Byker, Newcastle upon Tyne: Jill McMahon

#TheList Jill McMahon, born c. 1968, of Denmark Street, Byker, Newcastle upon Tyne NE6 – beat, kicked and punched her elderly Jack Russell terrier, Maggie, in the middle of the street

Convicted dog abuser Jill McMahon from Byker, Newcastle upon Tyne

In an appalling episode of cruelty Jill McMahon dangled the helpless 12yo dog in the air by her lead, which was around her neck, and attacked her in front of horrified onlookers.

McMahon was seen to repeatedly hit and punch the elderly dog in the face and neck with such force she “nearly fell over” before kicking it in the stomach.

But, the violence didn’t end there and when the terrified animal finally managed to slip her lead as she dangled in the air by her neck, McMahon pinned her to the ground and continued the attack.

The drunk brute was eventually stopped when a shocked witness called the police and she was arrested.

Magistrates described McMahon’s actions as “intolerable” after she pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to an animal.

Anna Barker, prosecuting, said: “The witness saw the defendant sitting on the curb with a dog on a lead.

“The witness described the defendant suddenly hitting the dog with an open hand a couple of times. She then punched the dog with full force to the lower neck.

“The defendant then got up to walk away but she then kicked the dog in the stomach. She then lifted it up off the ground by its lead and she hit it three or four times with such force, she nearly fell over.

“There are further kicks then the dog managed to slip its collar but the defendant pinned it to the floor and hit it to the face two or three times.”

A shocked onlooker was driving passed when he saw the attack but couldn’t intervene as he had a child in the car, so instead he phoned the police.

The court heard officers arrived and arrested McMahon and Maggie was taken to a vets, where she was found to have swelling and was given intravenous painkillers.

Sadly, the dog later died but due to an infection and not the injuries caused in the attack.

In interview, McMahon told officers she was so drunk she had no memory of the incident.

Neil Connell, mitigating, said McMahon had suffered abuse throughout her childhood and as an adult and also had a drug and alcohol problem.

He said: “She has no recollection of the offence and I know because I have represented her throughout these proceedings and she has found it difficult to come to terms with the suggestion she was capable of treating Maggie in the way that has been described.

“She loved the dog dearly and I know from being at court on the last occasion when she learned of the passing of Maggie and the effect that had one her. She was so distressed the case had to be adjourned.”

Jailed for 16 weeks; £500 costs. Banned from keeping animals for five years (expires June 2022).


Paisley, Renfrewshire: Alexander David Arrol

#TheList: Alexander David Arrol (DoB 23/06/1986) of Waverley Road, Paisley, Renfrewshire – threw a Jack Russell terrier named Max from the window of a second-floor flat, causing him to have a leg amputated

Twisted Alexander Arrol and his victim Max as a puppy
Twisted thug Alexander Arrol and his victim Max as a puppy

The court heard that Arrol had been asked to leave a party a short time before launching his callous attack on the helpless dog. Max was taken for treatment to a local vet where he was found to have head trauma and wasn’t able to support weight on his right hind leg. The leg later had to be amputated.

Arrol pleaded guilty to causing the dog unnecessary suffering, in breach of the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006, by throwing him through the window to his severe injury on February 27, 2017.

He also admitted a charge of culpably and recklessly breaking the window and throwing a television set and other unspecified items onto the street below.

Arrol’s lawyer told the court that his client – a career criminal with 55 previous convictions  – suffered from anxiety and depression.

Sentence: Arrol was jailed for 10 months for the offences, reduced from a year as he admitted his guilt.

The Gazette 28/05/2017

Motherwell, North Lanarkshire: Keith Ross

#TheList Keith Ross, Highfield Crescent, Motherwell –  kept reptiles, including king cobra, rattlesnake and vipers, in his one-bedroom flat in appalling conditions.

Animal abuser and sexual deviant Keith Ross from Motherwell
Animal abuser and sexual deviant Keith Ross from Motherwell

Ross admitted animal neglect after keeping the creatures in his small apartment for six years.

