Whitehawk, Brighton: Derek Goldsmith

#TheList Derek Goldsmith, born c. 1949, of Kingfisher Court, Albourne Close, Brighton BN2 5FX – neglected his dog so badly her front paws dropped off

Neglected dog Florence - as found and following treatment
Elderly Florence also had infections in her eyes and ears and her teeth were so rotten that they had to be taken out.

Shih-tzu cross Florence was found in an appalling state when RSPCA inspectors visited the home of Derek Goldsmith after receiving a tip-off.

The 14-year-old pet had more than 1.5kg of matted fur and when it was clipped it was discovered she had lost her front paws through lack of circulation.

In addition, her eyes and ears were infected, she was suffering from gastroenteritis and her teeth were so rotten they all had to be removed by the vet.

Goldsmith admitted failing to provide Florence with veterinary care for her severed front paws and failing to get treatment for her severe dental disease.

RSPCA inspector Tony Woodley said: “This was one of the most shocking cases of long-term neglect I have witnessed in my 17 years as an inspector.

“As well as her missing paws she had to have more than 1.5kg of matted, encrusted fur removed.

“I am satisfied that the sentence reflects the severity of this neglect and pleased that a ban on keeping animals has been handed out” he added.

Florence went on to make a remarkable recovery.

Vets worked hard to treat her conditions and students at a local college even created a harness on wheels to help her get around without paws.

She was also rehomed with a new owner.

Sentencing: four-month prison sentence suspended for 18 months; community integration order; costs of £2,301. Banned from keeping animals for five years (expired 2018)

Daily Record

Montrose, Angus: Kevin Hutcheon

#TheList Kevin Hutcheon, born 26/01/1989, of Golden Acre, Montrose DD10 0EX – repeatedly stabbed a dog in the street

Kevin  Hutcheon pictured outside court
Kevin Hutcheon adds animal cruelty to his long list of criminal convictions

Violent career criminal Kevin Hutcheon left the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, named Rocco, “lifeless” after claiming the dog had bitten his foot.

When police arrived at the scene, they found the dog with multiple injuries and covered in blood. Despite his wounds, Rocco survived the attack.

Sergeant James Robertson told the court that he and a colleague found the badly injured dog lying in Victoria Street, Montrose on 9 August 2013.

He said: “When I arrived the dog was heavily covered in blood – it was soaked in blood and lifeless.”

PC Rhiannon McDonald, who also attended the incident, said Hutcheon, who did not own the dog, had said the animal attacked him.

She said: “[Hutcheon] had two small puncture wounds on his foot – he said he had been bitten on the foot and that he had stabbed the dog twice because he had been bitten.

“I had seen the dog a few times before in the street – he was always very happy and friendly and let you pat him.”

A search of Hutcheon’s home later found a blood-soaked knife sitting on a baby’s high chair.

Kevin  Hutcheon pictured outside court

Hutcheon, giving evidence in his own defence, said he “loved animals” – but had been left with no choice but to stab the dog.

He said: “He was trying to take a snap at either my face or my neck. I gave it a kick and the dog went for my foot.

“I love animals. He attacked me and wouldn’t let me go.”

Earlier, a vet told the trial that the dog would have died within an hour if he had not received treatment for a series of wounds, which included a cut to his jugular vein.

A jury convicted Hutcheon of causing a protected animal unnecessary suffering by repeatedly stabbing it with a knife, contrary to the Animal Health and Welfare Act, and being in possession of a knife in Victoria Street following the attack.

He was acquitted of charges of threatening two men and a woman at the property, headbutting the woman and being in possession of a knife.

Sentencing: jailed for 12 months on the animal welfare charge and 21 months on the knife charge. Sentences were concurrent.

