North West Hunt Saboteurs

Vermin Patrol 2008 - Part 2

Badgers

A police officer was arrested for allegedly interfering with a badger sett at the same time his force was targeting the cruel sport of badger baiting. The man has since quit the force and is still being investigated by his former colleagues. A police officer based in Newcastle area command was arrested in February 2008 on suspicion of interference with a badger sett. He was released on police bail pending further enquiries. The officer was suspended but subsequently tendered his resignation. This was accepted. The investigation continues. The officer - who comes from the Westerhope area of Newcastle - has not been named. He was arrested after a badger sett in Northumberland, was found to have been disturbed.

A man who took part in badger baiting has won a cut in his prison sentence. John William Lee (40) of Ferndale Avenue, Middlesborough was accused of trying to take badgers. Lee was charged with wilfully attempting to take a badger, allowing a dog to encounter another animal resulting in injury and failing to exercise reasonable care and supervision over his dogs. He denied the offences but was convicted in his absence by Teesside magistrates after he did not turn up on time. He was jailed for the maximum six months, but appealed against the sentence at Teesside Crown Court on 21/4/08. With no previous convictions for animal cruelty, the judges reduced the sentence to four months. Lee is still banned from keeping animals for 10 years and had to give his dogs to the RSPCA.

On 14/5/08 a Lancashire man was arrested and bailed after allegedly being caught illegally digging a badger sett near Whitchurch. A joint operation by the RSPCA's Special Operations Unit and Lancashire Police led to the discovery of the man appearing to be badger digging on Sunday. The man, who was discovered with four terrier dogs, fled the scene and was arrested by the police in Lancashire. He has subsequently been interviewed and bailed pending further enquiries.

A man is accused of snaring six badgers and beating them to death with a blunt instrument. Anthony Rogers (58) of Breconside Farm, Moffat, faced nine charges at Dumfries Sheriff Court on 29/9/08 in connection with the deaths of the animals. It is alleged in six of the charges that he snared and killed the badgers at Crockett Wood on the farm. The case was continued without plea for three weeks.

A Chorley man is to appear in court accused of illegally digging up a badger sett. The man, who will appear before Market Drayton magistrates on November 17, was allegedly caught digging a sett with four terrier dogs near Whitchurch, Shropshire. He fled the scene but was later arrested in a joint operation by Lancashire Police and the RSPCA.

Two men caught allowing dogs to attack badgers had filmed previous exploits and bragged in text messages and to police, Alnwick magistrates heard on 6/11/08. Christopher Hindmarsh (28) of Alwinton Square, and Justin Lang (24) of Norham Road, both Ashington, Northumberland, admitted a series of offences against badgers. The case had been listed for a five-day trial, but the men changed their pleas on offences of damaging a badger sett, obstructing access to a sett and causing a dog to enter one. Hindmarsh admitted a further charge of attempting to kill, injure or take a badger. There was also evidence on the defendants’ mobile phones of other offences, including footage of a badger being attacked by a dog. Lang had also sent text messages telling how he had captured and killed the creatures. On 20/11/08 were disqualified from keeping dogs for three years and will have to pay £260 each for costs. They will also have to serve a 12 month community order and a 12 month supervision order and have to carry out 120 hours unpaid work. A three month curfew order from 10pm to 6am has also been given to them. Their phones and dogs plus a spade, hammer and a battery used in the badger baiting, were confiscated.updated

Christopher Hindmarsh and Justin Lang

A Carlisle man is to stand trial accused of illegally hunting badgers. Lee Smith (22) of Dalton Avenue, Raffles, appeared before city magistrates on 18/11/08 on a number of charges. He pleaded not guilty to killing, injuring or taking - or attempting to take - a badger, digging or illegally treating a badger, three counts of interfering with a badger sett and knowingly allowing a dog to be used for hunting a wild mammal. Smith will next appear before magistrates on 1/12/08 when a trial date will be set.


Bloodsports

On 24/4/08 four men, three of whom are from Shropshire with the fourth unable to be named for legal reasons, pleaded guilty to hare coursing at Peterborough magistrates. The four men were sentenced as follows: Steven White (39) from Bilsden, Shropshire, was fined £750 and ordered to pay court costs of £75. Jonathon Smith (20) from Bilsden, Shropshire, was fined £600 and ordered to pay court costs of £75. Kevin Hall (30) from Bilsden, Shropshire, was fined £750 and ordered to pay court costs of £75. A 17-year-old boy, who cannot be named, was fined £375 and ordered to pay court costs of £75. All four men were also disqualified from driving for three months.

A gamekeeper and a land agent have been sent for trial before a judge and jury after a raid by RSPB investigators and North Yorkshire Police on a Yorkshire Dales farm unearthed lethal poisons. Gamekeeper James Freeman (56) of Moor House Farm, Lofthouse, Nidderdale and agent Simon Clowes (56) of Lawkland Green House, Lawkland, Austwick, near Settle, made a fifth appearance before magistrates at Harrogate on 2/5/08 facing a total of 12 charges. Freeman is now accused of eight offences after a ninth alleging possession of two syringes and a quantity of alphachloralose which were capable of being used to commit offences contrary to the 1981 Wildlife and Countryside Act was dropped. He did not enter any plead to the remaining counts, four of which claim that at his farm he stored pesticides, with active ingredients including sodium cyanide and aluminium phosphide without approval while a fifth alleges use of a sodium cyanide-based pesticide. He is also facing two charges of storing pesticides - involving both sodium cyanide and aluminium phosphide - without taking all reasonable precautions to protect the health of people and creatures, by keeping it in a glass jar in an unlocked store which was not sufficiently fire resistant. An eighth charge claims Freeman had in his possession strychnine which had not been authorised or registered. Clowes pleaded not guilty to four charges, three of permitting Freeman to store pesticides without the required approval and one of permitting him to store a pesticide in an unsafe place, an unlocked storeroom in a dwelling, and failing to take all reasonable precautions to protect the health of people and wildlife. Both men were sent for trial at York Crown Court. Both were granted unconditional bail.

Nicholas SoamesMP Nicholas Soames was banned from driving for two months ban after admitting driving his quad bike with no insurance. The ex Crawley MP, 60 was filmed committing the offence by hunt saboteurs as he followed a New Year's Day hunt in Slaugham. Footage showed a group of people, including three children aged three, five and seven and a pregnant woman, being carried unrestrained and without helmets on the Honda quad bike and trailer (click image right for bigger pic). Soames, who faced the insurance rap at Crawley magistrates on 14/5/08, had also been charged with using a vehicle in a dangerous condition. A DVD clip was played to the court showing Soames and his passengers coming off a grass verge to avoid the saboteurs' parked cars before crossing into the next field at 10mph. The court was also told that Soames had three previous endorsements on his licence, all fixed penalties, one of which is out of date now but not at the time of the offence. Soames was also fined £200 fine, £15 victim surcharge and £35 prosecution costs on top of the two month driving ban.

On 19/5/08 John Joseph Bowman (19) of Lakeland View, Greengill, Penrith and William Smith (27) of Keighley Road, Skipton were both fined £200 each after they pleaded guilty at Carlisle magistrates to hunting a fox with a dog and causing a dog to enter a badger sett. The court heard how the two were arrested by the police after they were disturbed by a member of the public whilst digging in to a badger sett. Also with them were three terrier-type dogs and a lurcher-type dogs. Magistrates also ordered Smith to pay £200 costs and Bowman to pay £100. No deprivation order was made against the dogs.