Ross previously ran ‘Keith’s Reptile Parties’ where he charged £80 per hour for attending children’s events with a number of his animals, including the lizards and snakes.

Ross also had turtles, a polecat and a hawk at his flat.

Balby, Doncaster: Thomas Miller

#TheList Thomas Albert Miller, born 03/12/1991, formerly of Schofield Road, Mexborough, and more recently Clarence Avenue in Balby, Doncaster DN4 8AU – caught on camera beating his husky puppy to keep him quiet

Convicted animal abuser Thomas Miller from Doncaster is banned from keeping pets for life

Career criminal Thomas Miller, who is known locally by the nickname ‘Skinny’, was jailed after he was filmed beating a defenceless puppy named Gizmo to try and get him to be quiet.

Miller is shown kicking Gizmo in the face in his back garden while shouting ‘Why are you looking at me?’

A neighbour filmed him as he continued kicking Gizmo as the dog cowered up against the wall in the garden.

Convicted animal abuser Thomas Miller from Doncaster is banned from keeping pets for life
Convicted animal abuser Thomas Miller from Doncaster is banned from keeping pets for life

Father-of-two Miller admitted charges of causing unnecessary suffering by inflicting blunt force trauma, physical violence and intimidating behaviour.

Miller will serve the animal cruelty sentence concurrent to the dangerous driving sentence of two years and five months, which was given on 27 March 2017.

Gizmo, victim of animal abuser Thomas Miller from Doncaster who is banned from keeping pets for life
Gizmo and Miller’s other dog, Reco, were rehomed by the RSPCA

Miller’s two dogs Gizmo and Reco were taken from him by the RSPCA and are set to be rehomed.

Stills from video footage showing evil Thomas Miller launch a violent attack on a terrified husky puppy

Speaking after the hearing, RSPCA inspector Keira Benham said: ‘It’s clear from the footage that Gizmo is petrified of Miller.

‘He knows what is coming as soon as Miller begins to approach him. He’s entirely submissive and crying out before he even kicks him, as if he’s pleading him not to do it, but Miller does it anyway.

‘It’s an utterly disgusting way to treat an animal, let alone a puppy.

‘I want to thank the member of the public who contacted us about this, who was so brave, we’re so grateful to her.

‘And I hope that Gizmo and Reco, Miller’s other dog who he was also deprived of, will now be able to enjoy the amazing new forever homes that are lined up for them, where they’ll be spoilt rotten.’

Sentencing: 18 weeks in jail (concurrent with another sentence for a driving offence). Total of £615 costs and charges. Lifetime ban on keeping animals.

BBC News

Shotton, Deeside: Debra Teresa Peet

#TheList Debra Teresa Peet, born 24/10/1962, of PoplarAvenue, Shotton, Deeside CH5 – abandoned a terrier dog and left him to starve to death.

Terrier Benji was left to starve to death in an abandoned property by cruel Debra Peet of Shotton, Flintshire
Terrier Benji was left to starve to death in an abandoned property by cruel Debra Peet of Shotton, Flintshire

Peet admitted causing the dog – named Benji – to suffer unnecessarily, with an RSPCA inspector expressing sadness at her “shocking disregard for a fellow living creature”.

Shocking images show the collapsed terrier dog, with bones visible across his skin. He had starved to death, falling amid a pile of rubbish inside the Deeside property. Dog excrement was all over the floor of the house.

The body of the dog was found at the property by police after the defendant had moved out, with the RSPCA contacted to investigate in November. Benji had not been tended to for a number of weeks.

In all, the defendant pleaded guilty to three Animal Welfare Act offences, including a failure to meet Benji’s needs, and causing him to suffer unnecessarily.

Terrier Benji was left to starve to death in an abandoned property by cruel Debra Peet of Shotton, Flintshire
Benji died a slow and painful death after being abandoned by his callous owner Debra Peet

RSPCA inspector Tim Jones said:

“Benji’s death is so tragic, and was caused because his owner showed such shocking disregard for a fellow living creature. The suffering must have been severe.

