Birkenhead, Merseyside: David Michael O’Toole

#TheList David Michael O’Toole, born c. 1986, of Birkett Rd, Rock Ferry, Birkenhead CH42 4PR – set his dog on his girlfriend’s pet tortoise and sent her videos of the attack

Thug David Michael O'Toole, who also has drugs convictions, set his dog on his girlfriend's pet tortoise and sent her a video of the attack
Thug David Michael O’Toole, who also has drugs convictions, set his dog on his girlfriend’s pet tortoise and sent her a video of the attack

O’Toole could be heard shouting “go on, get him,” over and over again as the dog “bit chunks” from the helpless tortoise’s shell.

The owner of the tortoise, Lucy McDonald, was forced to give her pet to a rescue centre after being unable to afford to pay for treatment needed as a result of the attack.

O’Toole pleaded guilty at Liverpool Magistrates’ Court today to causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal and to sending an offensive, indecent, obscene or menacing communication.

Thug David Michael O'Toole, who also has drugs convictions, set his dog on his girlfriend's pet tortoise and sent her a video of the attack

Hannah Griffiths, prosecuting, told the court: “The victim had been at a family member’s house after a weekend away with the defendant, who is now her former partner.

“While at her family member’s address she received two videos of the defendant goading his dog into going for the defendant’s pet tortoise, which was upside down. In the background he could be heard saying ‘go on, get him’, over and over again.”

The court heard the incident was reported to the police who attended O’Toole’s address. Officers found the tortoise bleeding, and noticed it had chunks of shell missing, and arrested the defendant for animal cruelty.

Ms Griffiths said: “The complainant, in her statement, said she thought the defendant would kill the tortoise and described being extremely scared and upset.”

Liverpool Echo 24/03/2016
Liverpool Echo 18/01/2017 (contains details of sentencing for the animal cruelty offence and further crimes)

Failsworth, Manchester: Joel Samuel Finley

Joel Samuel Finley, born 23/11/1990, of Failsworth, Manchester  – beat gentle dog Dingo around the head and threw him in the canal

Dog abuser Joel Samuel Finlay originally from Failsworth, Manchester

Dingo was beaten and thrown in the canal by his former owner Finley – a British Army soldier. He was left with serious head injuries and suspected hypothermia.

Vet Darragh Kavanagh, who was called in to treat the poorly animal at the Hillcrest Animal Hospital in Chorley, said: “Dingo had been beaten with a blunt object. He had three fractures to his head and skull and we could see he had suffered a beating to his chest because had air trapped in his lung and had to have the air drained.

“He was suffering hypothermia from being in the canal in the middle of February.

“He was in a very distressed state and had marks to his face.

“He is such a nice dog. I know in my heart he never put up a fight at all. I can see from his gentle and friendly character he would have just taken it.

“It’s horrible to see what happened to him. People who live locally have said he was left all day, sometimes tied up in lashing rain. He had no love.

“He has been rehomed with a nice family so he can be a normal, happy dog – his whole life has changed.”

Police were called to an address on Smith Street, Adlington, to reports of banging and howling coming from the property.

There was no answer at the door, but as police were outside the house Finley approached the property with the cross-breed dog. He told police he did not live there and left again, still carrying Dingo, who was wet and bleeding. But officers followed him towards the canal and he eventually admitted it was his address.

Finley said he had given him a ‘crack’ and thrown him in the canal to “discipline it” for soiling in the house. The police seized Dingo, who was unable to move, and took him to Hillcrest Animal Hospital where he was put on a drip.

It later transpired Finley was producing cannabis at the property. He pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to an animal and producing a class-B drug.

Sentence: £1,172.31 compensation for Dingo’s vets bills and a £60 surcharge; banned from keeping dogs for 5 years (expires May 2021). 

