Greenock/Skelmorlie: Gordon Devenish and John Cathcart

#TheList Gordon Devenish, born c. 1966, of 48 West Blackhall Street, Greenock PA15 1UY (confirmed 2019) and John ‘Johnny’ Cathcart, born c. 1969, of Golf Course Road, Skelmorlie PA17 5BH – kicked a hedgehog to death

Johnny Cathcart (left) of Skelmorlie and Gordon Devenish of Greenock used a defenceless hedgehog as a football
Johnny Cathcart (left) and Gordon Devenish used a defenceless hedgehog as a football

Self-employed joiner John Cathcart and his colleague Gordon Devenish kicked a hedgehog to death by using it as a football during a stag weekend. The pair admitted kicking the animal back and forth until it died as a result of its injuries.

Sheriff Robert McCreadie described it as an offensive act of wanton cruelty committed by two grown men.

“You should both be ashamed of yourselves. You are being publicly shamed in the dock today,” he said.

Sheriff McCreadie added: “I have noted that you have paid a sum of money to the SSPCA, possibly in an attempt to salve your conscience.”

Fiscal depute Stuart Richardson told the court that a number of police officers were in the area when they saw Devenish kicking the hedgehog across the road and Cathcart kicking it after him.

“Police then approached both to find out what they were doing,” Mr Richardson said. “The hedgehog was killed.”

Devenish claimed he saw an object lying in the street and decided to use it as a football.

He realised it was a hedgehog but decided to boot it several feet in the air anyway.

Solicitor Mark Alder, defending, said: “Both parties were drinking a large amount of alcohol on the day in question.

“They were out at a friend’s stag party.

“Both now accept responsibility for their actions.”

In his letter pleading guilty to the court, Cathcart said: “I deeply regret what I have done. As an animal lover I feel great remorse.

“I was intoxicated at the time of this offence, although I know this is no excuse for such a stupid and barbaric act.”

Sentencing: Devenish was fined £400 and Cathcart £360.

BBC News

Tenby, Pembrokeshire: Rio Hall

#TheList serial pet abuser Rio Daryle Hall, born 29/07/1987, formerly of Milford Haven, and more recently  of Heywood Court, Tenby, Pembrokeshire SA70 8BP – tortured an eight-week-old kitten to death

Pure evil: serial pet abuser Rio Hall from Tenby, Pembrokeshire, subjected an 8wo kitten to unimaginable torture. He had previously broken a dog's hind legs by kicking him.
Pure evil: serial pet abuser Rio Hall from Tenby, Pembrokeshire, subjected an 8wo kitten to unimaginable torture. He had previously broken a dog’s hind legs by kicking him.

Hall was banned from keeping animals for life after subjecting an eight-week-old kitten named Angel to a sadistic ordeal. He began by wetting her and placing her on a hot radiator, causing her skin to blister.  He then kicked Angel so hard that she fractured her skull. Finally he mutilated the tiny kitten’s ears with scissors.

Hall’s partner and mother of his two children, Caroline Thies, took the stricken cat to the vet who discovered she had fractures to her skull and legs. Angel had to be euthanised to end her appalling suffering.

The vet said the only way the kitten could have received the injuries was by human action, either kicking, stomping or throwing her.

Hall had previously been banned from keeping dogs and cats in 2006, after kicking his dog Benji and breaking his back legs.

Thies, who as at 2018 is still with Hall, received a six-month conditional discharge and was banned from keeping cats or dogs for ten years after pleading guilty to failing to prevent unnecessary suffering to an animal.

As at September 2018 Hall is believed to be living in homeless accommodation in Pembroke. It seems his dopey wife has finally seen the light and chucked the evil get out.

Jailed for six months. For his earlier attack on Benji, Hall  had been given a 10-year ban on keeping animals. Following his conviction for cruelty towards Angel the ban was extended to life.   

Milford Mercury

Wishaw, North Lanarkshire: Daniel Devlin

#TheList Daniel Devlin, born 07/03/1966, of 33 Greenhead Road, Wishaw ML2 8DJ – stole ex-girlfriend’s dog, poured petrol over him and burned him alive

Dog killer Daniel Devlin from Wishaw
2018 photo of Daniel Devlin

Deciding he wanted rid of his girlfriend’s cross terrier dog Sam, Devlin stole him, drove to a deserted wood and tied him to a tree with a piece of rope. He then poured petrol over the dog and set him alight.

Sam was found the next day, barely alive and in agony, by a couple out walking

The tiny dog suffered 70% burns to his body and had to be put to sleep.

