North West Hunt Saboteurs

Vermin Patrol for Howl 71

Badgers

Police on an undercover operation against badger baiters found a disturbed sett, a freshly killed badger with wounds consistent with badger baiting, and five men with dogs hiding nearby, Lampeter magistrates heard on 11/11/99. The men claimed to be hunting foxes, but one, who told police he would never touch a badger, was later found to have two stuffed badgers and a mounted badger's head at his home. When they all appeared at Lampeter magistrates on 1/12/99 Gary David Venton (24) and his brother Kevin Venton (22) both of Bryn y Wawr, Pentregat, New Quay; Gary Alan Williams (22) of Heol y Craig, Clydach, Swansea; Geraint Ronald Woolcock (21) of Cowbridge Square, Gwae-Cae-Gurwen, Ammanford and John Alan Gilmore (30) of Bryn Teifi, Cilcennin all had their charges dropped. Gary Venton also denies possessing excess ammunition and failing to notify the transfer of a shotgun.

Gary Lee Haslam (29) of Moorend, Clitheroe was convicted of digging for badgers but has escaped a jail sentence. Haslam was also found guilty of cruelty to his dog, which suffered facial injuries, was given 100 hours community service and put on a four-month curfew. On 7/2/00 Burnley magistrates banned Haslam from keeping a dog for five years and told him to pay £1,200 in costs and his dog was forfeited. The court heard how Haslam had been seen by police coming out of a wood wearing camouflage clothing and his dog was bleeding from the mouth and eye. Haslam said his terrier had disappeared into a hole and he had dug her out. While digging, he claimed, he saw a fox vault from the hole followed by the dog. Officers later found the defendant's spade and iron bar near to an active badger sett. Haslam said he had never seen a badger. The court also heard that Haslam has had working dogs virtually all his life.

On 14/2/00 the master and three other members of the Vale of Clettwr Hunt were cleared of interfering with a badger sett by destroying it. Hunt master David Lyn Lloyd (47) of Blaenpant Farm, Pencader and terriermen John Geraint Owen Thomas (48) of Gwarbistgwynwydd, Maesycrugiau, and Gethin Jones (46) of Gardde, Cwmdwyfran and foot follower John Gareth Jones (64) of Golygfa, Heol Gilfachwen, Llandysul had encroached without permission on to forestry land. Gethin Jones who said he had 30 years' experience as a terrierman, dismissed a prosecution suggestion that he had disturbed an active badger's sett and said he had walked around the area and had not seen any signs of setts. John Geraint Thomas said, "I have been a terrierman for over 30 years and there is no doubt in my mind that this was not a badger's sett. I know there are active setts in the area but we couldn't see these from where we were."


Bloodsports

On 24/1/00 North Devon magistrates disqualified a Barnstaple man from holding a fishing licence for four years after he pleaded guilty to fixing a net across the River Taw. He was also ordered to pay £200 in fines and £75 costs. Ronald Luxton of 23 Elmlea Avenue, Fremington has a history of fishing convictions was spotted, with two other men, by a late night anti poaching patrol.

An angler from Hull has been banned from fishing for a year by Goole magistrates on 7/2/00. Eion Henderson (42) of Swinderby Garth, Hull, was also fined £100 and ordered to pay £45 costs after being found guilty of fishing failing to produce a valid licence.

An Isle of Wight pheasant breeder has been given a 12-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay costs of £534 after pleading guilty to permitting pheasant chicks to hatch in an unsuitable environment. Stephen Donson (52) of Adgestone rears up to 1,500 pheasants a week for a commercial business. In the past he has disposed of pheasant eggs in a dustbin and twice on the council disposal tip. The case came to light when workers on an Isle of Wight refuse tip heard cheeping noises from rubbish bags and decided to investigate. Opening the bags they discovered hundreds of pheasant eggs had been dumped, and some had already hatched. In February 2000 Island magistrates heard how plastic bags were found containing 1,085 complete eggs, 312 eggs with shells partially broken and embryos visible, 33 dead hatched chicks and 29 live chicks which had either hatched or were just hatching. The hatchlings were taken to an animal centre but only three survived. They have been since been released, joining other pheasants cared for by the RSPCA.

A gamekeeper who beat his pregnant girlfriend was jailed on 01/03/00 by Newcastle Crown Court. Kevin Bright (42) of Low Briarside Farm, Burnopfield, near Consett, attacked his girlfriend claiming the baby was not his. He used a walking stick and a hosepipe to inflict bruising described by a doctor as horrific. Bright had denied causing grievous bodily harm with intent and a further charge of assaulting but was convicted on both accounts. He was jailed for three and a half years.

Javid Iqbal (45) of St Benedicts Road, Small Heath, Birmingham was granted unconditional bail after appearing at Birmingham magistrates charged with a series of offences related to cockfighting. Iqbal pleaded not guilty to all the charges and was granted unconditional bail to appear before the same court on 15/8/00. The charges relate to a search of premises on St Benedicts Road, Small Heath, by RSPCA officers when video and other items, allegedly related to cockfighting, were seized.


Eggs/Birds

A bird trapper described by conservationists as "the biggest single threat to Scotland's wildlife" was fined £2,700 on 14/3/00. Matt Morrison (59) from Ayr was filmed during a police and RSPB investigation using a live pigeon to trap a peregrine falcon. RSPB investigators said Morrison had been known to them for more than 10 years and had four previous convictions. The Sheriff at Ayr sheriff court ordered the seizure of his car, to prevent him travelling to remote nesting sites. Morrison was sentenced after being found guilty of six charges, including setting a trap, trying to capture a falcon, and using a live pigeon as bait. (Six years ago, his 23-year-old son Steven was filmed by the Cook Report taking peregrine falcon eggs from a nest. He was later fined £700).

