#TheList Tracy Michelle Davis, born 03/06/1974, formerly of Beeston in Leeds, but as at April 2020 of 12 Melcombe Walk, Bradford BD4 9HE, and son Andrew Ward, born 07/05/1995 most recently of Hartland Road, Bradford BD4 0DZ – for the severe neglect of a dog found wandering the streets covered in scabs and sores.
Travellers Tracy Davis and Andrew Ward pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering by failing to seek appropriate veterinary care for their dog’s chronic skin condition, and failing to seek and address the causes of her poor bodily condition.
The Saluki-type dog, called Lady, was emaciated and almost completely bald due to a skin condition when she was found by a member of the public in September 2013.
Mr Andrew Davidson, prosecuting for the RSPCA, said: “It is no exaggeration to say she was close to death.”
RSPCA chief inspector Heidi Jenner said: “[Lady] weighed just 11kg when she should have weighed between 20kg and 30kg.
“Her skin was crusty and cracking and covered in sores.
“I hope the sentence will help ensure other animals do not suffer in their care in future.”
Lady made a full recovery and was rehomed
Sentencing: Davis – 12-month community order, £250 costs. Ward – 12-month community order, 120 hours of unpaid work, £250 costs. Both were banned from keeping dogs for 15 years (expires April 2029).
#TheList Shivaun Dorothea Best, aka Shivaun Turner, born 17/08/1979, of Greystone Park, Limavady BT49 0EG – for starving springer spaniel to death
An animal welfare officer called to Best’s property in December 2012 to investigate a complaint about a dead dog at the premises. The complainant stated that the pet had been left out in the cold without food or water.
On arrival the officer discovered a dead springer spaniel in a kennel to the rear of the property.
Officers noted that a blue bin had been tipped over and its contents were lying around the yard. Inside the kennel, bottles and cardboard were lying beside the dead animal.
The dog was found with his spine and ribs protruding through his skin. A post mortem was subsequently carried out on the animal, revealing that he had died from starvation.
A prosecuting solicitor revealed that aluminium foil had been found in the dog’s stomach which indicated that he had been eating the contents of the blue bin.
The court heard that the dog, who had been dead for more than five days when animal welfare officers discovered him, weighed just 6kg; a healthy dog would weigh between 20 and 25kg.
Best alleged that the dog belonged to her daughter and stated that she had no responsibility toward him.
During sentencing, District Judge Liam McNally described the case as ‘absolutely appalling’.
After viewing images of the dead animal, he said it was clear that he had been starved to death.
“You must have been aware of the suffering that dog was undergoing,” he said to Best.
“If you had pleaded not guilty I would have sent you to prison for two months.
“This is as bad a case as I have come across.”
Judge McNally said he believed he could ‘protect any future animals’ by banning Best from keeping or being in charge of any animal for a period of ten years.
Sentence: four months’ imprisonment suspended for three years. Banned from keeping any animal for 10 years(expires April 2024) .
Robb returned to court yet again in July 2014 to face charges relating to the carrying out of sexual offences in the presence of two children.
It was alleged that on July 5, 2013, at an address in Fife, Robb repeatedly uttered remarks of a sexual nature to a girl who had not reached the age of 13.
He was also charged with exposing his genitals in a sexual manner to the same girl by lowering his trousers and exposing himself in her presence.
Furthermore, he intentionally engaged in a sexual activity in the presence of the girl by repeatedly simulating a sex act.
Robb faced a further charge that, on August 7 2013 at an address in Fife, he intentionally engaged in sexual activity in the presence of a boy who was under 13, by exposing himself and performing a sex act.
Robb was granted bail and due to return to court for trial in October 2014; however, the outcome was not reported.
#TheList former trainee solicitor Katy Elizabeth Gammon, born 15/08/1986, currently (September 2019) of Orlebar Gardens, Bristol BS11 0SQ – left a boxer dog to starve to death in an abandoned property.
In April 2014 Gammon admitted deliberately locking a 5-year-old boxer dog named Roxy in the kitchen of her former home to die.
Gammon, who had moved in with her mother at the time, continued going to work while her pet slowly starved to death.
Asked in court if she had deliberately locked the dog in the kitchen and left her to die, Gammon replied: ‘Yes, basically.’
Roxy’s body lay undiscovered for another eight weeks, by which time it was so decomposed an RSPCA inspector had to use a snow shovel to pick it up.
Bristol Magistrates’ Court had previously heard that Gammon had confined the dog by tying a rope to the kitchen door handle and fixing it to a hook in the hall.
Roxy had frantically clawed at the door, leaving fragments on the floor, as she tried to escape before her death, which would have taken around six days.
