Birkenhead, Merseyside: Ronald and Lee Guy

#TheList serial animal baiters Ronald Guy, born c. 1950, of 52 Harrowby Road, Birkenhead CH42 7HU and son Lee Guy, born 1971, previously of 58 Harrowby Road – filmed wild animals being torn apart by dogs in arranged fights

Twisted Lee Guy (left) and father Ronald Guy enjoyed watching helpless animals being ripped apart by dogs
Twisted Lee Guy (left) and father Ronald Guy enjoyed watching helpless animals being ripped apart by dogs

Ronald and Lee Guy pleaded guilty to a total of seven charges of causing unnecessary suffering to chickens, rats, pigeons and a fox.

A joint operation between the RSPCA and Merseyside Police discovered DVDs and films of the offences at the defendants’ homes after a search was carried out at a nearby allotment.

The footage showed animal cruelty taking place and both father and son were arrested.

Ronald Guy pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to three chickens by inhumanely slaughtering them.

Lee Guy admitted the inhumane slaughter of chickens, as well as causing 12 wild rats to be attacked by dogs in locations across Birkenhead, and feeding feral pigeons to ferrets.

He also admitted putting a fox in a cage and setting dogs on it until they tore the animal apart and killed it.

The offences – which took place in front of a gathered crowd at two separate Harrowby Road addresses and a Birkenhead allotment between November 1, 2011 and June 6, 2013 – were captured on video.

Referring to the offences committed by Lee Guy, Chris Murphy, prosecuting on behalf of the RSPCA, said: “The charges involve the slaughter of chicken, they involve the causing of wild rats to be attacked by dogs.

“There are three offences relating to the rats and there’s also an offence which the RSPCA says is perhaps the most serious, of causing the animal fight to take place between a fox and three dogs.

“The fox was in a caged box and the three dogs were put in that box and set upon it, tearing it apart and killing it.”

John Ballam, defending, said both Ronald and Lee Guy were deeply “ashamed” of their actions.

He told the court that the prospect of being banned from owning animals would be a considerable punishment for both men but especially for Ronald given his history and success in dog shows.

District Judge Michael Abelson said: “This was shocking, absolutely inhumane behaviour.

“Most people would not be able to comprehend how you could treat animals with such cruelty.”

The pair’s four dogs – one of which has recently given birth to six puppies – were seized and rehomed.

The dogs had evidence of facial scarring likely caused during fights with other animals.

Following sentencing, RSPCA Inspector Anthony Joynes said: “The maximum sentence would be inadequate with regards to the suffering the animals have gone through.

“This sort of offence is barbaric – it is abhorrent cruelty that belongs in the history books.

“There has been a rise in this sort of behaviour in Wirral and the Northwest and if people are going to take the decision to get involved in that sort of cruelty, then they can expect to spend time in prison.”

Lee Guy – 22-week custodial sentence; £300 costs.
Ronald Guy – 12-week custodial sentence; £300 costs.
Both were banned from keeping animals for life.

Wirral Globe

Ashford, Kent: Jerome Starkey

#TheList Jerome Felix Starkey, born 15/09/1992, most recently of Longacre Road, Ashford TN23 5FR – left his dog in such a terrible state he chewed off his own tail and had to be put to sleep

Dog killer Jerome Starkey from Ashford

Jamaican national Starkey was banned from keeping animals for 10 years after his four-year-old brindle Staffordshire bull terrier Gunner was discovered weak from hunger, flea-ridden, lame, covered in blood and with his tail half missing.

RSPCA officers who entered the house in January 2013 rushed Gunner straight to a vet but were advised the kindest option would be to put him down and end his suffering.

Gunner, the dog starved and neglected by his owner
The saddest of endings: Gunner was immediately put to sleep on humane grounds

Inspector Caroline Doe of the animal charity said: “We walked in to find blood all over the floor and the poor dog standing there on three legs as he was completely lame on his rear right leg.

“Gunner was emaciated, covered with fleas and had chewed off most of his tail. It was outright awful – chewed right down to the bone and he must have been in so much pain.

“There were behavioural issues, which may have caused him to do this, but mainly I think he was driven to distraction by the fleas and had just nibbled and nibbled away until half the tail was missing.

“So much suffering had been caused, and the owner admitted it had been going on for quite some time with no veterinary treatment being sought.”

Starkey was found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal and in addition to the ban was made to pay £2,000 costs and do 280 hours of unpaid work.

On May 25 2013 Starkey posted a picture on his Facebook page that appeared to show Gunner in a healthy state.

Sentencing: unpaid work; costs; 10-year ban on keeping animals (expires March 2024).


Barnsley, South Yorkshire: Laura Cunliffe

#TheList Laura Cunliffe (aka Laura Eldred), born 19/12/1990, of Springwood Rd, Hoyland, Barnsley S74 0EP – cooked her pet kitten in the microwave

Kitten killer Laura Cunliffe
Laura Cunliffe

Enraged that the one-year-old cat named Mowgli had apparently killed her goldfish, Laura Cunliffe put the helpless animal into the microwave and set the timer for five minutes. She was said to have ‘come to her senses’ after one minute, when she took Mowgli out, and poured water on him to cool him down. But the animal died in agony around an hour later, his internal organs having been cooked from the inside.