Lancashire Post

Birkenhead, Merseyside: Linda Clark and Gordon Roach

#TheList Linda Susan Clark, born 03/04/1951, of 10 Cannon Hill, Prenton, Birkenhead CH43 4XR – left elderly dog “Trouble” to suffer arthritis for so long, most of his bones were broken; Gordon David Roach, born 17/05/1975, of 45 Fairbrook Drive, Birkenhead CH41 7EF dumped the stricken dog in the cemetery

Gordon Roach dumped neglectful Linda Clark's stricken dog Barney in a cemetery
Gordon Roach dumped neglectful Linda Clark’s stricken dog Trouble in a cemetery instead of taking him to a vet

Clark pleaded guilty to a charge of causing unnecessary suffering to her dog, called Trouble. The dog, named Elmo by vets after he was found abandoned in Wirral’s Flaybrick Cemetery, was in such poor condition when eventually seen by vets that he had to be put to sleep.

The case caused such outrage when it was first made public that an online petition was launched to demand justice for the dog.

The court heard that Clark, who had owned the 13-year-old cross-breed since he was a puppy, failed to provide adequate veterinary treatment to alleviate her pet’s suffering. She said she handed the dog over to a friend’s son who said he would take the dog to the RSPCA or a vet.

He was spotted the next day in the undergrowth in a remote part of Flaybrick Cemetery. X-rays showed he had multiple bone fractures and joint dislocations due to an untreated arthritic condition and would have been in “immense pain and discomfort.”

Convicted dog abuser Linda Clark of Birkenhead, Merseyside
Trouble as he was found in the local cemetery and the crocodile tears of his cruel owner Linda Clark

The man Clark had handed Trouble over to to take to the vet or RSPCA – Gordon Roach of Dundonald St, Birkenhead – admitted that he had dumped the dog.

After the hearing, RSPCA Inspector Anthony Joynes said: “This case obviously attracted huge public outrage and it is only down to members of the public that we have been able to fully investigate this incident and bring two individuals before the courts so I thank them for their assistance.

“Elmo had been left with multiple bone fractures and joint dislocations due to an untreated arthritic condition and would have been in immense pain and discomfort every day for many months, and probably much longer.

“That is completely unacceptable no matter what the mitigating circumstances of the owner are.

“Animals rely on us completely to provide veterinary care for them when they become ill or are injured. Failing to provide this is a criminal offence which not only the RSPCA but the courts take seriously.

“It is also something that the public clearly won’t stand for and rightly so as animal cruelty and neglect is abhorrent and has no place in today’s society.”


Linda Clark – three-month suspended prison sentence; £380 in costs; banned from keeping animals for 10 years (expires May 2026).

Gordon Roach – four weeks in prison, suspended for two years. Banned from keeping animals for five years (expires May 2021).

Liverpool Echo 11/05/2016
Liverpool Echo 20/05/2016

Worsley, Manchester: Lindsey Amelia Kearney and son Sam William Kearney

#TheList Lindsey and Sam Kearney of 49 Blackleach Drive, Worsley, Manchester M28 3GP – left their elderly pet dog Barney to die pinned under an ironing board underneath the kitchen table ; Barney sadly put to sleep on the spot.

Elderly dog Sam was ignored by his owners Lindsey and Sam Kearney as he lay dying underneath the kitchen table
Elderly dog Sam was ignored by his owners Lindsey and Sam Kearney as he lay dying underneath the kitchen table

Lindsey Kearney and her son, Sam Kearney, ignored the stricken cries of collie cross Barney after he collapsed on the floor and left him there for at least TWO days, covered in his own urine and faeces.

The vet involved in the case said it was the ‘worst case of neglect’ he had seen in 34 years.

Barney had acid burns all over his body and to his face from being left in his own urine.

He was in such a severe and devastating state, RSPCA officers had to immediately summon a vet to the house to put him to sleep as it would have been too painful to move the pet.

Lindsey Kearney pleaded guilty and Sam Kearney was found guilty after a trial to causing unnecessary suffering to the animal, including poor body condition and weight loss, and a further charge of causing unnecessary suffering for his collapsed state and urine scalds.

Prosecutor David McCormick said: “I think the vet summed up this case the best when he stated, ‘This was truly one of the most severe cases of neglect that I have ever seen in 34 years in this profession.’

“To this, I can add one of saddest cases I have dealt with in my 40 years as a prosecutor.