”Veterinary inspection found this poor dog was malnourished, emaciated and was weighing only 3.3kg.

“Owning a dog like Benji is a privilege, and it is heartbreaking to think what he went through after being left to die.”

Sentencing: three-month tagged curfew; eight month community order with rehabilitation; total of £285 costs and charges. Banned from keeping animals for just 10 years (expires June 2027).

North Wales Live

Chorley, Lancashire: Arlene Ashcroft

#TheList animal hoarder Arlene Barbara Ashcroft, born 07/08/1952, most recently of Harewood, Chorley PR7 1XL – banned for keeping 11 dogs in appalling conditions; repeatedly flouted her ban

In June 2008 Arlene Ashcroft was banned from keeping animals for life after neglecting 11 dogs in her care. The lifetime ban was later reduced on appeal to just five years.

The RSPCA originally took action against Ashcroft after finding the dogs infested with fleas and living in squalor at her then property in Pennine Avenue, Chorley.

RSPCA inspector Lisa Lupson said: “The conditions these animals were living in were absolutely shocking. There was faeces and urine all over the house. We had to put wellingtons on to go in, and of course the smell was horrendous.

“These were all very young animals, being forced to live in incredibly awful conditions, and suffering as a result. It’s taken a very long time to rid them of some of the infections they picked up whilst in Mrs Ashcroft’s care.”

Ashcroft had been due to stand trial but pleaded guilty at the eleventh hour to failing to meet the needs of nine of her dogs and causing unnecessary suffering to two of them.

At the time Ashcroft’s neighbours spoke of their relief that the dogs had been found a new home because they said their constant barking and noise made their lives hell.

Her next door neighbour said: “I never saw the dogs because they were always in the house, I’m glad something has been done to end this.”

Another neighbour said: “She has had dogs taken off her before but it is about time she was banned for life. Seven dogs in a semi-detached house with a small garden is not right and they are stuck in that house permanently.”

The cruelty first came to light in July 2007 when a one-year-old shih-tsu dog was found tied up inside Ashcroft’s garage – the dog was underweight and police were called to seize him.

A German shepherd puppy, a spaniel puppy, and a mastiff puppy, all aged 12 weeks, as well as a mastiff aged six months and a shih-tsu aged nine months were rescued the following week.

In September 2007 another three dogs were seized: a German shepherd puppy, a Border terrier-type aged two years and a Jack Russell puppy.

In January 2017 Ashcroft was back in court after being found found in possession of a rabbit. Six months later in June she was given a community order with a curfew for breaching her banning order by keeping a lurcher dog.

Lancashire Post – June 2017
Lancashire Post – January 2017
Chorley Guardian – March 2009
Chorley Guardian – June 2008

Glenavy, Crumlin, Co Antrim: James Steele

#TheList James Steele, born c. 1969, of 15 Gobrana Road, Glenavy, Crumlin BT29 4LQ – for multiple cruelty offences to donkeys, sheep and cattle

Cruel farmer James Steele from Glenavy is banned from having livestock for 25 years
Serial animal abuser James Steele has caused suffering to countless animals

Steele entered guilty pleas to a total of 16 charges including ten counts of causing unnecessary suffering to cows, sheep, calves and a bull on dates between 17 September 2015 and 10 January 2016.

The charges arose as a result of a series of inspections by the Dept of Agriculture Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) at land Steele was renting in Crumlin, Dundrod and Glenavy.

Over the course of the numerous visits, DAERA officials found:

  • Lame animals being kept in unsuitable slatted sheds
  • A cow with overgrown cleats
  • A calf which had to be euthanised due to an infected hoof and leg
  • A “distressed” sheep which was found to be suffering from “cerebrocortical necrosis,” a disease of the central nervous system, later euthanised by the vet
  • A young Charlois bull was weak and dehydrated suffering from pneumonia so given the poor prognosis and “poor body condition,” it was also euthanised

At a yard on the Lisnataylor Road in Dundrod, inspectors found a cubicle house with 18 feeding spaces that was being used to feed 97 beasts, 49 cows, a bull and 47 calves. This meant it was inadequate for the number of animals to allow them to have sufficient access to food.

