Dunfermline, Fife: Noel Taylor

#TheList Noel Taylor, born c. 1997, of Old Kirk Road, Dunfermline KY12 7SQ – kicked a hedgehog to death

Hedgehog killer Noel Taylor from Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland
Unfortunately, twisted Noel Taylor was not banned from keeping animals

Noel Taylor inflicted so much injury on the hedgehog that when police found it, its internal organs were outside its body.

Taylor admitted that on August 28, 2016, at St Margaret Street, Dumfermline, he, whilst acting with others, repeatedly kicked the wild mammal with intent to inflict unnecessary suffering contrary to the Mammals (Protection) Act 1996.

Depute Fiscal Azrah Yousaf said police were alerted at around 4am by CCTV operators who had spotted three males kicking a hedgehog down the street.

The men, including Taylor, denied the actions and the CCTV operators directed the police officers to where they believed the hedgehog was lying.

“On examination, it was clear it had suffered severe injuries and its internal organs were outside the body,” she told the court.

“CCTV clearly showed that following kicking the hedgehog off the street, all of them clear the remnants of the animal off their shoes.”

Taylor’s solicitor, Jonathan Matheson-Dear, said his client was intoxicated but this did not excuse his behaviour.

“He was out with friends and had been to a nightclub. He was very drunk and clearly it was an action of stupidity and bravado,” he said.

“On the way home, in high spirits, he decided to harm this animal. I don’t know if his kick was the one that killed it but he is responsible and is accepting full responsibility.

“He should not have behaved in the way he did and he is not seeking to minimise the seriousness of his conduct.

“It is unfortunate the others haven’t been brought to justice for this but it in no way minimises his responsibility. He now recognises that hedgehogs are an endangered species.”

Since the incident, Mr Mathieson-Dear said, Taylor had reduced his alcohol intake.

“He now seldom goes out drinking,” he added. “Alcohol is not something that mixes well with him.

“Hopefully, this is a one-off aberration on his part and he recognises he should not behave in this way in the future.”

Sheriff Richard McFarlane described Taylor’s conduct as “abhorrent” and said the explanation that alcohol was a “fuelling factor” was not an excuse.

“There are real concerns for the species of hedgehogs and indeed they are becoming endangered,” he told Taylor.

“The maximum penalty for a charge of this nature is a significant fine or six months’ imprisonment.

“The fact is this is your first, and I hope your last offence, and you are taking steps to address your alcohol intake. You have also kept yourself out of further trouble and you continue to hold down two jobs and you were not alone in this dreadful acts so I will deal with this by way of a fine.”

Sentencing: £300 fine.

Dunfermline Press

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.

Convicted dog abuser Jill McMahon from Byker, Newcastle upon Tyne

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, born  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

Middlesbrough: Craig Wilkins and Laura Russell

#TheList Craig James Wilkins, born 18/03/1979, of Edwards Street, Eston, Middlesbrough TS6 9EZ and Laura Russell, born 23/07/1990, of Carisbrooke Avenue, Middlesbrough TS3 – starved their pet dog to emaciation

Dog abusers Craig Wilkins and Laura Russell from Middlesbrough
Russell blamed ‘depression’ for her neglect of Sasha while Wilkins, a career criminal, refused to accept any responsibility

Mum-of-three Laura Russell and then partner Craig Wilkins caused “substantial suffering” to their pet dog , Sasha, by starving her over a period of at least three months.

Sasha was starved to emaciation by her cruel owners Craig Wilkins and Laura Russell from Middlesbrough

John Ellwood, prosecuting, said the offence occurred between January 25 and February 25, 2017, and that Russell and Wilkins “caused suffering to their Staffordshire Bull Terrier called Sasha.”

He said when the RSPCA found Sasha, “her hips, spine, pelvis and ribs were prominent and she had loss of muscle bulk.

“She weighed 8.8kg at the time but should have weighed 15kg, so she was half of the weight she should have been at.”

He added: “She had a flaky and crusty coat and ate ravenously when she was finally given food.”

Upon interview, Wilkins admitted that he had owned Sasha for about a year and that she had been losing weight for “quite a few months.”

Sasha was subsequently taken into the possession of the police who then fed her and managed to get her back to a normal and healthy weight.

Dog abusers Craig Wilkins and Laura Russell from Middlesbrough pictured outside court
Dog abusers Craig Wilkins and Laura Russell from Middlesbrough pictured outside court

Daniel Burke, defending Wilkins said that he accepted the dog had lost weight but “doesn’t accept necessarily that it was prolonged neglect on his part.”

He said that during the time of the neglect Wilkins had legal restrictions which prevented him from entering the home he shared with Russell on Carisbrooke Avenue, Middlesbrough and so he was not able to look after Sasha.

He added that because Wilkins had owned Sasha for about a year, the “first nine months the dog was well looked after.”

The court also heard that Wilkins had previous convictions for dangerous driving and theft offences and had spent time in prison.

Matthew Agar, defending Russell, said that she was “mortified” to be at court and had “suffered from depression” but “accepted responsibility”.

