Ballymena, County Antrim: Paul Sempey

#TheList Paul Sempey, born 14/04/1978, of 221 Queen Street, Ballymena BT42 2BG – abandoned his pet dog to starve to death

Dog killer Paul Sempey and Tyson, the Staffy he left to die
Educationally challenged dog killer Paul Sempey and Tyson, the Staffy he left to die

Sempey had moved back to the home of his mother Jennifer Sempey, leaving black Staffy Tyson behind.

The charges were brought against Sempey by Mid and East Antrim Borough Council under the Welfare of Animals Act (NI) 2011, following an investigation by Animal Welfare Officers regarding offences in January 2015.

Abandoned dog Tyson

The Borough Warden had attended the property in January to follow up on a non-payment of a dog licence.

Supported by Mid and East Antrim Council’s Animal Welfare Officer, they returned to the property and found Tyson in a garage. The garage door had been open and the officers entered to find the “severely emaciated” dog barely alive, lying on a sofa.

Tyson was unable to get up and when officers approached the dog he was “cold to the touch”.

When the animal welfare officer touched Tyson’s stomach, he winced in pain.

Abandoned dog Tyson
Tyson was so poorly he couldn’t be saved

Tyson was taken to a local veterinary practice but had to be put to sleep due to his condition.

Prosecution added that it had been noted that Tyson’s temperature was so cold his “blood was beginning to decompose”.

District Judge Des Perry described it as a “bad, bad case” of animal neglect.

Paul Sempey

Sempey’s lawyer provided a medical report to the Judge about his client, adding that he (Sempey) had “educational issues”.

“The reason this arose was because he moved back to live with his mother and she did not want him bringing the dog to her house,” Mr Smyth said.

He added: “He had no alternative arrangements. He effectively abandoned the animal.”

Speaking after the case David Wilson from the USPCA said people should receive custodial sentences for such crimes. He added: “This man deserves to have a custodial sentence imposed to give him time to reflect on what happened.

“He allowed the situation to go on, but now he can walk free over Christmas thanks to this suspended sentence.

“The USPCA does welcome the lifetime ban imposed on this man, particularly as it includes any warm-blooded animal.

“However, one of the main issues the USPCA has with these bans is that there is no central register to keep a note of these people who have received bans.

“We have been calling for this register for some time and it is currently under review.”

Sentencing: six months in prison suspended for two years; legal costs of £116. Disqualified for life from the keeping of any ‘warm blooded animal’.

Ballymena Times
Belfast Telegraph

Bromley, South-East London: Everald James

#TheList Everald Hugh James, born 03/08/1967, formerly of Mottingham, South London and more recently Lewis King House, Plaistow Lane, Bromley BR1 3TE – strangled a bull mastiff and hung him outside his house with rope as the dog gasped for air

Dog killer Everald James from Bromley, South East London

Callous James, who is also known as ‘Shadow’, was found guilty of hanging the three-year-old dog, known as Boyzee, while punching him in the face as the terrified dog “gasped for air”. He had denied the charge, claiming Boyzee died accidentally during a “tug of war”.

Giving evidence, James’ neighbour Harlon Horsford told the court how he had heard shouting at about 8pm on September 6, 2015. He opened the front door and saw James with Boyzee.

He said: “He had the dog with a rope wrapped round its throat, repeatedly hitting the dog in the face and throat with his left hand.”

He stated the rope was wrapped around a metal railing, one end strangling the dog and the other end being pulled by James’ right hand, as he hit him with his left.

Mr Horsford continued: “The dog was secured to the railings.

“I confronted him, I said let go and he wouldn’t. He said he doesn’t care about the police or RSPCA, he’s named Shadow and no one can tell him nothing, It’s his dog.

“So I punched him in the face, he fell back on the floor and Boyzee dropped to the floor.

“I took the rope off of Boyzee’s neck. He couldn’t breathe properly, he was gasping for air. I pushed his tongue to the left, he had saliva all in his mouth, I was trying to breathe air into him.

“His back legs were twitching, he made his last breath and passed away. He was a lovely dog, very loving, very gentle.”