Windham Morgan (68) of Maes y Beran Farm, Abergavenny, pleaded guilty to keeping pigeons in a cage too small for the birds to stretch their wings freely and to using a trap to kill or take a wild bird. On 20/5/08 Cwmbran magistrates heard that Morgan had set up a larsen trap in his pheasant pen, with two caged pigeons inside to lure others into the trap. Magistrates heard that the trap breached the Wildlife and Countyside Act because pigeons are not one of the five birds permitted for use as decoys. They also heard that the 76.2cm by 38.1cm and 46.9cm cage was not big enough for the pigeons, who have a wing span of 61cm. Morgan admitted knowing it was illegal to use pigeons in the traps. Morgan was given 12 months conditional discharge and ordered to pay £100 costs. He will forfeit the larsen trap and the two pigeons, which have now been re-homed.

On 30/5/08 Dean Lee Marney (27) from Sidcup, Kent, pleaded guilty at Fenland magistrates in Wisbech to trespassing in pursuit of game. Marney was ordered to pay fines of £285 at Peterborough magistrates the following day. The court heard that Marney entered private farmland with a dog and was spotted poaching.

Two brothers have been ordered to pay more than £1,000 each in fines and costs for hare coursing. Craig Richards (33) and his brother Scott (20) from Rowley Regis, in the West Midlands, admitted three charges of hunting hares with dogs. Craig Richards was ordered to pay fines, costs and compensation of £1,176.65, and his younger brother was ordered to pay £1,026.65. Didcot magistrates heard on 24/6/08 that they had driven to the Wantage and Steventon areas to go coursing.

Two hunters from South Tyneside appeared in a Scottish court on 8/7/08 after they used dogs to chase and kill a deer. Paul Reed (26) of Halstead Place, and a 16-year-old, also from South Shields, were spared jail when they appeared at Jedburgh Sheriff Court. A third accused - Dane Ord (19) of Widdrington Avenue, Horsley Hill - failed to turn up, and a warrant was granted for his arrest. All three admitted, while acting with a juvenile, wilfully killing a roe deer using dogs and deliberately hunting a roe deer with three dogs. Ord and the youth were discovered a short time later with blood on their clothes, and three lurcher-type dogs were also found covered with blood and deer hairs. Reed, who described hunting as his hobby since the age of 14, was sentenced to 120 hours' community service and fined £435. The 16-year-old was placed on probation for 12 months and ordered to perform 100 hours' community service. Both were banned from keeping dogs, within the jurisdiction, for four years.

A case against three men accused of killing 29 swans has been dropped after evidence was lost at a police station. The swans, all shot, were found buried in a pit near water at Radwell Lake, Bedfordshire. Stephen Barrett (38), Marcus Walker (51) of Wykeridge Close, Chesham and Darren Walker (47) of Rose Drive, Chesham, Buckinghamshire, pleaded not guilty and a trial was set for 4/8/08. The CPS dropped the case as ammunition allegedly used to kill the swans was lost, Bedfordshire Police said. The lake, owned by the Walker brothers was purpose-built for legal shoots. There was also a heron and a Marsh Harrier found with the swans.

Julian BarnfieldThe first huntsman to be prosecuted by police for hunting a fox has denied all charges against him. Julian Barnfield (44) of the Heythrop Hunt, which covers Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire, faces three counts of hunting a wild mammal with dogs. Barnfield, who lives in Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, was charged under the Hunting Act 2004. He did not appear before Cheltenham magistrates on 4/8/08 but his counsel entered not guilty pleas on all counts. The case was adjourned until 3/11/08, when a pre-trial review will take place at Cheltenham magistrates.

Two men caught hare coursing were yesterday spared a prison sentence. Robert Clements (44) and David Scott (40) used three lurchers to hunt a hare on farmland. The pair had claimed that they had been hunting rabbits. On 14/8/08 Clements, of Blantyre, Lanarkshire, and Scott, of Carluke, also Lanarkshire, were found guilty of hunting the hare contrary to the Scottish Parliament's recent ban on hunting with dogs. Both were sentenced them each to 80 hours of community service.

A gamekeeper appeared in court charged with the attempted murder of his estranged wife's boyfriend in an isolated Lincolnshire village. Andrew Dixon (45) of Parsons Lane, Alford, pleaded not guilty at Lincoln Crown Court on 22/8/08 to attempting to murder Neil Willett (41). He also denied wounding his wife Shirley Dixon (42) on the same day as well as two firearms charges. The judge adjourned the case for trial until 2009. Dixon was remanded into custody until a review hearing in November.

Kyle BurdenA teenage gamekeeper who clubbed to death badgers and shot buzzards then recorded the illegal killings in a coded diary has been spared jail. Kyle Burden (19) of Kempton, Aston on Clun, near Craven Arms, Lydbury North claimed he killed the animals ahead of the shooting season to protect pheasants and partridges, game for wealthy visitors to a Shropshire estate. He put all the details in a diary, alongside the deaths of 300 rabbits and 40 ravens. Burden was given a six-month suspended jail sentence and ordered to complete 150 hours of community service, after pleading guilty to killing two buzzards, attempting to kill two other birds, and killing two badgers. He also admitted setting illegal traps, possessing a shotgun while committing two of the offences, and asked for five other offences of killing badgers to be taken into consideration. The notes he kept, complete with symbols for the deaths of different animals, suggested he may have killed many more birds of prey, Telford magistrates heard on 19/9/08. The court heard how Burden worked on the 6,000-acre Kempton estate near Bishop's Castle, south Shropshire. Also see Roger Venton

Michael PurcellOn 9/9/08 North Avon magistrates were shown footage of three men attending a cock-fighting event. The video, caught on security cameras, shows a group watching two birds fighting at a travellers' site in Bristol. George Loveridge (38) and Benjamin Jones (27) admitted their roles in the event, a third man, Michael Purcell (26) denied taking part in any cruelty. Loveridge, Jones, and Purcell of Beaufort Crescent, Mannswood, Usk, are said to have organised the contest, near the Highwood Lane site. Loveridge, of Mancroft Avenue in Lawrence Weston, admitted causing unnecessary suffering to a cockerel and causing an animal fight to take place. Jones, who lives at the Highwood Lane site, admitted taking part in an animal fight at an earlier hearing. Both will be sentenced at a later date. Purcell of Park Lane, Frampton Cotterell, near Bristol, pleaded not guilty to two charges - one of being present at the Benjamin Jonesfight and another of taking part in it. He was convicted on 9/9/08 of both offences. On 2/10/08 Loveridge was jailed for 18 weeks and banned from keeping animals for two years. Purcell was handed a 12-week suspended sentence and Jones was given an eight-week suspended sentence. Loveridge was also ordered to pay £2,000 costs. Purcell was ordered to pay £4,000 costs and do 250 hours of community service. Jones was also banned from keeping animals for two years and was given an 7pm to 7am curfew for 20 weeks.

