Chester, Cheshire: Christopher Hurst

#TheList Christopher Hurst, born c. 1977, of Wharton Court, Hoole Lane, Chester CH2 – drowned his pet cat in the bath in an outburst of anger

Cat killer Christopher Hurst from Chester is an aircraft fitter with Airbus
Cat killer Christopher Hurst from Chester is an aircraft fitter with Airbus

Hurst, who works as an aircraft fitter with Airbus,  pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to an animal.

The court heard how Hurst held the 8yo black longhair cat, named Charlie, Charlie under the water for 15 seconds until he died.

Scratch marks found on Hurst’s hands were consistent with the cat struggling against him.

Hurst, who drank every day to self medicate for his supposed mental health problems, had owned Charlie since he was a kitten.

Cat killer Christopher Hurst from Chester is an aircraft fitter with Airbus

He said he had tried to rehome the pet because the cat had been ripping up his neighbours’ property and keeping everyone in the apartment block up all night.

Cheshire Police were called after reports of a disturbance at Hurst’s flat.

Hurst said he had run the bath for himself, but told officers he just ‘lost it’ and ‘it had all happened very quickly’.

He held Charlie down underneath the water until he had drowned.

Christopher Murphy, prosecuting, said: “The vet said these were cruel and inhumane actions on a perfectly healthy cat for no reason whatsoever.

“The drowning would’ve resulted in severe mental trauma and psychological suffering for Charlie.”

Hurst had one previous conviction, for assaulting a police officer when he was arrested later on September 12, 2015.

He was also too drunk to be interviewed on the same day.

Speaking about the case RSPCA inspector Anthony Joynes said it was “one of the most appalling and upsetting cases” he had dealt with.

He said: “The cat was a generally healthy pet who was in the wrong place at the wrong time and for that he paid the ultimate price.

“It was an inhumane ending for this cat and utterly barbaric. The cat would have suffered to an unimaginable extent, both physically and mentally through panic and terror.”

Jailed for 18 weeks. Banned from keeping animals for life.

BBC News

Upton, Merseyside: Wayne Newton

#TheList Wayne Newton, born c. 1968, of 39A Arrowe Park Road, Upton, Wirral – neglected flea-ridden dogs Socks and Patch and failed to take them to the vets; Patch sadly PTS

Convicted pet abusesr Wayne Newton of the Wirral is banned from keeping animals for life
Convicted pet abuser Wayne Newton and surviving dog Socks. Newton is banned for life from keeping animals.

Newton neglected his flea-ridden dogs and left one suffering from a tumour.

One of the dogs had to be put down after vets found the pair living in “absolute squalor” at the home of Wayne Newton.

Socks, who was neglected by Wayne Newton of the Wirral.
Socks was in very poor condition when rescued by the RSPCA

RSPCA officers called at Newton’s home after members of the public raised concerns about the dogs, named Patch and Socks.

Both dogs had overgrown claws and were infested with fleas – and Newton had clipped most of the fur from 15-year-old Patch in an attempt to rid him of the infestation.

He pleaded guilty to four charges of causing unnecessary suffering to the animals and failing to seek proper veterinary care.

Convicted pet abusesr Wayne Newton of the Wirral is banned from keeping animals for life
Dog abuser Wayne Newton outside court

Giving Newton a suspended prison sentence, district judge Michael Abelson said the then 47-year-old was “barely able to look after himself”.

Peter Mitchell, prosecuting, said: “On opening the letterbox, a strong, putrid smell emanated from the property.

“The defendant opened the door shortly afterwards and immediately stated that one of the dogs had a problem, saying: “I was going to ring you, can you take him? My other dog is really old but he’s fine.”

The house was described as dirty and sparsely furnished and RSPCA Inspector Anthony Joynes said it had a strong smell of infection.

Mr Mitchell told the court: “The defendant said it was due to a neighbour having thrown urine into his property a few days before the RSPCA called.”

Newton agreed to sign the dogs over and vets found Socks, an 18-month-old black and white crossbreed, had extensive fur thinning and a chronic ear infection which had almost closed off his ear canal. He was underweight and his spine and ribs were clearly visible.

Elderly brindle crossbreed Patch was heavily infested with fleas. He was shaking and almost blind. His claws were overgrown and twisted around each other and he had two lumps on the side of his body and an infected ulcerated mass on his rear. He was put to sleep to end his suffering.

Neglected dog Socks has recovered from his ordeal at the hands of Wayne Newton from the Wirral, UK
Socks recovered in the RSPCA”s care and was rehomed

Socks was nursed back to health by vets and rehomed.

Newton, who lives just a street away from a veterinary surgery, sobbed and had his head bowed in the dock.

Sentence: 4-month prison sentence, suspended for 2 years; £500 in costs. Banned from keeping animals for life.

