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.

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

Teesside Live

Stafford, Staffordshire: Donna Swift

#TheList Donna Lorraine Swift,  born 14/09/1972, formerly of Sash Street and more recently 2 Tennyson Road, Stafford ST17 9ST – let her dog Bobby become so underweight she was close to death

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

Burford/Witney, Oxfordshire: Danny Draper, Ian Draper, Laura Borrow, Katy Davies

#TheList Oxfordshire dog-fighting ring members Danny Ian Draper (02/06/1986), Ian Martin Draper (04/04/1964), Laura Kay Borrow (17/03/1987), Katy May Davies (23/05/1978)

Mugshots of Oxfordshire dog fighting ring members Ian Draper, Danny Draper, Laura Borrow and Katy Davies
Clockwise from top left: Ian Draper, Danny Draper, Laura Borrow and Katy Davies

The despicable activities of gypsies Ian Draper and son Danny Draper were uncovered after Ian Draper’s ex-wife Sharon took a terrier named Bridget to a veterinary practice to be treated. The painfully thin dog had been so desperate for food she had swallowed her own collar. The vet tipped off the RSPCA who investigated.

At Danny Draper’s home inspectors found several bull-terrier dogs in an emaciated condition. One dog was so starved that he had eaten his collar.

Danny Draper is pictured with a dog before a fight
Danny Draper is pictured with a dog before a fight

All of the dogs were scarred and some had broken teeth and injured tails.

Equipment used for training fighting dogs, including a treadmill, was also discovered, along with a video showing two dogs tearing each other apart.

More dogs were found at Ian Draper’s home. He was given a three-month custodial sentence in 2005 for similar offences, and was serving a ten-year ban on keeping animals at the time of the offences.

Dog fighting ring leaders Ian Draper and son Danny Draper pictured outside court

Swindon Crown Court was shown footage of one fight in which the Drapers are heard cheering a dog named Ozzy. It was so horrific Judge Simon Cooper asked for it to be turned off after a minute.

Officials also found a break-stick with several teeth marks on used to wedge into the jaws of fighting dogs to separate them.

The Drapers kept notes of the dogs’ training regimes as they hardened them for bouts lasting up to 40 minutes, on which punters made huge bets.

Starving and injured 'fighting' dogs were kept in squalor at the Drapers' homes in Oxfordshire
Starving and injured ‘fighting’ dogs were kept in squalor at the Drapers’ homes in Oxfordshire

The pair often held practice fights. Their dogs had even featured in a
dog-fighting magazine. The animals were trained to attack wounds or the neck and face, often resulting in lips being ripped off.

Danny Draper pleaded guilty to five charges including possession of items in connection with an animal fight, while his father pleaded guilty to seven charges.

The men's girlfriends Laura Borrow (left) and Katy Davies pictured outside court
The men’s then girlfriends Laura Borrow (left) and Katy Davies pictured outside court

The men’s girlfriends Laura Borrow and Katy Davies were not only aware of their partners’ actions but played a key role in organising dog fights themselves. Davies pleaded guilty to one offence of aiding and abetting Ian Draper. Borrow pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering.

Ian Draper was given a 20-week prison sentence and Danny Draper a 12-week sentence. Ian Draper was also banned from keeping dogs for life after he admitted breaching his previous ban. His son was given a 15-year ban.

Katy Davies was fined £600. Hornsby was ordered to pay £300 in costs and disqualified from keeping dogs.

BBC News
Daily Mail

Update February 2020

Danny Draper has changed his name by deed poll to Danny Smith. He and father Ian Draper, who both live at 1 Walkers Close, Asthall, Burford, OX18 4HN, are directors of a courier company called Cotswold Couriers Ltd. Their website is here.

Dog fighters Ian Draper and Danny Draper

Danny and Ian Draper are no longer with Laura Borrow and Katy Davies and both women have gone on to marry other people and take their husbands’ names. Davies is now Katy Chapman. She lives in Church Lane, Burford OX18 4SD. Laura Borrow was known as Laura Hornsby for a while but is now Laura Saxton. She lives in Moorland Road, Witney OX28 6LT.

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.

