Aspenden, Hertfordshire: Neil Forrest

#TheList Neil Forrest, born 26/06/1974, of Meadow View, Aspenden, Buntingford SG9 9PB – ran an abhorrent dog fighting yard at his home

Dog fighter Neil Forrest from Aspenden, Hertfordshire
Dog fighter, heroin addict and all-round pathetic loser Neil Forrest lives to see another day while 3 of his ‘fighting’ dogs weren’t so lucky and were destroyed.

Former heroin addict Forrest trained dogs to fight and had images of dog fighting on his phone. He admitted causing unnecessary suffering to a Staffordshire bull terrier and for possessing three pit bull terrier-type dogs which he used to fight.

District Judge Derek French told Forrest: “You have shown little or no remorse about what these dogs have gone through. These dogs were used by you as fighting dogs.

“This was clearly done with a view of commercial gain.”

On 5 March 2017 a badly injured young female Staffordshire bull terrier was found cowering in a garden by a member of the public in Aspenden, after she managed to escape from Forrest’s home.

Prosecuting, Mark Jones, said: “She was found cowering in a garden with numerous open wounds and scars to her body. There were numerous bite injuries to the muzzle, the mouth, her legs, and near the left eye of the dog.

“The vet who looked at the dog said that the wounds were between three and four days old.”

RSPCA inspector Cliff Harrison said: “This poor dog was absolutely covered in wounds – both fresh and historic – with bite marks, scratches and puncture wounds predominantly around her muzzle, ears and legs.

“These sorts of injuries are exactly the sort of thing we see when dogs are forced to fight another dog and the vet agreed that the injuries were consistent with dog fighting.”

A number of calls were made by Forrest to vets and dog wardens, including from Forrest’s mobile, while they tried to find the missing bull terrier that was being treated at a Buntingford vets.

Dogfighter Neil Forrest from Aspenden, Hertfordshire
Staffy Kali had more than likely been used as a bait dog by lifelong smackhead Neil Forrest

After concluding that the dog belonged to Forrest, who admitted having a 20-year addiction to heroin, the police and RSPCA launched a raid in Aspenden on 19 May 2017, finding books on pit bulls and dog fighting as well as three bull pit type dogs. Two of the dogs were extremely athletic and there were weighing scales and a treadmill to run dogs on in a garage next to the kennels.

Mr Harrison said: “It appears he has tried to run his own dog fighting yard – called Neil’s Yard – but it’s unclear whether he’s had much if any success with that.

“What is clear is that his dogs have significant injuries consistent with dog fighting and have clearly been caused suffering due to his pastime.

“We believe he has been involved in this abhorrent, secretive bloodsport for years.” Judge French said: “These dogs were being used and kept as a livelihood for you. These dogs were going to suffer seriously.”

Forrest was due to stand trial but pleaded guilty just before it was about to start to one charge of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal, keeping or training animals for use in dog fights and possessing dogs which were banned under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991.

24 weeks in prison; costs of £750. Banned from owning animals for life. The three pit bull type dogs were ordered to be destroyed.

Hertfordshire Mercury


Ashton-under-Lyne, Tameside: Paul Hands, Darren Barnfather, John McCarthy and Darren Bagnall

#TheList Paul Hands, 38; Darren Barnfather, 51; John McCarthy, 52; and Darren Bagnall, 51, all of Ashton-under-Lyne – brutally battered a dog and her owner

Violent thugs and animal abusers Paul Hands, Darren Barnfather, John McCarthy and Darren Bagnall all of Ashton-under-Lyne, Greater Manchester

The 46-year-old victim and his dog were set upon by four men – armed with a golf club, a pool cue and electrical wire – after they objected to him using one of their wheelie bins to dispose of bagged dog waste.

The horrific attack, which took place on Holebottom in Ashton-under-Lyne, Tameside , in July 2016, left the man with a fractured skull, a bleed on his brain and a fractured collar bone.

Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court heard that the victim disposed of the bag in a bin outside an address where Paul Hands was staying.

Hands flew into a rage and started hurling abuse at the man and threatening him.

The man walked away, but the next day the group spotted him while he was out walking his dog.

They armed themselves before surrounding him on a footpath and attacking him.

John McCarthy was seen swinging the crossbreed dog  around by her lead at shoulder height before Barnfather smashed a piece of wood over her back.