Christopher MarlesA huntsman repeatedly pushed a protester from West Coker into a ditch with his horse as she tried to monitor his foxhounds, a court heard. Farmer Christopher Marles (46) of Farringdon, near Exeter rode the horse forward three times, forcing Helen Weeks of West Coker Hill off the narrow road each time. On 3/10/08 Exeter magistrates heard Mrs Weeks was terrified and had a sore back and stomach after climbing out of the ditch three times. Marles is a former whipper-in and committee member of the East Devon Hunt, were out with their foxhounds when the confrontation happened. Marles admitted common assault but magistrates adjourned the case for a special hearing to establish exactly what happened after the prosecution did not accept Marles' basis of plea. The prosecution said Marles rode into the protester deliberately. He says it was an accident but admitted he was reckless in allowing his horse to get so close to her. The case was adjourned until 19/11/08. Marles has a previous conviction for assault of a hunt monitor.

Three men and a youth found in a muddy 4x4 vehicle with a number of lurcher dogs admitted illegal hare coursing. The four hare courses appeared before Ely magistrates on 6/11/08. Danny King (22) of Dartford, Kent; George King (25) of Bexleyheath, Kent; and Charles Lee (25) of Caterham, Surrey; were all fined £150 and ordered to pay £25 costs and a £15 surcharge. Danny King and Lee were also banned from driving for 28 days. The 14-year-old youth was fined £30 with £5 costs and a £15 surcharge.

On 14/11/08 the girlfriend of Otis Ferry was arrested on suspicion of perverting the course of justice. Francesca Nimmo (22) from Lower Bodlington, Northamptonshire who is a student at the Royal Agricultural College in Cirencester, was arrested by Gloucestershire police. Also arrested was Adrian Simpson (53) a Countryside Alliance official, at his home in Haverfordwest, Wales. Nimmo and Simpson have both been granted bail until 28/1/09. On 4/1/09 a fourth person was arrested by police investigating allegations against Otis Ferry. The 29-year-old man from Caynham, near Ludlow, was being held on suspicion of perverting the course of justice. He has been bailed to report to Gloucestershire police in 28/1/09.

Les Anderson and Mary BirkbeckA Norfolk landowner and her colleague were convicted of hare coursing on 9/12/08 after a judge ruled their "sincere" attempt to legally beat the hunting ban had failed. Mary Birkbeck (77) from Little Massingham and Les Anderson (80) of Lodge Road, Feltwell were found guilty of attending and facilitating two illegal coursing events in November 2007 and January 2008. Birkbeck was also convicted of permitting land on her Little Massingham estate to be used for the meetings, where hares were pursued across fields by muzzled greyhounds. The pair were ordered to pay £1,000 each in costs. Anderson is the chairman of Kimberly and Wymondham Greyhound Club. King's Lynn magistrates heard Anderson, had been involved with coursing for 62 years. The judge gave both Birkbeck and Anderson conditional discharges on the provision that no further offences were committed within two years. Charges of attending and participating in hare coursing were dismissed against a third defendant, Robert Fryer (41) of Tring, Hertfordshire.

Three men were arrested on 15/12/08 in the ongoing police crackdown on rural crime in Swyncombe. The men, two aged 28 and one 19, were held on suspicion of hare coursing. Officers also seized a car and three lurchers were taken away to be examined by the RSPCA. The 28-year-olds were given cautions for poaching while the 19-year-old received an additional caution for possession of cannabis.

A trial date has been fixed for Clarissa Dickson Wright and racehorse trainer Sir Mark Prescott, who face charges relating to alleged involvement in a hare coursing event. Dickson Wright, of Midlothian in Scotland, and Sir Mark, of Newmarket, did not attend the hearing at Scarborough magistrates on 23/12/08. The pair are accused of hunting hares with dogs and attending a hare coursing event in the area of Nunnington, near Helmsley along with two similar alleged offences near Amotherby. The private prosecution was brought by the International Fund for Animal Welfare. Five other people are also being prosecuted for similar offences by the Crown Prosecution Service. They are Miles Henry Easterby (79) of Great Habton in Malton, Andrew Lund-Watkinson (58) of Newton-on-Rawcliffe near Pickering, John Shaw (55) of Welburn in Kirkbymoorside, Jacqueline Ann Teal (43) of Scarborough Road in Norton and Elizabeth Margaret Gibson (45) of Appleton-le-Street in Malton. Their case will be heard on 27/7/09.

Roger VentonFormer head gamekeeper Roger Venton (34) of Wheldrake Lane, Elvington, near York, was handed a sentence of three months imprisonment, suspended for 12 months, at Telford magistrates after admitting using an illegal trap and allowing another keeper to illegally catch birds of prey. Venton, who was the former head gamekeeper on the Kempton Estate in Shropshire, pleaded guilty to using a spring trap and permitting assistant keeper Kyle Burden to use a cage trap to illegally catch birds of prey. Kempton Estate is 6,000-acres and is home to a pheasant and partridge shoot, with about 40,000 pheasants and 20,000 partridges. The court heard how the RSPB was contacted by two separate seasonal gamekeepers employed at Kempton who reported the illegal killing of protected wildlife, including buzzards and badgers. Further RSPB investigations found a pole trap - a spring trap placed on top of a tall pole. The court heard these were made illegal in 1904 as they can attract birds of prey. Burden had kept a diary which suggested that in 2008 102 buzzards, 40 badgers, and 37 ravens were killed on the estate, where guns can pay nearly £10,000 a day to shoot. Venton was sentenced to two concurrent three month jail terms, both suspended for 12 months, 250 hours of unpaid work and £2,000 costs at Telford Magistrates’ Court. He admitted using a spring trap and permitting Burden to use a cage trap baited with a raven to illegally catch birds of prey. Also see Kyle Burden

Prince Edward aka The Earl of WessexOn 9/1/09 Prince Edward aka The Earl of Wessex was cleared by the RSPCA of animal cruelty over photographs that appeared to show him lashing out at two gundogs with a stick during a pheasant shoot. The RSPCA launched an investigation into the claims that the Earl may have struck a gun dog at Sandringham over the Christmas break. Buckingham Palace insisted that the Earl, who was accompanied on the shoot by Peter Phillips the son of the Princess Royal, was trying to break up a fight between the two labradors. They show the Earl approaching the two dogs waving a long crook as they grapple over a dead pheasant. One picture shows one of the animals cowering to one side as he swings the stick over his shoulder. In another, the stick hovers above the spine of one of the dogs but is not shown making contact.

otis_ferry_leaving_prisionOn 15/1/09 Otis Ferry of Keeper's Cottage, Eaton Mascott, Shrewsbury (he is also master of the South Shropshire Hunt) was freed on bail after spending almost four months behind bars. He was awarded conditional bail at Gloucester Crown Court ahead of his trial to face multiple charges set for later this year. Ferrys mother, former model Lucy Birley provided £25,000 surety. The judge also told Ferry he must stay out of Shropshire, live with his mother in Kensington, report to Earls Court police twice weekly and refrain from contacting prosecution witnesses and Adrian Simpson, Oliver Dale and John Deutsch. The court was told that his case cannot proceed on its scheduled date of 9/3/09 and may be delayed until autumn. It is alleged Ferry told his former groomsman not to give evidence at his trial for robbery and assault in Cirencester in September 2008, which Ferry denies. He also denies assaulting hunt monitor Helen Ghalmi and taking her camera in Stow-on-the-Wold during a meeting of the Heythrop Hunt in November 2007. Four other people have also been arrested on suspicion of perverting the course of justice and will answer police bail on 28/1/09.