Liverpool Echo

Armley, Leeds: Gary Samuel and Rochelle McEwan

#TheList former vet Gary James Cassius Samuel, born 09/06/1966, of Weston Road, Enfield EN2 0QD and vets’ assistant Rochelle McEwan, born 18/03/1987 of Stonecliffe Close, Leeds LS12 5BJ – kept 22 huskies and eight cats in a squalid cellar

Disgraced former vet Gary Samuel and his assistant Rochelle McEwan during a court appearance on despicable animal cruelty charges.

Gary James Cassius Samuel and partner Rochelle McEwan were convicted of animal cruelty after officers discovered 22 dogs and eight cats in the back room, living quarters and basement of Armley Vets, on Town Street, in Armley, Leeds.

In February 2015 police were called to the property after a 999 call reported that Samuel was threatening McEwan with a hammer.

Video footage showing the foul conditions in which Gary Samuel and Rochelle McEwan kept starving dogs and cats

When they arrived they found husky type dogs living in dirty, overcrowded cages, which were kept below a trap door that was covered by a carpet and a table.

Some of the puppies found in the filthy cellar at Armley Vet’s in Leeds

The animals also had very little water and police officers who searched the building said there was a strong smell of urine and faeces.

Officers also found three cats in the back room. They were described as ‘skin and bone’ and one of them had to be euthanised.

The police called the RSPCA and some animals were removed from the house that night.

Three further dogs had to be put down on veterinary advice.

Gary Samuel

Samuel claimed that McEwan collected the dogs and he wasn’t happy about them being kept in the cellar, but they weren’t his responsibility. This wasn’t accepted by the court, however, and he was convicted of all charges.

RSPCA inspector Nikki Cheetham said: “I’ve seen a lot of shocking things working for the RSPCA but I would certainly never have expected to deal with something like this.

“People who work in the veterinary profession are the first port of call if an animal needs help. It is unthinkable to consider what was going on in this surgery as clients were coming and going, paying their vet fees.

“Dogs and cats were in a back room, the vet’s living quarters and a basement, accessed by a trapdoor in the floor that had been hidden by a piece of carpet – that’s where most of the dogs were found. They were in cages covered in faeces, with no access to food or water, in the pitch black. It was like a dungeon.”

Ms Cheetham said most of the dogs were Husky-types, with the exception of two Chinese crested dogs. Adult dogs were in the basement while puppies were found shut in one of the rooms, with most of the cats in another.

She said 21 animals – 15 dogs and six cats – have already been re-homed from RSPCA centres and branches in County Durham, York, Liverpool, Chester, Leeds and Harrogate.

In July 2018 Samuel was struck off after the disciplinary committee of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons ruled that he was unfit to practise as a veterinary surgeon.

Samuel – 12-week suspended prison sentence; 150 hours of unpaid work; total of £700 fine and costs. Banned from keeping animals for life. Barred from practising as a veterinary surgeon.

McEwan – 12 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months; 150 hours of unpaid work; £250 costs. Disqualified from keeping animals for life.

Mail Online – 22/01/2016
Yorkshire Evening Post – 04/04/2018

Daventry, Northants: Steven Cook

#TheList Steven Cook, born 03/07/1977, of 8 Greenhill Crescent, Daventry NN11 9BL –  took a three year-old shih tzu to a local park where he repeatedly stabbed him with a kitchen knife in the face, neck and body

Shih Tzu Ronnie was stabbed to death by deraned owner Steven Cook
Stock photo

Cook inflicted a number of stab wounds on the dog, known as Ronnie, after taking him to local Spider Park. The court heard Cook “lost the plot” after Ronnie supposedly “went for” his newborn baby daughter and then bit him.

Janita Patel, prosecuting for the RSPCA, said the dog was found by a member of the public in the park shortly before 8pm on August 23, 2015.

Ms Patel said Cook had been seen walking out of the park with “blood on his hands” and all over his shins and socks.

The court heard Ronnie, who was still breathing despite suffering severe blood loss, was taken to a vets in Northampton for treatment.

They heard Ronnie had a collar around his neck with a phone number and contact was eventually made with Cook’s father-in-law who attended the vets. The father-in-law was told the cost of treating Ronnie’s wounds was likely to be £2,500 to £3,000 and he made the decision, on his son-in-law’s behalf, to have the dog put down.

Ronnie suffered 10 wounds to his body, including a fractured skull, fractured leg and multiple stab wounds.

In December 2015 Cook pleaded guilty to animal cruelty and in January 2016 was sent to jail to serve a pathetic 12-week sentence.

Sentence:  sentenced to 12 weeks in jail and disqualified from keeping animals for life.

