Fairfield, Liverpool: Sean Cottrell

#TheList Sean Philip Cottrell, born 19/06/1992, as at March 2020 of Edge Grove, Liverpool L7 0HW but originally from the Wirral, Merseyside – battered his Staffy puppy so badly the dog was left severely brain-damaged and had to be put down

Dog killer Sean Cottrell from Liverpool, Merseyside
Sean Philip Cottrell’s attack on a four-month-old puppy left the dog “in a stupor” and so seriously injured he had to be euthanised

Sean Cottrell, who went on to be jailed for 11 years after attacking his baby son, admitted inflicting blunt force trauma to the dog, named Dexter, resulting in severe brain damage. He also admitted failing to provide proper and necessary veterinary care and attention following the beating.

Staffordshire bull terrier Dexter suffered brain damage and had to be put down after Sean Cottrell beat him so hard vets said he looked like he had been in a car crash.

Chris Murphy, prosecuting for the RSPCA, told how Dexter was left to suffer from his injuries for two days before he was found by RSPCA inspectors on a balcony outside Cottrell’s flat pacing in tight circles.

The animal charity was called by a concerned witness who was visiting Cottrell’s neighbour two days earlier and heard blows and animal cries from the flat.

Dog killer Sean Cottrell from Liverpool, Merseyside
Dog killer Sean Cottrell pictured outside court

Mr Murphy said: “Officers were concerned for the animal’s welfare as both its eyes were blood red. They felt it had suffered so the dog was seized.”

He was taken away for examination by vets who found he has suffered “multiple trauma to the head”. He was unable to feed independently and was observed pacing in circles and bumping into objects in his path.

They decided Dexter’s injuries were so severe he needed to be put down

A report read to the court from vet Nick Whieldon said that it was the “single worst case” he had encountered in four years of dealing in animal cruelty cases, stating that not only was Dexter subject to the beating but was then left in that state for two days unable to perform bodily functions.

RSPCA inspector Anthony Joynes told the ECHO afterwards: “This was a sickening, stomach-churning case involving a young Staffordshire puppy who yet again has paid the ultimate price at the hands of its cruel and violent owner.

“I am pleased Mr Cottrell has also paid the ultimate price and lost his liberty.

“This case deeply affected not only myself and my colleagues but also the police officer and veterinary surgeon involved.

“I’m happy the courts have banned Mr Cottrell from keeping any animals for the rest of his life and hope that the sentence sends a clear message that such brutal and disgusting behaviour will not be accepted in today’s society.”

Sentence: 14 weeks in jail, life ban on owning an animal but can appeal after 10 years (August 2024)

Liverpool Echo

Middlefield, Aberdeen: Shona McBain

#TheList Shona McBain (aka Shona Wilks), born 20/12/1974, of Logie Place, Aberdeen AB16 7UP – left one dog to starve to death and two others emaciated

Shona McBain from Aberdeen left three dogs to starve. Sadly the condition of Staffy Roxy (bottom) deteriorated and she had to be put to sleep.
Shona McBain from Aberdeen left three dogs to starve. Sadly the condition of Staffy Roxy (bottom) deteriorated and she had to be put to sleep.

McBain admitted the horrific neglect of her Staffies Lexie and Roxy and lurcher Ruby.

Roxy had to be put down because she had no fat or muscle on her “skeletal” body.

Shona McBain from Aberdeen left three dogs to starve. Staffy Lexie recovered from her ordeal in the care of the SSPCA.
Staffy Lexie recovered from her ordeal in the care of the SSPCA.

Scottish SPCA inspector Fiona McKenzie said:”Roxy was like a skeleton. The temples of her head were extremely sunken and she had no fat or muscle at all.

“She showed no interest in life and appeared very weak. When we removed her from McBain’s property she was unable to walk and had to be carried the short distance to our van.

“Roxy was in a semi-collapsed state when we got her to the vets and was clearly emaciated. Ruby was also very thin.

“Tragically, Roxy’s condition deteriorated overnight and there was no option for the vet but to put her to sleep to end her suffering.

“Lexie and Ruby made full recoveries in our care and we have since found them loving new homes.”

