Marc Ian Young from Ferryhill, Co Durham, and Paul Nigel Brown from Redcar, Teesside

#TheList Marc Ian Young, born 07/02/1980, from 9 Hawthorne Terrace, Ferryhill DL17 9AX and Paul Nigel Brown, born 27/04/1953, of 18 Lorton Road, Redcar TS10 4LY – kept dozens of diseased and injured dogs in appalling conditions on a farm.

Marc Ian Young of Ferryhill, who together with his boss Paul Nigel Brown, was convicted of cruelty to 144 dogs
Marc Ian Young of Ferryhill, who together with his boss Paul Nigel Brown, was convicted of cruelty to 144 dogs

Young and Brown were together convicted of 16 animal cruelty offences after 144  dogs were found mangy and unfed at  Bog Hall Farm, Mordon, near Sedgefield, County Durham.

Prosecutor John Ellwood told the court how an investigation by the RSPCA led to a raid on Brown’s Bog Hall Farm in the spring of 2008.

More than 144 cross-breeds, lurchers and terriers  were found living in cages, animal stables and even in the back of unused vehicles.

Dirt and faeces were compacted on floors, and the animals had what little sustenance they could get when dried food was thrown on top of this.

Seven dogs had infected wounds, 26 had dental problems and 13 dogs were close to death through emaciation.

All the animals had the parasites living in their fur.

Horrifyingly, dead dogs were being burned on a rubbish heap, and inspectors found the charred remains of one animal during a visit.

Brown would also apparently sell the dogs when he could for commercial gain and was seen as the leader of the enterprise, with Young in his pay.

Some 35 of the dogs had to be put down following the discovery.

In all, the case cost the RSPCA approximately £29,000 in veterinary bills, £14,000 in legal fees and an estimated £15,000 to investigate.

Brown pleaded guilty to charges of animal cruelty between February 27 and April 24, 2008.

His offences ranged from failing to provide sufficient food and veterinary care to a “catch-all” charge of failing to provide adequate care, said prosecutor John Ellwood.

Young had denied 11 of the animal welfare charges against him, which included:

  • Failing to give 102 dogs a wholesome diet;
  • Failing to provide necessary care for 144 dogs with flea and lice infestation;
  • Failing to give veterinary care to 26 dogs suffering from severe dental disease;
  • Failing to treat infected wounds on eight dogs;
  • Failing to obtain veterinary treatment for a dog with a fractured leg.

Young told the court he was overwhelmed with the workload and was following the orders of his boss, Paul Nigel Brown, who was the farm’s tenant at the time.

Finding Young guilty on all charges, Judge Simon Hickey said: “Mr Young admitted he knew it was wrong to throw food on the filthy floor of the pens. He knew he was failing to provide adequate care for the animals. He was embarrassed by the finding of excrement and smell of urine.

“This was prolonged neglect over a period of eight weeks. There must have been commercial motivation.

“You have to face up to the consequences of these animals suffering.”

He told Young: “I don’t accept the defence of only doing what you were told to do.”

Speaking after the hearing, RSPCA inspector Lucy Hoehne said: “We are happy with the sentences and happy they won’t be able to keep dogs for a number of years.”


Brown and Young were each sentenced to eight weeks in jail, suspended for 12-months. 

They were both ordered to carry out 100 hours of community service and pay £260 costs.

Brown was banned from keeping dogs for 10 years (expires December 2019). Young was banned from keeping dogs for five years (expired December 2014).

BBC News
Northern Echo

Caerphilly: Joel Joshua White

#TheList Joel Joshua White, born 29/08/1989, of Graig Terrace, Senghenydd, Caerphilly CF83 4HN – tormented a 10-week-old kitten whom he eventually strangled to death.

Kitten killer and sadistic bully Joel Joshua White, who now runs a photography business in Senghenydd, Caerphilly with wife Sinead White.
Kitten killer and sadistic bully Joel Joshua White, who now runs a photography business in Senghenydd, Caerphilly with wife Sinead White.

In November 2008 White strangled a 10-week-old male kitten named Pepsi before putting his tiny body in a plastic bag in the freezer.

Aside from a penchant for animal cruelty White is by all accounts a nasty piece of work who used the much older woman with whom he was living – Pepsi’s owner – for money, food and shelter. There is a suggestion that he physically abused her.

The court heard that White was bisexual and that he enjoyed taunting the woman about his sexual exploits with men.

White had bought the kitten, along with two others, for the woman and it was just a few days later when the cruelty began.