Speaking of her depression he said: “In reality she should never have had a dog.”

Sentencing: 18-week prison sentence suspended for 12 months; £415 costs each. 10-year ban on keeping animals (expires June 2027).

Teesside Live

Islington, London: Zuriel Hutson

#TheList notorious career criminal Zuriel Hutson, born 17/09/1995, of Highbury New Park, London N5 2LH – kept a neglected marmoset monkey in his bedroom

Zuriel Hutson from Islington, London, can now add animal cruelty to his long list of criminal convictions.
Zuriel Hutson from Islington, London, can now add animal cruelty to his long list of criminal convictions.

Hutson, who was jailed in April 2017 for careering down the wrong side of the M11 at 90mph following a phone snatch, was found guilty of failing to ensure the welfare of an animal he was responsible for.

The court heard he kept a baby marmoset monkey in a small bird cage in his one-bed flat in Highbury New Park.

Zuriel Hutson from Islington, London, kept an exotic monkey in a tiny bird cage in his one-bedroom flat
Zuriel Hutson from Islington, London, kept an exotic monkey in a tiny bird cage in his one-bedroom flat

Police said they found the creature while searching his home in October 2016.

“A primate expert attended the address and made it clear that the environment the monkey was being kept in was not suitable,” Scotland Yard said in a statement.

“There were not correct or adequate provisions present to feed or look after the animal.”

Marmoset monkey Amy is now living at the Monkey World sanctuary in Dorset
Marmoset monkey Amy is now living at the Monkey World sanctuary in Dorset

The monkey was seized and a primate expert found she was underweight, “lacking in muscle tone” and suffering from a “dirty, ungroomed coat”.

“The marmoset was experiencing unnecessary suffering, both physically and mentally,” added police.

Zuriel Hutson from Islington, London, can now add animal cruelty to his long list of criminal convictions.

Det Con Ben Jefferd said: “It is obviously very cruel to keep any animal, let alone an exotic monkey, in such poor conditions without the proper training or understanding of its needs. Amy is now safe and enjoying the facilities kindly supplied at Monkey World.”

Sentencing: fined £500 and ordered to pay court costs of £650. Banned from keeping animals indefinitely.

Islington Gazette

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.

Waltham, Grimsby: Philip Wilson

#TheList farmer Philip R Wilson, born 1971, of 95 Brigsley Road, Waltham, Grimsby DN37 0LB – caused extreme suffering to sheep

Sheep were subjected to suffering, pain and disease under farmer Philip Wilson's care
Sheep were subjected to suffering, pain and disease under farmer Philip Wilson’s care.

Farmer Philip Wilson was handed a suspended prison sentence after being found guilty of causing unnecessary and extreme suffering to sheep.

He was charged with several offences of animal cruelty towards sheep kept at Middle Rasen during July 2016.

The case was brought following an investigation by Lincolnshire Trading Standards.

Wilson was convicted in his absence of:

• One count of caring for sheep when he was not familiar with the code of recommendation for the welfare of sheep

• One count of keeping sheep without ensuring that they were cared for by staff with the appropriate ability, knowledge and professional competence

• One count, under the Animal Welfare Act 2006, of failing to provide 30 sheep relief from pain, suffering and disease

• Two matters of causing unnecessary suffering to two of the sheep

The chair of the bench, Stephen Beard, stated that they were some of the worst photographs of animal cruelty that all three magistrates had ever seen.

Alan Griffin, Trading Standards officer said: “We were made aware of the poor condition of Mr Wilson’s sheep after local residents had complained to the RSPCA.

“We investigated and found several sheep in a poor physical condition. We made several attempts to meet Mr Wilson, but he failed to attend pre-arranged meetings, and did not comply with vets’ advice that he needed to provide medical treatment for his sheep.

“Through failing to provide basic care, the sheep suffered terribly from fly strike which then resulted in maggots eating into the sheeps’ flesh.

“We found on a visit on July 14 that one ewe had died through lack of treatment. We take animal welfare very seriously and recommended a prosecution due to the extreme suffering caused to these sheep.”

Sentencing: 26 weeks’ imprisonment suspended for 24 months; victim surcharge of £115 and prosecution costs of £4,318.31. Banned from owning, keeping, dealing in or transporting sheep indefinitely.

Grimsby Live

Hartlepool, County Durham: James McCable

#TheList James ‘Jamie’ McCabe, born 30/05/1985, of 4 Sydenham Road, Hartlepool TS25 1QB – abandoned two hens and duck on an allotment to starve to death; remains of others found in bags

Jamie McCabe from Hartlepool abandoned birds he kept on an allotment
Jamie McCabe from Hartlepool abandoned birds he kept on an allotment

Teesside Magistrates’ Court heard that McCabe subjected the birds to “prolonged neglect” between August 27 and September 27, 2016, by failing to provide clean water and food for them.

John Ellwood, prosecuting on behalf of the RSPCA, said that an emaciated duck was found in a homemade pond alongside remains of a dead duck at McCabe’s allotment on Chester Road, in Hartlepool.

