#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.
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).