In March a gamekeeper was fined £850 for the killing of three kestrels on Holkham Estate in Norfolk. Martin Joyce admitted to shooting two birds and poisoning a third because he blamed them for attacking young partridges

One of the world's leading bird experts has been jailed for two-and a half years for illegally bringing endangered parrots into Britain. Harry Sissen (61) of Cornhill Farm in East Cowton, near Northallerton, North Yorkshire was labelled as a liar and a hypocrite by a judge as he passed sentence at Newcastle Crown Court on 14/4/00. Sissen was charged with illegally importing three extremely rare Lear's macaws and six blue-headed macaws into the UK. Sissen was also ordered to pay £5,000 towards the £77,500 costs of the case. The court also heard how Sissen had two other previous convictions for smuggling rare birds into the country. In 1977 he was fined £200 at Durham Magistrates Court for smuggling 20 birds and in 1981 he admitted smuggling a parrot into the UK in his car. Sissen was found guilty of illegally importing three Lear's macaws and six blue-headed macaws into the UK. Sissen also own the Cornhill Conservation Centre located next to his farm.


Equine

A stable owner has been fined for neglecting a horse, which was found to be in such pain she could hardly stand. Daniel Peck (52) of Matthew Arnold Close, Staines, admitted two counts of neglect at Staines magistrates' court on 1/2/00. An RSPCA inspector was called to the stable in Ashford Rd, Staines where they saw the mare in severe pain from her feet, which were infected with fungus. The court heard her hooves, which should have been trimmed by a farrier months earlier, caused her so much pain she could hardly support her own weight. And her stablemate had feet in the same condition and a respiratory illness. His wife Janice was cautioned and a hearing for two charges of neglect against her was adjourned until 29/2/00. Peck was ordered to pay £250 costs and given one year's conditional discharge.

Keith Hooper of Manley Close, Whimple, Devon appeared before Honiton magistrates on 11/1/00 and pleaded not guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to a horse. Magistrates heard how Hooper kept a pony in a field along with five other horses but he had refused to call a vet to the sick pony and instead treated it himself. An RSPCA inspector found the pony in a very poor condition, a vet said it was suffering from severe diarrhoea brought on by prolonged stomach pain and its hooves were overgrown. Magistrates convicted Hooper and gave him a two-year conditional discharge and ordered him to pay £500 costs. Two days after being found by the RSPCA the pony had to be put down.

Horse trader John Cooper (61) from Coldstream Drive, Winlaton was banned for life from keeping animals after ponies were found in his stables. Newcastle magistrates heard on 13/1/00 how Cooper left the animals to live in their own dirt without enough food or water. Some of them had gone lame after being forced to stand for hours on hard concrete floors with no bedding. The six ponies were kept in paddocks at Winlaton Mill, Gateshead. The animals were infested with lice and worms and had been deprived of vital medical care. The decaying carcass of a dead horse was also found in a shed near where the ponies were kept. Cooper admitted six charges of cruelty to animals and as well as a life ban on keeping animals he was ordered to pay £1,499 in fines and costs. The ponies have now been nursed back to near full health.

The owner of horses found emaciated and, in one case, with a bleeding tumour has been fined £7,700. Margaret Jones (52) of South Avenue, Chellaston, Derbyshire was found guilty of seven charges of causing unnecessary suffering to her horses at Derby magistrates on 7/2/00. She was also ordered to pay £11,742 towards the RSCPA's costs. The case centred on the condition of seven horses found at Saltersford Farm, Egginton, the court heard that one of the horses had bleeding tumour-like growths on his body but had not received treatment. The other six were in a malnourished and emaciated state. RSPCA inspectors told the court that the farm was overstocked, with nearly 70 horses, fences were in a state of disrepair and supplementary food had not been provided. At an earlier hearing, Jones had pleaded guilty to another charge of causing unnecessary suffering to another horse which was emaciated, lethargic, depressed and had a lesion six inches in diameter from which a foul-smelling pus was oozing. Jones was fined £700 for causing unnecessary suffering to the first horse and £1,000 for each of the other seven. Jones said she would be appealing against the sentence.

Death was only moments away for a pain-wracked horse, which had to be destroyed. Experts who examined its badly swollen leg concluded that it must have been in pain for some time. William Graham (53) of Woodhorn Road, Newbiggin denied a charge of causing unnecessary suffering to the animal by failing to provide it with proper care. On 8/3/00 magistrates at Bedlington found Graham guilty and fined him £1,500 and ordered him to pay costs of £2,363. The magistrates decided not to disqualify Graham from keeping animals, viewing the neglect as an isolated incident, untypical of the standard of care he normally provided.

A dealer who transported two unfit horses from Ireland to Northumberland without enough water or rest periods has been ordered to pay £2,243 in fines and costs. The horses, both aged over 20 years, were in shocking condition. On 3/4/00 Bedlington magistrates heard John Graham (52) of Woodhorn Road, Newbiggin, admit two charges of transporting an unfit horse, failing to draw up a route plan and failing to ensure animals were rested, fed and watered during a journey. Graham was also convicted by the Bedlington magistrates on 6/3/00 of causing unnecessary suffering to a horse by failing to seek prompt veterinary attention.

A woman who neglected her horses until they were starving has been banned from keeping animals for 10 years by Carmarthen magistrates on 19/4/00. RSPCA inspectors were horrified when they saw found the animals belonging to Anne Krystina Helen Kasica (45) of Danygraig, Cwmpengraig, near Llandysul, a vet and police seized 12 emaciated horses which had been left unfed on boggy land. Sadly two of the horses later died. Kasica was charged with causing unnecessary suffering to an animal on 12 counts. Kasica denied all charges but was found guilty of omitting to provide care and attention. When she returned to court for sentencing she was fined £7,200 and ordered to pay £10,000 costs to the RSPCA. The 10 surviving animals were also signed over into the custody of the RSPCA. This is the second time Kasica had been convicted of causing unnecessary suffering to horses.

