Hordle, Hampshire: Robert Attfield and Cheryl Donaghue

#TheList Robert William Attfield, born 24/11/1953, and Cheryl Donaghue, born 27/05/1958, both of 41 Sky End Lane, Hordle SO41 0HG – for cruelty offences relating to two greyhounds

Emaciated greyhound Glynn was so poorly he had to be put down
Neglected dog Glynn’s condition had deteriorated to the point where he had to be put to sleep

Attfield and Donaghue pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to greyhounds Glynn and Kayla.

RSPCA Inspector Tina Ward praised a member of the public who had tracked down the pair after one of the starving dogs managed to escape.

She said: “The woman who reported this to us is a real hero.She’s heard loud shouting outside her home and had spotted Glynn in her garden and was horrified to see that he was emaciated and could barely stand.

“She was trying to encourage him to come to her when Mr Attfield appeared and put him in a car and drove off.

Thankfully she had clocked his number plate and went searching for the car and asking neighbours if they knew who it belonged to.

“When she found the car outside their address she promptly reported them to the police and RSPCA.

“When I arrived at their home, what I saw was just horrendous. Glynn couldn’t stand and I could see his fur heaving with fleas. He had open sores that were down to the bone, including two large holes in his mouth through to the nasal cavity.

Greyhound Kayla was suffering a variety of ailments including severe dental disease but recovered int he RSPCA's care
Kayla was in an appalling condition as well but recovered in the care of the RSPCA.

“Kayla was squeezed in beside the sofa and I could tell she just wasn’t right. The vet discovered serious problems with her teeth, 23 were missing and the remaining 19 were just held in with calculus.

“She was in great discomfort and had a hole from her mouth to her nasal cavity.

“Sadly Glynn had to be put to sleep because of the severity of his condition but Kayla is making a slow recovery. She had her remaining teeth removed and surgery to fix the hole in her mouth and is gaining weight.

“It’s unacceptable for animals to be left to suffer needlessly without the care they deserve.

“Mr Attfield struggled to accept any responsibility for the condition the dogs were in, initially denying the were anything to do with him, despite being responsible for their care two or three days each week.

“Ms Donaghue admitted she hadn’t made any attempt to seek veterinary treatment but had said she didn’t believe the dogs needed to see a vet.”

Seven-year-old Kayla was given into the care of the RSPCA where she was to continue her ongoing treatment and rehabilitation.

Sentencing: 12-week custodial sentence suspended for 18 months. Donaghue must also carry out 80 hours of unpaid work and Attfield was ordered to pay a £250 fine. Both had to pay £120 in court costs. Both were banned from keeping animals for ten years.

Planet Radio

Cambridge: Christopher Boswell

#TheList self-styled ‘cat hunter’ Christopher Storer Boswell, born c. 1973, of 28 Eden Street, Cambridge CB1 1EL – shot a Siamese kitten with an air rifle

Self-styled 'cat hunter' Christopher Boswell from Cambridge and his victim, Siamese Pia.
Boswell proclaimed himself a ‘cat hunter’ and neighbours expressed concern that he may be responsible for the disappearance of up to 20 cats in the area

Christopher Boswell pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal at Cambridge Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, June 20, 2017.

In June 2017 the then 73-year-old, who was described in court as a ‘cat hunter’ since he was 17 years old, was handed a 12-week prison sentence, ordered to pay £1,500 compensation and a £115 victim surcharge.

But Boswell appealed his sentence straight after the hearing, with an appeal then held at Cambridge Crown Court on July 20, 2017.

It was reported how Pia the white Siamese kitten, worth about £450, belonged to Cambridge resident Caroline King.

Ms King noticed her cat was missing from her garden about 7.20pm on April 7, 2017, and when she went round to ask Boswell about her missing cat, he told her he had been hunting cats since he was 17.

Boswell had told her: “I don’t like cats, I hate them. They are a menace to wildlife and birds.”

Ms King asked if Boswell was joking but he replied: “No, I’ve shot it twice – once in the head, once in the body and I have put it in the neighbour’s garden. You had better knock on their door.”

Ms King went to her neighbours’ garden where she saw her kitten lying motionless on the floor, making no attempt to move.