Dogfighting and Pit Bulls

A Tyrone GAA football star was fined £650 after pleading guilty to possession of a dangerous dog at Dungannon magistrates on 23/4/08. Gerard Cavlan (30) of Willow Gardens, Dungannon, was also banned for five years from owning a terrier-type dog and ordered to pay costs of £4,300. Cavlan admitted five offences involving possession of a pit bull, taking it out in public without a muzzle and having no licence for three other Staffordshire terriers. The magistrate ordered the pit bull to be destroyed.

A Walsall man who made a gym to train illegal fighting dogs in his home was today jailed for six months. Stephen Wood (28) of Dryden Road, Harden, was also banned from keeping animals for 10 years. He was found guilty on 12/6/08 of possessing dogs in connection with dog fighting and having items connected with dog fighting in his absence after failing to turn up to his trial. The court heard how Wood had all of the equipment needed to put illegal pit bulls through their paces turning them into fighting machines.

Intikab HussainTHE referee in one of the bloodiest dogfights ever investigated by the RSPCA has had his prison sentence extended by five months. Intikab Hussain (32) of Sladefield Road, Ward End, was one of seven men who took part in a brutal dogfight between two pit bulls in a kitchen showroom in Alum Rock in 2006. He was jailed at the end of September 2007 after he lost his appeal against convictions of causing unnecessary suffering, assisting at a dogfight and possessing a pit bull terrier. On 6/10/08 he was given a further five-month sentence, which is to be served on top of his original six months, after he pleaded guilty at Birmingham magistrates to possessing pit bull terriers, possessing dogs for fighting, possessing a treadmill for training dogs and breaching a five-year disqualification on keeping dogs.

Liaquat AliLiaquat Ali (40) of Steiner Street, Accrington, Lancashire was jailed on 12/11/08 for six months for arranging dog fights. He was convicted of keeping a premise for the purposes of dog fighting and causing two animals to fight. Ali also admitted causing unnecessary suffering to a pit bull-type dog. Officers from the RSPCA and Lancashire Constabulary searched two properties owned or rented by Ali in June 2007. At one of them, on Richmond Road, Blackburn, an emaciated dog called Enzo was found locked in a wooden box with no food or water. At the other, a flat on Blackburn Road, Accrington, officers found blood on the walls which forensic tests showed came from more than one dog. Two video clips of dog fights were also found on his mobile phone. Ali also pleaded guilty at Hyndburn magistrates to possession of two pit bulls, contrary to the Dangerous Dogs Act, recovered from those addresses.

On 30/5/08 James Harland (21) of Bevanlee Road, South Bank, Middlesbrough, was sentenced to a 26-week prison sentence for setting a pit bull on to a smaller dog and filming it on a mobile phone. 22 weeks for procuring a dog fight and four weeks for failing to attend an earlier court hearing at Middlesbrough magistrates. He was also disqualified from owning dogs for 10 years. His co-defendant Daniel Tate was sentenced in January 2008.

Gary Griffin (51) of Raheen Park, Ballyfermot, Dublin, appeared before Carlow District Court on 15/10/08 pleaded guilty to cruelty to a pitbull terrier, which a judge believes had been involved in an organised dog-fighting ring. Griffin claimed the dog had been used for fox hunting. The court heard Griffin had one previous conviction under the Protection of Animals Act and another conviction for violent behaviour. The case was adjourned until 12/11/08.

Akim AdelajaOn 28/11/08 Akim Adelaja (22) of Elms Lane, Wembley was convicted of animal cruelty for keeping 11 illegal fighting dogs in a cramped basement flat. has been spared jail. On 17/12/08 Adelaja appeared at Brent magistrates and was ordered to serve 280 hours of unpaid work. He was also banned from keeping dogs for four years, given a deprivation order relating to all dogs in his possession and told one of his pets would be put down. He trained the dogs at his home forcing them to run up and down his back garden tied to heavy tyres and chains. He also let the dogs roam freely around the streets, intimidating and attacking petrified residents. An American Bulldog bitch and six puppies were found in a cage in the kitchen, an injured Mastiff-type dog was found in the bathroom and a further two American Bulldogs and a pregnant Pitbull-type bitch were discovered roaming in a bedroom. Books on dog training, writing pads containing notes on breeding plans and dog strengthening equipment, that included chains and weight-pulling harnesses were also found inside the flat, along with tyres used in strengthening exercises. In November Brent magistrates convicted Adelaja of nine offences, they included possessing, breeding and selling fighting dogs, causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal and training dogs for animal fights.

Romy Khunti (19) of Knowle Road, Sparkhill has been banned from keeping animals for life after he admitted breeding and supplying dog fighters with pit bull-types. Khunti ran a website where he advertised illegal pit bull-type dogs for sale. He was given a four month custodial sentence, suspended for two years, when he appeared at Birmingham magistrates on 15/12/08. Khunti was also given a two-year supervision order, a 200-hour community punishment order and instructed to pay £5,000 costs after he admitted six charges relating to dog fighting. Khunti pleaded guilty to three charges of possessing illegal pit bulls. He also admitted two charges of training dogs to fight, and one of causing unnecessary suffering after he failed to provide veterinary treatment to facial and leg wounds sustained by one of the dogs.

On 17/12/08 Christopher Burgess (42) of Longstone Way, Ladybrook, Mansfield, faced five charges in connection with pit bull fighting. Kenneth King (35), of Main Street, Ragnall, faces 19 charges; while Joanne King faces one charge. They were among 10 people charged as part of a nationwide RSPCA operation. The seven others come from Cleveland, Middlesborough and Birmingham. The case was heard at Lincoln magistrates and has been adjourned until 20/2/09. Burgess also has numerous convictions for badger baiting.

On 7/1/09 Raja Hussain (28) and Tasleem Akhtar (32) of Mansfield Road, Glodwick, Oldham were charged with neglecting their pit bull-type dogs, causing unnecessary suffering and organising animal fights and their court case was adjourned until 12/2/09 at Oldham magistrates. RSPCA inspectors found the animals to have a mixture of chronic infections and bite wounds which the pair had failed to seek veterinary treatment for. The charges against Hussain allege he kept the animals for use in connection with an animal fight and inspectors found associated equipment, such as training schedules, weighted collars, chains and syringes at the couple's home. Both are charged with possessing an animal which falls under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 without the correct paperwork.


Eggs/Birds

James Vincent (51) from Peverel, Essex, was caught red-handed by a police officer after trying to trap highly protected wild birds near Scarborough. He was fined £250 following a hearing at Scarborough magistrates on 6/5/08. He must also pay £50 costs. Vincent admitted three offences of attempting to take a wild linnet, using a trap for the purpose of attempting to take wild birds, and being in possession of a trap capable of being used to commit the offence.

Robert JenkinsOn 30/7/09 Robert Jenkins (59) of Byass Street, Margam pleaded not guilty to the charges brought by the RSPCA of illegally keeping 21 wild birds. Among those seized and taken from his premises were 12 linnets, eight goldfinches and one chaffinch. At Neath magistrates on 1/9/08 they revoked Jenkins' licence to stop him selling them around Britain. He was also banned from driving for four months and ordered to pay £1,000 towards court costs.