Dog killer Daniel Devlin from Wishaw
Evil dog killer Daniel Devlin pictured in December 2017

The court heard how Devlin had callously told a friend “I’ve tortured it, that’s it done”.

The presiding judge noted that Devlin showed no remorse for his actions. It came out later that he had also threatened a witness who was giving evidence at this trial.

Sentence: jailed for seven months. Banned from keeping animals for life.

Daily Record

Middlesbrough, North Yorkshire: Lee Howard

#TheList animal hoarder Lee Howard, born 12/08/1966, of 66 Shinwell Crescent, Middlesbrough TS6 6LJ – let nearly 30 animals die of thirst and starvation at a County Durham stables

Lee Howard was charged after the RSPCA discovered animal remains at Bank Top Stables in Trimdon, County Durham, in May 2005.

Magistrates heard that 13 horses and ponies, 11 hens, four dogs, and a rabbit died of dehydration and starvation over a period of several weeks after being locked up at the stables. Three dogs survived by eating the remains of the dead animals.

In March 2006 Howard was sentenced to six months in jail and banned from keeping animals for the rest of his life.

Just a few months later Howard was back in court after it was discovered he was keeping 11 dogs and 16 birds at a house in Delarden Road, Pallister Park, Middlesbrough.

The animals were kept in squalid conditions, with the dogs running around in piles of faeces and pools of urine. Six of them had problems with their paws and one had an ear infection.

Howard was given a further six-month jail term for breaching his ban.

Sentencing: two custodial terms and a lifetime ban on keeping animals.

BBC News

Blackburn, Lancashire: Nasar Khan

#TheList Nasar Khan, born 13/03/1982, of 12 July Street, Blackburn BB1 1SR – turned a terraced house into a training centre for vicious fighting dogs

Dog fighter Nasar Khan from Blackburn, Lancashire

Khan pleaded guilty to eight charges of owning fighting dogs and one of allowing one of the dogs to be in a public place without a muzzle or lead.

Police found the nine illegal, unlicensed pit bull terriers chained up around a terraced property in July Street, Blackburn, after one escaped and began roaming the street.

The house, which was owned by Khan’s family, had been transformed into a pitbull training centre complete with a treadmill.

Isla Chilton, prosecuting, said: “Inside the house was a violent scene and there was blood splattered everywhere.

“There was no furniture and no lighting. It was just full of caged and chained dogs with a treadmill.

“There was a range of muscle-building tablets and powder found there.

“It is clear that these dogs had been trained to fight, a number of these dogs had relatively fresh scars on them. They are clearly not pets.

“The treadmill had a clip for the dogs’ collars which forced them to run, keeping them as fit as possible for fighting.

“These were not normal pit bulls. They were very aggressive and very dangerous.”

After police discovered the animals, which are banned under the 1991 Dangerous Dogs Act, a dog warden was called and they were taken to a kennel, Ms Chilton said.

The court heard the dogs were so vicious that after they were seized one of them escaped from his cage in the back of the dog warden’s van and mauled another so badly he had to be put down. All nine dogs were later euthanised.

Aftab Bakhat, defending, said his client was not training the dogs for fighting, but was “fascinated” by them and wanted them to grow big and muscular. He added that Khan was an “extremely stupid man” and did not realise that what he was doing was illegal.

Dog fighter Nasar Khan from Blackburn, Lancashire

District Judge Peter Ward said: “It is clear that these dogs were being trained to bite and the potential danger to the public was significant.”

Judge Ward continued: “He may have been naive but it seems to me that these are dogs that have been prepared for fighting and have been involved in some fighting.”

The cost of kenneling the dogs reached over £15,000. This was met by the taxpayer after unemployed Khan was jailed.

After the case, RSPCA spokesman Sophie Corless said: “Sadly large numbers of pitbull types are still being kept for the wrong reasons – seen as macho status symbols for the purpose of organised dog fighting.

“Either way the dog’s welfare is unnecessarily put at great risk by their owners. It is a brutal crime.”

Sentencing: four months in jail. No ban.

Lancashire Telegraph
Wildlife Guardian

Walworth, London: Ricardo Byfield and Lisa Harvey

#TheList Ricardo Byfield, born c. 1980, and wife Lisa Elizabeth Harvey, born 24/02/1973, previously of Whitton Avenue West, Northolt, Ealing, but as of 2020 of St Johns House, Lytham Street, Walworth, London SE17 2PW – illegally bred pit bull terriers to use in organised dog fights.

Pictured outside court: Lisa Harvey and Ricardo Byfield, who kept a pack of  scarred fighting dogs at their one-bedroom council property in Northolt, Ealing
Lisa Harvey and Ricardo Byfield kept a pack of scarred fighting dogs at their one-bedroom council property in Northolt, Ealing

Career criminal Ricardo Byfield and wife Lisa Harvey were prosecuted under the Dangerous Dog Act 1991 and the Protection of Animals Act 1911.