Northampton Chronicle

Craigavon, County Armagh: Peter Cawley and Nina Reaney

#TheList Peter Cawley of Colban Crescent, Lurgan BT66 8HY and ex-wife Nina Reaney, born 04/06/1983, most recently of Holly Hill, Dollingstown BT66 7UB – convicted of animal cruelty following the discovery of three emaciated dogs.

Convicted dog abusers Peter Cawley and his ex-wife Nina Reaney  received a pitiful five-year ban, which expires in January 2021.
Convicted dog abusers Peter Cawley and his ex-wife Nina Reaney of Craigavon received a pitiful five-year ban, which expires in January 2021.

The pair pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering and failing to meet the needs of three dogs in their joint care.

Charges were brought against them by Armagh Banbridge and Craigavon District Council under Sections 4 and 9 of the Welfare of Animals Act (NI) 2011.

Mother-of-seven Nina Reaney (formerly Nina Cawley) separated from Peter Cawley and now has a new man in her life. Wonder if he knows she’s a convicted animal abuser.

Animal Welfare Officers, who visited the couple’s former property on the Calverstown Road, Bleary, in October 2014, came across three emaciated dogs with no access to food, water or bedding. The dogs were kept in a pen with significant accumulations of dog faeces.

This little shih-tzu, who was blind and missing all but three of his teeth, had to be put to sleep to end his suffering.

The veterinary surgeon who attended the scene noted a Shih Tzu type dog, who was blind and all but three of his teeth were missing. He had to be euthanised because of his extremely poor condition.

The second crossbred type dog had a growth on her back leg. She was extremely thin with dirty skin. Both she and a third boxer type dog were removed from the property and have since been successfully rehomed.

Cawley: three-month custodial sentence suspended for two years Reaney: two-month custodial sentence suspended for one year. Costs of £3,727 each. Both were banned from owning any animal for a period of five years (expires January 2021).

Lurgan Mail

Buntingford, Hertfordshire: Samuel Lyas and Valentine Baldock

#TheList Samuel Lyas, born 27/03/1990, and Valentine Baldock, born 26/05/1984, both of Brent Pelham, Buntingford, Herts, for leaving their injured dogs to suffer after forcing them to fight foxes and badgers

Photo shows Samuel Lyas and two badly injured dogs. One of the dogs  has a degloved jaw and the other has facial scarring.
Samuel Lyas and injured Max and Bronson. Max’s lower jaw had exposed flesh where the skin had been ripped off. His injury was untreated.

Lyas (pictured) and Baldock admitted causing unnecessary suffering to terriers, some of whom were left with the skin ripped from their lower jaws.

The RSPCA’s special operations unit began investigating Lyas, who is originally from Witham in Essex, after being made aware of allegations that he used his dogs to attack wild animals. A warrant was executed by Herts Constabulary’s rural operations team at his home in April 2015.

RSPCA officers found six terriers, including a red male called Max and a black longhair called Bronson who both needed treatment for their injuries. Max was suffering ‘de-gloving’ injuries – the dog had no skin on his lower jaw, leaving the flesh exposed after it had been ripped off.

A tethering post was found by RSPCA and police officers, which pictures on Lyas’ phone showed was used to tie up foxes for the dogs to practise on.

A homemade noose was also found.

A separate warrant the same day at Baldock’s address, also in Brent Pelham, found more dogs, including black terriers called Gravel and Todd, with head, facial and jaw injuries which had not received proper treatment.

A vet also found staples in the corner of Gravel’s mouth, some of which had become partially detached from the skin. These had been inserted by Baldock.

A series of text messages between Lyas and a friend revealed Bronson had been involved in a fight with a fox. One text said: “Had hold of him from start to finish not a noise from him just grunted with his mouth full.”

Prosecutor Lauren Bond told the court: “These people are not fit and proper to look after animals.

“They have shown a complete contempt for the safety of animals, not just the dogs but the foxes.

“These are not injuries that have occurred by accident, they have occurred through deliberate placing of a dog in that situation.”

Lyas and Baldock lived in neighbouring houses in Brent Pelham, which were provided by their employers, who have since sacked and evicted them. While the employer is not named in the linked article, it is known that both men worked for the Puckeridge Hunt, Lyas as a terrierman and Baldock as a kennel huntsman. It is alleged that the hunt paid their legal costs but then cut ties just before conviction following negative publicity.

Screenshot of the Puckeridge Hunt webstie shows Valentine Baldock listed as a kennel huntsman.
A screenshot of the Puckeridge Hunt website lists Valentine Baldock as a kennel huntsman.

The decision to seize a dog found in Lyas’ home drew an angry reaction from the public gallery, with his friends and family claiming she belonged to his partner.

One of his entourage shouted: “How much more do you want to take away?”

Lyas has a history of violence being part of a gang of thugs convicted for assault in 2010.