While giving evidence, Mr Horsford broke down in tears and had to compose himself. He said that throughout the attack Boyzee’s legs were not able to reach the floor, and he scrabbled to get a footing.

James was arrested later that day. He initially stated he was taking the dog outside to do his business, and dragged him through a crowd of people, inadvertently strangling it. But while giving evidence he claimed it was actually a tug of war between him and Mr Horsford which accidentally killed the dog.

James, who admitted he had been drinking that day, said: “He grabbed the lead, I said let go of my dog. He said he wanted the dog.

“I just kept pulling my dog not looking back. When I turned back around I saw the dog on the floor.

“I could never harm my dog, it’s what keeps me alive. I’ve got a 15-year-old daughter I can’t see, I bought the dog to keep me company.”

When passing the verdict, magistrates described his testimony as “not credible”.

Sentencing: 18 weeks in jail. Indefinite ban on keeping animals.

ITV News

Dalkeith, Midlothian: Natalie Livingstone

#TheList Natalie Mclean Livingstone (aka Nat Amos or Nat Davidson), born 07/01/1991, of Jean Armour Drive, Dalkeith EH22 2LN – neglected and starved a dog, who had to be put to sleep

Dog killer Natalie Livingstone

Livingstone pleaded guilty to failing to provide a suitable diet and veterinary care for a female terrier named Indi, contrary to the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006.


Commenting on the investigation and court case, a Scottish SPCA undercover inspector said, “When Livingstone took a severely underweight Indi to a vet, she claimed she had only taken ownership of her two days previously.

“The vet advised that Indi was severely malnourished and it was unlikely she would survive any treatment. Sadly, she had to be put to sleep to prevent any further suffering.

Natalie Livingstone

“In the vet’s opinion, Indi had been deprived of food, water and veterinary care over a prolonged period of time.

“A post-mortem examination confirmed Indi was malnourished and had no food in her stomach or intestines, indicating she had not eaten for the last 48 hours.

“When we contacted Livingstone, she claimed she had bought her online and had picked her up from an unknown male.

Dog killer Natalie Livingstone with partner Alan Amos
Livingstone with then partner Alan ‘AJ’ Amos. The pair lived together at Hawthorne Crescent, but Amos faced no cruelty charges

“Through our Facebook enquiries, we were able to determine that Livingstone was Indi’s owner and had been for some time.

“We are pleased Livingstone has been dealt with by the courts and that this serious case of neglect has been rightly recognised with a lifetime ban.”

Sentence: 100 hour community payback order. Lifetime ban on owning or keeping animals.


Sutton, South London: Lance Powell

#TheList Lance Paddington Powell, born 02/02/1952, of St Paul’s Close, Carshalton, Sutton SM5 1NR – beat a stray cat repeatedly with a broom before shoving him off 10ft balcony

Cat killer: Lance Paddington Powell from Carshalton, Sutton
Cat killer: Lance Paddington Powell

Angry that the cat had defecated on his balcony, Powell beat the animal several times with a broom before sending him crashing to the pavement 10 feet below.

The stray cat suffered a fractured skull and internal injuries and died the next day
The stray cat suffered a fractured skull and internal injuries and died the next day

The cat, who was a stray, fractured his skull and suffered internal injuries from which he died the next day.

Sentencing Powell, who came to Britain from Zimbabwe, the district judge said the cat had “suffered an agonising and lingering death”.

“This was an offence of cruelty of truly horrific proportions,” he told Powell.

“You acted with callous disregard for a living animal.

“The offence was so serious that only a custodial sentence is justified and I would be failing in my public duty if I did not impose one.”

After the case, RSPCA Inspector Lucy Chillery explained how Powell had taken his anger out on the stray cat who was being fed by neighbours.

“Mr Powell was angry he kept defecating on his balcony and so, when he came onto his balcony once more, he hit him again and again with a broom,” said the inspector.

“The violent attack was witnessed by two neighbours who screamed at him to stop beating the dazed and injured cat, who then fell around 10ft off his balcony and onto the pavement below.

“The neighbour rushed the cat to a local vet where he was given emergency treatment but, sadly, died overnight.

