Saltburn-by-the-Sea, North Yorkshire: Paul Atkinson

#TheList Paul Atkinson, born c. 1968, of Westray Street, Carlin How, Saltburn-by-the-Sea TS13 43L – threw dog from jetty in freezing waters of the North Sea

Paul Atkinson of Saltburn-by-the-Sea threw dog Jess into the frozen waters of the North Sea

A nearby fisherman was “astonished” when he saw Paul Atkinson throw terrier Jess 20ft from the jetty into the sea in Skinningrove.

An RNLI lifeboat had to be called to rescue the dog and Atkinson after he jumped in to try to rescue her.

Atkinson admitted a charge of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal.

The court heard that he went to Skinningrove with some friends on September 30, 2011.

Prior to arriving at the area he said he had drunk two Newcastle Brown Ales and, while at the jetty, had a can of lager.

Helen Cox, prosecuting, said: “Mr Atkinson was seen by a fisherman on the jetty.

“He approached him and he said he saw Mr Atkinson pick up his own dog and throw it into the sea 20ft into water below.

“He was astonished and ran straight over.”

Mrs Cox said Atkinson then jumped in to retrieve Jess and placed her on a ledge, called a “H frame”, below the jetty.

She added: “The dog was popped on to the H frame and Mr Atkinson then climbed up.

“But the fisherman told him to go back and retrieve her because the tide was coming in. He did this and found himself in difficulty.”

Atkinson and Jess waited on the ledge for a lifeboat to rescue them.

Police were called to the scene and Atkinson was arrested.

Mrs Cox said: “The dog was in a state and was terrified. The fisherman said she was cowering.”

In court Atkinson disputed parts of the evidence, claiming that he dropped Jess from a height of 7ft into the water.

In his mitigation Atkinson said that he and four-year-old Jess wanted to go for a swim as it was a hot day.

The court heard that, after putting her in the water, Mr Atkinson thought she was swimming out too far so went to help her.

He said he got out but said a fisherman was then swearing at him and telling him to get her out of the water.

Atkinson said he got back in and the RNLI was called.

The court was told that Jess was “Mr Atkinson’s life”. He had rescued her when she was just a few weeks old and he had previously rescued other dogs.

Craig Beer, mitigating, said: “He accepts that the dog was placed from the jetty into the sea and that probably should not have occurred.

“He did see that the dog was getting into difficulty so, having been in with it and getting back out, he then went back in and stayed with it while it was on the lower part of the jetty.”

Jess has remained living with Atkinson.

Sentencing:
12-month community order with nine months’ supervision requirement. He was also ordered to pay £85 costs.

Teesside Live

Stafford, West Midlands: Donna Swift

#TheList Donna Swift,  born ca. 1973, formerly of Sash Street and more recently Tennyson Road, Stafford ST17 9ST – let her dog Bobby become so underweight she was close to death and to suffer painful skin condition

Convicted dog abuser Donna Swift from Stafford

Swift was feeding black cross-breed Bobby so little that RSPCA inspectors said the dog had been forced to use her reserves of body fat in order to survive.

Harrowing pictures taken when Bobby was seized by the animal charity showed the dog’s ribs were visible through her fur.  She was also suffering from a bad skin condition.

Single mother-of two Swift claimed she could not afford to take Bobby to the vet and did not need to because “she has never been ill”.

The court heard Swift had owned Bobby since she was a puppy nine years earlier.

After an RSPCA inspector visited Swift’s home and referred the dog to a vet, they rated Bobby’s condition at a lowly 0.5 out of 10.

A vet who examined Bobby said she was close to dying had she not been rescued. The dog was signed over to the RSPCA and in just a few weeks she had made a “marked” improvement.

Swift admitted two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal.

Sentencing: 100 hours of community work; contribution to £750 costs; banned from owning any animal for five years (expired October 2016).

Express  & Star

Taunton, Somerset: Rachel Mortimore

#TheList Crufts medal winner Rachel Mortimore, born 30/07/1954, of  Foxdown House, Taunton TA3 7DY – kept 300 animals including dogs, horses, cats, chickens, ferrets and rabbits in squalor.

Former Crufts champion Rachel Mortimore from Taunton kept 300 animals in squalor
Former Crufts champion Rachel Mortimore from Taunton kept 300 animals in squalor. Her lifetime ban on keeping animals was later reduced to just 18 years but she can appeal after 9 years.

Rachel Mortimore admitted two charges of causing unnecessary suffering to animals at a hearing in July 2011.

They related to a cat and a dog which were among 300 animals found in squalid conditions at Culmhead’s Foxdown Dog Training Centre in November 2010.

The dog – a Toller retriever – was found with a hole in the side of his face due to an infected abscess in his mouth that had been left untreated.

The cat had an ulcer on her eye that would have “popped” the eye if left untreated.

RSPCA inspectors described the conditions at Mortimore’s dog training centre as ‘filthy, horrible and unbelievable’.

Recorder Michael Parroy QC said that it was clear that Mortimore had far too many animals on the premises to be able to give them proper care.

Mortimore also works as a dog breeder, selling Toller puppies for £750, and has the largest breeding kennels in the country for the breed.

Sentencing:
140 hours of community service; £1,000 in costs. Banned from keeping animals for life but this was later reduced to 18 years on appeal..  Mortimore is allowed to apply to have the ban lifted in nine years from date of conviction, i.e. around July 2020.

Daily Mail
BBC News