A man has escaped a jail sentence after admitting causing unnecessary suffering to a horse by dragging it with a tow rope attached to his car. Nottingham magistrates fined Joshua Swindell (48) of Warney Road, Twodales, Matlock £1,000 after hearing how he tried to get the Arab bay mare into a horse box with a rope tied to his Land Rover. But an application by the RSPCA to have Swindell banned from owning horses was rejected. On 10/5/00 magistrates heard how Swindell's wife Valerie (43) had problems loading the horse into its box after a competition. The horse bolted while Mrs Swindell tried to load it for the journey home, dragging her through a hedge. Mrs Swindell telephoned her husband for help and he attached a rope to the animal's halter and fed the other end through the horse box to a tow hook on the back of his Land Rover. The horse was being dragged by the neck and it slipped on the ramp and suffered a cut to its head. Swindell was also ordered to pay costs of £600.


Assorted

A Vancouver businessman was fined $25,000 in Richmond provincial court on 4/11/99 following his conviction on a variety of wildlife offences. Stephen Yuen was sentenced on 16 counts of various trafficking and possession of wildlife charges. A search of his house and company, Canpire International Holding Company. Transactions relating to bear gall bladders, bear paws and meat, a cougar, geoduck clams, mallard ducks, a great blue heron and a live great horned owl. The wildlife products purchased by Yuen were destined for the restaurant trade in the Vancouver and overseas.

Charles Anthony Osborne (43) of Hampden Street, Liverpool appeared at Southport magistrates on 10/11/99 and pleaded guilty to taking and destroying game/rabbits. Osborne was arrested in Ainsadale after a call from a local farmer. When the police arrived they found Osborne along with two other males with four dogs, which were chasing a beam of light. (A lamping torch). When approached by the police they said they were "doing some rabbiting to feed to our dogs", they also told the police they did not know who's land it was and did not have permission to be there. Magistrates fined him £30 with £55 costs. The two other men were due in court on 3/12/99.


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

Kevin Hancock (33) of Rodley Square, Lydney, admitted transporting a pig in a way likely to cause unnecessary suffering to the animal. He also admitted being in custody of a pig in contravention of a court order banning him from having animals. Alfred Hale (57) of New Road, Blakeney, pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting Hancock in transporting the pig. He also admitted failing to declare the movement of the pig and falling to record information on the movement of his sheep. Both men, whose families have farmed in the Forest of Green area for generations, have vowed never to have animals again. They were each given 12-month conditional discharges on 6/10/99 by Forest of Dean magistrates' at Coleford. Magistrates heard how Hancock was banned from keeping animals for five years in September 1994 for causing unnecessary suffering to an animal. Magistrates also ordered Hale to pay £400 costs and fined Hancock £100 for breach of the order, with £200 costs.

On 11/11/99 John Nigel Bowen of Nantfforch, Welshpool, pleaded guilty at Newtown magistrates to one offence of knowingly permitting controlled waste to be deposited on land. He was Fined £600 and ordered to pay £500 costs.

On 12/11/99 Richard Chandler of Highfield Farm, Long Clawson, Melton Mowbray, pleaded guilty at Melton Mowbray magistrates to causing organic matter, in this case cattle slurry, to enter the Stroom Dyke. Chandler was fined £250 and ordered to pay £709.98 costs.

A Devon farmer was ordered to pay a total of £505 in fines and costs for turning a stream thick with silage effluent. Officers investigating the incident found over 3km of the stream affected by the effluent, which was traced back to a Frank Gary Mennell of Warson Barton Farm, Coryton, Okehampton. At West Devon magistrates on 18/11/99 he pleaded guilty to causing poisonous, noxious or polluting matter to enter controlled waters and was fined £250 and ordered to pay £255 costs.

A farmer altered information about the ages of calves sent to slaughter to increase their value, after suffering in the BSE crisis, Market Harborough magistrates heard on 20/1/00. Simon Ernest Bailey (34) of Ullesthorpe Road, Bitteswell pleaded guilty to making a false document and was ordered to serve 40 hours community service. Bailey made profits of around £50 on two animals, and £75 on another. Bailey said: "My back was against the wall. I was desperate."

Rotting carcasses at an illegal slaughterhouse in the Brecon Beacons put public health at risk, a Crown court heard on 29/1/00. Derek Jeffrey Davies (42) of Pentrefelin, near Brecon, was ordered to do 240 hours of community service at Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court, after pleading guilty to two charges of breaking the slaughter regulations and four offences of killing animals without a licence. The court was told that Davies, described as a skilled butcher and a pillar of the community, had carried out the unlicensed slaughter operation for the past two years, charging only £5 to kill a sheep. But the rotting remains of 30 carcases, including sheep heads left in open and waterlogged burial pits, were found at his Pentrefelin smallholding. He was also ordered to pay £2,100 prosecution costs.

Peterhead Sheriff Court heard on 28/1/00 how a dead cow's carcase was found buried in mud and that other animals were stuck up to their knees in mud and faeces. More than 30 cows found standing in a field bare of grass with their drinking water frozen over by ice were restless, forlorn and reluctant to move, the court was told. David Kilbey (64) of Bransbog Farm, Strichen, denies failing to provide an adequate diet and veterinary care for a calf in his care which subsequently fell severely emaciated and ill. He also denies keeping a sick calf and failing to provide it with comfortable, well maintained and dry bedding. He further denies charges of failing to keep 33 cattle on a diet which would ensure their good health, failure to supply an adequate supply of water, failure to maintain appropriate bedding for 15 cattle in a farm building and causing unnecessary distress or suffering by omitting to clip a cow's overgrown front feet. He denies failing to provide prompt veterinary care and causing the suffering of a calf which became draped in mud and subsequently died. The trial was adjourned until 24/3/00.