Following a tip-off by neighbours, police raided the couple’s house in August 2006 to rescue 26 dogs. Most were pit bulls but three Dogues de Bordeaux, a rottweiler and a Staffordshire bull terrier were also found.

The animals were found locked in cages around the one-bedroomed council home, which doubled as a dog-training gym.

The dogs were found covered in scars from vicious dog-fights and some were marked on documents as “Champion” or “Grand Champion” – meaning they had won several fights.

Police mugshot of dog fighter Ricardo Byfield
Police mugshot of dog fighter Ricardo Byfield

Puppies aged between two weeks and four months old were also rescued in the raid.

A makeshift treadmill which officers believe was used to exercise the dogs and build up their powerful shoulder muscles was also recovered.

Dog fighter Lisa Harvey

Byfield admitted 19 counts of possession and breeding of dangerous dogs and Harvey admitted one charge of possession and breeding of dangerous dogs.

Chairman of the bench Jeffrey Bonn said it was clear both Byfield and Harvey had been actively involved in dog fighting and breeding dogs over a substantial period of time.

“We owe the public the right to be protected from the possibility of these animals escaping and causing harm, which we are in no doubt was a very real possibility,” he said.

An order to destroy 19 pit bull dogs, made by prosecutor Noel Watkins, was unopposed by their owners and upheld by the court.

Sentencing: six months in jail. Lifetime ban on owning or keeping dogs. Byfield was ordered to pay £500 and Harvey to pay £250.

BBC News
Ealing Times

Bridgnorth, Shropshire/Teignmouth, Devon: Matthew Corfield and Alex Lister

#TheList Matthew Alex Corfield, born 05/11/1988, of Garden Village, Highley, Bridgnorth, Shropshire WV16 6HN and Alex John Lister, born 22/09/1989, of Bickford Lane, Teignmouth TA14 8QT – attacked a horse with a meat cleaver, leaving her so badly injured she had to be put down.

Recent (2019) photos of horse killers Matthew Corfield (left) and Alex Lister
Recent (2019) photos of horse killers Matthew Corfield (left) and Alex Lister

On Friday 13th April 2007, a 19-year-old piebald mare, known as Maggie, was attacked at Essington Hall Farm, Essington, South Staffordshire, by drunken youths Matthew Corfield and Alex Lister then of Wednesfield, Wolverhampton. A third youth – Anthony Ronald Hinsley, born 07/09/1988, of Fryer Close, Wolverhampton WV11 3JD, was also initially charged, but the case against him was later dropped.

Anthony Ronald Hinsley
Charges against Anthony Ronald Hinsley were dropped

The trio, who had been drinking in local woods with two other youths, went into Maggie’s field and startled her. As she fled, Corfield and Lister proceeded to chase her with the former repeatedly hurling a meat cleaver at her.

The court heard Corfield laughed as he inspected the 12-inch by five-inch blade for blood.

Victim Maggie with her owner
Victim Maggie with her owner

Maggie was found the following day lying in a pool of blood. She had suffered a five-inch-deep cut to her neck, a three-and-a-half-inch cut on her shoulder and her right leg was broken. The tendon of one of her rear legs was severed by a blow that cut to the bone. Her injuries were so severe that she had to be put to sleep on humane grounds.

Corfield, Lister and Hinsley were arrested after locals raised £1,500 for information leading to the conviction of those responsible.

Remorseless Matthew Corfield and accomplice Alex Lister (inset) pictured outside court in 2007
Remorseless Matthew Corfield and accomplice Alex Lister (inset) pictured outside court in 2007

Paul Jenkins, defending Corfield, said he did not accept he was “solely or exclusively” to blame.

Jenkins said it was not a premeditated attack and that Corfield had taken the cleaver with him to chop wood to make a fire for the five friends who were camping in Black Cat Wood.

Ian Hodnett, for Lister, said he had tried but failed to film Corfield and another friend chasing the horse on his mobile phone.

He said Lister’s only other involvement was to chase Maggie around the paddock.

Horse killer Matthew Corfield

Corfield and Lister both admitted causing unnecessary suffering to Maggie. Corfield was given five months in a young offenders institution but was released after just eight weeks. His father, Peter Corfield, told a local newspaper that he believed his son “had definitely paid his debt to society”. He added that his son had been rehired by his employer, a building company.

Corfield – five months in a young offenders institution. Ordered do 180 hours of community work.