Giving evidence from behind a screen, the woman told how White picked up Pepsi and threw him against a curtain. He then put the kitten into a lampshade “to see if he could do any tricks”. The animal fell down, seriously injured, and started to crawl across the floor. White picked Pepsi up once more and snapped his neck. He then wrapped him up in a pillow case and a plastic bag and put him in the freezer.

Despite the appalling cruelty he had inflicted on the tiny, defenceless animal, White received a pitifully short custodial sentence.

As at August 2018 White runs a photography business with wife Sinead. The latter is standing by her man despite being aware of his history of animal cruelty and psychological abuse.

Sentence: 16 weeks in a young offenders’ institution. Disqualified from owning or keeping an animal for 10 years (expires December 2019).

BBC News

Bournemouth, Dorset: Harry Clay

#TheList Harry Clay, born 22/09/1989, of Darracott Road, Bournemouth BH5 – tormented a hamster and eventually killed her by throwing her against a wall

Harry Clay

Ever heard the saying “pick on someone your own size”? Well it’s a pity that Harry Clay from Bournemouth and one-time student of fishery management at Sparsholt College in Hampshire didn’t take heed. The tiny creature he tortured to death was a dwarf hamster named Smudge.

Clay began by tormenting Smudge, who belonged to another student, throwing her up in the air several times and catching her, before dropping her to the ground from a height of 15 feet. Another student picked up the stricken hamster, but Clay grabbed her back and threw her against a wall, finally killing her.

Finally he picked up the little corpse and dropped it into a dustbin.

After a three-day trial, Clay was found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to a hamster under section 4 of the Animal Welfare Act 2007.

The principal of Sparsholt College said that they viewed “any form of animal cruelty with the utmost seriousness”. They did not, however, expel Clay but instead said they would try to ensure that “he re-learns the vital lessons of care and respect for all animals”.

Let’s hope they got through to him.

Sentencing: 12-month supervision order; 150 hours of community work. Banned from keeping hamsters for a year.

Daily Mail

Walsall, West Midlands: Jacqueline Hurst and Katie Hurst

#TheList Jackie Hurst, born c. 1961, of  103 Southbourne Avenue, Walsall WS2 9TE and Katie Hurst, born c. 1988, of 39 Manor Road, Walsall WS2 9PU – failed to seek immediate treatment for pet dogs infested with worms and suffering skin disease

Walsall dog abusers Jacqueline Hurst and daughter Katie Hurst
Dog abusers Jacqueline and Katie Hurst were banned for life from keeping animals. Photo also shows Stan Bates who was prosecuted separately for cruelty to two dogs named Lady and Bella.

Two of four puppies belonging to Jacqueline and Katie Hurst died as they did not get veterinary care needed and  the pair instead tried to treat the pets themselves. They admitted five offences of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal.

Issues with mange and the eye conditions of the three-month-old rottweilers being looked after at two addresses in Forrester Street, Walsall, were raised after they finally took them for vet treatment.

Once the RSPCA became involved they had concerns about an adult rottweiler dog called Lady, four, and a Staffordshire bull terrier suffering similar ailments. Jacqueline Hurst’s partner Stanley Bates (pictured) was later convicted for neglect of those two dogs.

Mr Nick Sutton, prosecuting for the RSPCA, said: “These animals were suffering from a cocktail of ailments so serious they caused the death of two puppies. These people are not fit to have animals.”

The pair pleaded guilty to the charges.

£250 costs each. Jacqueline Hurst – supervision and curfew order. Katie Hurst – 120 hours of unpaid work plus supervision order. Both were disqualified from keeping animals for life.

Express & Star

Ashford, Kent: Melanie King

#TheList breeder Melanie Jean King, born 10/08/1954, of Station Farm, Station Road, Appledore, Ashford TN26 2DG – kept dozens of dogs in cramped and squalid conditions

Neglected puppy on Melanie King's farm

Melanie King, formerly of Whents Farm in Teynham, near Sittingbourne, was given a suspended prison sentence, ordered to undertake unpaid work and to pay over £1000 in costs to Swale Council after breaching the conditions of her dog-breeding licence.

She was sentenced at Sittingbourne Magistrates’ Court after pleading guilty to 24 offences under Section 1 of the Breeding of Dogs Act 1973.

The court was shown a number of images of 40 dogs on her farm kept in cramped and squalid conditions.

Vets inspecting the premises in December 2008 had raised serious concerns about breeding conditions at the establishment.

It was agreed a new licence would be granted to King for a temporary period. This was to allow her time to deal with hygiene issues raised.

But on three further inspections by council officers and the RSPCA between February and March 2009, numerous breaches of the breeding licence were discovered which led to the prosecution.

Neglected puppy on Melanie King's farm

In sentencing, magistrates told King that had she failed to plead guilty at an early stage, they would have imposed a custodial sentence.