“The defendants had owned Barney for 18 years and yet could leave him to die lying on a hard floor under a table, in a pool of his own urine and with an ironing board propped across him.

“Sodden in his own length in his own urine where he had laid for days.

“What a sad and undignified end for a pet of 18 years.”

Passing sentence, District Judge Sam Goozee, told the pair: “A dog who you have loved as a family pet had to be put down as a consequence of neglect both of you showed towards him.

“The photographs were disturbingly taken while he (Barney) was still alive.

“His death was undignified and painful and nobody should treat a pet in this way.”

Lindsey Kearney was sentenced to 12 weeks in prison, suspended for 18 months. She was also given 200 hours of unpaid work and ordered to pay costs of £300. Sam Kearney was given 300 hours of unpaid work and also ordered to pay costs of £300.Both were given a 10-year ban on owning any animals (expires May 2026).

Manchester Evening News

Kitts Green, Birmingham: Lee Michael Davies

#TheList Lee Michael Davies (DoB 14/1/88) of 17 South Roundhay, Birmingham B33 – left a 12wo puppy in agony with broken leg

Daisy, victim of dog abuser Lee Michael Davies of Birmingham

Davies left his 12-week-old puppy to suffer with a fractured leg and did not take him to the vets. The cause of the fracture has not, apparently, been explained.

Davies pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to the puppy by failing to provide veterinary care and attention.

When an RSPCA inspector arrived at Davies’s house after a call from a member of the public, the puppy – named Daisy – had a bandage around her front right leg which Davies had put on himself.

RSPCA inspector Jon Ratcliffe, who investigated the case, said: “It was not enough to just a put a bandage on poor Daisy’s leg – this would have done nothing to alleviate the pain she was clearly in.

“When we got her to a vet, she yelped whenever her leg was touched or manipulated. This could easily have been avoided had she just been taken to the vets which was just half-a-mile away.

“If your pet is injured in any way, it is so important to get veterinary treatment for them as soon as possible to prevent them suffering any further.

“Daisy was only a few weeks old when this happened. It is so sad to think that she went through this pain and suffering at the start of her life. Thankfully she has now been rehomed with a family who gives her the love and attention that she deserves.”

Daisy is pictured when she first arrived in the RSPCA’s care, above right, and as she was after treatment.

12-month community order, total of £360 costs and charges; banned from keeping animals for 3 years (expires May 2019).

Dogs Monthly

Dogsthorpe, Peterborough: Trudy Oakley

Trudy Oakley, born 14/03/1970, of 105 Redmile Walk, Peterborough PE1 4TW – allowed pet dog Pooch to suffer with excruciating eye condition for FIVE years.

Trudy Oakley left her dog Pooch to suffer an excruciatingly painful and uncomfortable eye condition for more than five years.
Trudy Oakley left her dog Pooch to suffer an excruciatingly painful and uncomfortable eye condition for more than five years.

Staffy Pooch’s eye was in such a terrible state it appeared to be popping out of his skull.

Despite being told to have Pooch’s eye removed, his owner, Trudy Oakley, ignored vets’ pleas.

Pooch had to endure pain and suffering for another five years until he was seized by the police.

Pooch suffers from a congenital condition which caused his eye to erupt. Vets have now removed it and, although he is still undergoing treatment, fear he will also lose his other eye.

The RSPCA was alerted to Pooch’s plight in January 2016 after a tip-off from a member of the public.

Inspector Justin Stubbs went to Oakley’s home and was shocked by what greeted him.

“Pooch was in a terrible state and his eye looked horrendous,” he said. “It was like something out of a horror movie… His eyeball looked ready to pop out of his skull.

“Ms Oakley received veterinary advice in December 2010 to have Pooch’s eye removed but this was ignored and she failed to seek any further professional advice.

“That means poor Pooch was left suffering from what must have been an extremely painful and uncomfortable eye condition for more than five years. It’s just shocking.”

Pooch was removed from Oakley’s ownership and treated.

Sentence: two-year conditional discharge; £250 costs; banned from keeping animals for just one year.

Peterborough Today