#TheList David Meehan, born 01/05/1981, of Edith Street, Northampton NN1 5EP – left his dog to starve to death after “suffering a life crisis”
Meehan failed to feed his starving dog, named Kingston, after his marriage broke up.
Police were called to the property after a repossession company found Kingston’s decomposing body at the bottom of the stairs, surrounded by rubbish.
A sheet had been placed over the dog by Meehan, who told the RSPCA he had returned to the house to find he had died. He had left the dog’s dead body in the house for “two to three weeks” before he was found.
A post-mortem concluded Kingston had starved to death over a prolonged period. Experts said the dog was likely to have suffered for between four to six months.
The dog had become so desperate for food that plastic, hair, wool and foam were discovered in his stomach.
Sentencing Meehan, district judge Tim Daber said: “Even for someone with a strong constitution, the photos of this poor dog and the conditions within the house are shocking. The veterinary opinion is the neglect of the dog could have gone on for months. I treat this as a case of chronic, long-term neglect.” The district judge also rejected Meehan’s excuse of suffering a “life crisis”.
Sentence: jailed for 12 weeks and disqualified from keeping animals for life.
#TheList Lorna Vince (aka Lorna Jackson), born 12/03/1954, of Oakmead Road, Beddington, Croydon CR0 3AS – dumped six emaciated huskies at her daughter’s house
Grandmother Lorna Vince had left the dogs without food or exercise, and the champion canines were so thirsty they tried to drink from a bucket of bleach.
Three of the dumped dogs appeared in the video for Spice Girls hit Goodbye and on the album cover for electronic music duo Goldfrapp.
Vince used to race a team of 10 dogs in events organised by the British Siberian Racing Association.
But Vince’s daughter Chantal and estranged husband Arthur, who would deliver food to her house to help feed the dogs, were so horrified by the sight of the dogs they called the RSPCA, who came to collect them the following day.
The six dogs, named Shade, Coda, Magic, Cashmere, Manson and Red, were rehomed.
In court, Vince denied owning the dogs or leaving them with her daughter.
But she was found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal, by failing to provide them with an adequately wholesome and nutritious diet.
RSPCA Inspector Rebecca London said: “When I first saw the six dogs it was completely shocking. Compared to how fit and healthy huskies usually are, these dogs were almost like skeletons.”
“This was a horrible case made worse because the owner was an experienced breeder and knew how to look after the dogs properly, but just did not do so.”
Chantal Vince testified against her mum after the dogs were dumped on her doorstep in December 2011.
Chantal, who lives three doors down from her mum, said she was “flabbergasted” at the state of the dogs.
She said: “I couldn’t recognise who was who. They were in need of urgent medical care and all I could think of was the RSPCA.
“They were ravenous, trying to get anything they could, but one was so lifeless I wasn’t sure she would make it through the night.”
Ms Vince said the family had struggled to come to terms with what had happened.
She said: “I still can’t get my head around it, neither can my dad, it is all we have been talking about, trying to figure out what triggered it. We were buying the dogs food for her, but she never said anything.
“We had no idea, I just wish we had stepped in sooner.”
Sentencing: 12-week custodial sentence, suspended for two years. Ordered to pay £500 in costs. Banned from owning pets for life.
#TheList Craig Lee Andrew Curtis, born 06/10/1984, formerly of Chapel Street, Newmarket and as at December 2019 of Dawes Lane, West Mersea, Colchester, Essex CO5 8HJ – strung up a Staffy puppy named Bruno by his collar and beat him to death with a baseball bat
Curtis strung 6mo Bruno from his weightlifting bench after the pup urinated on the floor.
Curtis apparently ‘went ballistic’ and battered the tiny dog with a bat, then put his lifeless body in his freezer before dumping him later in nearby woodland.
A dog-walker found Bruno’s battered body wrapped in blood-stained sheets inside a black bin bag with blood around his nose and mouth and called the RSPCA.
A post mortem revealed the puppy had suffered fractures to his skull and died after being struck around the head with a blunt instrument.