David Thompson (56) of Alexandra Road, Ashington, Northumberland, was banned on 9/2/00 from keeping any animals for the rest of his life after Bedlington magistrates heard how eight pigs were rescued by the RSPCA from appalling conditions on a filthy allotment. The pigs were caked in their own faeces and urine, had not been properly fed and were infested with lice. Three of them have since been destroyed because of their age and poor condition but the other five are doing well after being found a new home. Thompson was disqualified from keeping animals for life, fined £300 and ordered to pay £200 costs after admitting cruelty.

The Ammanford farmer jailed for six months for cruelty to his livestock has had the sentence halved on appeal at the Carmarthen court on 28/2/00. Thomas Winston Jones (56) of Willoway Farm, Llandyfan will now only have to serve three months in prison but his 10-year ban on keeping animals will remain in force on his release. Jones admitted four charges on 9/2/00 at Ammanford magistrates of causing unnecessary suffering to three sheep and one calf. Jones had received a warning at the end of an earlier court hearing when he was fined heavily for 11 offences of cruelty.

On 4/4/00 slaughterhouse manager Tom Stanfield Williamson (56) of Countess Drive, Newcastle, pleaded not guilty to permitting the transportation of an animal with an injured leg. Tynedale magistrates will try the case on 31/5/00.

A livestock haulier has been fined for breaking animal welfare guidelines by transporting a lamb with a broken leg. Robert Proudlock (55) of Craig Cottage, Ovingham, Northumberland, was fined £150 and ordered to pay £150 costs after admitting transporting an injured animal and causing unnecessary suffering. Tynedale magistrates heard on 5/4/00 that Proudlock carried the injured lamb from a farm at Colwell, near Hexham, to a slaughterhouse in Felling, Gateshead.

A farmer who took an injured lamb to a slaughterhouse has admitted causing unnecessary suffering to an animal in transit, two counts of animal cruelty and failing to keep proper veterinary records. Matthew Thomas Findlay from Liddle Hall, Colwell, Northumberland, was fined £250 and ordered to pay £100 costs on 19/4/00. The charges related to a lamb he took from his farm near Hexham to a slaughterhouse in Gateshead although it had a broken leg.

On 12/5/00 farmer David Samerson (57) from West Yorkshire was found guilty on 10 charges by Calderdale magistrates of either failing to adequately care for his animals or of causing unnecessary suffering to them. Samerson admitted a further six charges, two of failing to adequately report deaths of his cattle and four that he had failed to properly dispose of carcasses. The animals that were found were badly nourished, and kept in pens entirely covered in slurry with no bedding or any dry place to rest also found was badly decomposed cattle and pigs which had been dead for a number of weeks and animals which had mummified. The hearing was adjourned for pre-sentence reports.


Domestic

A couple said they deeply regretted relying on over-the-counter products to treat their flea-ridden dog instead of going to the vet magistrates heard on 9/9/99. Janet Ann Lowe and David Williams Lowe (47) of Knoyle Street, Treboeth were both given a 12-month conditional discharge after admitting causing unnecessary suffering to their dog. The couple was also ordered to pay a total of £350 costs.

A dog owner has been jailed for three months after the bodies of two starved Staffordshire bull terriers were found dumped in an oil tin in a north Hull garden. A third animal, also severely under-nourished, was living in an excrement-strewn metal crate in the kitchen. On 10/9/99 Michael Glindell (34) of 10th Avenue, North Hull Estate, pleaded guilty to three charges of causing unnecessary suffering to the animals. Hull magistrates jailed him for three months for one of the offences, banned him for life from keeping dogs and removed the surviving animal. Glindell used to breed and show dogs.

On 29/9/99 Nicola Jane Thomas (27) of Portmead Avenue, Blaenymaes appeared at Swansea magistrates charged with causing unnecessary suffering to two dogs. A vet's report revealed one of the dogs was extremely emaciated, his claws were overgrown, causing him a great deal of pain, and he was covered in sores caused by lying on hard ground surrounded by urine. Magistrates banned Thomas from keeping a pet for 10 years and imposed a 12-month conditional discharge. She was also ordered to pay £251 in court costs.

A wealthy company director shot dead his neighbour's cat after it mutilated one of his swans, a court heard on 27/10/99. David Kerr (49) of Chiddingstone Hoath, Kent killed a four-year-old ginger tom, after he found one of his black cygnets dead and the cat stalking five other swans in the grounds of his mansion. Tunbridge Wells magistrates were told the cats owner searched for the cat and put up notices reporting him missing. Three day's later, one of his posters was returned with the word "dead" scrawled on it. Kerr pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to a cat and was fined £350 with £600 costs.

Stephen James King (47) of Alder Walk, Normanton is charged with causing unnecessary suffering or failing to provide proper care and attention for the animal in a case brought by the RSPCA. Bold Street magistrates adjourned the case until 8/11/99 because King's solicitor was unavailable to attend.

On 13/12/99 Jeremy Philip English (45) from Bomere Heath, Shrewsbury, who was a senior RAF officer, was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay costs of £500 by magistrates after pleading guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to his dog. Magistrates heard how English left his Irish Wolfhound in a car in 'oven like' conditions for six hours. Sadly, the dog died the day after the incident.

A couple that left their pet dog to hobble around on a smashed leg have been fined £300 by Newcastle magistrates on 28/12/99. Derek and Susan McNichol from Studdon Walk, Kenton Bar, Newcastle both admitted the charge of cruelty and were placed on conditional discharge for a year.