Lister – 12-month community order and 180 hours’ community service.

Horse and Hound
BBC News

Seaham, County Durham: David Smith

#TheList David ‘Dave’ Smith, born c. 1949, of Adam and Eve Cottage, Northdene Avenue, Seaham SR7 7BH – killed thousands of ex-racing greyhounds with a bolt gun and buried them at his home

Dave Smith from Seaham is said to have killed thousands of former racing greyhounds with a bolt gun
Dave Smith from Seaham is said to have killed thousands of former racing greyhounds with a bolt gun. Despite this, he was never charged with animal cruelty.

The prosecution of Dave Smith was brought by the Environment Agency after police ruled that the ‘Seaham Slaughterer’ as he came to be known would not face criminal charges in relation to the destruction of the dogs.

Dave Smith from Seaham is said to have killed thousands of former racing greyhounds with a bolt gun. Photo shows Smith leading two greyhounds to their deaths.
Smith was photographed by a reporter leading two greyhounds to the kill zone. The dogs were later identified as two-year-olds Clash Nitro and Rent a Flyer, bred and raised in Ireland before being sold off.

It had been claimed that Smith had shot about 10,000 dogs, but magistrates were told the figure was nowhere near that. It was conceded that he had put down two dogs a week for two years at a cost of £10 a time.

Dave Smith from Seaham is said to have killed thousands of former racing greyhounds with a bolt gun. This photo shows Smith returning with the bodies of the same two dogs in a wheelbarrow
The shocking footage shows Smith returning moments later with the bodies of the same two dogs in a wheelbarrow

While Smith was questioned by police, it was confirmed the bolt gun used to kill the retired greyhounds was held legitimately.

There are unconfirmed reports that Smith also disposed of dogs for the police and local authority.

Enquiries by the RSPCA concluded that there was no indication animal cruelty laws had been broken.

A spokeswoman for the charity said if used properly a bolt gun was a humane method of killing dogs and there had been no evidence that Smith had killed the greyhounds inhumanely.

Following a six-month investigation, the Environment Agency prosecuted him under legislation used to restrict the dumping of waste.

Dave Smith from Seaham is said to have killed thousands of former racing greyhounds with a bolt gun

Smith admitted a single charge under the Pollution Prevention and Control (England and Wales) Regulations that, on 12 July 2006 he disposed of waste – the bodies of deceased dogs – on land without a permit.

Greyhound protection group Greyhound Action (now defunct) held a protest outside the court and said it was disgraceful that the dog racing industry itself was not in the dock.

Sentencing: £2,000 fine for environmental breaches

BBC News

2019 update:
Dave Smith still runs a building supplies business Dave Smith Builders Merchants & DIY based in Lord Street, Seaham SR7 7JH. At the time of his prosecution, many local people came forward to support Smith, claiming that he was only meeting a demand from the greyhound industry.

In June 2019 a documentary on animal cruelty within the greyhound industry by Irish TV channel RTE entitled RTÉ Investigates: Greyhounds Running for Their Lives highlighted the Smith case and made the shocking discovery that many Irish knackeries, including Larry Earle Ltd of Camolin, Co Wexford, and John Styles & Son Ltd, will willingly provide a similar service today.

Peterlee, Co Durham: Maxine and Paul Askew

#TheList Maxine Askew, born c. 1971, and husband Paul Askew, born c. 1976, formerly of Briardale Way, Easington, County Durham, and as at March 2019 believed to be living at Dixon Rise, Horden, Peterlee SR8 4HX – failed to seek veterinary help for their emaciated, lice-ridden pony

Maxine Askew and her husband Paul failed to seek veterinary help for their lice-ridden pony
Vile Maxine and Paul Askew from Peterlee allowed their pony to become riddled with lice and failed to address his poor bodily condition.

Maxine and Paul Askew admitted causing unnecessary suffering to the male bay pony whom the RSPCA had discovered in a distressed condition at an allotment in Hackworth Road, Blackpool.

The yearling was examined by a vet and was found to be very thin. He was covered in live lice and eggs and had sustained large areas of hair loss.

The pony weighed only 101kg, but by August 2006, after being in the care of the RSPCA, he more than doubled his body weight to 233kg.

Paul and Maxine Askew from Peterlee
The Askews were banned from keeping horses for ten years.

When interviewed, Paul Askew said he had only had the colt for four to five months and he had been in the best of health “until it got these fleas”, which he said he treated with powder.

When questioned, Maxine Askew said her husband had been treating the fleas and she described the pony as a “fussy eater”.

Sentencing: total fines and costs of £875 each. Disqualified from keeping horses for ten years (expired January 2017).

Northern Echo