Elgin, Moray: Samantha Little

#TheList Samantha J Little, born 08/02/1993, of 2 Leuchars Drive, Elgin IV30 4AU – starved a lurcher-collie to death

Samantha Little let crossbreed Hamish (pictured) starve to death
Samantha Little let crossbreed Hamish (pictured) starve to death

Little kept crossbreed Hamish in such pitiful condition that his body was found among piles of droppings after he had eaten poisonous painkillers.

A worker from the Scottish SPCA went to Little’s then home and found Hamish’s remains “in a particularly emaciated condition, with faeces lying around the body. No food or water was available for the dog, and dry bowls were found in the kitchen area”.

Dog killer Samantha Little

The court heard empty and chewed ibuprofen packets were also found in the kitchen.

When the animal’s remains were sent for post mortem the vet found rigor mortis had disappeared and decomposition was beginning to set in.

The cause of death was confirmed as starvation combined with ibuprofen toxicity.

Analysis showed Hamish had suffered severe muscle loss in his limbs and trunk and his eyes were milky white in colour and “completely sunken in”.

The vet found no dental abnormalities to explain why he might have stopped eating, and said ulcerations in the dog’s stomach were consistent with him having consumed ibuprofen.

Dog killer Samantha Little

Little admitted the charges to police when she was questioned in April 2014.

In court, her solicitor Stephen Carty said she and her former partner had looked after the dog together until they split up.

Mr Carty said: “Her family situation at the time was very difficult, but she accepts she did not care for the animal.

“She did make efforts to rectify the situation by calling her support worker but that was all rather late in the day.”

Sentence: 100 hours of community service. Banned from owning any animal for 10 years (expires February 2025).

Press and Journal

Bolton, Greater Manchester: John Psaila

#TheList John George Psaila, born 02/12/1965, of 11 Alan Ball House, 89 Bolton Road, Farnworth, Bolton BL4 7AT – a “key figure” in British dog-fighting

John Psaila
John Psaila is believed to be behind some of most serious dog fighting gangs in the country

RSPCA officers uncovered what was in effect a training school for pit bull terrier-type dogs at John Psaila’s previous home in Thornvale, Abram, Wigan.

Psaila admitted 14 allegations including training dogs for the purpose of fighting, possession of equipment designed or adapted for use in dog-fighting and possession of pit bull terrier-type dogs.

John Psaila

Officers even discovered one dog being trained on a treadmill when they arrived at Psaila’s address in summer 2014.

Inspectors from the RSPCA’s special operations unit – which investigates organised animal crime – joined officers from Greater Manchester Police on warrants at Psaila’s Abram address, as well as a house on Lowton Street in Radcliffe, Manchester, on June 9, 2014.

Inspectors found dog-fighting paraphernalia and medical supplies for treating wounds at Psaila's home
Inspectors found dog-fighting paraphernalia and medical supplies for treating wounds at Psaila’s home

They were acting on information that he was involved in organised dog-fighting and an allegation he was preparing to take a dog to a fight.

At the Abram address they found what resembled a training school for fighting dogs, including treadmills, weighing scales, home veterinary kits with medication and muscle-gaining powder and breaking sticks, which are typically used to separate dogs during a fight.

One of Psaila's fighting dogs
One of Psaila’s fighting dogs

The RSPCA found Psaila had two pit bull-type dogs – called Ziggy and Tip – in his care and he subsequently admitted training both of the dogs to fight.

Psaila also admitted to training a dog called Cruise to fight. Although the dog was not found at either address, texts from his phone revealed plans to arrange a fight between Cruise and another unknown dog.

John Psaila

Footage of the dogs being trained on treadmills was found on the defendant’s mobile phone, said the RSPCA.

Other paraphernalia such as dog-fighting yearbooks and magazines, as well as a bucket and a sponge covered in blood were also discovered at a property belonging to Psaila.

John Psaila's pit bull tattoo
Psaila’s pit bull tattoo

The father-of-two, who has a pit bull tattooed across his back, winked at his daughter when he was jailed after admitting a series of crimes under the Animal Welfare Act.

Magistrates also ordered the destruction of two pit bull-type animals as they were considered too dangerous to spare.

Sentence: jailed for 121 days. Banned from keeping animals for life.

Manchester Evening News
BBC News

Stanley, County Durham: Paul Carroll

#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.

Paul Carroll from Stanley, Co Durham, drowned Bedlington terrier Molly (pictured) in the bath and then dismembered her body
Paul Carroll drowned Bedlington terrier Molly (pictured) in the bath and then dismembered her body

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).