Nicky Travis (34) of Fairview Way, Wymouth was jailed for two months and banned him from keeping animals for seven years after admitting killing his girlfriends pet kitten. On 7/1/00 Dorchester magistrates were told how Travis threw the kitten to the floor the stabbed it eight times.

Niary Perkins (39) of Tomlin Road, Northfields, narrowly avoided being sent to prison after being convicted in her absence of causing unnecessary suffering to her cat. Leicester magistrates heard on 13/1/00 the cat was found with an abscess on its face. Perkins confirmed the cat had not been to a vet for more than three years and had received no veterinary treatment for the abscess. Perkins was disqualified from keeping animals for 10 years. She was also ordered to pay costs of £883.88.

Marjorie Neale who is the wife of a Norfolk vet was convicted of causing unnecessary suffering to nine dogs at her husbands practice. She had been living in the veterinary surgery with 23 dogs and 31 cats. After a three-day trial at Fakenham magistrates' court on 14/1/00 she was found guilty and was ordered to pay £8,300 costs and banned for life from having custody of more than two dogs at any time. Her husband David Neale had earlier pleaded guilty to the same charges. He was given a conditional discharge and ordered to pay £800 costs. The court heard how the dogs were discovered living in excrement at the practice in Swaffham, Norfolk with skin conditions, overgrown claws and worm infestations. She refused to allow Mr Neale to treat animals anywhere other than the reception area, resulting in animals being kept in cramped, unsuitable conditions. All the dogs were taken into RSPCA care.

A former club bouncer who kicked a tiny dog until it couldn't walk has been found guilty of animal cruelty. Simon Hopper (30) of Beweshill Crescent, Winlaton, Gateshead repeatedly kicked the small crossbred terrier while he was out walking his two Staffordshire Pit Bull Terriers. Hopper was fined £200 and ordered to pay £103 towards vets' bills as compensation by Newcastle magistrates on 14/1/00. The court, which heard how, the terrier lost the use of his back legs after the assault. Hopper admitted kicking the dog but claimed it was only by accident and it was in an attempt to break up a dogfight. The terrier received a broken pelvis during the attack but has now regained the use of his back legs.

Two dogs had been so badly starved their flesh was barely covering their bones, Lincoln magistrates were told on 17/1/00 "On examination it was quite clear they were suffering ill-health and thin and emaciated," The dogs also had a chronic skin condition and one was suffering from a pancreatic disorder and should have received medical care. Andrew Scottings (32) of Moorland Close, off Tritton Road, Lincoln, admitted two charges of causing unnecessary suffering to animals and was given a 12-month conditional discharge, fined £250 costs and banned from keeping animals for five years. Both the dogs are to be re-homed.

A woman, who abandoned four dogs, resulting in one eating another to survive, was jailed for four months on 20/1/00. Georgina Addis (28) of Walsall, West Midlands, was also banned for life from keeping animals after leaving the dogs in a house infested with rats. RSPCA officers told Walsall magistrates they had found the remains of one of the dogs and another sadly died shortly afterwards. Addis had earlier admitted failing to provide necessary care for the dogs and abandoning them.

Newcastle magistrates heard on 21/1/00 how a starving pet dog was saved from death by RSPCA officers who found the German Shepherd on its last legs. Thomas Hurst (47) of Pendower Way, Benwell, Newcastle, admitted causing unnecessary cruelty to an animal and was fined £150. RSPCA inspectors found the dog's pelvic ribs showing through its skin, it was severely underweight and was suffering from skin and eye conditions. Magistrates also banned Hurst from owning an animal for life.

A couple who locked their pet dog in a caravan for six hours during a heat wave were fined £500 each on 24/1/00 when they appeared Dover magistrates. The English bulldog died from a heart attack caused by the stress of being confined in the caravan. Graham Woodrow (45) and his GP wife Janice (43) of Stanley, Wakefield, North Yorkshire both pleaded guilty to causing their dog unnecessary suffering. Magistrates also ordered them to pay court costs of £1,500 and RSPCA vets' fees of £161 between them.

Mary Heads (60) and George Heads (63) both of Simpson Street, Cullercoats pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to their dog when they appeared before North Tyneside magistrates on 4/2/00. The dog was covered in fleas and bleeding scabs and had lost a lot of hair because of a skin problem. Two flea-ridden cats were also found at the property. The couple were ordered to pay £500 to cover the cost of keeping the dog in kennels and vets' fees. They were given an absolute discharge and allowed to keep their pet cats as magistrates only banned them from keeping dogs for life.

A farmer and his sister have been convicted of animal cruelty after their cats became infected with feline Aids. Arthur Little (64) and Alice Little (66) from Staward Villa Farm, at Catton, near Allendale allowed two small kittens to suffer for nearly a fortnight without proper treatment after the virus took hold. One of the eight-week-old kittens was so badly infected that its eye came out of its socket. Both kittens were so ill they had to be put down by the RSPCA and 11 other cats found were also put down to prevent the virus spreading to animals in the surrounding area. They were both banned on 4/2/00 from keeping cats and dogs after admitting two charges of cruelty to animals. Magistrates at Tynedale Court, Hexham also ordered the pair to pay a £250 fine and £310 costs each.

June Leo and her twin daughters Erica and Joanna both (23) from Crynant, Neath, were told on 10/2/00 that they could not look after chelonia, which includes turtles, tortoises and terrapins, for 18 months. The three were also given a conditional discharge for 18 months and ordered to pay £250 each towards RSPCA costs and £100 towards legal and vet costs. Haverfordwest magistrates also ordered that their remaining chelonia should be taken away from them. The sentencing followed an early hearing where the women were found guilty on four counts each of causing unnecessary cruelty to animals. They pleaded not guilty to a total of 72 charges and each was cleared of 20 offences. They intend to appeal.

