#TheList Clare Elizabeth Frear (aka Clare Taylor), born 15/04/1985, of 8 Juno Street, Nelson BB9 8RH – failed to get treatment for a cat that had been microwaved by her child
In October 2008 Frear pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to the cat, named Cassie. She was initially accused of putting the cat into a microwave oven herself, but later blamed her four-year-old son, Declan Frear.
The cat died in agony six hours later and Frear admitted she hadn’t taken her to the vet for treatment.
RSPCA officers found Cassie’s body in a bin bag outside the house.
Sentencing: three-month curfew; costs of £250. Banned from keeping animals for five years (expired 2013).
#TheList William David Streeter (known as ‘Dave’), born 28/06/1979, of Cloyfin Park, Coleraine BT52 2BL – viciously beat and strung up a one-year-old golden retriever in a terrifying two-day attack
Streeter was convicted in July 2008 of seven counts of animal cruelty and one of making threats to kill. He initially appealed against his six-month prison sentence but later abandoned this.
In October 2006 Streeter left Mac (pictured) hanging by his collar, kicked him with steel toe-capped boots and hit him with a boulder. He threatened to kill his wife two days after the dog’s death.
Mac died after Streeter put a choke chain around his neck and hung him from a rafter in his garage.
The dog suffered severe bruising and swelling to his back and head as well as two broken ribs. There was also evidence of bleeding on his brain and lungs.
Speaking to reporters after Streeter dramatically changed his plea, his ex-wife Alison McMonagle, who received overwhelming support from Rainbow Rehoming Centre as she prepared to face her violent husband in court, said: “I’m absolutely delighted with the result. I always said I would put Mac to rest and I’ve done that today.”
Ms McMonagle told reporters how Streeter had changed after they married. She said: “Dave … did not like anything of his things being ruined. Mac would have dug holes. But he was only a puppy.
Ms McMonagle said the violence was sparked after Streeter accused her of spending too much money.
“He started punching and kicking [the dog] and Mac ran behind a wall. Dave lifted a boulder and threw it at him. Then he put Mac in his kennel and put a hose in and told me ‘The bastard will drown’.
“He took him into the garage and tied him by his choker chain to the roof. He came back into the house and he was laughing at me. He was saying, ‘The fucker’s claws are scraping on the ground’.
“He went upstairs and came back down in his steel toe capped boots and went back out saying, ‘The fucker will feel this here’.
“The next day he went out and hung Mac in the garage again. He kept coming back into the house and giving me reports on what was happening. He came in said, ‘That will help him, I have just put a boot in his head’ and then he came back later and told me Mac was dead.
“I didn’t believe him but when I went out to the garage and saw Mac lying there I knew he had suffered a terrible death. You could see the pain in him.”
During the two-day attack, Ms McMonagle made numerous unsuccessful attempts to help Mac.
She said: “At one stage Dave put Mac in the kennel and told me not to go near him. I was really frightened. He used to tell me he knew how to make a person disappear. He told me all he had to do was mince the body and feed it to pigs.
“Dave is a very, very sick man. That part of my life can now be buried.”
Ms McMonagle asaid she took the difficult decision to speak about her ordeal in an attempt to bring an end to domestic abuse and animal cruelty.
Sentence: Six months in jail. A 10-year ban on keeping animals (expired September 2018).
#TheList Alexander Spence and Sheena Spence (also known as Sheena Percival) of West Bromwich, and more recently Hopes Avenue, Dalmellington, Ayr KA6 7RN – battered a Scottie dog nearly to death before throwing him off a 5th floor balcony
An older case but this unbelievably callous couple NEED to be included in our database. Both are now in their early 70s and, sadly, it would appear that neither has popped their clogs yet.
The Spences were looking after black Scottish terrier Laddie while his elderly owner Nancy Howells was critically ill in hospital.
They told the RSPCA they had lashed out after Laddie bit Mrs Spence on the ankle.
The couple, who were drunk at the time, admitted hitting the dog between two and three times each, causing him to hit a door, before Mrs Spence threw him from the balcony of their flat.
Laddie suffered bruising to the left side of his body, internal bleeding and injuries to internal organs, including a torn liver and kidney damage.
A veterinary surgeon said his injuries were consistent with being beaten rather than a fall and that he was probably “dead or dying” when thrown from the balcony. He estimated that Laddie had undergone a 10-minute ordeal of pain before dying.
Mrs Howells’ daughter told the RSPCA how she received a “curious call” from Mr Spence in which he said: “Hello Pat, the dog has bitten me and Sheena… do you want me to finish him off over the balcony?”
Later, Mrs Spence told Mrs Howells’ son-in-law in a telephone call: “The dog will be OK but that is if he doesn’t come by an accident first.”
When Mrs Howells’ grandson arrived at the couple’s house the following day to collect the dog Sheena Spence handed over the collar and lead, telling him the animal had run away.
Laddie was found by a neighbour who called the council, which then alerted the RSPCA.
Mrs Howells died later the same month and her family said outside court they were never able to tell her what happened to her dog.
Sentence: jailed for 12 weeks and disqualified from keeping animals for life. That sentence was later reduced to 10 weeks suspended for a year and their disqualification order reduced to just 12 months
#TheList Andrea Smiley, born 08/01/1980, of Blackstoun Oval, Paisley PA3 1LR – left her pet German shepherd to starve to death in her abandoned flat.