BBC News

Newbold Verdon/Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire: Sam, Hazel and Damon Hessin

#TheList Sam Hessin, born 15/11/1973, and daughter Hazel Hessin, born 08/12/1994, both of Cadle Street, Leicester LE9 9PA, plus son Damon Hessin (aka Damon Taylor), born 02/07/1991, now of Belvoir Street, Melton Mowbray LE13 1QA – left eight puppies to starve to death in a room in their home

The vile Hessin family from Leicestershire, who locked puppies in a kitchen and left them to starve to death
The vile Hessin family from Leicestershire, who locked puppies in a room and left them to starve to death

This wicked bunch of reprobates are the Hessin family previously all of Melton Mowbray.

Together they are responsible for the death by starvation of eight Staffordshire bull terrier puppies.

The trio barricaded the helpless dogs inside the kitchen of their family home at Wren Close, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, and over the next few weeks ignored their desperate howls.

Some of the dogs survived longer by eating the others. Neighbours heard the puppies’ cries but did precisely nothing until it was too late.

Sam and Hazel Hessin
Hazel Hessin with mother Sam Hessin

On 1 May 2013 RSPCA officers raided the Hessins’ home after a tip-off from the family’s landlady. Investigators were shocked to find the rotting remains of the dogs, including two puppies’ SKULLS, in the kitchen.

Prosecutors told magistrates: ‘When the inspector walked into the kitchen the smell was rancid and putrid, to her horror she saw the puppies were in advanced stages of decomposition, on a urine stained bed.

‘Dog faeces was several inches thick and everything in the kitchen was in a total state of disarray.

‘The vet estimated the puppies would have been about six months old when they died. The sight and smell of them was shocking and deeply distressing.’

Damon Hessin, who is now known as Damon Taylor
Damon Hessin is now known as Damon Taylor

Despite the horrific outcome of their actions, the sentence passed on the vile family by Leicester Magistrates’ Court in December 2013 was typically lenient.

Damon and Hazel Hessin were both banned from keeping animals for life and given suspended sentences Their mother was given an 18-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, ordered to do 200 hours of unpaid work and told to pay an £80 victim surcharge. She was also banned from keeping animals for life.


Burnley, Lancashire: Tracey Cliffe

#TheList Tracey Cliffe (aka Tracey Chubbs), born 04/11/1982, of Shale Street, Burnley BB12 0PR – left  a family of Rottweilers to starve to death

Dog killer Tracey Cliffe from Burnley

Neglect by Tracey Cliffe left only three survivors from a family of two adult Rottweilers and four puppies.

The tragic scene was discovered by RSPCA inspector Charlotte Booker on a visit to Cliffe’s address on Eldon Street, Bury.

David McCormick, prosecuting, said: “She saw a large amount of rubbish in one corner and there was faeces all over the yard. She saw a dead rottweiler in the yard, all its bones were visible and it was emaciated. Curled up in a ball next to it was a live rottweiler which was emaciated.

“It was depressed and did not react when the officer shouted. Both were lying on a pile of rubbish.”

Adult rottweiler found neglected and starved at the home of Tracey Cliffe from Burnley

When the inspector called police to get inside, they found a kitchen covered in filth and excrement. A dead puppy wrapped in newspaper had been left on the worktop. Three puppies – believed to have been born to the surviving adult who was too weak to feed them – were in a crate lined with damp newspaper on the floor. Cliffe said another puppy had been eaten by the starving male adult.

A vet found that the dead dog, a three-year-old called Kaiser, had died from malnutrition, weighing just 18.6kg – less than half the expected 45kg.

Rottweiler puppy found neglected and starved at the home of Tracey Cliffe from Burnley

The second dog, a bitch called Jez, was also malnourished with ribs, pelvic bones and spine clearly visible through her skin.

The surviving puppies weighed as little as 4kg. One had to be put down by RSPCA officers.

Cliffe was found guilty of four animal neglect offences in her absence.

After just five weeks in RSPCA care Jez put on 10kg. Very happily she and the two surviving pups went to new homes.

Sentencing:  20-week suspended prison sentence. Disqualified from keeping all animals for life. 

