Faversham, Kent: Sara Ross

#TheList animal sanctuary owner Sara Jane Ross, born 01/02/1954, of Gardeners Cottage, Chalky Lane, Boughton-under-Blean, Faversham ME13 9SP – failed to meet the needs of horses, cats, dogs and birds in her care

Sanctuary founder Sara Ross from  Faversham, Kent,  mistreated animals

Ross founded the Animal Sanctuary UK, based in Lake End Road, Dorney, Windsor, Berkshire, which was raided by the RSPCA on May 31, 2017.

The sanctuary had fallen into a state of disrepair with dilapidated, vermin-infested sheds housing animals, abandoned industrial machinery lying around and piles of litter and manure in animal enclosures.

RSPCA experts had reported horses lying or standing in their own urine or faeces on boggy paddocks that did not have enough grass. They criticised a lack of food and the presence of flies and vermin – with rats running in and out of the animals’ cages.

Appalling conditions on Sara Ross's animal sanctuary
Appalling conditions on Sara Ross’s animal sanctuary

Seven cats and eight dogs were confined together inside a single caravan.

Vast swathes of litter were also found where the animals slept, as well as dead rats and mice strewn about. Inspectors found three adult cats confined to a cage only big enough for a kitten.

Other livestock were kept in cramped conditions while some stood as high as 6ft off the ground on rotting hay. They were suffering numerous diseases and many were kept in tiny cages which were unfit for purpose.

The judge saw further clips of the video which showed birds kept in tiny cages with small rings attached to their legs cutting into the flesh. Included also was a turkey kept in a tiny living space fit only for small birds.

Hazel Stevens, prosecuting on behalf of the RSPCA, said that the appalling conditions were found after whistleblowers reported the cruelty, abuse and lack of care.

Appalling conditions on Sara Ross's animal sanctuary

The prosecutor said: ‘Statements from various volunteers suggest the abuse had been ongoing for some time and this abuse took place in a commercial context.

‘Volunteers were allowed to manage and run the farm who had insufficient experience or training to be running such a farm.’

‘The RSPCA had in fact discovered that she (Ross) had hidden many of the animals off-site. Many of those animals have not since re-appeared and could not be found in a second RSPCA check.’

Ross first set up the now-disbanded Horse Refuge in 1994 before opening The Animal Sanctuary UK in June 2012.

Appalling conditions on Sara Ross's animal sanctuary

She pleaded guilty to six charges of failing to meet the needs of the animals and birds in her care.

District judge Sophie Toms told her: “Something went very badly wrong. I accept you had no intention of mistreating any animals.

“In your mind you were doing your best but your best was not good enough.”

Nigel Weller, representing Ross, said she had been the victim of a hate campaign.

He said: “Some of them are in court. They have ‘trolled’ my client over the internet running down everything she does.

“They bombarded Windsor and Maidenhead Council with thousands of complaints.”

The council subsequently withdrew from a deal to help her move to a better site in Bell Lane, Eton Wick.

Mr Weller said Ross had suffered a serious accident four months before the raid when a horse had trampled her, injuring her foot so badly that she needed four operations and had been unable to attend to the sanctuary as she would have liked to.

He said: “She has been devoted to her sanctuary since 2012. She sold her house in 2005 to devote her assets and money to looking after animals. For 38 years she has been involved in sanctuary work.”

Judge Toms said that the problems on the site clearly dated back to before Ross’ accident.

Ross’s co-defendant Hayley Poturici, born July 1992, of Frensham Walk, Farnham Common, who worked at the sanctuary, faced no further action after she accepted an official RSPCA caution.

Sentencing: ordered to do 135 hours of unpaid work and pay £750 costs. Disqualified from keeping animals for five years (later reduced to 12 months on appeal. Deprivation order issued preventing Ross’s dogs being returned to her.

Local Berkshire
Daily Mail

Rotherhithe, London: Christopher Haroun

#TheList Christopher Haroun, born c. 1993, of Russell Place, Rotherhithe, London SE16 – kicked a cat, hit her with a broom and threw objects at her. The cat, Nikita, had to be put to sleep.

Violent thug Christopher Haroun, who's from Rotherhithe in South-East London, and the innocent victim of his sadistic cruelty, Nikita.
Violent thug Christopher Haroun, who’s from Rotherhithe in South-East London, and the innocent victim of his sadistic cruelty, Nikita.