ChronicleLive
Daily Mail

Burry Port, Carmarthenshire: Shaun Hearne

#TheList Shaun Leo Marshall Hearne, born 26/05/1994, of 36 Isgraig, Burry Port SA16 0DE – kept four dogs in a van covered in faeces and failed to feed them properly

Career criminal and convicted animal abuser Shaun Leo Marshall Hearne from Burry Port, Wales

Career criminal Hearne pleaded guilty to two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal.

The court heard RSPCA inspectors had visited the defendant on March 4, 2014, after reports of dogs in a poor condition being held in a white van.

“When they found the animals they noticed some were very thin and some were in a reasonable condition,” the prosecutor said.

He added that there was no water found for the dogs.

Inspectors were called out due to the weather and the “overpowering smell of excrement”.

“Hearne was told that it was unacceptable and he promised to keep them in a better location,” the prosecutor said.

However when they returned three days later they found the same four dogs in the van and the smell was even stronger. At this point the vet and police were contacted.

“Mr Hearne was cautioned and at that time he said ‘get out of my face or I will put you on the floor’,” he said.

Mr Tarrant said: “The floor was covered in excrement and it stung the inspector’s eyes and it made breathing difficult.”

The court heard that all four animals were seized.

Two dogs were found to be seriously underweight and had pressure sores due to a lack of adequate bedding.

Within a month, the two animals had seen their body weight increase by 30%, simply through nourishment.

Sentence: 12-month community order, 200 hours of unpaid work, total of £1,560 in costs and charges. Five-year ban on keeping animals (expired February 2020).

Llanelli Star Facebook post (article removed)

Malvern, Worcestershire: Leyton Harford

#TheList Leyton Charles Harford, born 29/07/1983, of 135 Elgar Avenue, Malvern WR14 2HA – beat his 10-week-old puppy over the head repeatedly causing it to swell like a tennis ball

Dog abuser Leyton Harford from Malvern in  Worcestershire, UK, and victim Riddle

Harford was convicted of two counts of causing unnecessary harm to an animal.

In November 2013 the RSPCA were called to Harford’s flat after complaints a puppy had been hit 15 times over the head with a chew toy and also ‘kicked until it collapsed’.

When inspector Pippa Boyd approached the young Staffy, called Riddick, she said he was very subdued with noticeable swelling on his head.

Harford claimed the injury had been caused after Riddick went out to the toilet and disappeared around a corner only to yelp moments later when he heard the sound of a car driving away.

Dog abuser Leyton Harford from Malvern in  Worcestershire, UK,

But Rafe Turner, prosecuting on behalf of the RSPCA, said Harford’s story changed three times during questioning adding it was ‘blindingly obvious’ he had beat the dog.

A vet called as an expert witness said it would be nearly impossible for that type of injury to be caused by a car without there being other cuts and grazes. He also said it was unlikely it was caused by a kick either.

Pictures were shown to the court of Riddick with the ‘half-tennis ball sized’ lump on his forehead, which Harford had claimed were taken by a relative on the night of the accident.

But the vet witness said the swelling would have taken up to 18 hours to get that bad.

Harford did admit to the charge of causing further unnecessary harm to the puppy by failing to take him for treatment after the injury claiming it would have cost him a ‘fortune’ and he was already ‘on the sick’ with Christmas approaching.

During the investigation, he said: “I know I did wrong, I made a mistake but I have been a good owner and I have put time and effort into him.”

While Riddick was in temporary foster care he hid under the table for half an hour after weeing by the back door, the court heard. The vet said this was a result of him being ‘extremely scared’ of the repercussions.

Sarah Brady, for Harford, said her client was “in rather poor health, he’s been having investigations for months in relation to chronic vomiting.”

Brady added: “This is a matter that’s caused him difficulties at home, he’s struggled to leave his house. His family have received threats.”

Addressing the court magistrate John Taylor said: “The defendant showed total disregard for the welfare of this dog. He could not give a credible explanation as to what happened, when it happened and how.”

RSPCA inspector Boyd said: “I am very pleased with the outcome of this case, which reflects the seriousness of Mr Harford’s actions against Riddick, the puppy.

“Riddick, who was an extremely subdued and non-interactive pup, has now developed into a lively, playful dog. He has been found a new home where he has settled in well and he is enjoying his new life.”

Sentencing: Curfew. Total of £1,860 costs and charges. Lifetime ban on keeping animals with no leave to appeal for ten years.

