Bodmin, Cornwall: David Harley

Dog killer David Harley from Cornwall
Dog killer David Harley from Cornwall

The court did not accept Harley’s claims that the dog’s  extensive injuries and death had resulted from “heavy-handed” CPR.

Harley said that he had left the dog, named Dotty, alone in his flat for some time and that when he returned she had emptied a doorless kitchen cupboard of its contents. He said that he found her unconscious a few moments later at which stage he attempted to give her CPR.

Harley claimed that Dotty must have eaten something poisonous from the cupboard but the results of the post-mortem were not consistent with this version of events.  The vet determined, rather, that the dog’s injuries, which included two broken ribs, punctured lungs and damage to her head, neck, chest and abdomen, were likely to have been caused by blunt trauma.   Respiratory distress from the punctured lung would have caused her death.

A neighbour of self-employed carpenter Harley described in court that he heard banging so forceful that the ceiling shook and felt that Harley was mistreating Dotty.  He heard the dog whining and whimpering followed by Harley repeatedly shouting: “oh God, what have I done?”

Sentence: Harley was sentenced to eight weeks in prison, suspended for two years, with 300 hours’ community work.  He was also ordered to pay £1,500 towards costs and banned from keeping dogs for life.

Sources: all original newslinks removed

Stafford, Staffordshire: Nicholas Lainton

#TheList Nicholas P Lainton, born c. 1970, of Poplar Way, Stafford ST17 9LJ – drowned an elderly dog in a bucket of water

Nick Lainton
Nick Lainton

Nicholas Lainton was given a custodial sentence for causing unnecessary suffering to a dog.

The court hear that Lainton was staying with his partner Christine Fitzhugh [actually still together as of July 2020] during New Year’s Eve.

Mr Price said Miss Fitzhugh had gone to bed leaving Lainton downstairs and woke the next morning wondering why her 21-year-old collie Lucy was not in the hallway as normal.

Miss Fitzhugh went upstairs to ask Lainton, who was still in bed, where Lucy was.

Mr Price said Lainton responded by saying: “I do not know how to tell you this, but I drowned her in a bucket of water.”

The court then heard that Lainton had later buried Lucy in the garden after wrapping the dead dog in a blanket.

Miss Fitzhugh was said to be “upset, angry and speechless”, and the police and RSPCA were called after she reported the death to a third person.

When the police arrived they found a bucket, filled with approximately three inches of water, sitting next to a “large amount” of dog hair.

Mr Price said that Miss Fitzhugh acknowledged Lucy was old, but she also believed her to be “happy”.

Ian Hodnett, defending, told the court that Lainton was “trying to put the poor dog out her misery.”

Mr Hodnett said 21 years of age is a “tremendous age” for a dog, adding that Lainton drowned the dog after seeing she was in a poor condition, often breathless and falling over.

He added: “He chose a decision which he admits he shouldn’t have done.”

Mr Hodnett told the court that Miss Fitzhugh made a statement to the police, the following day.

She admitted to officers that she was considering having Lucy put down in “a few weeks.”

Sentence: 16-week jail sentence; 10-year ban on keeping animals (expires August 2021).

Express and Star

Thurcaston Park, Leicester: Chris Wilson

#TheList Chris Roger Wilson, born 12/08/1990, previously of Bloxwich, Walsall and more recently (2020) of 3 Taverners Road, Thurcaston Park, Leicester LE4 2HZ – subjected a sweet-natured dog to a brutal hour-long attack; dog very sadly put to sleep

Evil dog killer Christopher Wilson

Seven-year-old Staffy Molly suffered a fractured leg, bruising, bleeding muscles and a number of haemorrhages during the attack.

She was discovered by her owner, Moira Harris, close to death and lying in a “pool of blood”.

It was estimated she had been beaten for an hour.

Ms Harris said she discovered her pet with a swollen head, “fixated” eyes, a “floppy and loose” back leg and blood under the surface of her skin. She took Molly to the vets and she was put down.

Experts said the “blunt trauma injuries” would have been caused by the dog being struck or run over.

Wilson initially denied hurting the animal, saying a shelf had fallen onto her, and she had hit her head on a toilet.

Wilson later admitted two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to the animal and two of failing to ensure her welfare.

Sentence (August 2011): jailed for 23 weeks and banned from keeping animals for life.