The kitten had to have her right leg amputated. One air rifle pellet caused a tear in Pia’s windpipe, while the other shattered her femur.

Ms King paid £5,168 for Pia’s veterinary treatment bills after the cat was rushed to a vet and spent more than a week at a Cambridge veterinary hospital.

In a victim impact statement, Ms King said: “I feel devastated and horrified and cannot fathom why somebody I do not know would carry out such an act.

“I cannot believe Chris would be so calm and calculated over what he has done as if he got some enjoyment from it – as he did not have to tell us and could have chosen to remain quiet.”

Following Boswell’s initial sentencing, a neighbour raised concerns he could have something to do with the disappearance of between 12 and 20 cats that have gone missing in the area in the previous five years.

Self-styled 'cat hunter' Christopher Boswell from Cambridge.
Boswell was initially jailed but following an appeal, his sentence was suspended

Michael Magee, mitigating for Boswell in the appeal hearing, said Boswell became increasingly isolated and lived a very solitary existence after his retirement.

He told the court that at the time of the incident, Boswell was on painkillers to deal with chronic arthritis and an itching rash “much like scabies” which had spread over his body.

Mr Magee added: “He became increasingly housebound and this led to a deterioration in his mental state.

“In terms of culpability, one can understand how he fostered his little garden and the birds that came into that garden…that was his very small connection to the previous active life that he had.

“With the background of the mental health issues, he picked up an air rifle while in drink, which belonged to his son, and stupidly shot the cat.

“His desire was to protect the birds, not to cause the cat harm.

“With matters of his pain, the cancer, the severe itching rash that had covered the vast majority of his body, the loneliness and perhaps the focus on his family of birds, he called it; he took that relatively stupid decision.”

Mr Magee said Boswell was a rowing coach for many years and had recently been volunteering two nights week for the Cam Rowers charity.

He urged the court to suspend Boswell’s prison sentence, telling them he had sought help for his alcohol addiction entirely by himself and that he was now in a position to be more active in his life.

After retiring to consider the appeal, Recorder Sandeep Kainth warned Boswell that his actions were “grave and serious” but said he felt satisfied that Boswell’s prison sentence could be suspended.

He added: “This was a deliberate attempt to cause suffering; this is evidenced by your actions of shooting the cat two times not one.

“But there are more mitigating features than aggravating features in this case.

“You have an excellent work ethic, you are a man of good character, this incident was isolated and you have shown genuine remorse.

“The risk of you offending again is very low; we accept that your motive was to protect the birds in your garden.

“It’s disappointing that at the age of 73 you find yourself before the courts, but we accept that for you this is a salutary lesson in itself.”

Sentencing: Boswell’s immediate prison sentence earlier handed down by magistrates was amended to a 12-week sentence, suspended for one year.

The court heard that Boswell had paid the £1,500 compensation to Ms King and his air rifle had been forfeited and destroyed.

Cambridge News

Launceston, Cornwall: Heather Green

#TheList Heather Patricia Green, born 26/02/1948, formerly of Dockacre Road, Launceston and as at September 2019 of 21 Bishops Place, Paignton, Devon TQ3 3DZ – kept 27 poodles in squalid conditions at her home

Hoarder Heather Green kept 27 poodlesin cramped and dirty conditions at her home in Launceston, Cornwall
Hoarder Heather Green kept 27 poodles in cramped and dirty conditions at her home in Launceston, Cornwall

Heather Green was found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to the animals in her care and failing to provide a suitable environment.

RSPCA inspector Lewis Taylor said, “These dogs were kept in inadequate conditions and were sadly suffering as a result.

“We found 21 dogs squashed together in five metal cages with six others running loose in just one room. It was a miserable existence and no way for animals to live.

“Anyone caring for animals must be able to meet their needs and provide them with the kind of life they deserve.”

According to the RSPCA, Heather Green told the court that she loved her animals and “never deliberately hurt them”.

She did not accept there was any problem or that the animals suffered unnecessarily, adding that “she felt her care of them sufficient”.

Hoarder Heather Green kept 27 poodles in cramped and dirty conditions at her home in Launceston, Cornwall
The poodles led a miserable existence in the care of Heather Green

Several of the dogs were suffering from untreated dental disease; five were found to be underweight, while one of the poodles was obese. The poodles recovered in the RSPCA’s care and were to be made available for rehoming.