John DodsworthOn 16/10/08 John Dodsworth (49) of Rodin Avenue, Whitleas, South Shields, walked free from court after a jury found him not guilty of illegally buying protected eggs and stuffed birds. Dodsworth was on trial at Newcastle Crown Court, charged with three counts of buying protected specimens. A police raid at his home two years go uncovered 1,296 eggs of various species. They included two Golden Eagle eggs, two Honey Buzzard eggs and four Egyptian Vulture eggs. The raid also found four stuffed owls, a Montagu’s Harrier, a Marsh Harrier and Honey Buzzard. One of the charges related to the purchase of the stuffed Montagu’s Harrier, which Dodsworth admitted buying but said he had purchased before 1997, when it became illegal to do so. The jury found him not guilty of that count on Tuesday night before retiring to consider the other charges, which related to the purchase of the eggs of the endangered birds and the stuffed owls. The jury took just over three hours to reach their verdicts of not guilty on both outstanding counts. Dodsworth was given a conditional discharge after earlier pleading guilty to charges relating to the purchase of the stuffed Honey Buzzard and Marsh Harrier.

An Essex man was given a 120-hour Community Punishment Order and must pay £8,679.09 costs after he admitted to being in possession of 40 wild British birds and exposing others for sale. On 18/11/08 John Stanley Brockis (65) from Maldon Road, Great Totham admitted four charges of illegal possession of wild birds and two charges of exposing wild birds for sale at Southend magistrates. A large number of birds were discovered, including 29 goldfinches, one redpoll, five greenfinches and five bullfinches, all of which had been illegally fitted with tampered leg rings. Brockis claimed he had purchased the birds in good faith from people who had arrived with them in his shop. He said he thought the leg rings fitted on the birds were legitimate.

Lawrence Scott Walters of Spring Close, Eastbourne has been forced to pay £3,000 after illegally dumping eggs and birds' nests on land. Walters (trading under the name Pest Call, an Eastbourne-based pest control business) pleaded guilty to removing the gulls' eggs and nesting material and unlawfully depositing before later dumping them on waste land. At Lewes magistrates on 20/11/08 they fined Walters £2,000 plus the council's full costs of £1,000 along with a victim surcharge of £15.

On 28/11/08 70 wild birds were recovered from two addresses in Greenwich and Lewisham by police investigating illegal trapping. Officers raided a property in Springfield Grove, Greenwich and a second address off Elmira Street in Lewisham. A 49-year-old man believed to be involved in the illegal trapping of the birds was arrested and taken to a south London police station. Police say the seventy birds seized at the property were kept in small cages stacked on top of each other in a small, enclosed space without any natural light. They included goldfinches, canaries and hybrids bred from more than one species, some of which police believe may have taken illegally from the wild.


Equine

A farmer who allowed an old horse to starve on his land has been fined and ordered to pay more than €3,300 in expenses to the ISPCA. John Dunphy (53) from Knockanoran, Durrow, Co. Laois appeared before Portlaoise District Court on 11/4/08.

Paul Davies (50) of Lower Cwmtwrch, Swansea, was sentenced at Neath magistrates on 13/5/08 having previously pleaded guilty to nine charges of cruelty against horses. An RSPCA inspector discovered seven ponies in very poor physical condition and two dead ponies. Davies admitted seven charges of starvation and two charges of starvation resulting in death. The court imposed a 12-week suspended custodial sentence, and banned the defendant from keeping all animals for 10 years. He was also ordered to pay costs of £1,000 and to undertake 200 hours of community service.

Margaret O'LearyOn 10/7/08 Margaret O'Leary, from Llangollen, Denbighshire was jailed for eight weeks and banned from keeping horses for two years after pleading guilty to animal neglect charges. O'Leary admitted nine charges at Flintshire magistrates. Several of her 81 horses were left "massively infested" and one was found dead in barbed wire. The court heard she had tried to hide the horses. She admitted six charges of causing unnecessary suffering and two of keeping horses in a hazardous environment. She also admitted one charge of obstruction by removing horses to two locations during the investigation.

A farmer has been banned from keeping animals after neglecting six ponies - one of which was so unfit it had to be destroyed. The animals kept by Bernard Masters (65) of Meadow Croft Farm in Guiseley, Leeds, had become wild, Leeds magistrates heard on 24/7/08. Hooves and teeth were so overgrown that several ponies were struggling to feed or walk. Several showed signs of laminitis - a painful foot inflammation. Masters admitted five counts of cruelty. He was fined £2,500, told to pay £2,800 costs and a £15 victim surcharge, and was banned from keeping, owning or caring for any animal in the future except dogs.

An animal transport boss banned from keeping horses after three nearly starved has been jailed. Delia Stace (37) was convicted of animal cruelty in 2006 after one horse was found so emaciated it had to be put down. Two others had tried to eat fence posts. In March 2008, she was caught with five horses, now taken by the RSPCA, at her stables in Bramley, Surrey. Jailing her for 112 days recorder Stuart Lawson-Rogers at Guildford crown court on 22/9/08, said Stacey showed "blatant disregard for law".

Susan Marie Foster and Edward Marshall Foster both 61, formerly of Whitchurch Road, Nantwich were jailed for cruelty and breaching a life ban on keeping horses by Crewe magistrates on 29/10/08. Susan Foster was found guilty of four counts of causing unnecessary suffering and two of breaching a life ban on keeping horses. She was jailed for 40 weeks and ordered to pay costs of £6,000. Edward Foster admitted three counts of causing unnecessary suffering and breaching a life ban on keeping horses. He was sentenced to 20 weeks in jail and ordered to pay costs of £2,000. The couple were each sentenced to four months in prison in June 2006 for causing unnecessary suffering to horses, suspended for one year. They were also prosecuted by the RSPCA in April 2005, when they were banned from keeping any more than 25 horses each. The RSPCA challenged the ruling at the High Court and the couple were subsequently banned from keeping all horses for life in October 2006.

A family of farmers has been banned from keeping animals for life after inflicting months of suffering on two horses. The RSPCA brought the case against three members of the Wain family, of Canwell Gate Farm, London Road, Sutton Coldfield. The mum, dad and daughter were also handed suspended prison sentences and banned from ever keeping animals. Elizabeth Wain (27) and her mother Sandra (54) each admitted six charges of neglect of their horses. The pair were handed 12-week jail sentences suspended for two years. John Wain (63) admitted three charges of neglect and was handed a suspended eight-week sentence by Sutton Coldfield magistrates on 31/10/08. Elizabeth and Sandra Wain were also given a community service order with 100 hours unpaid work, and ordered to pay £500 costs each. John Wain was ordered to do 60 hours’ unpaid work and pay costs of £500.

Wendy Barron (42) from Barron, Walsall was banned from keeping equines for life after neglecting her horse. At Walsall magistrates on 4/11/08 Barron was also given an 18-month community service order to include 200 hours of unpaid work, and ordered to pay costs of £250.


Assorted

Two women have each received 10-year bans for causing unnecessary suffering to three greyhounds and failing to meet the welfare needs of another four greyhounds. Rosemary Hagger (51) and Rebecca Hagger (20) from Peterborough each received the bans at Peterborough magistrates on 28/4/08. Hagger was banned from keeping dogs for 10 years, and her daughter Rebecca was banned from keeping any animals for 10 years. Rebecca was also ordered to do 200 hours of community service, and Rosemary was given a 12-month conditional discharge. The pair were each ordered to pay £250 in costs. The court also heard that both defendants had worked in the greyhound racing industry.