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

Stockton-on-Tees, County Durham: Katrina Baker

#TheList Katrina Pearl Baker, born 12/02/1993, of 51 Stranton Street, Stockton-on-Tees TS17 6LN – snapped a puppy’s neck in a fit of rage

Dog killer Katrina Baker from Stockton-on-Tees
Puppy killer Katrina Baker

Heavily pregnant Katrina Baker flew into a rage when the tiny puppy, known as Poppy, urinated indoors.

The court heard how Poppy was on the settee in Baker’s then partner Raymond Warters’ flat when the couple started to row The pup began to urinate “probably because she was frightened” about arguing and shouting.

Dog killer Katrina Baker from Stockton-on-Tees

John Ellwood, prosecuting for the RSPCA, said: “The defendant picked the puppy up and threw her across the room in her words ‘the length of a car’.

“Mr Warters attended to the puppy who was having trouble breathing.

“Mr Warters told the defendant to get out of the house and then phoned his mother. Soon afterwards, Poppy died.”

A vet report showed Poppy suffered a broken neck which would have causes paralysis of the muscles required to breathe.

Poppy, the tiny pup killed by Katrina Baker
The court hear that although Poppy probably died quickly, she would have suffered intense pain while conscious.

Mr Ellwood said: “Death would have occurred relatively quickly due to asphyxiation. However the fracture of the neck would have been intensely painful and the animal would have been conscious while it asphyxiated.”

Puppy killer Katrina Baker

Mr Ellwood continued: “At first, we received reports the dog had hit a wall or the door, but now people are saying Poppy hit the floor. The force required was substantial.

“The vet gave an opinion that it was rare to see an animal with a broken neck that wasn’t involved in a road traffic accident.”

Dog killer Katrina Baker from Stockton-on-Tees

In October 2011 Baker was barred from keeping animals for five years. On learning of Baker’s act of animal cruelty, social services intervened and her access to her child was restricted.

Sentencing: 18-month supervision order; £200 costs. Five-year ban on keeping animals (expired 2016).

Northern Echo
Daily Mail

Ashgill, South Lanarkshire: Derek Clark

#TheList dog-fighter Derek Clark, born 29/04/1980, most recent known address Woodside Cottage, Ashgill, Larkhall ML9 3BW – kept horribly maimed fighting dogs in secret kennels

Dog fighter Derek Clark

Self-styled ‘hardman’ Derek Clark was exposed during a long-running Scottish SPCA probe into dog-fighting rings across Scotland. In August 2010 the charity discovered three badly injured pitbull terriers being kept in squalid conditions in secret kennels at Clark’s isolated cottage. A fourth one was seized in February 2011. One of the dogs had lost a leg.

Clark pleaded guilty to possessing three banned pitbulls and failing to provide sufficient care for his animals. His not guilty plea to the dog-fighting charge was accepted by the court after his lawyer, Diarmid Bruce, struck a deal.

Bruce told the court: “It is not accepted that he was involved in fighting dogs.

“There were a number of dogs examined and some were considered to be fine.

“He had them for seven years and they were his pets and guard dogs.”

The court fined Clark just £450 and failed to disqualify him from keeping animals.

Speaking after sentencing, Mike Flynn for the Scottish SPCA said: “We’re very disappointed that Clark has not been banned from keeping animals.

“It is not only illegal to keep pit bulls but also extremely irresponsible.”

Daily Record

UPDATE December 2012

Derek Clark was jailed for 15 years for the attempted murder of a 76-year-old grandmother, Mary Coulter.

Clark was armed with a large knife when he and two equally thuggish sidekicks banged on Mrs Coulter’s door looking for her son, Ronnie. The OAP left her bed and went downstairs, where she saw the trio looking into her house.Mrs Coulter pleaded that she was “just an old woman on her own”, but the men, who wore balaclavas, burst in.

The trio then went through the rooms looking for Ronnie Coulter. The pensioner was then subjected to a brutal assault during which she suffered two broken arms, a fractured skull and deep slash wounds. Clark and his accomplices left the OAP for dead but Mrs Coulter managed to call for help. Whilst Mrs Coulter recovered from her physical injuries, she was so traumatised by the attack that she had to give up her home to move in with her daughter.

One positive outcome is that this piece of human crap is now serving a long prison sentence and we can be certain his dog-fighting activities have been brought to an end for now.