Sentencing: Lyas – 26-week custodial sentence, suspended for two years; £3,600 in costs; 280 hours’ unpaid work. Baldock – 225 hours’ community service; £3,025 in fines. Both banned from keeping animals for life.

Trident Media

Crawley, West Sussex: Kieran Taylor

#TheList Kieran James Taylor, born 04/02/1997, of Holbein Road, Crawley RH10 5LB – killed a sheep by kicking it, stabbing it and then setting it on fire

2018 social media image of Kieran Taylor
Kieran Taylor in FB image from 2018

The sheep was kept in a paddock at Tilgate Nature Centre in Crawley.

Nature Centre staff found the young semi-wild male Boreray sheep savaged and burned in the woods on October 16 2014.

Prosecutor Timothy Forster said its injuries were “consistent with the use of a sharp blade such as a pen knife”.

Taylor pictured outside court  in February 2016
Taylor pictured outside court in January 2016

He added: “[Taylor] was seen going into the pen and the sheep was chased. It was assaulted a number of times while still in the paddock.”

Twisted Kieran Taylor admitted kicking and stabbing the innocent animal before burning its remains.

Taylor avoided jail but was given a court order banning him from drinking.

He was also ordered to observe a curfew and attend behaviour therapy sessions after engaging in sexual activity with underage girls.

Sentencing: four months in jail for animal cruelty, suspended for two years and a further 11 months for the underage sex offences. Banned from drinking alcohol.

Daily Star

A second man, Matthew Dean, born 19/08/1997, of Whittington Road, Crawley RH10 5AQ was found guilty of hitting, kicking and stabbing  the sheep along with Kieran Taylor and a third person who has never been identified.

Taylor's accomplice Matthew Dean pictured at court in 2016
Taylor’s accomplice Matthew Dean pictured at court in 2016

Dean had denied one count of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal but was found guilty.

On 22 March 2016 Dean was jailed for 14 weeks suspended for 12 months with requirements to do 90 hours of supervised unpaid work and comply with a daily electronic tag curfew from 9pm to 7am. He was ordered to pay £50 compensation, £20 victim surcharge and £750 costs.

Crawley Observer

Bournemouth, Dorset: Christopher Rushton and Kirsty Hales

#TheList Christopher Rushton, born 05/02/1978, and Kirsty Hales (aka Kathleen Johnston), born 07/08/1986, previously of Henley Green, Coventry, but more recently of Christchurch Road, Bournemouth BH7 6DT – prosecuted for animal cruelty after handing in “walking skeleton” puppy to RSPCA

Chris Rushton and Kirsty Hales, who were banned from keeping animals after handing in a starved puppy to RSPCA
Christopher Rushton and Kirsty Hales told the RSPCA they had found a starving puppy on the streets when he had been living with them for two months

Four-month-old lurcher William was handed into the RSPCA centre in Allesley by NHS workers Christopher Rushton and Kirsty Hales, who lied that they had found the starved puppy in the street. However, RSPCA investigators eventually uncovered their deception to reveal the couple had in fact failed to feed William properly, causing him to become seriously malnourished.

William the lurcher, who was found curled up and unable to stand by a passer-by in Willenhall Lane, Binley, in September 2015.
William the lurcher was found curled up and unable to stand by a passer-by in Willenhall Lane, Binley, in September 2015.

One RSPCA inspector said it was the worst case she had seen in ten years.

The pair had bought William – who was initially named George – on impulse after seeing him advertised for sale on the internet. But they had not done their research on how to look after a puppy or how much to feed him, leading him to lose so much weight that he became seriously ill.

Chris Rushton and Kirsty Hales, who were banned from keeping animals after handing in a starved puppy to RSPCA
The pair, who have two children, relocated to Bournemouth from Coventry

As well as the effects of starvation, a vet said William was also anaemic and dehydrated when he was taken into the RSPCA’s care.

The couple pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to the puppy between August 26 and September 9, 2015.

Chris Rushton and Kirsty Hales, who were banned from keeping animals after handing in a starved puppy to RSPCA

RSPCA inspector Nicky Foster, who investigated the case, said: “This would never have happened if they had done their research before getting him.

“Getting a dog should never be done on impulse, and this is evidenced by what happened to William. It is heartbreaking to think that, because of this, four months ago he was close to death.

“Thankfully, William has made a fantastic recovery and has now been rehomed with a family who dote on him.”

Lurcher William has recovered from his ordeal
William came on leaps and bounds in the RSPCA’s care and was eventually rehomed

The ban means parents-of-two Rushton and Hales had to give up their two other pets – a dog and a cat – who had to live with relatives.

Sentence: 12-week prison sentence suspended for a year; 35 hours of unpaid work; £889 costs each towards the RSPCA investigation and court case plus £80 victim surcharge. Banned indefinitely from keeping animals (can re-apply to keep animals after five years, i.e. 2021).