A Pet shop owner breached regulations over the sale of endangered species, a court heard. Police raided Ringwood Pets in Christchurch Road, Ringwood, and discovered that Dawn Clarke (42) was trading in Hermann tortoises and Madagascar boa snakes, New Forest magistrates were told on 29/4/08. Clarke, who has since closed the shop and moved to Axminster, Devon, admitted five offences of selling endangered animals, offering them for sale or keeping them for sale. Clarke was fined £250 for each offence and told to pay £450 in costs. The magistrates also imposed a £15 victim surcharge, making a total financial penalty of £1,465. Clarke was cleared of failing to comply with pet shop regulations.

James Gibson (52), of Hogan Way, Motherwell, was accused of cutting the heads off lambs while they were still alive. It was alleged that Gibson did not abide by strict abattoir guidelines in relation to the slaughtering of lambs. His colleague and co-accused William McGuigan (49), of Kirk Road, Wishaw, was alleged to have stunned a cow and left it on the floor for a considerable time before the bleeding process - allowing the animal to regain consciousness and causing it avoidable suffering. Another charge alleged that McGuigan failed to ensure the animal was stunned before slaughter. He also denied all charges against him. At Hamilton Sheriff Court the sherrif found Wishaw Abattoir Ltd not nuilty of both charges.

Four directors of the company behind the £120 million Bay holiday village near Filey are set to stand trial in 2009 accused of killing great crested newts and damaging or destroying their habitats. Laurence Corrigan (55) and Richard Wiesener (67) of Cottingham, John Groves (65) of Kirk Ella and Wayne Low (35) of Leconfield, are each charged with three counts of intentionally killing a protected wild animal and three counts of recklessly endangering their shelter. The same charges are faced by Essential Vivendi Ltd, Essential Vivendi Construction Ltd and Essential Vivendi Management Ltd, of Southgate in Hessle. They relate to alleged incidents at three ponds on the site of the former Filey Butlins holiday camp. A trial, scheduled to last three days, was set for 14/4/09.

Johan Vant Hoff (41) from Hoogkarspel, Holland was found guilty of animal cruelty after being stopped at Harwich Port with more than 1,200 animals and birds in his van. Hoff, who failed to attend Harwich magistrates on 10/8/08 was charged with 16 offences, including causing unnecessary suffering to animals and not providing them with adequate nutrition. The court heard that Hoff was intending to travel from Holland to Ireland in a Renault Master van containing 365 mammals, including rabbits, chinchillas, chipmunks and guinea pigs, as well as 604 birds, 16 reptiles and 250 terrapins.

A former pet shop owner banned from keeping animals for 20 years was found in breach of his disqualification when police found nine tortoises in his care, including an endangered species. Keith McDonald (52) of Hillside Avenue, Lemmington, Newcastle, who runs an online store making and supplying tortoise tables, was previously subject to two expired animal bans, but still under the 20-year disqualification when he committed the offences. McDonald had tortoises at two addresses in Glasgow and one in West Lothian including a Hermann tortoise, which is an endangered species. He was banned from keeping animals in 1994 at Bedlington magistrates and banned from the custody of all animals for 20 years, for neglect and cruelty in relation to parrots, having previously received a ten yearban for similar offences a year earlier. In September 2004, McDonald was again banned from keeping animals for six month by Lanark Sheriff Court . He was previously banned in September 1993 at Slough magistrates for ten years, also for parrot neglect and cruelty. On 20/8/08 at Selkirk Sheriff Court he was put on probation for 12 months and banned from keeping animals for 10 years as well as being given 100 hours community service.

A confiscation order against a man illegally selling exotic animals whilst fraudulently claiming benefits has netted more than £20,000. Police officers, along with Fenland Council and the RSPCA, conducted an investigation into Paul Grange of York Road in Chatteris. A number of exotic animals were found at his home, which he had been advertising on the internet. He had also failed to notify his district council of his bank balances on three occasions while making an application for benefits to which he was not entitled. In April 2008 Grange pleaded guilty to three counts of obtaining property by deception and was given a nine month sentence suspended for 12 months and ordered to attend a skills for life course. On 22/10/08 a confiscation hearing was held at Cambridge Crown Court. The judge declared an amount of £23,176.04 should be confiscated from Grange. A proportion of this money will go to Fenland Council by way of compensation.

Alan Clyne (43) of Howdenbank, told police and officers from the SSPCA that the illegal gin trap in his garden had been used to catch rats. But he claimed on this occasion it had been inadvertently set and it had not been meant to capture a cat. However, after a trial at Jedburgh Sheriff Court on 16/9/08, Clyne was found guilty of two charges of culpable and reckless conduct, and causing the cat unnecessary suffering. Clyne was fined £350 and ordered to pay the £95 veterinary bill. The court heard of the cat which has since made a full recovery following the incident.

Gary MaxwellGary Maxwell (21) of Bentinck Terrace, Newcastle forced a chicken to drink whisky and blew cannabis smoke in its face before suffocating it was spared jail by County Durham magistrates. Maxwell also smashed another hen's head repeatedly against a shed wall until its neck snapped. He was given an 18-month community order and was ordered to pay £8 compensation to the birds' owner. At a previous hearing, Maxwell admitted two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to the birds.

On 1/12/08 David Wilkins (50) of Muston Road, Filey, a fisherman has appeared before Scarborough magistrates facing charges of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal. The case against Wilkins was adjourned for six weeks at the prosecution’s request. The case was adjourned until 8/1/09.

Leeroy Le Gallais (46) of St Peter Port, Guernsey broke into a stable on two separate occasions to perform sex acts on the terrified horse. During his first attack he used a bucket to stand behind the horse, but was caught after leaving his underwear at the scene. He was given a three-year probation order, but just months later returned to have sex with the same horse. Le Gallais was jailed for three years at Guernsey's Royal Court on 3/12/08 after being found guilty of two charges of attempting a sexual act with a horse. The court heard Le Gallais had a history of sexual offending including indecent exposure to girls and inciting an 11-year-old to commit an act of gross indecency. A five-year probation period was also imposed from the time of his release.


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

Andrew BrightmoreFarmer Andrew Brightmore (41) of Holme Stud Farm, Brampton-en-le-Morthen, Rotherham was given a suspended prison sentence and banned from keeping livestock for 10 years after admitting animal cruelty. Brightmore was given 32 weeks in prison suspended for a year at Doncaster magistrates on 13/6/08. He was also ordered to carry out 150 hours of community service, disqualified from owning or keeping livestock for 10 years and ordered to pay £4,572 costs. Brightmore pleaded guilty to two charges of animal cruelty and seven other charges relating to livestock, such as the movement of cattle, animal passports, ear-tagging and the keeping of medical records.

David DobbinOn 27/6/08 David Dobbin (46) formerly of Chorlton Lodge Farm, Backford, was sentenced to four months in prison for the illegal burying of carcasses, six counts under the Trade Description Act relating to altering the identity of cattle by switching their ear tags contrary to strict cattle identification regulations and animal cruelty. He was also banned from keeping animals for ten years. Dobbin’s former partner Susan Lofthouse (36) was given a four-month suspended sentence for 12 months and a 150-hour community order.

Prys JonesFarmer Prys Jones (29) of Bryn Clochydd, Llangwm, admitted causing unnecessary suffering to an animal after welfare workers found 18 dead sheep and lambs on his land. At Denbigh magistrates on 24/6/08 Jones pleaded guilty to one charge of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal. Magistrates imposed a 12 month conditional discharge and ordered Jones to pay a £472 fine.