Northumbria Police sold a police dog to Roy Pearson's Countryside Kennels in Goole, Humberside for £250. Pearson, who used to export consignments of dogs to Nigeria as guard dogs, was previously fined for a series of cruelty offences, along with a Nigerian airline, over the conditions dogs were left in when they were crated up and dispatched. Fines totalling nearly £3,000 were imposed on a Nigerian airline and the dog exporter by Godstone magistrates. Pearson was fined £50 for failing to put labels on crates indicating they contained livestock, £50 for neglecting to label crates advising they be kept in an upright position and £250 for crating a Doberman in an unacceptable crate. He was also ordered to pay £25 costs. The London-based cargo haulage company was fined £300 for failing to label crates indicating they contained livestock; £300 for not labelling a crate to indicate it should be kept in an upright position; £1,700 for failing to feed and water 17 German shepherd dogs in a reasonable period of time, and £200 for not feeding and watering a Doberman at suitable intervals. The company was ordered to pay £121 costs. In 1983 Pearson had been given a 12-month conditional discharge for putting two dogs in one crate in overcrowded conditions.

A former care assistant who abandoned 10 family pets for a month was jailed for three months and banned from keeping animals for 25 years by Manchester magistrates on 11/2/00. Colette Dyson (41) of Cromwell Road, Levenshulme, Manchester admitted eight charges of causing unnecessary suffering to animals in her care. Magistrates heard how the three puppies that were found were flea ridden and very thin died two weeks after being rescued. Dyson was also convicted of cruelty to a dog in October 1991.

Martin Cranmer (53) of Sherwood Road, Tunbridge Wells was fined £200 and banned from keeping animals for life after being found guilty of neglecting two dogs after Tunbridge Wells magistrates refused to accept his two not guilty pleas. Cranmer was accused of neglecting a male greyhound and a female lurcher, which were found at his home by the RSPCA in "filthy" conditions without adequate food or water. On 14/2/00 magistrates were told one of the greyhounds was very thin with all its ribs, spine and pelvis very prominent it was also suffering from dental disease, fleas and a painful skin condition causing fur loss and weeping scabs across the body. The second dog, a female lurcher, was also grossly underweight, suffering from fleas and had a worm infection.

A man who ended a vicious attack on a four-month-old kitten by drop kicking it across a kitchen, leaving it brain damaged, has been jailed for three months on 18/2/00. Luis Miguel Oliviera (23) of Kinson, Dorset, was jailed after Bournemouth magistrates heard of the prolonged attack on the kitten. He was also banned from keeping any animal for the next eight years.

A former vet's nurse has been jailed and banned from keeping animals after neglecting her own cats. Jane Sutcliffe (29) of Castle View, Aidercar, near Heanor kept her pets were caged in her back garden. Sutcliffe was jailed for a month and banned from keeping animals for 20 years. But on 22/2/00 Ilkeston magistrates allowed her to keep black Labrador Kelly. Sutcliffe had been found guilty in her absence of causing unnecessary suffering to the cats by failing to provide necessary care and attention.

Stanley Jackson (48) of Berner Street, Middlesbrough, Teesside, was jailed for a month on 23/2/00 after he was "too embarrassed" to get his dog medical treatment and dumped her to die. The electrician bundled his sick pet into a holdall and abandoned her next to a public waste tip, Middlesbrough magistrates were told. Jackson had neglected 17-year-old black and white collie bitch over a period of months. Her condition became so bad she could hardly walk and was in constant pain with at least four open sores on her body. At an earlier hearing Jackson admitted two charges of abandonment and causing unnecessary suffering to an animal. The dog has since made a full recovery and has been re-homed.

A vicious animal killer who left carnage and devastation in his wake has been sent to jail. Paul Warner (18) from Littlewood Avenue, Bury was sent to jail on 1/3/00 for three months for using a broom handle, an air rile and a pitch fork to attack ducks and poultry on a Bury allotment. Warner also admitted to intimidating a 15-year-old girl who was a prosecution witness.

A care assistant left his pet dog to starve Bishop Auckland magistrates were told on 6/3/00. The collie cross-breed lived on a few boxes of breakfast cereal and water lapped from the toilet bowl after Paul Lindus (41) left it to fend for itself for more than two months. The dog's plight was only discovered when a worker arrived to turn off the electricity at the County Durham house. RSPCA investigators arrived at the house in Cumberland Street, Darlington, to find the dog starving and surrounded by his own waste. Lindus told the court he had spent a long time away from home after his girlfriend's baby had died. He admitted neglecting the dog and was fined £100, ordered to pay £300 costs and banned from owning an animal for five years.

Tania Sears (32) from Westcliff Park Drive, Westcliff, Southend was sentenced to 100 hours community service after pleading guilty to causing unnecessary cruelty to three five-month-old kittens. On 13/3/00 the court heard how a neighbour found the dead animals dumped in a carrier bag at the back of her flat. Sears was sentenced to 100 hours of community service for the offences and ordered to pay a fine of £30 for failing to surrender to custody. She was also ordered to pay £101.54 for costs to the RSPCA and £55 legal costs. She was disqualified from owning an animal for five years.

On 22/3/00 a postman accused of injuring a Yorkshire terrier by kicking it across a patio has had the charge against him dropped on health grounds. Billy Ace (46) of 1 Alderwood Road, West Cross, Swansea was charged with causing unnecessary suffering to the pet, which was put down after it suffered a fractured skull and brain damage in the incident. The RSPCA told Swansea magistrates it wanted to drop the case because the postman has a heart problem and was not fit to stand trial. The RSPCA said, "It's not a satisfactory outcome because we do believe Mr Ace was guilty; however, we do wish him a speedy recovery." (WHAT!!!) Ace said through his solicitor yesterday that he maintained his actions were reasonable. Ace kicked the three-and-a-half year-old dog as he was delivering mail to its owner's home.