Sentencing: six-week custodial sentence, suspended for twelve months. Fined a total of £865. Banned from keeping dogs for 10 years.

BBC News
Dogs Monthly

Middlesbrough: Leslie Michael Bishop

#TheList Leslie Michael Bishop, born 07/08/1965, of Maple Street, Middlesbrough TS1 3DS – kept three thin and hungry Akita dogs named Nikita, Storm and Niko in squalid conditions.

Career criminal and dog abuser Leslie Michael Bishop from Middlesbrough

The RSPCA found Niko and Nikita in a back yard among an “extensive accumulation of faeces”. Both dogs appeared hungry and thin and their coats were molting and dirty.”

Storm had been kept indoors where conditions made for a “hazardous environment”.

There was urine on the floor, flies circling around rooms and a foul smell. One of the dogs had a severe ear infection.

Career criminal Bishop pleaded not guilty to five charges but refused to attend the trial via video link from prison where he was remanded in custody for another unrelated matter. The trial was however continued in his absence and the case against him proven.

Jailed for  18 weeks. Banned from owning animals for 10 years (expires July 2027).

Bathgate, West Lothian: William Dobbie

#TheList William Dobbie, born c. 1986, of Dundas Street, Bathgate EH48 – left three dogs to starve so badly their bones protruded through their skin

William Dobbie from Bathgate, West Lothian, man admitted starving his three pet dogs
William Dobbie from Bathgate, West Lothian, man admitted starving his three pet dogs

Dobbie pleaded guilty to failing to provide the dogs, called Mitzi, Sugar and Kane, with appropriate and adequate nutrition and failing to obtain adequate veterinary treatment to treat their infestation with fleas.

The Scottish SPCA received a complaint in October 2016 about the way Dobbie’s animals were being treated. After meeting police outside the house, inspectors from the animal charity gained access to the property.

Inspector Jenni Surgeon said, “On entering the property I discovered a Staffordshire bull terrier in a cage behind the door with no access to food or water.

William Dobbie from Bathgate, West Lothian, man admitted starving his three pet dogs

“She was extremely thin and her bones were protruding through her skin.

“The cage contained large quantities of faeces, some of which had mould, indicating the cage had not been cleaned for quite some time.

“There was a foul smell inside the property which was caused by the multiple deposits of faeces throughout the house.

“The property was very unhygienic which put the animals at risk of injury, disease and illness.

“There were two extremely underweight Jack Russell terriers roaming around the house, both of which had staining to their legs and lower abdomen which has most probably been caused by the pair lying in their own urine and faeces.

William Dobbie from Bathgate, West Lothian, man admitted starving his three pet dogs

“We welcome the fact that Dobbie has been dealt with by the court and the sentence handed down.

“We hope he will give serious consideration about his suitability to care for other animals in the future.

“Thankfully, the dogs have now received the proper treatment and have made a full recovery.”

Five-month restriction of liberty order. Banned from owning or keeping animals for three years (expires July 2020).

Scottish Sun

High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire: Donna Glenister

#TheList Donna Glenister (aka Donna Ward), born 06/12/1972, of 13 Tapping Road, High Wycombe HP14 3DY – for horse cruelty; repeatedly breaching ban on keeping horses

Glenister was first banned from owning horses in 2012 and was later hauled in front of magistrates in June 2015 after RSPCA investigators found she had bought two horses and was keeping them in stables in Henley-on-Thames.

In January 2016 Glenister was ordered to pay almost £2,000 after being caught breaking the court’s disqualification order for a second time in less than a year. That offence was discovered just a week after the 2015 hearing, with a member of the public tipping off the RSPCA over suggestions she had bought another horse.

Then in July 2017 after being caught breaching her ban for a third time, Glenister was given a 12-week prison sentence suspended for 12 months, and ordered to pay costs of £750 and a £115 victim surcharge. Her disqualification order on keeping horses was extended for a further seven years, expiring in 2024.