In addition passageways were knee deep in slurry and there was no bedding for the calves. There was also a dead calf in an area where other calves had access to.

Animals suffering on James Steele's farm
Some of the animals found had not had feed or water for days

As a result of the inspections, DAERA officials were granted a seizure/deprivation order and seized the 153 cattle but when they were examined it was decided that 13 animals were not fit to travel and were euthanised.

The court heard that Steele had previous convictions for causing animal suffering.

In that case, also dealt with by way of suspended jail sentences, Steele was found guilty of two charges under the Welfare of Animals Act (NI) 2011 in that he had caused suffering to a number of donkeys which he kept in fields in the Dundrod area in June 2015.

The Animal Welfare Service responded finding 11 donkeys, nine of which had severely overgrown hooves making it very painful and difficult for them to walk.

After a full examination the Council’s vet stated that the condition of nine of the 11 donkeys was such that they should, in their own interest, be humanely destroyed.

Sentencing: nine-month prison sentence suspended for four years. Banned from keeping farm animals for 25 years.

Belfast Telegraph

Dewsbury, West Yorkshire: Michael Smith and Gwen Kerr

#TheList Michael Smith, born c. 1953, of Princess Road, Chickenley, Dewsbury WF12 8RA, and Gwen Kerr, born c. 1962, of Queen Street, Chickenley – convicted of charges relating to sexual intercourse with a bull mastiff dog named Tank

Pervert Michael Smith was found guilty of encouraging girlfriend Gwen Kerr to have sex with bull mastiff
Pervert Michael Smith was found guilty of encouraging girlfriend Gwen Kerr to have sex with bull mastiff

In two separate four-minute videos Michael Smith filmed Gwen Kerr having sex with his dog – but the deviant pair walked free from court as the judge warned them ‘don’t do it again’.

Leeds Crown Court heard Smith “used and abused” Kerr before taking the video to social services in May 2016, claiming he was concerned for her welfare.

The jury heard Smith told the social worker he was worried about Kerr saying a drug dealer had been giving her amphetamines and she had been put to work as sex worker. She told him she would have to report the footage to the police. Smith denied he made two films and said he did not know how more footage got on the camcorder.

Smith denied aiding and abetting, counselling or procuring intercourse with an animal and a second charge of possessing extreme pornographic images, but was found guilty by jury after trial.

Pervert Michael Smith was found guilty of encouraging girlfriend Gwen Kerr to have sex with bull mastiff

Kerr pleaded guilty to having sex with an animal.

Mark McKone, prosecuting, said: “This defendant (Kerr) effectively had sexual intercourse with a dog. Mr Smith took a video film of that dog.”

He added: “In respect of extreme pornographic images this offence carries a maximum of two years in prison.”

Mr McKone said that Smith had 10 previous convictions for 40 offences, although none of a similar nature.

Sentencing the pair, James Spencer QC said: “I’m quite satisfied that you, Michael Smith, used and abused your girlfriend Gwen Kerr to be involved in the activity.

“I am sentencing you to a 12 months’ custodial sentence, suspended for 12 months.

“Gwen Kerr, I am conditionally discharging you for 12 months. Don’t do it again.”

Smith was also told to pay a £115 surcharge and Kerr a £20 surcharge.

The Sun

Accrington, Lancashire: Catherine Allsager and Malcolm Ogden

#TheList Catherine Allsager (DoB 14/08/1979) of Richmond Street, Accrington, and Malcolm Ogden, aged 58 at date of conviction, of Frederick Street, Accrington – left cats and dogs in ‘horrendous’ conditions at their homes surrounded by faeces, urine and rubbish.