A pair of Crufts judges were banned from keeping animals for two years on 23/3/00 after they subjected 83 dogs to a catalogue of neglect. Sisters Caroline Gatheral (65) and Mary Gatheral (63) both of Sockburn Hall, Neasham, County Durham. The dogs were kept in horrendous conditions, without water and surrounded by their own excrement and urine. Dogs were tied to chairs, some were running free, and others were kept in boxes used as makeshift kennels in about a dozen unlit rooms and outbuildings. Caroline Gatheral was a judge at this year's Crufts show and her sister had originally denied causing unnecessary suffering to 83 dogs, however, they changed their pleas to guilty on all of the charges when they appeared before magistrates in Bishop Auckland, County Durham. Magistrates also ordered the pair to each pay £500 compensation.

On 31/3/00 an Anglican clergyman has been cautioned by police after being accused of kicking a dog in the head. The Rev Graham Waring (62) was given the caution by officers after the owner of the ten-year-old King Charles spaniel complained. The dog was on a footpath next to the home of its owner when the incident happened. Waring, a minister at Corpus Christi Church, in the nearby village of Murrow, refused to comment.

A mother who asked her son to look after her pet dog was shocked to find he had left it for days without food or water, Bishop Auckland magistrates was told on 4/4/00. RSPCA officers found the dog sick and dehydrated at Paul Kelly's house in West Terrace, Billy Row, Crook, County Durham. A neighbour heard the dog crying and saw it inside the house with a couple of unopened cans of dog meat. Kelly (24) who admitted neglecting the dog and causing unnecessary suffering, was banned from keeping an animal for five years and ordered to pay £310 costs.

Animal breeder John Thomas walked free on 5/4/00 after he was convicted of cruelty to his 135 tame rats. Thomas (46) of Treowen, Newtown let the rats loose into the countryside to give them a taste of freedom. But the RSPCA accused him of cruelty after the rodents became so hungry they started eating each other. Magistrates heard Thomas closed down his business breeding rats as food for pet reptiles. Thomas told the court he released the rats from their cages to "let them have their freedom". Thomas denied abandoning the rats and causing unnecessary suffering, however, Welshpool magistrates found him guilty, but gave him a conditional discharge.

A dog owner found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to animals is facing a £28,000 RSPCA costs bill after losing an appeal in a case with important implications. Kathryne Hamilton-Johnson (52) of East Chisenbury, near Pewsey, Wiltshire was originally ordered to pay £260 at the rate of £5 a week. The bill rose to £28,000 when she unsuccessfully appealed to Swindon Crown Court against her sentence. She had been conditionally discharged for two years, banned from keeping domestic animals for five years and ordered to hand over her dogs to the RSPCA. Her lawyers took the issue of costs to the High Court in London on 5/4/00, arguing that the Crown Court had no jurisdiction to impose the increase when magistrates had already refused costs on such a level. But her challenge was rejected. Hamilton-Johnson who will have to meet the bill from the £160,000 sale of her cottage, was refused permission to take the case to the House of Lords.

On 11/4/00 Barbara Hampson (44) of Fir Tree Drive, Newton, Tameside appeared before Tameside magistrates and admitted three charges of causing unnecessary suffering to animals. Magistrates heard how an RSPCA inspector had visited her shop and found three puppies with diarrhoea, three kittens in a cage with dirty and crusty eyes and a rat with babies nesting in a pile of faeces in a glass tank. Hampson is the owner of Monkey Business, a pet shop on Market Street, Hyde but runs the business with her husband Norman and daughter Amanda.

Robert Ralphson (42) from Fowley Common, Culcheth, Warrington admitted four charges of cruelty to Capuchin monkey and a green iguana. The iguana has since had to be put down, but the monkey was rescued from his squalid cage at Pets Corner on Queen Street, Leigh. Officials were called in after discovering that a 15-year-old schoolboy had been left to run the business while Ralphson went on holiday. The court was told that Ralphson was banned from holding a pet shop licence for ten years in December 1999 for separate offences - had only a ''partial knowledge'' of how to treat exotic animals. At Leigh magistrates on 13/4/00 he was given four 270-hour community service orders all to run concurrently and banned from keeping animals apart from his two pet dogs for 10 years.

A Redruth man who hit his wife's cat with a hammer so hard that its body bounced on the ground was sent to prison for three months by Camborne magistrates on 13/4/00. Rupert Ford (32) of Falmouth Road, Redruth, Cornwall pleaded guilty to causing suffering to the family's pet cat but maintained he had only tried to put it out of its misery after it was hit by a van. The court heard that when interviewed, Ford said the cat was in a lot of pain and he wanted to end its suffering and "smacked his head" several times with a boot. But when that did not work he fetched a hammer and "just bashed". Ford was banned for life from keeping animals.

A dog owner, who beat his 12-week-old puppy so brutally that she looked as if she could have been hit by a car, has been banned from owning an animal for 25 years. The Staffordshire Bull cross, was in a "pitiful" condition when she was taken to a animal hospital. Joseph Rizzo (31) a registered drug addict, of Bridgeway Street, Camden Town, was fined £35 on 13/4/00 by magistrates at Highbury Corner and banned from owning an animal for 25 years.