On 27/6/08 David Dobbin (46) formerly of Chorlton Lodge Farm, Backford, was sentenced to four months in prison for the illegal burying of carcasses, six counts under the Trade Description Act relating to altering the identity of cattle by switching their ear tags contrary to strict cattle identification regulations and animal cruelty. He was also banned from keeping animals for ten years. Dobbin’s former partner Susan Lofthouse (36) was given a four-month suspended sentence for 12 months and a 150-hour community order.

On 8/8/08 farmer Geoffery Buchanan (38) of Loomswood Farm, Debach, near Woodbridge who illegally dumped dead carcasses just metres from thousands of turkeys in the middle of an avian flu outbreak was fined £4,000. Trading standards chiefs condemned the actions of Geoffery Buchanan, a director of Gressingham Foods. Buchanan oversaw the dumping of dead carcasses from five farms into one single skip rather than disposing of them in a correct manner, Bury St Edmunds magistrates heard on 7/8/08. This was despite the skip being located just 25 metres from 4,000 turkeys and at the same time as an avian flu outbreak hit north Suffolk in 2007. Buchanan pleaded guilty to eight charges relating to how his company kept and disposed of dead birds without government approval. A further 18 offences were dropped at the start of the case. Magistrates, who said the incident was one of negligence rather than anything more deliberate, fined him £4,000 and ordered him to pay costs of £3,510 and a victim surcharge of £15.

Hugh RichardsAt Llanelli magistrates on 14/10/08 a former president of the National Farmers' Union Wales was told to pay a total of £920 after pleading guilty to 24 animal welfare charges. Hugh Richards (65) of Felinfoel, Llanelli, admitted taking 12 lambs to market that were unfit to travel. He was fined £405, ordered to pay £500 costs and a £15 victim surcharge in a prosecution brought by Carmarthenshire council, of which he is chairman.

Farmer David Fryatt (65) of Pear Tree Farm, near Diss, Norfolk, was found guilty of a string of cruelty charges and obstructing officials at the end of a three-day trial at King's Lynn magistrates. On 4/11/08 Fryatt was jailed for 20 weeks The court also banned him from keeping horses or cattle for five years. He was found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering, obstructing trading standards officers, failing to ensure appropriate animal care and breaking carcass disposal regulations.

A West Cumbrian farmer was banned from keeping animals for life after a sick calf was found in a barn with rotting carcasses. Trading Standards officials found up to 32 carcasses on the farm of Robert Jenkinson of Midtown Farm, High Sellafield, Calderbridge, Whitehaven magistrates heard on 19/12/08. He admitted failing to dispose of up to 32 cow carcasses, causing unnecessary suffering to a calf and failing to give it medical advice; failing to provide the sick calf with suitable accommodation; and failing to ensuring the needs of a cow were met. Magistrates said Jenkinson must complete 200 hours unpaid work, and pay £1,451.39 in court and investigation costs.


Domestic

A Longridge man admitted causing unnecessary suffering to a 12-year-old collie dog by failing to provide veterinary care and an adequate diet. Christopher Eddlestone, 51, of Neville Street, Longridge, appeared at Preston Magistrates Court on 17/4/08. He was scheduled to stand trial but decided to plead guilty to the allegations instead. Eddlestone was banned from keeping any animals for five years; sentenced to a three-month curfew order between 7pm-7am during which time he will be electronically tagged; ordered to pay £3,000 costs. The dog has now been placed with new owners.

Sean Bushell-Clarke (26) of Bulford Road, Liverpool, was jailed after stabbing his dog to death and burying him in a shallow grave in his back garden. On 9/5/08 Liverpool magistrates sent him to prison for four months and banned from keeping animals for five years. Bushell-Clarke admitted punching the four-month-old puppy about 10 times before stabbing him in his back.

Simon Roberts (29) of Green Park Close, Blackburn, admitted failing to meet the needs of his cat when he appeared before Pennine magistrates on 9/5/08. He was sentenced to a 12-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay a £1,000 fine.

Gordon Twist (61) of South View Farm, Hesketh Bank pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to his dog by failing to provide veterinary care. At Ormskirk magistrates on 22/5/08 Twist was fined £250 and ordered to pay £265 costs and he was banned from owning dogs for five years.

Patrick Walker (36) Newick Road, Brighton stabbed his dog to death in a brutal attack in a park has been jailed for 26 weeks. Walker used a hunting knife to stab his dog 55 times after it attacked his partner's teenage daughter. Walker, who killed his American bull terrier was also banned from keeping animals for the rest of his life. Walker was convicted of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal after a three-day trial at Brighton magistrates on 26/5/08.

William David StreeterWilliam David Streeter (28) of Cloyfin Park, Coleraine, Belfast viciously beat and strung up a one-year-old golden retriever in a terrifying attack spanning two days. At North Antrim magistrates on 28/5/08 he admitted seven counts of animal cruelty and a further count of threatening to kill his wife. He also pleaded guilty to threatening to kill Ms McMonagle two days later. On 18/7/08 he was sentenced to six months in jail. As part of his sentence, he was banned from having an animal for 10 years.

AN RSPCA inspector has described the horrific treatment of a dog as one of the "most shocking and heartbreaking cruelty cases I have ever dealt with". John O'Neill (24) of Holden Fold, Darwen, left Milo the dog so severely starved that he could only move by blinking his eyes. O'Neill was banned from keeping dogs for 10 years, ordered to pay £1,000 costs and given a 16-week prison sentence by Hyndburn magistrates on 10/6/08. He had earlier pleaded guilty to failing to meet the needs of his boxer dog called Milo. Milo has since made a full recovery and has found a new home

Paul Postgate (45) of Brookside, Boosbeck appeared at Langbaurgh East magistrates on 26/6/08 on Asbo breeches and offences under the Animal Welfare Act concerning two female dogs. Drug-user Postgate admitted all offences, including deliberately giving an Akita-type Japanese fighting dog amphetamines and he was jailed for a total of eight months. He received four months prison for the Asbo breeches and one month each on the cruelty charges. He was banned from keeping animals for life and told he cannot appeal this for 20 years. Court ordered that £3,201 costs for vet and forensic work and £1,800 costs towards the upkeep of the Akita and Labrador have to be paid from central funds. He also admitted causing suffering to the Akita and a Labrador in Lingdale and Boosbeck by inappropriate tethering and hitting and kicking the Labrador with blunt force. Previous convictions include cruelty to a horse.

James Bamber (29) of Belgrave Street, Nelson stabbed a cross-breed dog during an affray. The dog later died and Bamber was arrested and charged with affray and possession of an offensive weapon. In January 2008, he was found guilty on both charges at Burnley magistrates and was given a suspended prison sentence of 120 days, a 12-month suspension order, a further 12 months on licence and £200 in compensation. Police also ordered the knife be destroyed. Bamber, admitted causing unnecessary suffering to a dog in the RSPCA prosecution at Burnley magistrates on 7/7/08 and was also banned from owning or keeping a dog for 12 months and was ordered to pay £500 in court costs.

A couple from Worksop have been banned from keeping animals for five years after pleading guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to their dog in a case brought by the RSPCA. On 14/7/08 at Worksop magistrates Beverly Eden (42) and Kevin Smith (49) from Carlton-in-Lindrick, near Worksop both pleaded guilty to charges of causing unnecessary suffering by failure to provide veterinary treatment, and failing to protect the dog from pain, suffering, injury and disease. In addition they were each given a 12-month conditional discharge, and Eden was ordered to pay £100 towards veterinary costs.