Cunliffe said the animal was ‘proper screeching’ before he died.

In March 2014 Cunliffe was given a lifetime ban on keeping animals, although she can appeal after five years.

Sentence: 14 weeks in jail, lifetime ban on keeping animals.

Daily Mail

Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria: Liam Backhouse

#TheList Liam Backhouse, born 19/06/1990, formerly of Rising Side, Barrow-in-Furness and more recently (2019) of 1 Cloudstock Grove, Little Hulton, Manchester M38 0DU – caught on video throwing and kicking a Staffy puppy and trapping his head in a door

Dog abuser Liam Backhouse from Barrow and his victim Dylan
Liam Backhouse from Barrow, Cumbria, subjected two-month-old puppy Dylan to a brutal attack lasting an hour but is only banned from keeping animals for seven years

The court was shown a video, taken by Liam Backhouse’s neighbour on November 19. 2013, which showed him throwing the puppy around the garden of his home, trapping his head in the back door and repeatedly kicking him.

He then hurled the two-month-old Staffordshire bull terrier against a concrete step with such force that the tiny animal ‘bounced’ off the hard surface.

The neighbour had heard the dog yelping in distress at around 10.35am and began to film the incident before calling the police.

Steve Marsh, prosecuting on behalf of the RSPCA, said: ‘During one incident he called the puppy three or four times to come inside but the dog wouldn’t move.

‘He walked over, picked it up and threw it through the air towards the door.

‘He tempted the puppy inside and then shouted at it for being there.’

Dog abuser Liam Backhouse pictured outside court
Dog abuser Liam Backhouse pictured outside court

Mr Marsh told the court how Backhouse had thrown the puppy at a concrete step with such force the animal was seen to bounce off it. He also poured a bottle of water over the dog, causing the animal to run away.

Following the attack, which lasted almost an hour, the puppy – originally named Titan but later renamed Dudley – was left badly shaken and bruised.

He was rushed to see a vet but fortunately recovered from the incident and was adopted by an RSPCA inspector.

Speaking about the case RSPCA inspector Will Lamping said: ‘The police arrived moments before I did and one of the officers had the puppy, who was shaking wildly, in their arms.

‘The footage is shocking to watch. The puppy tries to get away from Backhouse but he keeps picking him up roughly and throwing him to the ground.

‘At one point he traps the puppy’s head in the back door and repeatedly closes the door on him. The dog keeps crying out, it’s very distressing.’

Karen Templeton, mitigating, said Backhouse suffers from severe depression and ‘hated himself’ for what he had done.

Sentence: jailed for 80 days and banned from keeping animals for just 7 years (expires March 2021).

Daily Mail

Dowlais, Merthyr Tydfil: Kerry Evans

#TheList Kerry Alan William Evans, born 10/11/1988, of 38 Twelfth Avenue, Merthyr Tydfil CF47 9TB – kept and bred dogs for vicious fights

Dog fighter Kerry Evans
Kerry Evans from Merthyr Tydfil trained banned breed dogs to fight in underground leagues where people pay to watch dogs tear other apart, and bet on the outcomes.

Evans was involved in organised dog fighting and kept six pitbull terriers to be used in this barbaric crime.

Following a search of Evans’ home and sheds at Pengarnddu in Merthyr Tydfil, six dogs and items of dog fighting equipment
were found.

Kerry Evans from Merthyr Tydfil trained banned breed dogs to fight in underground leagues where people pay to watch dogs tear other apart, and bet on the outcomes. All six dogs seized from him were destroyed.
All six dogs seized from Kerry Evans were destroyed.

Officers also found syringes and antibiotics allegedly used to treat dogs after fights.

A vet who examined the dogs said they displayed numerous facial and bodily scars and concluded that the dogs had received their wounds from dogs bites, also stating that the injuries would have caused the dogs to suffer if no veterinary treatment had been sought.

Kerry Evans from Merthyr Tydfil trained banned breed dogs to fight in underground leagues where people pay to watch dogs tear other apart, and bet on the outcomes. All six dogs seized from him were destroyed.
RSPCA officers reported that Evans’s dogs were covered in scars and many had lost their ears in brutal scraps

The dogs were ordered to be destroyed by the RSPCA

All six dogs were ordered to be killed by the RSPCA. Officers also seized dog fighting equipment and graphic books showing dogs tearing each other apart.

The court heard that dog fighting existed in a “small fraternity” who met across the country and trained their animals specifically to fight.

Sentence: six-month custodial sentence, suspended for 12 months; 200 hours of unpaid work; £1,000 towards the £50k prosecution costs. Banned from owning dogs for 8 years (expires March 2022).

Daily Mail