Express & Star

Stourbridge / Walsall, West Midlands: Sophie Bird and Samantha Browning

#TheList Sophie Bird, born 23/04/1993, of Norton Road, Stourbridge DY8 2TA ,  and Samantha Browning, born  20/02/1990, of Farmbridge Close, Walsall WS2 0AJ –  drowned four cats one by one in a bath while high on drink and drugs

West Midlands cat killers Sophie Bird and Samantha Browning

The court heard how Browning went to Bird’s former home in Tipton after a party and suggested killing the animals.

RSPCA prosecutor Nick Sutton said that Bird “filled the bath with water while Browning drowned the cats one after the other.”

He continued: “After the third one, the fourth was more difficult for Browning, who expressed reluctance, but Bird said ‘well, you’ve done the first three you might as well do this one’. Bird denies this, but it doesn’t matter – it’s the same systematic killing of cats.”

He added: “It’s a terrible death – there’s no excuse for this.

“They were young cats, they were intelligent creatures, not kittens with their eyes barely open.The other cats would have been abundantly aware of what was happening. They were waiting to be killed.

“It’s hard to imagine a more systematic and callous act.”

Two of the cats’ bodies were later recovered having been stuffed into a plastic bag and flung over a fence. The bodies of the other two cats have not been found.

West Midlands cat killers Sophie Bird and Samantha Browning
Cat killer Samantha Browning, who now lives with her wife and her wife’s daughter in Walsall

Samantha Browning was told the crime would stay with her for “many, many years”.

And she was right as we’ve managed to track down her and her partner in sickening animal cruelty. Both are now married (not to each other), both appear to have responsibility for young children, and both are around dogs (potentially a blatant breach of the court ban). It appears that the twisted pals have lost touch with each other.

Bird, now known as Sophie Gormley-Bird, works and lives in the Greyhound pub in Stourbridge. It appears that she has recently separated from her wife with whom she shares a daughter. Bird appears to have custody of the child. Her mother, who also works and lives at the pub, has a dog.

West Midlands cat killers Sophie Bird and Samantha Browning
Sophie Bird

Browning, who has cunningly changed her surname on Facebook to Brunin, got married in March 2015 . Her wife has a young daughter.

Sentence: 18-week prison sentence, suspended for 24 months, unpaid work and costs; banned from owning animals for ten years (expires August 2021).

Daily Mail

Ferryhill, Co Durham: Kieran Wynn, Andrew John Painter and Kevin Varty

#TheList Kevin Stuart Varty, born 20/04/1968, of 113 Brocket Close, Newton Aycliffe DL5 7NL, Andrew John Painter, born 30/08/1978, of 18 Westerton View, Coundon, Bishop Auckland DL14 8QS, and Kieran Lee Wynn, born 19/02/1993, of 14 Raby Terrace, Chilton, Ferryhill DL17 0JD – caused gross cruelty and tremendous suffering to a lurcher pup who’d been hit by a car

Kevin Varty, Kieran Wynn and Andrew Painter subjected a sweet lurcher named Maggie May to a horrific ordeal but the plucky little dog survived.
Co Durham’s Kevin Varty, Kieran Wynn and Andrew Painter subjected a sweet lurcher named Maggie May to a horrific ordeal but the plucky little dog survived.

The court heard that Maggie had been run over on a Saturday evening,  just hours after Wynn bought her. Claiming that he couldn’t afford vet treatment Wynn tied chopsticks to the dog’s broken leg with red lace and Sellotape.

Friends Varty and Painter visited Wynn’s home the following day and the wicked trio decided to kill her.

Varty first tried to “choke the dog out” but when she showed signs of life Painter stood on her, and pulled her back legs over her head, breaking her neck.

Painter then stabbed her repeatedly with a potato peeler and took her outside, believing she was dead, only for her to regain consciousness and wander off later that night. She was picked up by a passerby who took her to the RSPCA. During several weeks of treatment Maggie had to have a leg amputated but miraculously recovered and was rehomed.

Wynn pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to Maggie by failing to provide her with veterinary care following a road traffic accident.

Varty and Painter admitted causing unnecessary suffering by subjecting the dog to physical trauma resulting in a fractured neck. Painter also admitted causing unnecessary suffering by repeatedly stabbing her with a potato peeler.


Varty and Painter were both given 18 weeks in custody and lifetime bans from keeping animals. Wynn, of Rydal Road, Ferryhill, was given conditional bail and was due to be sentenced on August 22, 2011. The outcome of that sentence was never reported.

Northern Echo 02/08/2011

*All addresses correct as at September 2018,

In February 2015 Kieran Wynn, now 21 and a heroin addict, barged into a family’s home with a machete and made threats to kill.