Christopher Haroun, who is originally from Hampstead, North-West London, appeared at Basildon Magistrates Court on Thursday where he admitted abusing a cat named Nikita.

The court heard between January 2 and January 6, 2018, Haroun had been dating a woman from Basildon for six months when one day she came home from work and found her cat Nikita bleeding badly and unable to move her back legs.

Not such a great role model: Christopher Haroun works as a volunteer with mentoring charity City Year, which aims to help disadvantaged youths.

After confronting Haroun, who works as a recruitment administrator, she learned he had kicked the female cat, hit her with a broom and thrown objects at her causing her unnecessary suffering.

The owner, who has owned Nikita since she was eight weeks old, took her pet to the vet who told her Nikita had a suspected fractured spine and pelvis and that there was nothing they could do.

Nikita, who would have been two years old in March 2018, was put down the next morning.

The woman broke off the relationship immediately.

The victim said she struggled a lot with it as she moved here from Australia to work as a paramedic for the London Ambulance Service and didn’t really know many people at first so adopted Nikita and her sister Nala within a couple of months of moving here.

She told the court Nala is doing a lot better now but she was really badly affected by it.

Sentencing: community order with 20-day rehabilitation activity requirement; 300 hours of unpaid work. Total of £320 costs and charges. Banned from keeping a cat for five years with no right of appeal for two years.

Echo News

Blyth, Northumberland: Alisa Brown and Stewart Herd

#TheList Alisa Brown, born c. 1981, and Stewart Herd, born c. 1961, both of 167 Disraeli Street, Blyth NE24 1HZ – failed to seek vet treatment for their pets’ flea infestations; three cats and two dogs described as bald, scabby and red raw.

Alisa Brown and Stewart Herd of Blyth, Northumberland, have been banned for life from keeping animals after neglecting their dogs and cats
Alisa Brown and Stewart Herd of Blyth, Northumberland, have been banned for life from keeping animals after neglecting their dogs and cats.

Alisa Brown and Stewart Herd pleaded guilty to two counts each of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal after their two dogs and three cats became so infested with fleas they lost most of their fur from itching and had skin infections.

Alisa Brown and Stewart Herd of Blyth, Northumberland, have been banned for life from keeping animals after neglecting their dogs and cats
Lurcher Tyler had lost most of his fur

All five animals lived, along with four other pets, at the couple’s “cluttered” and “ammonia-smelling” home in Blyth and had suffered “prolonged neglect”, RSPCA inspectors claimed.

Alisa Brown and Stewart Herd of Blyth, Northumberland, have been banned for life from keeping animals after neglecting their dogs and cats
Mistreated Gem’s skin was suffering from alopecia and a mange infection.

For at least three months, Brown and Herd hadn’t sought vet treatment for their flea infestations, prosecutors said. Both dogs, called Tyler and Gem, and the three cats were eventually seized by the RSPCA officers and police after concerns were raised about their welfare by the local authority.

John Ellwood, prosecuting for the RSPCA, said the charity’s inspectors and the police visited the couple’s home on March 22, 2018 after concerns were raised regarding animal welfare by Northumberland County Council.

“The door was opened by Stewart Herd,” Mr Ellwood told South East Northumberland Magistrates’ Court. “He told the officers to f**k off and slammed the door.

“Alisa Brown then came to the door and invited the officers in. The living room was cluttered and unkempt and smelled of ammonia.”

The court heard that, initially, the inspectors saw four cats, who were in “reasonable” condition and do not form part of the charges.

However, a further cat was seen in the kitchen, which had fur loss and red skin and was covered in scabs and dirt, Mr Ellwood said.

The prosecutor added: “A lurcher dog was then brought downstairs. His condition was very sad – he was almost completely bald.

“You could see a large amount of fleas all over his body and he was covered in scabs.”

As well as the lurcher, called Tyler, two other cats in a similar condition were discovered and the animals were seized and taken to the vets.

The dog and three cats were all found to have painful skin conditions, which were the result of “at least three-months” of untreated flea infestations.

They were given antibiotics and have since recovered, magistrates were told.

However, just four days later, RSPCA inspectors were called again to Brown and Herd’s home after concerns were raised for another animal, a dog called Gem.

Mr Ellwood said: “The defendant Brown was asked why she didn’t mention Gem at the previous visit and she said the dog was under a duvet and she had forgotten about it.