Dog killer Shona McBain from Aberdeen pictured outside court
Dog killer Shona McBain, who actually uses her married name Wilks in day-to-day life, pictured outside court

McBain was no stranger to the courts. In September 2013 she was given a community order after threatening her husband, Kenneth Wilks, with a knife.

Dog killer Shona McBain from Aberdeen

Despite her latest conviction she still avoided prison.

Dog killer Shona McBain from Aberdeen
Convicted animal abuser Shona McBain was allowed to keep her cats

McBain, who also owns several cats, was given a pathetic three-year ban which only extended to dogs. At the time of adding this case to the database, that ban had already expired and McBain would appear to now own a lurcher-type dog.

Shona McBain's dog Roxie was a walking skeleton when discovered by the SSPCA. Sadly she did not recover.
Roxie was a walking skeleton when discovered by the SSPCA. Sadly she did not recover.

We hope the authorities are watching her like a hawk.

Sentencing: 135-hour community service order. Three-year ban on owning dogs (expired August 2017).

Press and Journal

West Gorton, Manchester: Paul Francis

#TheList Paul Michael Francis, born 29/05/1984, of Apartment 9, Regent Court, 131 Wenlock Way, West Gorton, Manchester M12 5BS – left pet dog to starve in squalid conditions while he hid

Dog abuser Paul Michael Francis

Francis had been to court and successfully applied for a licence for the pitbull, called Max, as he was classed as a dangerous dog.

However, there were several conditions attached including that he must tell the police if he changed address.

In July 2013, police believed Francis moved address without notifying them so visited his home.

There they found the dog living in squalid conditions, covered in his own excrement and urine and without food.

The animal weighed under half the amount he should for a dog of his age and size.

When officers eventually traced Francis he said he had been threatened by a group of men so had to stay clear from his flat, claiming he only returned “intermittently.”

He said he had only been away for a matter of two or three weeks, though prosecutors estimated it may have been for longer.

Francis pleaded guilty to failing to prevent unnecessary suffering to an animal.

He was banned from owning a dog for five years by a judge who told him ‘by your own admission you had been back round to the house and could have seen what condition it was in’.

Peter Casson, defending, said: “He was co-operative with the police and handed himself in when he returned and found that the dog had been taken away.

“He had owned it for two years previously, it was insured and it was healthy.

“He told the police why he had to move and unfortunately he couldn’t take the dog with him.

“Rather foolishly and stupidly he allowed a situation to develop where vets and the police have had to become involved.”

District Judge Khalid Qureshi said: “I accept this was not deliberate cruelty.

“But it was very neglectful of you, over a prolonged period of time.

“It has taken a lot of care and hard work from people a lot more responsible than you for this dog to make a full recovery.”

Max, who was seized and was handed over to vets, made a full recovery after several months of care and rehab.

Sentencing: ordered to pay a total of £145. Banned from keeping dogs for five years (expired August 2019).

Manchester Evening News

Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire: Alfie Loft

#TheList Alfie Sydney Loft, born 12/11/1994, formerly from Hatfield but as of 2020 living at Guinness House, Little Hardings, Welwyn Garden City AL7 2EN – filmed swinging a chihuahua by her lead

Dog abuser Alfie Loft

Loft admitted causing unnecessary suffering to the dog after swinging her around in the air.

The dog belonged to a woman he had just met while drinking with friends at a pub in Stevenage. She asked him to take the dog for a walk while he and three friends went to a nearby shop to buy more alcohol.

Loft’s lawyer, Natasha Patel, said her client was trying to encourage the dog to walk by pulling on her lead when she lifted into the air for the first time.

“The people he was with began laughing at the incident and that has almost egged him on,” she said. “He knows that was wrong. He doesn’t remember much of what happened.”

She added: “He’s disgusted at himself, they were his own words to me. He feels humiliated that this incident has occurred. He has also said he would like to write a letter to apologise to the owner of the dog to show that he is truly sorry.

“He does love dogs himself, although he doesn’t own any himself.”

Although the dog was not injured, her owner said she was distressed and was acting out of character. She was told about what happened by a witness.

The court heard that Loft, who was kept in custody over the weekend, was signed off work with depression.

Sentencing: 12-week curfew. Ordered to pay £250 in compensation and £145 in court costs. Banned from owning any animal for two years (expired August 2016).

Guardian
Welwyn Hatfield Times