The badly injured victim managed to make his way home before collapsing and being rushed to hospital, where he underwent emergency surgery.

The dog survived the attack but the extent of her injuries has not been reported.

Darren Barnfather (born ca. 1966) of 7 Holebottom, Ashton-under-Lyne OL6 8SJ was jailed for 11 years for section 18 assaults

Paul Hands (born ca. 1979), of number 3 Holebottom, who in 2008 was imprisoned alongside brother Andrew Hands for viciously beating a priest, was convicted alongside  was jailed for 13 years for section 18 assault.

John McCarthy (born ca. 1965) of Holebottom, and Darren Bagnall (born ca. 1966) of Hindley Close were both jailed for two-and-a- half years for a section 20 assault.

Manchester Evening News
The Independent
Hands’ previous conviction: BBC News

Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex – Laurence Michael Skelson

#TheList Laurence Michael Skelson, born February 1954, of 7 Faygate Close, Bexhill-on-Sea TN39 5EE – filmed battering his friend’s bulldog with a plank of wood, mop and shovel as the dog cowered in fear

Convicted dog abuser Laurence Michael Skelson from Bexhill-on-Sea. East Sussex, and his victim American bulldog Bronson

Company director Skelson used wood, a mop and a shovel to whack and intimidate adorable Boston, whom he was looking after for a friend.

A horrified neighbour filmed Skelson holding a mop and a plank of wood high above the bulldog before jabbing and hitting Boston, who was cowering on the floor.

Skelson pleaded guilty to failing to meet the needs of an American bulldog but not ensuring his need to exhibit normal behaviour patterns by the use of inappropriate chastisement methods.

Thankfully Boston did not suffer any lasting physical injuries and is now in the care of his owner.

Total of £470 fines, costs and charges. Banned from keeping dogs for life.

Daily Mail

Stoke-on-Trent: David Greenhill

#TheList David Greenhill, approx YoB 1976, of 15 Sneyd Place, Goldenhill, Stoke-on-Trent ST6 5PU – hit his 16yo border collie ‘Missy’ over the head repeatedly with a wooden weapon – because he didn’t want to look after her anymore.

Dog killer David Greenhill of Sneyd Place, Stoke. Also has links to Congleton.
Dog killer David Greenhill of Sneyd Place, Stoke. Also has links to Congleton.

Greenhill attempted to kill Missy as she no longer had control of her bowels before dumping her near-lifeless body in the garden of his Goldenhill home.

But a neighbour heard whining and barking and then watched in horror as Greenhill came out the back door and clubbed Missy twice more.

Greenhill was arrested and Missy had to be put to sleep.

Tree surgeon Greenhill, who runs a business named Sunset Landscapes Limited, pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to an animal and failing to ensure an animal’s welfare.

Roger Price, prosecuting, said a neighbour was woken by a dog barking and whimpering in the early hours of June 9, 2017.

He added: “His neighbour looked to see if the dog had been let in and she noticed the defendant coming out of his back door holding a wooden object. She saw him bring it down twice in a downward motion and heard the two most pitiful whines each time he made contact.

“She then saw him go inside the house with the piece of wood. She went and banged on his door and he leaned out of the window and said ‘the dog is dead, she’s gone off her back legs, it’s shitting everywhere and it’s gone back where it came from’. The neighbour called the police.

“The police arrived shortly after. She was surprised that the dog was alive when it was carried away by police as she was hit with such force.”

The court heard that the defendant showed ‘no emotion’ before being arrested and confessing his actions.

Mr Price added: “Officers entered the yard and saw the dog was alive but was breathing erratically and they noticed a pool of blood on the floor below its head. The defendant said that he had never taken the dog for treatment and expressed in hindsight that he should have done.

“Police took the dog to the out-of-hours Vets Now in Longton and a vet examined the dog. The dog was unresponsive, was short of breath and was bleeding from its nostrils and its mouth.

“Deep pain was present. Brain injury was expected due to the trauma so the vet euthanized the dog to prevent further suffering.”

Greenhill admitted causing unnecessary suffering to an animal and failing to ensure an animal’s welfare.

Sentence: 12-week custodial sentence suspended for 12 months; 25 day rehabilitation activity requirement with 120 hours unpaid work; £415 costs.  Lifetime ban on keeping animals.

Stoke Sentinel