Manchester Evening News
News article with details of sentence removed

Dudley, West Midlands: Emma Spooner

#TheList Emma Michelle Spooner, born 14/11/1980, as at March 2019 of Owen Street, Dudley DY2 7HT – left an elderly rottweiler to starve in his own excrement for five years

Animal abuser Emma Michelle Spooner, now of Dudley, West Midlands, and Kane the dog she left to starve
Animal abuser Emma Michelle Spooner, now of Dudley, West Midlands, and Kane the dog she left to starve

Emma Spooner admitted failing to make sure that her 11-year-old dog, named Kane, was provided with a suitable diet and environment.

The grandmother was slammed by a judge for neglecting the elderly animal and exposing her children to the dangerous possibility of being savaged when he became feral.

Spooner kept Kane alive by throwing him scraps in the back yard of her then home in Peel Way, Tividale, near Birmingham.

Animal abuser Emma Michelle Spooner, now of Dudley, West Midlands, and Kane the dog she left to starve
Spooner spent much of her time out in nightclubs, while her dog was abandoned to starve

Summing up at her trial, Judge Graham Wilkinson: ‘You left this dog to fester in the back yard. This poor animal, for five years, lived in a small space, unloved and mostly neglected.

‘He goes feral, because he is not getting love and attention. He is left to lie in his own filth. He’s occasionally thrown food and he wastes away.

‘Had it not been that someone locally alerted the RSPCA, eventually you would have realised you had not seen him for a few days, because he would have wasted away to nothing.

‘He was left to starve slowly and would probably have died a sad, lonely death. All this time, you allowed your children to be at risk.’

At one stage, the judge also halted the proceedings, ordering Spooner to leave the court because she was chewing gum, although he called the case back about 30 minutes later.

The aging dog was forced to sleep in a damp, open shed in the faeces-strewn back garden of Emma Spooner’s then home in Tividale, near Birmingham.

Prosecuting for the RSPCA, Gaynor Sutton said Inspector Steve Morrall had called at Spooner’s home on January 29, 2013, and could see the dog was ‘very lean’. The yard was covered in faeces.

Inspector Morrall threw some food to the starving animal, who quickly gobbled it up.

Speaking to her local newspaper, Spooner said she had tried to get the RSPCA to put him down, but they had wanted £200 to do the job. She was only willing to pay half.

Spooner, whose 14-year-old daughter had a baby son 17 months earlier, said: ‘The dog belonged to my ex-partner.

‘I was under the impression he would look after it and he should have taken it when he left but he didn’t.

‘I was made out in court to be bad but the dog wasn’t kept outside for five years, like they said. He used to come in at night.’

She added: ‘The dog didn’t like women or children and, apart from biting two of the kids, he went for my throat.’

Sentencing: curfew; costs of £1,000. Banned from keeping an animal for five years (expired September 2018).

Express and Star

Dover, Kent: Suzanne and Mark Bunyard

#TheList Suzanne Dorling Bunyard, born 23/02/1971, and husband Mark Bunyard, born 27/03/1960, both of 1 Boston Close, Dover CT16 2BP – kept a dog trapped in a filthy cage for more than five years and left another to wander in foul conditions

Dog abusers Suzanne and Mark Bunyard
Suzanne and Mark Bunyard are banned from keeping animals for life after failing to care for their pet dogs

The Bunyards let an elderly flea-riddled Jack Russell named Spike run loose in their squalid, dilapidated house. Another dog known as Jasper was kept in a filthy cage. When rescued he was emaciated and his legs were covered in sores.

Photo of Jasper in the cage where he was kept by his cruel owners
Jasper had been kept in a cage for more than five years

RSPCA inspector Caroline Doe said: “I am disgusted to think that Jasper, the dog in the cage, had led a life of misery for more than five years.

“There is no excuse for keeping animals like this. They admitted that neither dog had received any veterinary treatment and both had suffered badly from neglect.”

