a female black tabby cat. The police searched his property they found traps containing a crow and a magpie and a large empty spring trap. There was also a dustbin half filled with water. Seed admitted that the large trap was used to catch cats in his garden which he then drowned in the bin. In interview he admitted that he had been killing cats for three years. He said he caught the cats using a large spring trap, removed them, hit them heavily over the head with a large hammer, put them in a cloth bag and held them under water. On 1/10/03 Seed was made subject to a community rehabilitation order for six months and ordered to pay £750 compensation and £60

Paul Anthony Hirst (52) of Moor Street, Shaw, pleaded guilty to two charges of causing unnecessary suffering to a dog and a cat in his care. At Oldham magistrates on 16/9/03 Hirst was sentenced to a 12-month probation order and was ordered to pay £250 costs. Both the cat and dog have been in the care of the RSPCA and are now healthy, happy and waiting to be rehomed.

A couple have been banned from keeping dogs for ten years after RSPCA officers found an emaciated Border collie at their home. Blackburn magistrates heard on 18/9/03 that the dog been suffering for at least six weeks before he was taken into the care. Michael Cartmell (48) of Henthorne Road, Clitheroe, pleaded guilty to being the owner of a dog permitted unnecessary suffering and Roberta Cartmell (32) of the same address, pleaded guilty to omitting to act therefore causing unnecessary suffering. As well as the ten year ban they were both made subject to a conditional discharge for 12 months and each ordered to pay £400 towards the prosecution costs.

A dog was beaten so savagely with a broom handle that it had to have one eye removed by a vet. Michael Gaughran (49) of Woodtown, Drumconrath, County Meath was fined €200 after pleading guilty at Ardee district court on 26/9/03 to cruelty to an animal. The ISPCA was not seeking to have him banned from keeping animals. After the court case an inspector said the dog was psychologically affected and is very nervous. She finds it difficult to trust people and is very defensive.

David Tuckley (25) of Ridgeway Road, Wordsley killed a cat in a brutal attack was jailed for six months and banned from keeping animals for 10 years. Tuckley was convicted by Halesowen magistrates on 4/10/03. Tuckley and Jake Harbourne (20) of Warwick Road, Wordsley, were jointly charged with causing unnecessary suffering to an animal. Harbourne was also jailed for six months in August after he admitted battering the cat to death with shovel.

A boy watched in horror as his pet cat was impaled on a garden fork by an neighbour. John Hyncica (70) of Calva Road, Seaton stuck the fork through 18-month-old cat after she wandered through his garden. Hyncica, was fined £200 at West Allerdale magistrates on 26/11/03 after being convicted of carrying out the attack. Hyncica had denied the incident but magistrates found him guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal. As well as being fined he was ordered to pay £200 court costs and a £95 vet bill. The good news is that the cat has since recovered.

Two brothers and a teenager who went on an horrific killing spree at an animal sanctuary in Cumbria could serve just five months behind bars. Michael Faulder (21) of Fourways, Prospect his brother David Faulder (23) of Lawson Street, Aspatria and Joseph Dixon (18) were each sentenced to 11 months in custody with six months suspended if they behave well. On 5/12/03 Carlisle Crown Court heard how Michael Faulder had been desperate to buy an air rifle from a friend before visiting the sanctuary at night with his brother and Dixon. The men broke into the isolated sanctuary and went on the rampage smashing guinea pigs against walls and kicking and shooting cats and rabbits. Two cats were held down and doused in petrol before being set alight and as they ran around burning and terrified, the men laughed. In total, 20 animals were killed. All three men admitted aggravated burglary and criminal damage but blamed each other for leading the attack. Michael Faulder admitted cruelty to a horse, his brother admitted cruelty to a grey cat and rabbit and Joseph Dixon admitted cruelty to the same cat. David Faulder said they had gone to the sanctuary to steal a kitten while Michael Faulder said he stayed outside and acted as a look-out and denied setting light to any cats. The trio were also banned from keeping animals for 10 years. Dixon will serve his sentence at a young offenders institution.

Michael Faulder David Faulder Joseph Dixon

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