York: Pamela and Joseph Palmer

#The List Pamela Palmer (born ca. 1941) and son Joseph Palmer (born ca. 1981) formerly of Sheriff Hutton Hall, York YO60 – left animals to starve to death and others to suffer in agony with untreated injuries

Convicted animal abusers Pamela and Joseph Palmer from Yorkshire

RSPCA officers found five sheep that had died of starvation, one of which had its head trapped in a wooden frame, a lamb dead down a well, a Hereford bull that had suffered with arthritis for months, and a Hereford cow with a long-term major abscess when they were called to Sheriff Hutton Hall in April 2010

The then owners of the property, Pamela Palmer and her son Joseph, had told neighbours they came from a wealthy Australian family and appeared to be eccentric  animal lovers who shared the house with a menagerie, including a pet lamb in the bedroom and a badger in the basement.

But in reality, the Palmers had neither the financial means nor the will to care for the animals.

RSPCA inspectors who visited the property found a catalogue of appalling animal neglect.

Some animals had been locked in a derelict building at the Grade I listed hall and left to starve.

It appeared someone had attempted to burn a number of cattle carcasses or to bury them in a swimming pool which had been turned into a slurry dump.

Inspectors also found five cats in a filthy room at the mansion, along with horses, dogs, pigs and donkeys that appeared to be running wild.

The condition of animals on the estate was revealed when Mrs Palmer’s bank repossessed the house and property in April 2010.

In July 2011 Mrs Palmer, said at the time to be of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty to three animal cruelty charges at Selby Magistrates Court and her son, then of Rein Road, Wakefield, admitted seven similar offences.

Sentencing:
Both defendants were given 18-week suspended jail sentences. Mrs Palmer was ordered to pay £500 costs. Her son was sentenced to 100 hours’ unpaid work and must pay £1,000 costs. Banned from keeping livestock for life (later appealed unsuccessfully).

Daily Mail
York Press
York Press (appeal outcome)

Morecambe, Lancashire: Rosalind Gregson

#TheList Rosalind Gregson, born circa 1950, originally from Silverdale, Carnforth and as at 2018 living at 1 Laister Court, Bare Lane, Morecambe LA4 6LJ – kept 271 animals in her home in appalling conditions

In an extreme case of animal hoarding Rosalind Gregson, now of Laister Court in Morecambe, kept over 270 animals at her home
In an extreme case of animal hoarding Rosalind Gregson, now of Laister Court in Morecambe, kept over 270 animals at her home

Gregson originally faced 69 cruelty charges after RSPCA officers discovered 246 dogs, 16 birds, five cats, two kittens, a rabbit and a chinchilla when they raided her detached cottage in September 2003.

In an extreme case of animal hoarding Rosalind Gregson, now of Laister Court in Morecambe, kept over 270 animals at her home

She admitted nine charges of causing unnecessary suffering to two Yorkshire terriers, three Shih Tzus, a Bichon Frise, an Old English sheepdog, and two Lhasa Apsos.  Five of them had to be put to sleep to end their suffering.

A district judge at Preston magistrates’ court heard that when the RSPCA team raided Gregson’s £500,000 detached house at Silverdale, near Carnforth, Lancs, they were initially “overwhelmed” by the stench of ammonia and faeces. They found the animals living in virtually unlit, rat-infested rooms with little water and food. Most of the water they did have was contaminated with cat litter.

In an extreme case of animal hoarding Rosalind Gregson, now of Laister Court in Morecambe, kept over 270 animals at her home

District judge Peter Ward was shown an RSPCA video which showed officers viewing the “dismal and depressing conditions”. The camera pans from cage to cage, showing dogs barely able to sit up. One RSPCA officer is heard to say: “How can they live in this? This is appalling.”

Some of the dogs are lifted out of their cages and held up in view of the camera. One, a Maltese terrier, is shown with her fur matted with what appears to be excrement. An officer says: “She’s in a terrible state.”

Another, a Shih-tzu, has matted fur and appears emaciated. Its weakness and reluctance to stand is attributed by a vet to the muscle wasting in its hind legs. The animal was later put down.

An emaciated Yorkshire terrier had a discharge coming from both eyes. Few of its teeth remained, its nails were overgrown and it had a severe skin infection. It, too, had to be put down.

Tim Bergin, prosecuting, said: “It is not the prosecution case that she maliciously caused cruelty to the animals in her home; simply that she allowed her obsession to collect animals to overwhelm her.”

Gregson initially denied 49 counts of failing to provide the animals with necessary care and attention but later changed her plea and admitted nine counts of causing them unreasonable suffering.

In an extreme case of animal hoarding Rosalind Gregson, now of Laister Court in Morecambe, kept over 270 animals at her home

Gregson’s lawyer told the court her client’s obsessive animal collecting began when her son died from a drug overdose 15 years earlier. She said: “This is wholly about a tragic set of circumstances. It’s about sadness, it’s about isolation, it’s about the loss of a child, it’s about despair, it’s about obsession. The list just goes on and on.”

Asked why there were so many animals in the house, Gregson told police: “Because it got out of hand, its just an obsession, I couldn’t stop.”

RSPCA Inspector Sarah Hayland said the scene she found was beyond belief.

“It’s a normal looking property from the outside — and then to be faced with the room full of dogs.

“And we had no idea how many animals were in there, right until the second day when we’d been in all the rooms.

“It’s just the enormity of it, the amount of animals involved is something that I’ve never come across before and hope never to again”.

Sentencing:
Jailed for 3 months – later altered to a three year Community Rehabilitation Order. Disqualified from keeping animals for life – overturned in July 2011.

Telegraph 19/5/2005
BBC News 10/6/2005
The Visitor 22/6/2005
The Visitor 13/7/2011