Gammon lost her position at law firm Lyons Davidson.
Sentence: 18 weeks in prison; banned from owning animals for life
But during a two-day trial at Redditch Magistrates Court he was found guilty of breaching the ban by keeping five rabbits and two greyhounds at his home.
Monkton was also found guilty of failing to explore and address the causes of his greyhound’s dental disease.
The court heard how the animals were discovered after they were rescued by firefighters tackling a house fire at the Sidemoor property in February 2013.
After the rescue the animals were taken to a nearby vets.
The grey and white greyhound, named Gypsy, was examined by the vet who discovered the tartar build up on her teeth was so bad it was 5mm thick in some places.
As well as the custodial sentence, which was suspended for two years, Monkton was also ordered to pay costs of £2,000 and was again disqualified from keeping animals under the Animal Welfare Act of 2006.
Speaking after the case RSPCA inspector Adrian Langley said: ”He failed to get treatment for Gypsy’s teeth and it caused her pain and suffering.
“Sadly all of Gypsy’s teeth had deteriorated so badly due to the thick build-up of tartar they were not salvageable and had to be removed by the vet.
“Thankfully Gypsy has now been rehomed and is thriving with her new family.
“We are pleased with the result at court especially as this man was a repeat offender.
“People who receive a lifetime ban and ignore it do so at their peril.
Sentencing: 12 weeks in jail, suspended for two years. Costs of £2,000. A further lifetime ban on keeping animals.
#TheList Stuart Baker, born c. 1985, of Stopford Street,Ince, Wigan WN2 2AU – kept several dogs and exotic birds in disgusting conditions without food or water
Nightclub bouncer Stuart Baker pleaded guilty jointly with his father, Norman Baker, of causing unnecessary suffering to his pets, which included a litter of nine rottweiler/lab cross puppies, by failing to provide them with a suitable environment to live in.
He also admitted failing in a duty of personal responsibility to ensure animal welfare with the constant supply of fresh drinking water.
An arrest warrant was issued for Norman Baker who failed to turn up at court. The outcome of the case against him is unknown.
Tony Stock, prosecuting for the RSPCA, said that inspectors had been called to the pair’s home in Warrington Road, Higher Ince, to assist police after reports that two dogs had been found roaming the neighbourhood.
When RSPCA inspector Louise Showering got no answer at the Bakers’ home she looked through the front window and was confronted with an appalling scene of neglect.
The entire living room floor, a dog crate and the sofa and chairs were covered in dog faeces and rubbish, and could be smelt from the outside.
Inspector Showering and colleagues had to wear special protective clothing and face masks to protect their own health when they later legally entered the property. In fact, the acrid smell from dog urine was so strong that they were forced to take it in turns alternately checking the rooms, to avoid being overcome by the fumes.
No food or water was available for the animals, only empty bowls.
All downstairs rooms in the house were in a similar disgraceful state, with one containing a bird cage with a dead cockatiel lying in its own faeces.
The two parent dogs were so aggressive that they had to be sedated before they could be removed by the RSPCA,
The three-month-old puppies were found to be worm-infested and were very frightened of human contact because they hadn’t been socialised.
When offered food and water they ate and drank ravenously and it was a vet’s opinion that they hadn’t eaten or drunk for at least 48 hours.
He also told the court that continuous breathing of the contaminated air would cause harm to the animals’ health.
The vet believed that the cockatiel had died within 24 hours of being found and he believed that “sporadic nutrition” would have been a significant factor.
Baker said problems occurred because he had been forced to work away from home and leave his father to look after their pets.
He said: “The problems have come from a series of unfortunate events.
“I was in a relationship with a violent girl who left me trapped in a spiral of debt.”
Although Baker’s male rottweiler/labrador cross dog had to be put down after attacking officials, the RSPCA successfully re-homed the rottweiler bitch and her nine puppies, plus a green parrot.
Sentencing: three-month suspended prison sentence; £2,140 costs. Banned from keeping any animals for life.
Source: Wigan Today (article removed)
=== 2019 update: Baker, who in this photo bears a startling resemblance to serial killer Levi Bellfield is working as a bouncer for Steins Party Keller in Wigan.
When we asked Steins if they knew that their employee was a convicted animal abuser, they replied that we should “get over it.” Nice attitude, eh?
#TheList badger baiters John Frame Murray, born 09/11/1956, of 119 Avon Road, Larkhall ML9 1RA and his son, also named John Murray, born 06/01/1980, of 18 Earn Gardens, Larkhall ML9 1QG
Father and son John “Mint” Murray and John Murray junior were found guilty of digging into and damaging a badger sett with the intention of using dogs to take or kill badgers following a trial in March 2014.