“The dog was almost hairless. This type of dog is relatively hairless normally but she was also covered in scabs, her ears were red and thickened, she smelled of yeast and her nails were long. She was seized by the police.”

Gem was also taken to the vets and found to be suffering from alopecia and a mange infection.

Mr Ellwood added: “The suffering here was unnecessary, prolonged, preventable and treatable. However, the defendant’s did nothing.”

The court was told that both Brown and Herd had been under considerable personal pressure and were usually “animal-loving people”.

Sentencing: 12-month community orders including 50 hours each of unpaid work. Banned from keeping pets for life.


Clapton, London E5: Onur Kalan

#TheList convicted drug dealer and addict Onur Kalan, born c. 1988, of Southwold Road, Clapton, London E5 9PT – left his elderly dog to become blind, crippled and floundering in his own excrement

An Iman told a drug-addicted dog owner he could kill his pet after neglect left the animal blind and crippled, a court heard. Bull mastiff ‘Tiger’ was found floundering in his own excrement by RSPCA inspectors, suffering from heart disease and hardly able to eat. He was only discovered when his owner, Onur Kalan was arrested for drug offences.

The dog was so ill there was no alternative but to put him down, Willesden Magistrates’ Court was told. The Iman had previously told Kalan he could kill the dog – but he did not have the courage to do it.

Defending Kalan, Georgia Lascombe, said: ‘He sought advice from his Imam because he was worried about taking the life of an animal.

‘He was told it was fine. He had a long-term attachment to the dog and asked his brother to do it.

‘At the time he was significantly suffering from drug and alcohol addiction.’

Sarah Gabay, prosecuting, said: ‘Police attended the defendant’s address. They went out the back door of the house. There was a courtyard divided into three areas. In one there was a kennel.

‘There was dirty green foam and it was covered in moss. The area was covered in faeces and there was a bright yellow liquid, either sick or excrement.

‘There were two dirty bowls. The area did not look like it had been cleaned for a long time.

‘Tiger was extremely nervous and shaking, and his tail was down. His eyes had cataracts.

‘However, he responded well to human contact, but he struggled getting up and down the stairs.

‘He was taken to the van and then to the kennels at Islington Police Station. He was sick on the way.

‘Treatment was started for heart disease and pain relief was given for arthritis. The dog was only eating small amounts and the breathing became more laboured.

‘There was no improvement in Tiger’s health and the decision was made that he should be put down.’

Sentencing: Kalan, who was already serving a 43-month prison sentence for dealing drugs, was jailed for another 12 weeks. He was banned from owning animals for life and told he could not appeal for 10 years.


Beverley, East Riding of Yorkshire: Sarah Grimshaw

#TheList Sarah Grimshaw, born 1976, of Beaver Road, Beverley HU17 – for neglect of her pet cat

Mugshot of convicted cat abuser Sarah Grimshaw from Beverley, East Riding of Yorkshire

Grimshaw caused unnecessary suffering to a black and white cat called Peppa after failing to provide prompt or effective veterinary care for her “flea infestation and associated skin disease”.

Sentencing: 12-week curfew; total of £185 costs and charges. Deprivation order on Peppa but no ban.


Preston, Lancashire: Carl Thomas Richardson

#TheList Carl Thomas Richardson, born c. 1981, most recently of Rose Lane, Holme Slack, Preston PR1 – kicked his pet dog “like a rugby ball” while drunk

Carl Thomas Richardson: career criminal, dog abuser.
Carl Thomas Richardson: career criminal, dog abuser. What is the POINT of him?

Richardson, a prolific criminal with  84 convictions for 137 offences, admitted kicking his dog, Pepper (not pictured), but said he was dazed after being violently assaulted.

Richardson got drunk at his grandfather’s funeral and was later left bleeding when a man assaulted him near his home, the bench at Preston Magistrates’ Court heard.

A police officer arriving at the scene on August 23, 2017, saw Richardson with blood over his face, staggering about in the road and waving his arms before kicking three-year-old Pepper.

It came to light during Richard’s appeal hearing that the police officer made a statement claiming Richardson drop kicked Pepper “like a rugby ball”, causing the dog to fly across the road. He had also made remarks he kicked the animal because it had not bitten his assailants “like it was supposed to”.