Neglected and abused Jack Russell Jasper after his recovery
Jasper has recovered from his ordeal

Both defendants pleaded guilty to failing to meet the needs of the two Jack Russells.

Sentencing: total of 21 weeks in jail, suspended for 12 months; costs of more than £1,071. Disqualified from keeping animals for life.

Kent Online

Middleton, Manchester: Richard Stewart

#TheList Richard Haye Stewart, born 22/03/1977, of 32 Hollin Lane, Middleton, Manchester M24 5EE – laughed hysterically as he was filmed carrying out a vicious attack on a dog

Council cleaner Richard Stewart attacked American bulldog Peggy with a vacuum attachment after she accidentally soiled the carpet
Council cleaner Richard Stewart attacked American bulldog Peggy with a vacuum attachment after she accidentally soiled the carpet

Laughing thug Richard Stewart used a vacuum cleaner extension pole to deliver 27 sickening blows to the head and body of his three-year-old American bull terrier dog as she yelped in pain.

The horrific incident was filmed on a mobile phone and later handed to the RSPCA.

In court in September 2013 Stewart described the dog, named Peggy, as his ”best friend”.

The video footage shows Peggy cowering in terror near a door at Stewart’s home. He strikes the dog repeatedly whilst swearing and calling her a “dirty bastard”.

Stewart was heard shouting ‘Dirty f* b*, what’s this?’ at the dog before he turned round and laughed at his friend, saying: ‘Is that enough?’ and throwing the attachment on the floor

Abused dog Peggy was mentally scarred by her ordeal

When the RSPCA went to rescue Peggy from her home, she was cowering on the floor and was said to ‘very submissive and very afraid of people’. She went on to recover from her ordeal, however, and was made available for rehoming.

Sentence: six weeks in jail, suspended for 18 months, costs of £2,000. Five-year ban on keeping any animal as a pet (expired September 2018).

Manchester Evening News

Slough, Berkshire: Micky Smith

#TheList gypsy traveller Micky Smith of Sutton Lane, Langley, Slough SL3 – used a catapult to fire a rock at the face of a cocker spaniel he was trying to steal from a garden

Filth: gypsy traveller Micky Smith - known for preying on the defenceless and vulnerable
Filth: gypsy traveller Micky Smith – known for preying on the defenceless and vulnerable

In September 2013 Smith attempted to steal pedigree dogs from a property on the Elvendon Priory Estate, Goring. CCTV captured the thug approaching the doors to the kennel. When one of the dogs started barking, Smith used a catapult to fire a rock at her face. Thankfully the 5-year-old golden cocker spaniel wasn’t badly injured. Not that Smith cared one way or another.

The dog’s owner called the attack “absolutely disgusting”.

He said that Smith – a career criminal with several convictions to his name for burglary and violence – had “got away with it” adding “It doesn’t send out the correct message. He should have been locked up for five years.”

Sentence:  Smith was fined £110 and ordered to pay £100 compensation, a £20 victim surcharge and £85 costs.

Henley Standard

CCTV footage: YouTube

Other crimes:
Slough Observer

Darlington, County Durham: Brandon Coulton, Liam Crang, Marcus Hall, Thomas Richardson, Jack Tenwick and Damen Dodsworth

#TheList Brandon Martin Coulton, Liam Mark Crang, Marcus Adam Hall, Thomas Joshua Richardson, Jack Paul Tenwick and Damen Andrew Dodsworth all of Darlington – for animal fighting, keeping dogs in squalid conditions, leaving facial injuries untreated

Wildlife persecutors randon Coulton, Liam Crang, Marcus Hall, Thomas Richardson, Jack Tenwick and Damon "Damo" Dodsworth all of Darlington
Wildlife persecutors and dog abusers Brandon Coulton, Liam Crang, Marcus Hall, Thomas Richardson, Jack Tenwick and Damon “Damo” Dodsworth all of Darlington

The six-strong gang of wildlife persecutors were caught as part of Operation Merlin which saw 69 police and RSPCA officers carry out dawn raids on homes in the town.