Karen Anne Stretton (37) of no fixed home has been banned from owning an animal for a decade after causing suffering to a pet dog in Chester. On 15/7/08 she appeared at Chester, Ellesmere Port and Neston magistrates for sentence after being convicted by trial of two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to a German Shepherd dog. At the sentencing hearing Stretton was issued with a community order for 12 months. Magistrates ordered Stretton to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work. She was also told to pay veterinary bills of £410 and £500 legal fees.

Alexandra Stansfield (43) of Smith Street, Nelson was banned from keeping or being involved with animals for 10 years by Reedley magistrates on 28/8/08 after admitting seven counts of animal cruelty. They also placed her under a two-month night-time curfew and ordered her to pay £250 costs.

David Sabin (26) and his wife Joanne Sabin (22) from Heys Lane, Darwen, left four dogs behind at their old home without food or water in one of the ‘worst animal cruelty cases ever seen’. The animals were left for six days before the RSPCA broke down the door after calls from worried neighbours. RSPCA officers also found two dwarf rabbits in a cage with no food or water, a quail and three finches in a ‘filfthy’ cage and two dead fish in a ‘dirty’ tank. The couple admitted four counts of causing unnecessary suffering to two dogs and two counts of failing to provide a suitable environment and diet for animals. They were banned from keeping animals for five years, given a year-long supervision order, told to do 100 hours unpaid work and pay £250 towards the £7,165.97 costs of the case at Preston magistrates on 18/9/08.

Alexander Barnes (43) of Stour Road, Astley, failed to take both animals to a vet despite the fact that they were seriously emaciated and starving, Wigan magistrates heard on 15/10/08. The court heard evidence that both animals' conditions were a result of not being fed. Barnes pleaded guilty to four offences which related to his failure to take the pets to a vet and for failing to meet the rabbit's needs properly. He was banned from keeping any animals, except fish, a condition relating to a large aquarium that he already owns, for a period of 10 years and was banned from appealing against the decision for seven years. Barnes was also given a 12 month community order, ordered to carry out 120 hours of unpaid work and was told to pay £1,000 towards the RSPCA costs.

On 19/10/08 at Warrington magistrates Alan Barton (57) of Heath Lane, in Croft, was found guilty of unnecessary suffering and fined £450 with a £15 victim surcharge and £2,500 costs.

Claire Elizabeth FreerClaire Elizabeth Freer (23), of Oxford Road, Nelson, admitted causing unnecessary suffering to a cat at Reedley magistrates on 20/10/08. The cat was found by RSPCA inspectors to have been subjected to microwave heat. Freer did not admit putting the cat in the microwave herself and told RSPCA inspectors her four-year-old son had put it in. Freer was ordered to pay £250 costs, banned from keeping animals for five years and was handed a curfew to run for three months between 7am and 7pm.

Darren Cherry (33) and Danielle Fenwick (26) who live together in Marks Avenue, Raffles, Carlisle admitted failing to provide appropriate veterinary treatment for their pet when they appeared before city magistrates on 29/10/08. Both were banned from keeping animals for life and told they could only appeal against that ruling at a crown court after five years have passed. The pair must each carry out 200 hours of unpaid work in the community and pay £200 towards costs. Stephen Norman (46) and Margaret Norman (47) of Shadygrove Road, Raffles, received lesser penalties after admitting the same offence. They have been banned from keeping animals for 10 years and can’t appeal against that decision for two years. Each must carry out 100 hours of unpaid work and pay £100 costs.

John MartellJohn Martell (40) of Mulberry Court, Pendleton kicked, punched and stamped on his dog because he was having `a really bad day' was jailed for 12 weeks. On 7/11/08 at Salford magistrates Martell was also banned from ever keeping or owning another animal as a result of the brutal attack, which was captured on CCTV.

On 12/11/08 Denise Giblin (34) of Roundthorn Road, Oldham and Lee Burke (26) of Manor Road, Roundthorn, Oldham admitted leaving their two dogs outside with no food or shelter on a bitterly cold January day have been banned from keeping dogs for 18 months. Giblin and Burke were also fined £1,000 each following their appearance at Oldham magistrates. Giblin also admitted to underfeeding her dog. Burke pleaded guilty to allowing the mistreatment to take place.

On 25/11/08 two North Wales police officers avoided prison but were banned from keeping animals for five years after admitting abusing their two dogs. At Denbigh magistrates Craig Macleod (34) and Anja Mason (29) both from The Meadows, Prestatyn were ordered to each pay costs of £1,267 and Macleod was sentenced to 180 hours' community service and Mason to 120. A neighbour captured constables Macleod and Mason on film, kicking, hitting and violently yanking the pets from the ground. McLeod admitted two counts of causing unnecessary suffering and his girlfriend admitted one count.

A former TV executive confessed to shooting dead his neighbour's dog after becoming annoyed at its early-morning barking. Phil Bishop (71) from Brinton, Norfolk shot the Bedlington terrier, in the heart with a single shot from an air rifle. The parish council chairman claimed at court that he did not intend to hit the dog when he fired from the study of his home using a .22 calibre weapon. Instead, he said, he had intended to strike a metal bench in his neighbour's garden, which would have made a noise that scared the dog back into its owner's house. At King's Lynn magistrates on 29/11/08 Bishop was given a two-year conditional discharge after he admitted causing unnecessary suffering to the dog. He was also ordered to pay £60 costs, plus £1,750 compensation to his traumatised neighbours.

Two people have been banned from keeping animals after a dog in their care almost died because it had become so emaciated from lack of food. Martin Fairclough (54) of Moorfield Avenue, Bradford Moor, and Kathleen Angyal (43) of Blackshaw Drive, Butterfield, were convicted of causing unnecessary suffering to a lurcher dog who was described by RSPCA inspectors as the “thinnest they had ever seen”. Fairclough and Angyal pleaded guilty to the offence on 6/11/08 and appeared at Bradford magistrates on 11/12/08 for sentencing. Both defendants were banned from keeping animals for ten years, with no chance of appealing the decision for at least five years. They were each given a four-week sentence suspended for 12 months and were ordered to undertake 100 hours of unpaid community work.

An unlicensed breeder who kept 26 Rottweiler and boxer dogs in appalling conditions at her home was banned from keeping dogs for three years. Deborah Sims (43) of London Road, Hailsham, was also given a 12-month supervision order with 160 hours of unpaid work on 12/12/08. She was convicted of seven counts of causing unnecessary suffering to the animals at Hastings magistrates.

Joy BattisonJoy Battison (59) of Little Billing, Northants let her pet dog loose almost half his body weight through starvation was banned from keeping animals for 25 years on 5/1/09. Battison ordered her son and his girlfriend to tell vets that her dog - by then near death - was a stray, a court heard. Battison, eventually admitted she was the owner. Battison admitted causing unnecessary suffering to an animal when she faced Northampton magistrates. She argued the dog had always been thin, that he was eating and drinking and she was treating him with shampoo. She was given a 12-month supervision order as well as the ban.

Martin John Lightfoot (36) from Whitchurch beat his heavily pregnant dog with crutches while he was drunk was banned from keeping animals for 10 years. Lightfoot was also given a three-year conditional discharge, told to hand over his two dogs to the RSPCA and ordered to pay £1,000 compensation and costs after admitting the offences before Market Drayton magistrates on 9/1/09.

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