Convicted dog abuser and useless career criminal Carl Thomas Richardson from Preston
Convicted dog abuser and useless career criminal Carl Thomas Richardson from Preston

The judge was critical of the decision not to allow the police officer to give evidence during the original hearing.

He said: “We reject this application.

“The defendant deliberately kicked the dog on the street, whether it’s his dog or someone else’s is irrelevant.”

He pointed out the penalty would have been “far more severe” if the officer’s evidence was admitted.

Richardson admitted failing to ensure her needs were met.

Total of £435 fines, costs and charges (ordered to pay an additional £250 in costs for his unsuccessful appeal). Banned from keeping animals for three years (expires June 2021).  

Lancashire Post 18/04/2018
Lancashire Post 15/06/2018

Salford, Greater Manchester: Jamie Lee Wilson, Chelsey Clayton and Dean Smedley

#TheList for beating a helpless dog Chelsey Alice Clayton (DoB 22.03.93) of Memorial Road, Walkden M28, Jamie Lee Wilson (DoB 24.08.94) of 13 Birch Road, Walkden M28 7FE, and the dog’s owner  Dean Mark Anthony Smedley (DoB 01.08.92) of Flat 12 Willow Tree Court, Eccles M30 8PS

A twisted trio of animal abusers from Manchester
A twisted trio of animal abusers from Manchester

Neighbours filmed Jamie Lee Wilson repeatedly punching a Staffy named Bob (pictured) as the dog yelped out in pain in the back yard of a house occupied by Wilson’s partner, Chelsey Clayton. Clayton was also filmed attacking the dog.

Bob the Staffy beaten by Chelsey Clayton and Jamie Lee Wilson

The RSPCA began investigating when several neighbours tipped them off regarding dogs being potentially beaten at Clayton’s property on Memorial Road in Walkden.

An RSPCA inspector went round and viewed the footage, shown to a district judge in Manchester magistrates’ court, which captured first Clayton hitting a dog in the back yard of her property.

Remorseless: convicted dog abuser Chelsey Clayton pictured outside court
Remorseless: convicted dog abuser Chelsey Clayton pictured outside court

That was followed by a ‘prolonged’ attack by Wilson who, despite the animal being obscured for some it, can be seen grabbing and throwing him around and raising his fists and punching him.

Bob’s ordeal lasted well over a minute and the dog was ‘screaming, crying and clearly in distress’, said Anna McDonald, prosecuting for the RSPCA.

At the end of the footage, Wilson was seen holding up the dog and punching it to the head.

An RSPCA inspector attended with police officers following the incident, on 17 August 2017, and seized all the animals at the property for their protection.

Bob was examined, and had a laceration to his lip but no other injuries and no treatment was required.

However, a vet confirmed any animal which has been beaten, causing it to cry as heard on the video, will have been caused to suffer unnecessarily.

Wilson and Clayton were both charged with causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal.

The charges were proved in the pair’s absence at a hearing in February 2018.

Dean Smedley, who was Bob’s owner, was at the property at the time of the attack and ‘failed to do anything to prevent Bob from being beaten and suffering unnecessarily’, the prosecution said.

Bob's useless owner Dean Smedley did nothing to stop his dog from being beaten by Clayton and Wilson
Bob’s useless owner Dean Smedley did nothing to stop his dog from being beaten by Clayton and Wilson

He was convicted of two offences of failing to take steps to prevent physical violence to a protected animal.

Speaking after the case, RSPCA Inspector Vicky MacDonald said: “This was a really shocking case which is reflected by the sentences handed down.

“I’m really grateful to the witnesses who came forward to take a stand against this kind of behaviour who, in doing so, enabled us to conduct this investigation, and to the police for the help that I received from them throughout.”


Wilson: jailed for 14 weeks and banned from keeping animals for 10 years (expires June 2028). His legal team lodged an appeal against his sentence.

Clayton: eight-week sentence, suspended for a year, £200 costs. Disqualified from keeping animals for eight years (expires June 2026).

Smedley (sentenced in May 2018): 18-week prison sentence, suspended for two years. 150 hours of unpaid work. Disqualified from keeping animals for seven years (expires May 2025).

Daily Mail
Manchester Evening News

Jarrow, Tyne and Wear: Yousef Jouichat and Ameer Khan

#TheList Yousef Jouichat, 30, and Ameer Khan, 22, both of Pickering Court, Jarrow, Tyne and Wear NE32 3JJ – starved a dog to death at their home

Brothers Yousef Jouichat and Ameer Khan mistreated their three-year-old female American bulldog for at least two months. The animal, named Liner, was left skeletal and with a chronic skin complaint and overgrown nails.