A man described as a "serial neglecter" was jailed for four months and banned from keeping animals for life by Newcastle magistrates on 15/4/00 after leaving his pets to starve. Derek Ridley (37) of Hotspur Street, Newcastle, pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to the two dogs, two mice and two rats. Ridley was still serving a 10-year ban from keeping animals when RSPCA officers found the distressed pets in his flat. Ridley, currently serving a four year sentence for robbery, had previously been banned twice from keeping animals. He was banned for two years in the 1980's and again in 1990 for 10 years.

A woman has been banned from keeping animals for life after she allowed her dog to become so malnourished its ribs and spine were showing. Gloria Lawrence (60) of Broxtowe Drive, Mansfield, had never wormed the dog, never taken it to a vet and never had it vaccinated. The two-year-old black-and-tan male mongrel was found tethered to a wooden kennel by a short, metal chain, Mansfield magistrates heard on 20/4/00. Lawrence pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to an animal. Lawrence was fined £468 and banned from keeping any animal apart from her grandchildrens' fish.

A Cleveland man, who admitted stuffing his dog in a holdall and dumping it beside a motorway, has been sentenced to 30 days in prison and banned for life from keeping any animal. In April this year Teesside magistrates heard how Stanley Jackson (48) from Middlesbrough put his 17-year-old collie cross, into the green plastic holdall and abandoned her below a bridge. The following day a construction worker noticed the holdall and found the dog inside in a very poor state and had several open wounds on her back and sides and could barely stand.

Peter Lovelock (18) of Roath, Cardiff stabbed a dog with a six-inch knife and stamped on it in an unprovoked attack Cardiff magistrates heard on 27/4/00. He was given 12 months probation after pleading guilty to causing the dog unnecessary suffering. The magistrates heard Lovelock attacked the dog because he thought it was his stepfather. He told the RSPCA he was remorseful and blamed the fact he was coming off drugs and solvents. The dog has made a full recovery. Lovelock was ordered to pay £100 costs and the vet's bill of £26.

A man whose neglect of his dog forced it to be put down after being taken from him has been banned from keeping an animal for 10 years. Nicholas Johnson (45) of Hartley Square, Seaton Sluice, was also ordered by Bedlington magistrates on 3/5/00 to pay £400 towards the costs of the RSPCA case brought against him. The court was told an RSPCA inspector found the black Labrador was underweight with its spine and hips visible and its back legs were giving way. A vet who treated the dog said he had never seen so many fleas coming from one dog. The floor turned black as hundreds of fleas fell from the dog during treatment, the court heard. It was eventually decided it would be best to the dog put down.

A 'neighbour from hell' who set a snare which killed his neighbour's cat was sentenced at Yeovil magistrates court 8/5/00. Edward Masters (50) of Camborne Street, Yeovil was found guilty of setting the snare which strangled the pet cat. He was sentenced to 200 hours community service and ordered to pay £1,000 costs to the RSPCA and £450 compensation to his neighbour for costs and distress. The cat was found hanging from a wire snare in a tree also found was pieces of glass pointing upwards from flower beds and nylon line and garden twine in the bushes. Masters denied setting the snare and said he'd used the glass to deter intruders and the nylon line to tie-back bushes. He was found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to a cat.

A dog was starved to death when its owner neglected it for weeks, Teesside magistrates heard on 12/5/00. The dog was kept out in a yard, had even tried to eat wood to keep alive. Karl Wright (21) of Barholme Close, Middlesbrough, pleaded guilty to cruelty. Sentence on Wright was adjourned for reports.

A dog warden has been cleared of causing unnecessary suffering to a Lakeland terrier. Sunderland Council employee Paul Crompton (36) who denied the charge told magistrates on 12/5/00 how he had picked up the injured dog and took it straight to West Hall Kennels, Cleadon, where he expected it to get treatment. Crompton, who was charged because it was claimed he did not seek appropriate help for the dog in his care. Crompton said: "I decided to take the dog to the kennels where it would receive veterinary treatment. It had lacerations to one of its hind legs so severe it could not put the foot down. The court had also heard evidence that the dog had injuries to its chin and was malnourished. Crompton denied that he had kept the dog in his van for between 90 minutes and two hours before taking it to the kennels.

A north-east man was fined £300 on 17/5/00 and banned from owning a dog for two years after a puppy was found dead hanging from a drainpipe. Paul Thores (22) of 37 Grange Gardens, Peterhead, admitted abandoning the 10-week-old puppy - leaving it tied to a drainpipe by its lead causing the animal unnecessary suffering.

Five children will have their pets taken from their Notts home after their mother admitted cruelty to a chinchilla. Teresa Lambert (29) of Patterson Place, Mansfield, was taken to court after the RSPCA discovered the chinchilla in an "appalling state" at her home. It was found with a fractured leg, fur missing from its paws, sores over its body and it was so skinny its ribs were showing. Sadly it had to be put down by a vet. Lambert was ordered not to keep pets at her home for five years after appearing at Mansfield magistrates on 17/5/00. She was ordered to pay a £63 vets' bill and court costs of £67.

Nigel Hibbs (42) has been banned from the village near Hinckley in Leicestershire after admitting he was the poisoner who wreaked havoc among his neighbours' pets. As many as 70 cats disappeared in five years in an area spanning just three roads. Among the victims were 11 cats belonging to Hibb's next door neighbour. When the police raided Hibb's home in Preston Drive they found craft knives, latex gloves, face masks and newspaper cuttings recording the details of the killings. Under his bed was a block of cyanide big enough to kill 1,500 cats. Hibbs had given himself away by boasting to friends that he had "got six cats" by poisoning them with sardines and kippers laced with cyanide. At Hinckley magistrates on 19/5/00 he admitted possessing cyanide with intent to damage property and two charges of attempting to damage a cat. Magistrates adjourned the case for reports on Hibbs, who now lives in Melton Road, Leicester.

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