Investigators recovered two Patterdale terriers and a blue brindle Staffordshire bull terrier from the pair’s homes. All three dogs had suffered severe damage to their lower jaws, including tearing to the lips, nose and missing teeth. These injuries were consistent with having been used repeatedly in face-to-face confrontation with badgers.
The Murrays were caught after witnesses saw and photographed them digging into what was suspected to be a badger sett at Drummond Hill near Sandilands, Lanark on February 2, 2012.
The Scottish SPCA visited the site and discovered an active badger sett which had been recently dug.
The court heard the pair also liked to trap cats and foxes in a wheelie bin, which they then set their dogs on.
Sara Shaw, wildlife and environment procurator fiscal, said: “The intentions of these men were cruel, unkind and wholly illegal.
“The law protects badgers from harm as well as dogs from being used for fighting.
“The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service will continue to work to ensure anyone who breaks the law is brought to justice.”
The pair were found guilty of three charges contrary to the Protection of Badgers Act 1992.
They were convicted of attempting to kill, injure or take a badger and of damaging the badger sett, in particular digging into its tunnel.
The men also interfered with the sett by causing a dog to enter it.
Speaking about the case, Scottish SPCA Chief Superintendent Mike Flynn said: “This was a very complex and challenging investigation requiring technical forensic work and a great deal of time and specialist resources.”
He added: “During the course of our investigation we found and seized three dogs, two Patterdale terriers and one Staffordshire bull terrier.
“Both Patterdales were found to have severe injuries to their lower jaws, including tearing to the lips and missing teeth. The Staffordshire bull terrier had injuries to its upper and lower lips and nose and missing teeth.
“Following the outcome of this case we are very pleased we can now find these three dogs the loving new homes they deserve.
“This case serves as a warning that we will do all we can to identify and detect persons involved in this barbaric activity, which causes severe suffering, mutilation and death to both badgers and dogs. This includes working with other agencies throughout England and Northern Ireland.”
Animal protection charity OneKind also said it was pleased with the sentence.
Its spokeswoman Louise Robertson said: “Badger baiting is such a cruel and violent form of animal abuse that it is natural to expect a custodial sentence in these circumstances.
“While a jail term would have sent a clear message that pitting animals against each other to fight in such a primitive and barbaric way is totally unacceptable, 250 hours of community service does indicate the court has taken the matter seriously.
“We are pleased both men have been banned from keeping dogs for 10 years.”
Sentencing: ordered to carry out 250 hours of unpaid work each. Banned from keeping dogs for 10 years (expires April 2024).
Update August 2017: it was reported that the Scottish SPCA had seized five lurcher-type dogs from the Murrays following a tip=off.
A source told the Sunday Post “It’s clear the Murrays won’t stop keeping dogs despite what the court has told them.
“The conviction was only three years ago and there are fears they are back to their old ways.”
The dogs, which were seized on August 10, 2017, were rehomed by the Scottish SPCA.
Police Scotland confirmed the Murrays were the subject of a report to the procurator fiscal over “alleged offences under the Protection of Badgers Act and a disqualification order”.
A source at the Crown Office said it was understood a report on the pair was being sent to them for consideration.
An undercover inspector from the Scottish SPCA Special Investigations Unit said: “We were called to an address in Larkhall to assist Police Scotland in regards to males who previously received a ban at Hamilton Sheriff Court to prevent them keeping dogs due to their involvement in badger baiting.
#TheList Sean David Skinner, born c. 1990, of Gamlin Street, Birkenhead CH41 0AJ – killed a young dog by throwing him against a wall
Father-of-three Sean Skinner killed a six-month-old Staffy named Ty by throwing him against a wall because he made a mess in his bedroom. The RSPCA was called to Skinner’s home by police investigating the dog’s death on October 28, 2013.
Officers had declared the house a crime scene after Skinner himself had called 999, with RSPCA inspector Anthony Joynes finding a trail of blood running through the property and the dog lying dead in the bath.
Chris Murphy, prosecuting, said Skinner, who had only owned the dog for five weeks after buying him from a friend for £80, had stated he had “thrown the dog against the wall and told police it had smashed the dog’s head in.”
Skinner, who the court heard had problems with anger management, said he was “gutted by what happened”.
The vet that inspected Ty told the court he had suffered “a cruel and violent act causing … mental and physical suffering”, adding it was only through “good fortune that he had a swift death, limiting his suffering to five minutes”.
Sentence: jailed for 12 weeks, reduced from 18 because of his guilty plea; banned from owning animals indefinitely.