“A post mortem showed the cat had suffered from internal bleeding and a fractured skull.

”The RSPCA also praised the witnesses for bringing the case to light.

“This was a shocking and horrific case of cruelty against a defenceless animal,” added Inspector Chillery.

“I would like to thank the witnesses for their continued support without which we would not have been able to get the justice this poor cat deserved.”

Sentence: jailed for six weeks; £2,998 in costs. Banned from keeping animals for the rest of his life.

Evening Standard

Newcastle upon Tyne: Anthony Bruce

#TheList Anthony Bruce, born 15/09/1996, most recently of Heddon Avenue, Hazlerigg, Newcastle upon Tyne NE13 7DA – tried to drown an Old English Sheepdog puppy named Benji before killing him by feeding him toilet paper

Dog killer Anthony Bruce of Newcastle upon Tyne
Dog killer Anthony Bruce originally from Billingham, Co Durham, and more recently Hazlerigg, Newcastle upon Tyne. Photo shows his victim Benji and his partner/Benji’s owner Lauren Brattle

Bruce, who also uses the names Warren Michael Bell and Elliot William Gleave and is originally from Billingham, Co Durham, tried to drown Benji because he didn’t like the attention the dog was getting from his girlfriend, Lauren Brattle.

Bruce pleaded guilty to two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal.

Denise Jackman, prosecuting for the RSPCA, said Benji was forcibly submerged in water and had suffered. The puppy was also allowed to eat toilet paper.

Ms Jackman said the RSPCA had been contacted by a social worker, who had concerns for Benji and another dog. She had been told that Benji had died on April 26, 2015, while having surgery to remove toilet tissue in his stomach.

It was said that another dog in the house had bitten Benji in his ear, causing it to bleed. Bruce tried to remove the blood and decided to bathe him.

He then went on to submerge the pet’s head in the water until he was unconscious. Benji survived the ordeal but later died.

Bruce said he was sorry and admitted he had gone too far. He also admitted encouraging the pet to eat toilet paper on three separate occasions, knowing the dog was unable to digest the material.

Benji, who was around five-months-old, had previously had surgery to remove paper from his stomach.

Ms Jackman added: “Mr Bruce said his partner gave Benji more attention than she gave him.

“When he was giving him a bath, he became agitated and held the dog’s head under the water until he was unconscious. He said he was jealous of his partner’s contact with the dog.

“He also allowed Benji to eat a large quantity of unpalatable dry tissue under coercion. Mr Bruce was well aware of the consequences of such coercion.

“This suffering was unnecessary and avoidable.”

As at September 2018 Bruce and Benji’s owner Lauren Brattle are very much together and have gone on to have children. In September 2017 Brattle was named on the BBC website as being involved in Facebook raffle scams.

16 weeks in a young offenders’ institute. Banned from owning animals for life.

Daily Mail

eRITH, London: Gary Stockford

#TheList Gary Charles Stockford, born 24/08/1973, previously of Swanscombe, Kent, and more recently (2019) of 8 Kale Road, Erith DA18 4BJ – subjected a dog to a 45-minute beating

The vicious beating delivered by Gary Stockford, in Dartford town centre, lasted 45 minutes, prompting several disgusted shoppers to call the police.

Every time his master called him, the loyal dog, known as Benny, returned to his side, only to be kicked and punched again and again.

Several witnesses called police after they saw Stockford attack his dog near to the Orchard Theatre in July 2015.

RSPCA inspector Vikki Dawe said: “Witnesses saw Benny being repeatedly hit and kicked, in vicious bursts, over a period of about 45 minutes.

“They said the poor dog kept coming back to the defendant when he was called, only to be attacked all over again. They were so distressed by what they saw they called us.

“It is totally unacceptable to be violent in this way towards an animal. Benny showed clear signs of submission and distress.

“Thanks also must go to the witnesses who were brave enough to agree to give evidence so Benny’s owner could be prosecuted.”

Sentencing: 12-week custodial sentence, suspended for 24 months; total of £1244 in costs and charges. Banned from keeping animals for just five years (expires December 2020) .