Bucks Free Press

Gilfach Goch, Rhondda Cynon Taf: Chase English and Dean Evans

#TheList Chase Alan English, born 17/08/1986, of Gelliarael Road, Gilfach Goch, Porth CF39 8SY and Dean Evans, born c. 1983, of Kenry Street, Gilfach Goch, Porth CF39 8RS – neglected chickens and ducks on an allotment

Chase English
Chase English

English and Evans admitted causing unnecessary suffering to 17 domestic fowls, by failing to ensure they had a nutritionally balanced diet.

The pair also pleaded guilty to failing to meet the needs of 20 domestic fowls, including a failure to provide a suitable environment, and a suitable diet.

RSPCA Cymru attended a Gilfach Goch allotment to find birds kept in horrendous conditions, and many appearing very hungry.

The animals involved were the responsibility of both men, as part of an agreement reached concerning the stocking of an allotment they were jointly responsible for.

It is believed the men failed to communicate effectively on which of them would provide day-to-day care for the fowl, which led to “shocking levels” of neglect.

A number of birds were found dead at the allotment. Another bird died in veterinary care.

RSPCA inspector Simon Evans said: “These poor domestic fowl were left in hugely inappropriate conditions, and subjected to shocking levels of neglect.”

Sentencing: 16-week prison sentence. £115 victim surcharge. Banned indefinitely from keeping domestic fowl.

ITV News

Northwich, Cheshire: Ben Illidge

#TheList puppy farm dealer Ben James Illidge, born 22/12/1983, of Wilson Crescent, Northwich CW9 7QH – tried to smuggle 35 puppies in overcrowded cages through a Welsh ferry port from Ireland.

Ben Illidge illegally smuggled pups into the UK from Ireland via Holyhead port in Wales

Illidge admitted seven charges – three of which related to animal welfare offences – of smuggling the 35 puppies through Holyhead Port in November 2016.

Prosecutor Julia Longworth said the pups were in a van which was being carried off the ferry on a breakdown truck.

“When officers searched the vehicle the animals were found crowded into cages concealed in the rear area.

The court heard he had bought the animals from a market in Dublin and none of the animals, who were aged six to nine weeks old, had been inoculated or microchipped.

Some of the pups smuggled by Ben Illidge into the UK from Ireland via Holyhead port in Wales

Ms Longworth said various agencies including the RSPCA, Animal Health officials and North Wales Police mounted a special operation at Holyhead Port on November 15, 2016, as the smuggling of animals into Britain was becoming ‘increasingly problematic’.

She said the officers’ attention was drawn to the white van which was sat on the back of a breakdown truck with condensation on its front and side windows.

“This indicated to the officers there may be animals inside the vehicle and it was checked,” she said.

Officers found the 35 young pups in five containers which were concealed in the vehicle. The puppies included terriers, beagles, Pomeranians and Labradors and there were up to nine in each container.

Ms Longworth said: “They were examined by a vet and their ages ranged from six weeks to nine weeks. The vehicle was not suitable for the transport of animals nor had it been adapted to do so.

“There was no ventilation and it was found to be very warm inside – too warm for the proper welfare of the animals.”

The court was told the animals were seized by the RSPCA and transported back to Ireland under proper conditions where they were inoculated and microchipped and subsequently rehoused.

The charges included bringing a consignment of animals into Wales without completed health certificates and without having notified the authorities of their intended arrival. There were also regulatory offences involving animal welfare and fitness for the journey.

Ian Briggs, chief inspector of the RSPCA’s special operations unit, said agencies would not “stand by while unscrupulous puppy dealers seek to make a quick buck while subjecting innocent, defenceless puppies to misery”.

He said: “Sadly, many well-meaning, but unsuspecting new owners are buying pups who have been imported in such shocking conditions, which merely fuels those seeking to treat the lives of young animals as a means to raking in murky profits.”

Sentencing: three 18-week prison sentences, which will run concurrently, and are suspended for a one-year period; ordered to do 200 hours of unpaid work and pay a £1,600 fine plus £1,313 in court costs.

BBC News

Update December 2017:

Illidge appeared in Chester Magistrates Court on December 8, 2017, after failing to comply with his community order, but still evaded an immediate prison sentence.

The suspension period for his 12-week sentence was increased to 18 months, and he was given 35 additional hours of unpaid work.