Shockingly tests also revealed that Bruno was alive for a long period while the attack on him took place.
Inspector Richard Lithgoe, who investigated the case, said: “This was easily the most shocking case of cruelty I have ever seen. This is a horrendously violent man – I was so shocked at how the ferocious and brutal this attack was.
“This poor young dog was victim to a senseless brutality and would have been in an extreme amount of pain. The worst part is he was alive when this attack took place and so would have suffered for a long, lingering, gruesome death.”
Just weeks after attacking Bruno, Curtis stabbed his then partner during a drunken row and was jailed for 32 months in October 2012.
Sentence: jailed for 18 weeks for cruelty and banned from keeping dogs for life.
#TheList junkie and career criminal Christopher Anthony Keogh, born 30/03/1981, of 694 Hyde Road, Gorton, Manchester M18 7EF and with links to Colchester – beat a Jack Russell puppy to death
Keogh, then living in Colchester, launched a prolonged violent attack against the one-year-old dog, known as Bambi, after he claimed she had bitten his child. He choked the dog with her collar, held her above his head and threw her across a courtyard. He then kicked, punched and slammed her against a brick wall before dumping her bloodied body in a bin.
The attack lasted several minutes and was caught on CCTV which police deemed too upsetting to release.
Officers found Bambi’s body wrapped in a towel in a bin outside Keogh’s flat complex. She was taken to a vet, who confirmed she was dead. Keogh was arrested shortly after.
District Judge Andrew Woollard said: ‘I can’t envisage a crime more serious than what you committed.
‘It appears in your fury you took the dog and executed it.
‘I suspect everyone else who hears the facts would find them disgusting. Custody it has to be.’
Judge Woollard refused his solicitor’s requests for Keogh to undergo a psychological report before sentence was passed.
The court heard how Keogh had recently overcome a drug habit and was now taking replacement medicines twice a week to stave off addiction.
He is well known to the court with a history of other offences, although not for animal cruelty.
About 15 animal rights protesters jeered Keogh as he entered the court, held placards that read ‘Justice for Bambi’ and banged on the court house windows as he entered.
Speaking after the decision, Liza Moore, head of Colchester Animal Defenders, said: ‘This is nowhere near a long enough sentence.
‘Barbaric animal killings such as this should be punished in the toughest possible way.
‘You shouldn’t get less for fraud and crimes that are less violent.’
Ms Moore is calling for residents to lobby their MPs to demand tougher sentences for people who abuse animals.
She said: ‘There is no excuse for animal abuse.
‘There is a direct correlation between people who abuse animals and those who go on to hurt human beings.’
Sentence: 150 days in jail. Banned from keeping animals for life.
#TheList David P Nicholls, born 24/06/1957, of 94 Magdalen Road, Blurton, Stoke on Trent ST3 3HU – chained his elderly dog to a shed for up to three weeks, forcing him to drink his own urine to survive; previously abandoned a dog in the park.
Callous David Nicholls tied his 16-year-old pet dog, named Nato, in freezing conditions in February 2012. When he was discovered by RSPCA officers, the Jack Russell was so weak he could barely stand and was covered in weeping sores.
He was forced to drink his own urine and eat his faeces to survive.
Vets were forced to remove the dog’s eye after an easily treatable infection had gone septic, which Nicholls had ignored.
Nicholls admitted causing unnecessary suffering to an animal and had been convicted previously for mistreating another dog.
RSPCA officer Laura Bryant said: ‘Nato would have needed only basic treatment if Nicholls had taken him to the vet but leaving him for so long made his injuries horrific.’
Appallingly, Nicholls was convicted in May 2011 of mistreating another dog, a Staffordshire Terrier, after he bought it in a pub and left it tied to a park bench.
In sentencing him over Nato’s unnecessary suffering, Chairman Doug Hood said: ‘This matter of causing unnecessary cruelty to the dog is a serious case.
‘Anyone would have realised that the dog needed treatment.
‘This is also compounded by your previous discharge for a similar matter.’
Sentencing: 18-month community order; vet cost of £465. 10-year ban on keeping pets (expires October 2022).