The desperate dog had locked condensation from a window in a desperate attempt for water.
A post mortem showed Snowy had no traces of food in her stomach and had lost two-thirds of her body weight. She had been shut in a room of the ground-floor flat, amid total squalor with the door tied with string and wool to keep it shut. By the time worried neighbours raised the alarm it was too late and Snowy had already died from starvation.
Before sentence was passed, Smiley’s defence agent made a plea for mitigation. He said two psychiatric reports had been submitted showing that his client was emotionally unstable and experiencing bouts of depression which led her to self-harm.
He also said she was living in fear after being threatened following publicity from earlier hearings.
Sentence: 240 hours of community service. Banned from keeping animals for life.
#TheList Rose Jay, born c. 1949, of Monksfield Farm, Monksfield Lane, Newland, Malvern WR13 5BB – found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to a chestnut mare.
Jay’s pregnant horse, called Sunshine, was found emaciated and being kept, along with others, in a Christmas tree plantation.
A representative from World Horse Welfare (formerly ILPH) visited Jay’s farm in 2006 and saw the mare in poor condition in a field with some hay but no water.
She visited again a few weeks later and found the horses were without grass, hay or water.
On March 15, 2007, the woman discovered the horses had been moved to a Christmas tree plantation.
Nicholas Sutton, prosecuting on behalf of the RSPCA, said: “The mare appeared to have deteriorated.
“There was no hay or grass in the plantation but there was straw.”
A few days later, the woman returned and was shocked to see the mare was emaciated, with protruding spine and ribs.
The RSPCA was contacted and a vet subsequently said the animal, which also had lice and worms, had been suffering for several weeks.
Representing herself, Jay said the mare had since given birth to a healthy foal and had absorbed the weight to put into the foal.
She said she moved the horses to the plantation after an attempted theft and was £30,000 in debt.
She said her other horses were healthy and she intended to appeal against her conviction.
The RSPCA’s chief inspector for Worcestershire, Lee Hopgood, welcomed the sentence imposed on Jay, saying: “I feel it adequately reflects the seriousness of the offence and Mrs Jay’s clear inability to adequately care for horses or take advice.”
Sentencing: 12-week prison sentence suspended for 13 months. Total of £3,150 costs including vets’ bills. Banned from keeping horses and ponies for five years (expired May 2013).
#TheList Sean Dodds, born 01/08/1990, most recently of Queens Drive, Hawick TD9 8EP and Kyle Lawrie, born c. 1989, most recently of Church Lane, Hawick TD9 8DL – for badger baiting
Dodds and Lawrie were told that any civilised human being could only wonder at the “barbaric mindset” of people who saw the “warped activity”of badger baiting as entertainment or sport.
Both pleaded guilty to digging at a badger’s sett, which carries a jail sentence of up to three years.
Dodds admitted on another occasion wilfully killing a badger with a dog – the first conviction of its kind in Scotland – while at the same time Lawrie was digging at the sett.
They watched along with others as Dodds’ pet dog fought with a badger pulled from a sett for up to 20 minutes before the animal died.
The court was told police suspected Dodds was involved in badger-baiting after he posted an image of a dog killing the protected animal on his Bebo profile and later confessed his crimes to officers.
Several homes in the town were searched and a number of dogs, some which had injuries, were seized and handed over to the Scottish SPCA.
It led to six people from Hawick being charged with badger-baiting offences, but only Dodds and Lawrie were convicted.
Sheriff Kevin Drummond commented: “It is plain that there are persons, including these two accused, who have been engaging in badger digging in the Hawick area.
“Any civilised human being listening to the account of dogs being put down the badger setts wearing locator collars to drag badgers by their teeth to the waiting spectators where the badgers were kicked, abused, set upon by dogs and killed over a period, described on one account as lasting up to 15-20 minutes, can only wonder at the barbaric mindset of such people which sees this warped activity as entertainment or sport.
“That Dodds should then consider the activity appropriate to post a photograph on an internet site of a dog grappling with a badger tells us something of Mr Dodds’ state of mind.
“Had it not been for the assistance which Dodds provided to the police and his remorse which I have accepted in this case, I would have dealt with this by imprisonment.”
Lawyers for both youths claimed they had been influenced by others involved in the activity.
After the verdict, Superintendent Mike Flynn of the SSPCA said: “They were given a sentence which is a direct alternative to jail, so that is encouraging.
“It is also pleasing they have been banned from keeping dogs for five years.”
Ian Hutchison, species protection officer with Scottish Badgers, commented: “The sheriff has sent a clear message that this kind of cruelty will not be tolerated.
“A lot of work has gone into getting these convictions and hopefully those who were engaging in this practice will now be dissuaded.”
Inspector John Scott of Lothian and Borders Police, based in Hawick, said: “One of the attractive things about living in the Borders is the countryside, so it is important it is protected from activities like this.
“Quite often these are hidden crimes, so it is a positive result.
“It was not only the cruelty to the badgers, but the dangers they were putting their own pet dogs in as well.”
Sentencing: Dodds was ordered to carry out 200 hours community service as a direct alternative to custody, with Lawrie sentenced to 160 hours. Disqualified from having custody of a dog for a period of five years (expired January 2013).