Speaking after sentencing, Swale council’s environmental response manager, Alister Andrews, said: “This conviction is a significant victory not only for us, but also for the animals which were kept at this establishment.”

Sentencing: 140-day suspended prison sentence; 150 hours’ unpaid work; £1,100 costs. Banned for life from breeding dogs, although this was reduced on appeal to just seven years in 2011 (expired).


Cleator Moor, Cumbria: Michelle Porter

#TheList Michelle ‘Shelly’ Porter, born 22/09/1988, of Heather Bank, Cleator Moor CA25 5HW – let one dog starve to death and another fighting for his life

Dog abuser Michelle Porter from Cleator Moor in Cumbria
Mother of two Shelly Porter was jailed after leaving her dogs to starve

Heroin addict Michelle Porter admitted causing unnecessary suffering to Staffordshire bull terriers Zelda and Diesel.

RSPCA officers found the carcass of five-year-old Zelda, when they went to Porter’s home. Zelda’s son, one-year-old Diesel, was emaciated.

Diesel was skeletal when rescued by the RSPCA. Happily he recovered and was rehomed.

It is believed both dogs had been left to starve for three weeks, despite a large bag of open dog food and six tins of dog food being only two metres away from the cages the dogs were kept in.

Peter Sharp, prosecuting for the RSPCA, told the court that Zelda’s hips, ribs and spine were clearly visible when she was found by an RSPCA inspector and the floor was sodden with urine.

Dog abuser Michelle Porter from Cleator Moor in Cumbria

Presiding magistrate David Wilson told Porter the offences were so serious that only custody could be justified.

Diesel recovered and was rehomed.

Sentencing: 120 days in a young offenders institute for each of the four animal cruelty charges, to run concurrently. Banned from keeping animals for life.

Whitehaven News

Yate, South Gloucestershire: Ricky Jefferies

#TheList Ricky Jefferies, born 05/04/1979, previously of Edgeworth in Yate and as of 2020 of Stanshawe Crescent, Yate, Bristol BS37 4EW – kicked a hedgehog repeatedly in the street

Hedgehog abuser Ricky Jefferies

The court heard that Jefferies kicked the hedgehog after discovering his fiancee of seven years was having an affair with his best friend.

Police saw Jefferies run towards the hedgehog and kick her six or seven metres, then kick her again.

Jefferies admitted inflicting unnecessary suffering to a wild animal when he appeared before North Avon magistrates on 02/07/2009. He was fined £140, ordered to pay £55 court costs and £15 towards the Victim Support Fund.

The fate of the hedgehog is not known.

North West Hunt Saboteurs

Update 2020: Jefferies went on to marry the woman whose infidelity caused him to attack a defenceless hedgehog. They have three children together.

Clarkston, East Renfrewshire: Anthony John Docherty

#TheList serial cat killer Anthony John Docherty, born 31/12/1985, of 4 Woodburn Avenue, Glasgow G76 7TZ

Serial cat killer Anthony John Docherty pictured outside court

In January 2009 Docherty tortured, mutilated and killed several cats, which he had stolen from houses in his neighbourhood of Clarkston, East Renfrewshire.

He is known to have killed three cats. All were decapitated, two were scalped, and one had its tail pulled off.

Three cat skulls were also found in his garden.

Dozens of pets had gone missing in the area and many cat owners feared their pets had fallen into evil Docherty’s hands.

Serial cat killer Anthony John Docherty pictured outside court

The court heard psychiatric reports that Docherty’s behaviour could escalate towards humans.

He was banned from owning, keeping or taking charge of animals indefinitely.

In 2010 Docherty had his jaw broken in an apparent revenge attack. He was walking along the road when he was jumped and battered by two strangers — before a well-meaning passing motorist regrettably stopped to help him.

Sentence: jailed for eight months. Indefinite ban on keeping animals

BBC News

Amersham, Buckinghamshire: James Sr, James Jr, Julie, Jodie and Cordelia Gray

#TheList Amersham horse trader James John Gray (05/09/1963), wife Julie Cordelia Gray (24/05/1967) and daughters Jodie June Gray (12/09/1982) and Cordelia Gray (29/05/1988) and James Gray junior (23/01/1993) – left more than 100 horses, ponies and donkeys to starve among the rotting carcasses of other animals

James Gray Sr, Julie Gray, Cordelia Gray, Jodie Gray, court protestors, James Gray Jr
Clockwise from top left: James Gray Sr, Julie Gray, Cordelia Gray, Jodie Gray, court protestors, James Gray Jr

In a case veterinary expert witness described as the worst case of animal cruelty they had ever seen, 31 equines were found dead at Spindle Farm, Chalk Lane, Hyde Heath, Amersham. Some 111 other horses, ponies and donkeys were rescued.