RSPCA officers said the brothers were caught when they took the already dead dog to a vet to inquire about having her cremated.

The vet grew suspicious of their account and called in RSPCA inspectors, one of whom described Liner’s condition as the worst she had seen.

Magistrates heard the pair claimed they had been visiting relatives in Cardiff during the two months leading up to the dog’s death and that they had entrusted her upkeep to a man named Ali, who they had met on a football pitch.

Neil Taylor, prosecuting for the RSPCA, told the court their accounts differed, and they could not further identify the man they accused.

He said: “It’s a pretty clear case of neglect. Over a prolonged period they starved an American bulldog named Liner to death.

“They claimed the dog was a fussy eater which had lost and gained weight intermittently.

The vet was concerned and also noticed the dog’s nails were overgrown.”

He added: “They made up a story that they had left it in the care of another person whose name was Ali, who they had met on a football pitch.

“It’s the prosecution case that they couldn’t afford medication and that Mr Ali didn’t exist and that they starved the dog to death and did so with no remorse.”

Chef Khan and jobless Jouichat both pleaded guilty to charges of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal and failing to take reasonable steps to ensure its needs were met. The charges relate to a period between September 2 and October 2, 2017, the day the dog was taken to Blythman and Partners vets.

Speaking about the case RSPCA inspector Rachael Hurst said: “This is the worst case of cruelty I’ve seen in my five years with the RSPCA.

“The dog was like a skeleton, it was skin and bones, and the smell was horrendous.

“It must have suffered terribly, and I can’t imagine the level of suffering this dog has gone through before it died.

“We don’t know why they did it. There were no calls of concern around this dog.”

District Judge Roger Elsey said: “It clearly is a serious case. It merits punishment, and if you had any previous convictions it would be a custodial sentence.”

Khan: 18-month community sentence with 200 hours of unpaid work and 15-day rehabilitation requirements. Total of £385 costs and charges. Lifetime ban on keeping animals with no right of appeal for 15 years.

Jouichat: 12 weeks’ imprisonment, suspended for 18 months; 100 hours of unpaid work with 20-day rehabilitation requirement. Total of £415 costs and charges. Lifetime ban on keeping animals with no right of appeal for 15 years.  

Shields Gazette

Lowestoft, Suffolk: Shaun Garrett and Kirsty Emma Spalding

#TheList Shaun Garrett, born c. 1967, and Kirsty Emma Spalding, born 02/07/1987, of Flat 44 Harry Chamberlain Court, Hollingsworth Road, Lowestoft NR32 4UG – left a cat and dog to suffer a variety of ailments including a broken leg

Convicted animal abusers Kirsty Spalding and step-dad Shaun Garrett plus the cat and dog they refused to take to the vet.
Irresponsible pet owners Kirsty Spalding and Shaun Garrett are now banned from keeping animals for 10 years after refusing to take their suffering pets to the vet.

Shaun Garrett and step-daughter Kirsty Emma Spalding failed to provide veterinary care for their cat’s broken leg, the cause of which wasn’t given, and their dog’s painful skin condition.

The court heard that the pair, then of Florence Terrace, Lowestoft, caused unnecessary suffering to the animals by not providing treatment between July and September 2017.

Gizzy, a white male tabby, was found to have a fracture of his hind left leg and a subsequent bone infection.

Gizzy and their elderly labrador had a flea infestation and an associated chronic skin disease.

The pair signed over the animals to the RSPCA and they have since made a reasonable recovery.

Neither Garrett or Spalding appeared for sentencing in Great Yarmouth Magistrates today, but both previously said they could not afford veterinary fees.

Sentencing: two-year conditional discharge; total of £95 costs and charges. Ten-year ban on keeping animals (expires June 2028).

Lowestoft Journal

Accrington, Lancashire: Christine Elizabeth Howarth

#TheList Christine ‘Tina’ Elizabeth Howarth (DoB 31/10/1956), of Plantation Street, Accrington BB5 – pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal.

Convicted dog abuser Christine Howarth from Accrington, Lancashire

She was ordered to pay £300 costs and disqualified from keeping dogs for 12 months (expires June 2019).

Accrington Observer