2018 photo of Marcus Hall
2018 photo of Marcus Hall

Brandon Coulton (08/10/1993) of 29 Lanethorpe Crescent, Liam Crang (30/03/1994) of 62 Ingleby Moor Crescent, Marcus Hall (29/05/1993) of 36 Auckland Oval, Thomas Richardson (24/08/1994) of 4 Huxley Grove and Jack Tenwick (16/03/1994) of 49 Brighton Road, pleaded guilty to being present at an animal fight. The sixth, Damen Dodsworth (27/11/1993) of 35 West Moor Road, pleaded guilty to two counts of failing to ensure an animal’s welfare, while Crang and Tenwick each admitted one count. Crang also admitted to setting his dog on a hare in October 2012.

Brandon Coulton outside court
Brandon Coulton
Damon Dodsworth outside court
Damon Dodsworth
Jack Tenwick outside court
Jack Tenwick
Marcus Hall outside court
Marcus Hall
Thomas Richardson outside court
Thomas Richardson

RSPCA footage shows hare coursing and squalid conditions dogs were kept in by a group of Darlington men. The court heard that in March 2011 they had allowed their dogs to chase and kill a fox and posed for a picture with the dead animal afterwards.

Brandon Coulton, Liam Crang, Marcus Hall, Thomas Richardson, Jack Tenwick and Damon "Damo" Dodsworth from Darlington pose with a dead fox
The feral teens pose with a fox brutally killed by dogs

When officers raided the men’s homes they found that lurchers owned by Crang, Dodsworth and Tenwick were living in squalid conditions and bore fresh cuts and old scars.

Liam Crang
Liam Crang

In mitigation the court heard that the men were all teenagers at the time of the offences, and that those who kept their dogs in poor conditions did so through failure to understand the animals’ needs.

Sentence (Sep ’13): 12-month community order of 140 hours unpaid work; £160 in court costs and charges. Crang, Dodsworth and Tenwick were banned from keeping dogs for ten years, while the other three were given a five-year ban. Crang was also fined £200 for a hunting offence.

Northern Echo

Withernsea, East Riding of Yorkshire: Jason Appleby

#TheList Jason Barry Appleby, born 12/07/1975, most recent known address 36 Kirkfield Road, Withernsea HU19 2JZ – caught on camera beating puppy with a piece of wood

Violent thug Jason Appleby subjected Dogue de Bordeaux puppy Bonnie to a terrifying ordeal
Violent thug Jason Appleby subjected Dogue de Bordeaux puppy Bonnie to a terrifying ordeal.

The video filmed by a neighbour shows Appleby hitting and jabbing six-month-old Dogue de Bordeaux Bonnie with the wood several times while she tries to escape. She runs into a child’s playhouse, which Appleby then kicks into the air.

The court heard he gave ‘sarcastic’ answers to RSPCA officers trying to interview him after his arrest, even telling them: “I should have killed [Bonnie] with a hammer.”

Appleby said he was hitting the ground and fence to scare Bonnie after she tore up a dirty nappy in his kitchen.

Violent thug Jason Appleby subjected Dogue de Bordeaux puppy Bonnie to a terrifying ordeal
Jason Appleby told shocked RSPCA officials he wished he’d used a hammer on the dog.

Bonnie escaped with just minor injuries and was fostered and later adopted by Terry Morrill. Speaking at the time Mr Morrill said: “I have never known a dog so nervous in all my life as she was when I first got her. It was heartbreaking to see.

“If anybody came too close to her, or you tried to put a lead on her, she would be trying to get away. She would be petrified. She is so much better now, which is good to see. You couldn’t ask for a better dog, she is lovely.”

Shameless Appleby eventually pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to Bonnie on the day he was due to stand trial.

Sentence: jailed for 4 months, lifetime ban on keeping an animal.