Northwich Guardian

Runcorn, Cheshire: Michelle Baldwin and sons Shaun and Shane Baldwin

#TheList Michelle Baldwin, aka Michelle Robinson, born 14/08/1976, and Shaun Baldwin, born 26/05/1996, both of 63 Masseyfield Road, Runcorn WA7 6AB and  Shane Andrew Baldwin, born 17/11/1997, of 22 Linkway, Runcorn WA7 5EJ – allowed their two dogs to starve so badly one had to be put down.

Evil: Michelle Baldwin and sons Shane and Shaun who left two dogs to starve.
Evil: Michelle Baldwin and useless feckless sons Shane and Shaun. The trio left two dogs to starve.

The RSPCA said the dogs, Staffordshire terrier-type breeds Bruno and Roxy, were so thin their ribs were clearly visible and they were living in ‘atrocious’ conditions.

Dog killer Michelle Baldwin, aka Michelle Robinson from Runcorn, Cheshire, UK
Dog killer Michelle Baldwin, aka Michelle Robinson

Bruno was put to sleep on health grounds despite the charity’s efforts to save him and Roxy has been rehomed.

The trio each pleaded guilty to two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to the dogs and one of failing to provide a suitable environment at an earlier hearing.

Dog killer Shane Baldwin from Runcorn, Cheshire, UK
Shane Baldwin

Speaking about the case, attending RSPCA Inspector Lisa Lupson described both dogs as being  “very thin” especially Bruno who was described as being very lethargic and subdued and so weak he had to be put on a drip.  Sadly he couldn’t be saved.

Bruno had been starved by his cruel owners to the extent that he couldn't be saved
Bruno had been starved by his cruel owners to the extent that he couldn’t be saved

Court papers said Michelle Baldwin had entrusted the care of the dogs to two young adults without taking responsibility for them herself.

Sentence: Michelle Baldwin was given an eight-week prison sentence suspended for six months and her sons Shaun and Shane were both given a 12-month community order and told to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work. All three were told to pay costs of £100 and an £85 victim surcharge each. A 10-year ban on keeping animals was imposed on the trio (expires July 2027). 

Liverpool Echo

Claudy, County Londonderry: Michael Conwell

#TheList Michael Stephen Conwell, born 14/01/1994, of Slievebuoy Park, Londonderry BT47 4BE – for cruelty to three dogs found with mouth injuries consistent with badger baiting

Badger baiter Michael Stephen Conwell from Londonderry failed to treat his dogs' appalling facial injuries
Badger baiter Michael Stephen Conwell from Londonderry failed to treat his dogs’ appalling facial injuries

Conwell’s animal cruelty was uncovered during a police search of properties in the Claudy area of Londonderry as part of an ongoing investigation into wildlife offences.

Inside his property police found three dogs with visible injuries to their mouths and lips.

A lurcher had long-standing damage to the right side of her mouth and damage to her lips. A vet who examined the dog believed the injuries had been inflicted three months earlier and described the lurcher’s condition as poor.

A patterdale terrier also had damage to her lips and scarring injuries, which the vet also believed were two months old.

The third dog, a Cairn-Patterdale cross, had several of her teeth missing as well as injuries to her lips. The vet believed those injuries were between two weeks and three months old.

Badger baiter Michael Stephen Conwell from Londonderry failed to treat his dogs' appalling facial injuries

The prosecutor said although the defendant was neither charged with nor convicted of badger baiting, the vet who examined the three dogs believed that the injuries were consistent with badger baiting.

The three dogs were removed from Conwell’s home by the police and kept in kennels.

The PSNI incurred kennelling costs of £14,000 for the three dogs, all of which have recovered from their injuries and are now waiting to be rehomed after the conclusion of the court proceedings.

The prosecutor said Conwell gave a “no comment” interview to the police following his arrest and gave no explanation as to how the injuries had been inflicted on his three dogs.

Sentencing: Conwell was originally given a three-month prison sentence and ordered to pay £14,000 kennelling costs. Following his appeal his sentence was increased to four months but suspended for three years. Costs were reduced to £7,500. Disqualified for life from owning animals.

Belfast Telegraph