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

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.

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.

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