#TheList Paul Carroll, born 24/07/1963, of 50 Mitchell Street, South Moor, Stanley, Co Durham, drowned his dog and dismembered her body – then blamed black magic for her death.
Carroll held Bedlington terrier Molly underwater in a bath, then tried to bury her at the Hat and Feather Inn pub near Consett. Fearing the dog’s body would be discovered, he cut it up in to a number of pieces and put it down the drain at the back of the property. Molly’s dismembered body was found by drainage workers called to unblock it.
RSPCA inspectors and police removed a further three dogs and a snake from the house, which was littered with excrement, once the investigation was launched in January 2015.
Margaret Carroll was originally charged with helping her husband drown the dog but was later cleared. She is currently serving a four-year jail sentence for starting a fire at the family home, alongside daughter Katrina Livingstone, in an attempted suicide bid.
Sentence: 18 weeks’ custody, suspended for 12 months, supervision order. Banned from keeping animals for ten years (expires February 2025).
#TheList Sam John Andrews (DoB 17/12/1988) formerly of Barrhead and more recently (2018) Craig Road, Neilston, Glasgow – caught on CCTV dragging and beating a terrified Staffy and tormenting him with a cigarette lighter
Andrews pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering after being caught on camera whipping Scooby with his lead and terrorising him with a naked flame. Andrews was seen dragging Scooby backwards on his lead and then repeatedly striking the animal, causing him to cower and shake.
Andrews also hit the dog with his hand, forced him to the ground, with his foot planted firmly on his back, and then sparked a cigarette lighter which he held close to his face.
Police were alerted and Andrews was traced and arrested.
Inspectors from the Scottish SPCA who rescued Scooby discovered the frightened Staffy was underweight. He was later rehomed.
Sentence: 6 months in jail; 10-year ban on keeping animals (expires February 2025).
#TheList Stefan T McCormick (aka Stefan Dixon), born 22/04/1991, from Birkenhead, Wirral, Merseyside – swung a four-month-old Staffy by his front legs into a solid object. Puppy’s legs were snapped and he was in so much pain he had to be put to sleep.
Stefan McCormick, whose most recent known address is Devonshire Road in Birkenhead CH43, was on bail for the brutal attack on his Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Ty, when he breached a non-molestation order and beat up his former partner.
He was jailed for 20 months at Liverpool crown court on October 9, 2014, for the alcohol-fuelled assault on the 17-year-old in Hoylake, in which he punched, kicked and dragged her along the street.
A week later, he appeared via video link at Wirral magistrates’ court, having earlier pleaded guilty to a charge of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal.
The court heard the Staffy’s injuries, sustained in December 2013, were so bad he “screamed” when examined by a vet, who was left with no option but to put him down.
Chris Murphy, prosecuting, told the court how RSPCA officers were called to McCormick’s home after a report a dog had been hit by a car.
But the court was told the officer who attended quickly concluded something more sinister had happened.
On examination, the officer said “the dog was clearly in pain – it was unable to get on to its forelimbs. Its paws were bent over and it tried to bunny hop but screamed.”
Vets said the injuries suggested the dog had its legs ripped apart, with one reporting: “The injuries were consistent with a person pulling a puppy by its forelimbs using undue force.”
When an expert was called in to further assess the puppy, he said Ty had suffered “severe blunt force trauma” to his front legs – adding the injuries were consistent with “the dog being picked up by the front legs and swung against a solid object”.
After the hearing RSPCA Inspector Anthony Joynes described himself as “relieved” McCormick had pleaded guilty, saying the injuries Ty had sustained were “appalling”.
He said: “This has been a long drawn out investigation, probably one of the most brutal and violent I have ever dealt with as well as my colleagues and the police and the vets involved have all been upset by this case… I’m just hoping now that we can get some closure on the case in a few weeks’ time and hopefully the magistrates do the right thing and sentence Mr McCormick accordingly.”
Sentencing: originally jailed for 24 weeks for the animal cruelty offence, to be served consecutively with the 20-month sentence he was already serving for assaulting his ex-partner. This was later reduced to 20 weeks on appeal after the court heard how McCormick had suffered from mental health problems.