The massive rescue was co-ordinated by Thames Valley Police, Trading Standards and the RSPCA with help from the Horse Trust, the International League for the Protection of Horses (ILPH), Redwings Horse Sanctuary and the Blue Cross

James Gray Senior
James Gray Sr is banned for life from keeping equine animals

Hooves and body parts of horses that had been left to die were scattered around and a grotesque mound made up of bones and skulls was discovered.

The horror scene was uncovered when RSPCA inspectors were called to the farm, where a horse-trading business run by the Gray family was based.

James Gray Junior
James Gray Jr

There were 140 animals at the farm and many were left with little food or dry bedding, were crammed into pens and ankle-deep in their own faeces.

Jodie Gray, aka Jodie Keet, with son Tommy Gray

In total 115 animals, some severely emaciated, had to be rescued and removed from the farm during a huge operation in January 2009.

Cordelia Gray

Robert Seabrook QC told the court how two RSPCA inspectors visiting the farm in January 2008 were confronted with a “grotesque and distressing state of affairs”.

He said a number of horses were discovered in “disgusting pens”, some were tethered individually and others were loose in the paddocks.

The most extraordinary aspect he said was that many horses were next to carcasses in varying states of decomposition and the smell of rotting flesh was “over-powering”.

He added: “A number of animals that were found had plainly been dead for a number of days and as it turns out, some for many months.”

Julie Gray
Julie Gray

The court heard in one pen three severed hooves were found alongside the bodies of two other horses.

James Gray Sr was convicted of nine charges of causing unnecessary suffering to animals and two charges of failing to protect animals from pain, injury, suffering and disease.

His son James Gray Jr was convicted of identical charges although two were later overturned on appeal.

Gray’s wife, Julie, and daughters Cordelia and Jodie were found guilty of the two charges of failing to protect the animals.

No member of the family showed any sign of emotion as the judge passed sentence.

RSPCA inspector Kirsty Hampton described the conditions the horses were kept in as “grotesque”.

Speaking after the sentencing, Hampton said: “The RSPCA is pleased the district judge has recognised the extent of the cruelty, neglect and the suffering endured by the animals in this case.

“We see the disqualifications from keeping horses as an effective measure to prevent animals suffering in future.”

James Gray Sr was sentenced to six months in prison and banned from keeping horses, ponies and donkeys for life. He was also ordered to pay £400,000. Gray was given a further two months after absconding from court. Two of Gray’s convictions were overturned in 2010, but Gray was ordered to pay £600,000 towards the RSPCA’s legal costs and faced financial ruin. A later appeal against what Gray claimed were disproportionate legal costs was rejected.

James Gray Junior was given an 18-month supervision order. He was banned from keeping equines for 10 years with right of appeal after five (ban expired June 2019).

Julie, Jodie and Cordelia Gray were each given 150 hours of community service. They were also banned from keeping equines for 10 years, with the right of appeal after five (bans expired June 2019).

Julie Gray was ordered to pay £750 in costs, and Cordelia Gray and Jodie Gray £500 each.

Horse and Hound

Additional information

Addresses as at late 2019:
James Gray Sr, 78 The Bramblings, Amersham HP6 6FP
Julie Cordelia Gray, 15 Weller Road, Amersham HP6 6LQ
Cordelia Gray, 57 Narcot Road, Chalfont St Giles HP8 4DF
James Gray Jr, Chalk Hill Farm, Chalk Lane, Hyde Heath, Amersham HP6 5SA
Jodie June Gray (also known as Jodie Keet), 14 Middle Meadow, Chalfont St Giles HP8 4QS

Newport, South Wales: Steven Appleton

#TheList Steven Appleton, born 02/12/1985, previously of Trethomas, near Caerphilly, and more recently (2019) of Hood Road, Newport NP19 7GZ – stamped on a rabbit repeatedly until she died.

Steven Appleton
Steven Appleton

The grey rabbit, who belonged to Appleton’s former girlfriend, suffered multiple injuries during the attack including fractures to the skull, jaw, shoulder blade and pelvis and internal bleeding.

A post-mortem showed that she had suffered a painful death. Her body had attempted to heal some of the injuries before she died.

Steven Appleton participating in a body building competition
Body builder, manipulative and predatory animal abuser

A psychiatric assessment of Appleton, who participates in body building competitions, described him as “manipulative and predatory” and noted that he showed no remorse for his actions.

In June 2009 Steven Appleton was sentenced to six months in jail and banned from keeping animals for ten years (expired 2019).

BBC News