Worcester News

Barrhead, Glasgow: Sam John Andrews

#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

Photo of convicted dog abuser Sam Andrews and his victim Scooby
Dog abuser Sam Andrews and his victim Scooby

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).

Newslink:
Barrhead News 10/02/2015

Brixham, Devon: Lance Elgar

#TheList Lance Cameron Elgar, aka Lance Giles, born 21/03/1995 of 99 Ranscombe Road, Brixham TQ5 9UW – kicked and burned a cat to death.

Cat killer Lance Elgar who now resides in Brixham Devon

Elgar, who at the time was living on a farm run by Christian group the Jesus Army in Nether Heyford, Northamptonshire, kicked the animal three times with steel toe-capped boots.

While the cat lay paralysed from the vicious assault, the then 19-year-old picked her up and threw her on a fire.

The animal, which belonged to the owners of a farm where Elgar was living, died after suffering broken bones, fractures, internal bleeding and a severed spinal cord.

The court heard the cat died after enduring ‘extreme pain and suffering’.

District Judge Tim Daber told Elgar it was ‘completely incredible’ someone would take their anger out on ‘a defenceless animal’.

He said: ‘Neither arguments, drinking or scratches are any excuse whatsoever. It shows incredible cruelty.

‘It is a very close call but your age, remorse and record for making positive contributions to the community have persuaded me to just keep you out of prison on this occasion.’

Sentencing: 12-week prison sentence suspended for two years. Ordered to pay a total of £2,433. Banned from owning animals for 10 years (expires February 2025).

Daily Mail

===
Additional information: following his animal cruelty conviction, Lance Elgar left the Jesus Army headquarters in Nether Heyford, Northamptonshire. While the group originally stood by Elgar and allegedly paid some of his legal costs, it appears that they expelled him after several witnesses came forward to say they had seen him hurting other animals on the farm. One man said he saw Elgar using pliers to pull out and sever the tongues of live chickens.

Elgar has been something of a drifter in the years since his conviction. He has lived in Portsmouth, Rugby and Chichester and also spent some time in prison (crime unknown) but appears to have settled in Brixham in Devon.

Convicted animal abuser Lance Elgar with girlfriend Holli Peplow
Convicted animal abuser Lance Elgar with girlfriend Holli Peplow

He is dating single mother Holli Peplow, née Mascilo. We contacted Ms Peplow to warn her about her boyfriend’s past. This is a screenshot of our conversation.

As Ms Peplow has three young children, we expected her to be grateful for the warning. We were wrong. And yes social services will be notified.

Birkenhead, Merseyside: Stefan T McCormick

#TheList Stefan Tad McCormick aka Stefan Dixon, born 22/04/1991, most recently of 84B Woodchurch Lane, Birkenhead CH42 9PD –  swung a four-month-old Staffy by his front legs into a solid object. The puppy’s legs were snapped and he was in so much pain he had to be put to sleep.

Police mugshot of evil dog killer Stefan McCormick from Birkenhead alongside a photo of him outside court

Stefan McCormick 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.

A recent photo (2018) of Stefan McCormick, who uses the surname Dixon on social media. McCormick. McCormick, who works in his father’s tattoo shop in Birkenhead Market, claims to have cancer but members of his own family say this is an attention-seeking lie. 

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.

Dog killer Stefan McCormick

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.”

2020 police mugshot of puppy killer Stefan McCormick
2020 police mugshot of puppy killer Stefan McCormick

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. 

Liverpool Echo 28/08/2014
Liverpool Echo 09/10/2014
Liverpool Echo 06/02/2015

UPDATE May 2020: McCormick was jailed for 10 weeks after wishing coronavirus on nurses and throwing a bloodied tissue at a hospital worker.

Medics were trying to help cruel Stefan McCormick, but he repaid them by becoming abusive when they wouldn’t let his girlfriend accompany him because of Covid 19 fears.

After shouting at nurses, telling them he hoped they get the disease, he also called a female security officer a “bitch” and a “slag”.

McCormick admitted intentionally causing harassment, assaulting an emergency worker and breaching a suspended sentence.

McCormick was jailed for 24 weeks in October 2014, consecutive to a 20-month sentence he was serving for battering his ex-girlfriend, despite at the time having a copy of a court order to stay away from her in his pocket. This was later reduced by four weeks on appeal.

At the time of this latest hospital incident he had a nine-month suspended sentence hanging over him, for an affray at San Carlo restaurant in June 2018.

McCormick was jailed for 17 months for wounding in 2017 and was on licence at the time of the restaurant disturbance.

Liverpool Echo