He said: “It looked like there had been carcasses on the ground and looked like they had been brushed up.”

After a visit from the council, three “plastic sacks” were discovered with the remains of “a number of dead poultry” including duck feet and feathers.

Mr Ellwood said: “These had been animals swept up with brushes”

Jamie McCabe from Hartlepool abandoned birds he kept on an allotment

The three birds who were still alive were then taken to a vet where it was found they had been “starved to the point of emaciation” and estimated them to have been neglected for up to four weeks.

In police interview, McCabe confirmed that most of the poultry had died and thought that “rats had got to them.”

The starved birds were subsequently nursed back to health and re-homed.

McCabe was found guilty in his absence of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal after he failed to show for trial.

Jamie McCabe from Hartlepool abandoned birds he kept on an allotment

Dave Smith, defending, said that “from the start he has contested this” and that his allotment was “ambushed” by another allotment owner after a feud.

He said: “The defendant had a dispute with another allotment owner who he says had been moving food.

“He accepts that he failed to attend the trial, however he was going through a recent diagnosis and an upheaval of his life.”

He added that it was “an upsetting incident for him and he has no desire to keep poultry in the future”.

Sentencing: 18 weeks in prison suspended for 12 months; 18-week curfew. Disqualified from keeping birds for the rest of his life.

Gazette Live

Coedpoeth, Wrexham: Adele Ankers

#TheList Adele Ankers (née Ollerhead), born 13/12/1977, of Heol Maelor, Coedpoeth, Wrexham LL11 – for the starvation and neglect of four dogs, two cats and four kittens

Pictured is Adele Ankers who was handed a lifetime ban on keeping animals after causing 'horrific' suffering to her pets
Adele Ankers was handed a life ban on keeping animals after causing horrific suffering to her pets

Adele Ankers was banned from keeping animals for life after two of her dogs died and eight other pets were kept in filthy conditions.

Ankers pleaded guilty to Animal Welfare Act offences, concerning German Shepherds Bonny and Lennon, terriers Marley and Marvin and cats Tom and Mini and four kittens.

Officers from RSPCA Cymru attended Ankers’ home where they discovered the bodies of Marley and Marvin and the other animals who were kept in unclean conditions.

Terrier Marley was found dead and other pets belonging to Adele Ankers were living in filthy conditions
Terrier Marley was found dead and other pets belonging to Adele Ankers were living in filthy conditions

The German Shepherds and adult cats were signed over into RSPCA care, while four kittens were later also rescued from the property.

Glen Murphy, prosecuting for the RSPCA, said: “The two German Shepherds were emaciated and very hungry. There was urine and faeces on the kitchen floor and no dog food in the house.

“One of the cats had an exceptionally matted coat, so extreme that a full body shave under sedation would be required to treat it. The other had a litter of kittens.”

The animals were taken to New Broughton Vets where the body condition of both German Shepherds was assessed as ‘one out of nine’, both having no body fat and suffering from malnutrition, with their matted coats covered in faeces.

Dog Marvin was found dead at Adele Ankers' home in Coedpoeth
Dog Marvin was found dead at Adele Ankers’ home in Coedpoeth

Mr Murphy said the two dead terriers were both emaciated through lack of food.

One was found to have cardboard and plasticine inside its stomach, as it had attempted to eat what it could in order to feed its hunger.

The surviving animals were made available for rehoming.

One of the two German Shepherds neglected and starved by Adele Ankers. Both dogs went on to be rehomed after their recovery.
One of the two German Shepherds neglected and starved by Adele Ankers. Both dogs went on to be rehomed after their recovery.

Ian Barnes, defending, said care worker Ankers had struggled with the death of her partner, aged 41, and had not been looking after herself, her house or the animals.

He said: “She is genuinely remorseful. She neglected herself, her home and her animals.

“Her life fell apart when her partner died. It was a traumatic event last October.”

Chairman of the bench Andy Stubbs said: “The suffering of the animals in this case is quite horrific.

“However, we have heard of the problems in your life and the death of your partner.”

Sentencing: 16-week community order; curfew; a total of £385 in costs and charges. Banned from keeping animals for life but can appeal after 10 years.

Daily Post

Carrickfergus, County Antrim: Darryl Smyth

#TheList Darryl Smyth, born c. 1985, of 45 Hawthorn Avenue, Carrickfergus BT38 8ED – for neglect and starvation of a Staffordshire bull terrier

The dog neglected and starved by cruel Darryl Smyth from Carrickfergus

Smyth pleaded guilty to the charge of causing unnecessary suffering to a dog that was in his care and failing to take reasonable steps to ensure the needs of the animal were met.

The charges were brought against Smyth by Mid and East Antrim Borough Council and related to a Staffordshire bull terrier that was very underweight, with ribs, spine and pelvic bones protruding.

There was also inadequate shelter provided for this dog, having been left out in torrential rain the night before the Animal Welfare Officer called out to the property.

Sentencing: 160 hours of community service; ordered to pay veterinary fees of £206.24 and legal costs of £66. Disqualified from keeping dogs for three years (expires June 2020).