Chester: 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.”

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

BBC News
CheshireLive

Armley, Leeds: Gary Samuel and Rochelle McEwan

#TheList former vet Gary James Cassius Samuel, born 09/06/1966, of 7 Weston Road, Enfield EN2 0QD and vets’ assistant Rochelle McEwan, born 18/03/1987 of 9 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.

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.

Sentencing:
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 (DOB 01/07/77) of 8 Greenhill Crescent, Daventry NN11 9BL –  took three year-old shih tzu Ronnie 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 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.

RSPCA News
Daventry Express

Additional information:
As at August 2018 Steven Cook is running a rubbish clearance business in Daventry called Move It Clear It.

Craigavon, Co 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.

Sentencing:
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

Brent Pelham, Buntingford, Herts: 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