Catherine Allsager and Malcolm Ogden, convicted animal abusers from Accrington

RSPCA and police raided the properties of Catherine Allsager and Malcolm Ogden in Accrington after a ‘disturbing’ picture was sent to the authorities of a dead dog at Ogden’s home.

Officers executed a warrant at his house on Frederick Street and found it was ‘disgusting’ with ‘horrendous smells, rubbish, faeces and urine’, Blackburn Magistrates Court heard.

Chris Wyatt, prosecuting, said there was a ‘trail of faeces from the front door to Ogden’s car’ and that four dogs were found inside in an ‘awful state’.

The court heard that cat litter trays were filled with faeces which had ‘turned white’ and that dog faeces ‘inches high’ were strewn on the floor.

The dogs also had no access to water and the bathroom was ‘covered in faeces and smelled horrendous’.

Mr Wyatt said the RSPCA were later alerted by concerned Manchester Dog’s Home staff after five dead cats had been taken for cremation by Allsager.

The court heard that the cats smelt of urine and had lesions on their paws, legs and belly.

Another of Allsager’s cats had also been taken to a veterinary practice for treatment after it was ‘screaming in pain because there was something wrong with its joints’.

The RSPCA executed a warrant at Allsager’s then home on Elizabeth Street on October 19, 2016 and found urine and faeces on the floor and a ‘strong smell of ammonia’.

Mr Wyatt said 10 cats and six dogs found inside with two of the dogs left in crates and another four dogs loose in the kitchen.

One of the dogs was drinking urine off the floor and numerous fly-strips were found with dead flies, the court heard.

The court was told that one of the cats had puncture wounds and another had swelling to the right side of the jaw.

When Ogden was arrested and interviewed he admitted the dead dog on the picture was his and said that two of the four dogs living with him were Allsager’s.

He said he also had to live in those conditions and was ‘trying to clean the house’.

Allsager told officers that she had sent the picture of the dead dog and had taken one of her cats to the vets after it developed a high temperature.

Ogden pleaded guilty to two counts of failing to ensure the needs of an animal.

Allsager pleaded guilty to five counts of failing to ensure the needs of an animal and two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to animals.

Allsager – six-week suspended prison sentence; 35 days of rehabilitation activities; banned from keeping animals for life.

Ogden – 10-month community order with 20 days’ rehabilitation activity requirement; fine of £100 plus costs/charges of £385; banned from keeping dogs or cats for five years (expires June 2022).

Daily Mail
Lancashire Telegraph

Langport, Somerset: Neil Duncan Harper

#TheList Neil Duncan Harper, born September 1978, currently of Montacute and previously of Parksey Park, Pitney, Langport, Somerset – left two horses and a foal to become so emaciated the mare could no longer produce milk

Neil Duncan Harper was banned from owning horses for life following conviction of three counts of cruelty
Neil Duncan Harper was banned from owning horses for life following conviction of three counts of cruelty

Harper, who is originally from Uckfield, East Sussex, was found guilty of three counts of causing unnecessary suffering to three horses.

He was found to have failed to investigate and address the cause of grey gelding Aramis’ weight loss, failed to ensure six-week-old colt Tristan had received adequate nutrition and failed to investigate or address the poor condition of his dam Meggy.

The RSPCA was called by members of the public concerned for the horses’ welfare.

Inspector Marie Griffiths said: “It was heartbreaking to see horses so extremely thin and undernourished and particularly upsetting to find that Meggy had suffered such weight loss that she was physically unable to produce milk to nourish her young foal.

“To let these horses get into such a shocking state is inexcusable. Aramis had been left to suffer so badly, he sadly passed away, but thankfully both Meggy and her foal Tristan have made a brilliant recovery and I hope that they will now go on to live out their days in wonderful, loving homes.”

Harper had pleaded not guilty at an earlier hearing, saying he felt he had done all he could to care for his animals.

Meggy and Tristan, who were seized by police and given into the RSPCA’s care at the time they were found, have been signed over to the charity and will be rehomed.

Fined £400 and ordered to pay £1,000 court costs. Banned from owning horses for life.

Horse and Hound