Havant, Hampshire: Cheryl Welch

#TheList Cheryl Welch, born 08/08/1978, of Purbrook Way, Havant PO9 3SG – failed to adequately groom her elderly shih tzu dog and treat her eye condition

Dog abuser Cheryl Welch from Havant, Hampshire, and victim Tam
Despite allowing her pet dog to get into this state Cheryl Welch was not disqualified from having animals and was allowed by magistrate Jennifer Duddridge to keep cats, birds and another dog …

Cheryl Welch admitted causing unnecessary suffering and failing to protect shih-tzu Tam from pain, suffering, injury and disease by failing to adequately groom her

The 10-year-old shih tzu could not see after her fur became so matted it damaged her eyes.

The court heard that Tam had been a rescue dog and Welch had taken her in.

But she was found by a member of the public and reported to the RSPCA after a freak near-miss when she ran out into the road and was nearly run over.

The driver was so shocked by the matted hair all over Tam that she called the RSPCA.

Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court heard how she was suffering from ‘poor husbandry’ with faeces and urine in her hair.

She was also suffering from dry eye, which had gone untreated for six months.

Sarah Wheadon, prosecuting for the RSPCA, said: ‘It certainly had been very uncomfortable for Tam and caused a significant degree of irritation.’

She added: ‘This was not a condition that could have gone on unnoticed by the owner.

‘It’s very severe and Tam was giving off a smell.’

Tam was signed over to the RSPCA but Welch was allowed to keep cats, birds and another dog.

Chair of the magistrates’ Jennifer Duddridge made the ruling as there was ‘no evidence of neglect of remaining animals and your children love their pets and they are important to them’.

Sentencing: community order with a 15-day rehabilitation activity requirement. Total of £160 costs and charges. No ban.

Source: The News (article removed).

Willenhall / Wolverhampton, West Midlands: Abigail Clemson and Thomas Webster

#TheList Abigail Clemson, born 14/01/1994, of Astoria Close, Willenhall WV12 5XP and and Thomas Webster, born 13/02/1994, of Arps Road, Codsall, Wolverhampton WV8 1SH – left a cat trapped in an empty flat with no food or water

Cat killer Abigail Clemson
Abigail Clemson

The one-year-old black cat was found collapsed and covered in faeces and urine when an RSPCA inspector called at Abigail Clemson’s former apartment.

An examination by a vet showed the animal, who had not been named by the pair, had been suffering for ‘several weeks’.

The unnamed male cat, who was skin and bone after being abandoned by callous Abigail Clemson
The unnamed male cat was skin and bone after being abandoned by callous Abigail Clemson. Sadly he could not be saved.

The creature weighed just over 2lb, or 1kg, and was in such a collapsed state that he had to be put down to prevent further suffering.

Magistrates heard how the cat had been left at Clemson’s former home while she was spending more time at partner Thomas Webster’s home in Codsall.

Both Webster and Clemson were convicted of causing unnecessary suffering.

RSPCA inspector Kate Levesley, who investigated the case, said: “The sight of the cat collapsed behind the door still haunts me.

The couple had told RSPCA staff in interview that they had found the cat as a stray and taken the animal in after taking pity on him.

Cat killer Abigail Clemson

Ms Levesley said: “This was Clemson’s flat but they started spending more time at Webster’s place in Wolverhampton.

“Soon they were not going back to her flat at all. How long they thought the kitten could go without food, I don’t know.

“There is absolutely no excuse for something like this to happen. The cat would have suffered a lot and was in such a bad way that he very sadly did not survive.

“This is such a sad case and one which has stayed with me. It is important for people to remember that it takes less time for an animal to become starved or dehydrated than they might realise.

“Some people are naive and do not realise that it does not take long for an animal to get into this state. This is an important message that we want to get across.”

Webster – 12-month community order; £510 costs.
Clemson – 12-month community order; £560 costs.
Both were banned from keeping animals for 15 years (expires December 2030).

The cases were heard separately last month after they entered different pleas to one count of causing unnecessary suffering to the cat. Clemson pleaded guilty to the offence while Webster was found guilty following a trial in October.

Express & Star