#TheList Rebecca ‘Becky’ Wilkin, born 24/09/1977 of Burnley Road, Crawshawboth, Rossendale BB4, her partner Jade English (aka Jade Hughes), born c. 1989, of Manchester Road, Burnley BB11, and Carl Jason Watson, born c. 1971, of Cog Lane, Burnley BB11 – convicted of cruelty offences relating to horses and a dog
Becky Wilkin, Jade English and Carl Jason Watson admitted a number of offences under the Animal Welfare Act relating to animals being kept at an allotment off Moseley Road, Burnley.
English and Wilkin pleaded guilty to five offences relating to horses and a dog, while Watson pleaded guilty to one offence relating to a horse.
The trio of animal abusers appeared before Burnley Magistrates’ Court for sentencing on Thursday January 17, 2019.
The RSPCA attended the allotment on December 12, 2017, following reports of a collapsed horse.
RSPCA inspector Lynsey Taylor said: “What we found when we got there was shocking.
“The collapsed horse we’d been called about, Domino, was laid at the entrance to the allotment, a few feet away from his stable which had been bolted shut top and bottom but Domino had kicked the lower stable door open in his distress.
“Very sadly there was nothing vets could do for him but end his suffering and he was put to sleep at the scene.
“A second horse, a colt called Koda, was also down but we managed to get him back on his feet and he was taken to HAPPA – the Horses and Ponies Protection Association – who had also had a call and arrived at the location when we did.
“There were a number of horses at the allotments living in awful conditions – they were underweight, had overgrown feet, lameness, lice and mites to different degrees.
“A dog, called Cyprus, who had recently had puppies was also living in disgusting conditions and, along with the horses, was taken into possession by police on veterinary advice. She was underweight and suffering from mastitis and diarrhoea.”
A horse called Gypsy Boy and Cyprus the dog were signed over to the RSPCA straight away, along with Koda who was then signed over to HAPPA and is still at their centre where he continues his recovery (pictured left).
In April 2018, the RSPCA attended the allotment again after a police officer – attending for something else – raised concerns about a horse he’d seen. Deano – a colt – was in a poor body condition and taken into possession by police on the advice of a vet and placed in RSPCA care.
In mitigation the court heard that it was not deliberate cruelty and that the horses were rescued from elsewhere and the defendants did their best but didn’t have the money to feed or house them properly.
In respect of Watson, the court heard that he hadn’t had Deano the horse very long. RSPCA Inspector Taylor said: “These animals were failed by these people and they suffered – and in Domino’s case died – as a result.”
Sentencing: Jade English – six-month community order with an eight-week curfew and 10 rehabilitation activity days. Total of £1,285 costs and charges. Disqualified from keeping equines for four years and a deprivation order was placed on three horses not previously signed over to the RSPCA.
Becky Wilkin – 12-month community order including 20 rehabilitation activity days. Total of £1,285 costs and charges. Disqualified from keeping equines for four years.
Carl Jason Watson – nine-week curfew. Total costs and charges of £685. Disqualified from keeping equines for two years and a deprivation order was placed on Deano.
#TheList notorious puppy farmer and serial animal abuser Marcia J Jones, born 16/04/1944, of The Old Crem, Sleap, Shrewsbury SY4 3HE – for appalling neglect of breeding dogs and puppies
Marcia Jones (also known as Marcia Hollins-Jones) was said to have shown “no remorse” after mistreating the animals at her puppy-selling business at the Old Crematorium in Sleap, around nine miles north of Shrewsbury.
Jones pleaded guilty to four animal welfare offences after the RSPCA visited the farm and found dogs with severe bite wounds, cold concrete kennels with urine-soaked carpets and a Jack Russell-Terrier cross with an injury that left her leg bone exposed.
Inspectors found more than 70 dogs at the site when they visited.
Pippa, the dog with the exposed bone, was treated with children’s medicine Calpol instead of being taken to a vet. Once she was eventually seen by a vet she was suffering so much she had to be put down.
The court was told that Jones lived in a static caravan on the site and had a licence from Shropshire Council to breed dogs.
The RSPCA investigated her business after concerns were raised by her vet, who had examined three dogs ones presented between August 2017 and May 2018.
The vet believed some of the animals had been injured in fights and had been left to suffer for days.
The RSPCA investigator found 38 adult dogs and 35 puppies at risk.
Inspector Kate Parker said: “The puppies in what Hollins-Jones described to me as ‘the maternity wing’ were particularly at risk in such a cold and damp environment with no heat lamps as required by law.
“There was a prolific failure by her towards animal welfare. She was breeding the dogs for money and that was her key motivation – she has also shown no remorse for her actions.
“In the sad case of Pippa, she was left for at least two days without veterinary treatment. Instead Hollins-Jones decided to give her Calpol.
“She would have clearly suffered from such an awful injury.”
As well as Pippa, Jones was convicted of mistreating two miniature dachshunds named Dexter and Fat Pud’s Pup who both had “severe” bite wounds, including to the latter dog’s eye.
Both dogs have since recovered.
The court was also told Jones has been prosecuted in the past by the RSPCA and in 2001 received a 10-year disqualification order for all animals. Her earlier conviction was in relation to dying and emaciated horses as well as a Jack Russell with an untreated broken leg, which had to be amputated.
Sentencing: Ordered to pay £1,600 costs, fined £1,400 and ordered to pay a £40 victim surcharge. Banned from keeping animals for three years, but the ban has been suspended for 28 days while she re-homes the animals she already owns. She was also banned from applying for a breeding licence for 10 years.
#TheList Kyle Evans, born c. 1989, and partner Abigail Hanrahan, born c. 1988, both of Conway Street, Birkenhead CH41 – failed to seek treatment for their kitten’s horrific injuries likely caused by a physical attack
Wirral Magistrates Court heard that eight-month-old Felix was left with his jaw detached from his chin for SIX weeks until a concerned member of the public alerted the RSPCA.
The kitten was blind and unable to walk properly when eventually seen by a vet – and suffered a brain injury which means he now wobbles when he walks.
Owners Kyle Evans and his partner Abigail Hanrahan claimed the injury was caused by the kitten running into a litter tray.
But the court heard from an expert veterinary witness who suggested the injury was more likely due to a physical attack.
The couple pleaded guilty to a charge of causing unnecessary suffering to a cat by failing to provide prompt and appropriate veterinary attention and magistrates banned them from keeping animals for ten years.
RSPCA inspector Anthony Joynes, who investigated the case, said: “He really was in state and obviously the injury to his jaw – which had been left untreated – was causing a lot of suffering.
“The vet also found a swelling to his head which caused blindness but with treatment his sight has been restored.
“It seems he has a brain injury which means he can be wobbly when he walks but he is doing so well considering and is such a lovely cat.
“He was so timid at first but now he has been in the care of the RSPCA he likes nothing more than to be stroked.
“He has come on leaps and bounds.
“There is never any excuse not to seek veterinary treatment if a pet is in need and Felix must have suffered terribly over this long period.”
The court heard Felix was injured on or around June 1 2018 but he was left without treatment until the RSPCA was called in on July 16.
He was taken to an animal hospital where he was treated for three weeks for a swelling on his head, enabling him to regain his sight.
The animal charity says he has made a remarkable recovery and hopes he will be re-homed soon.
Sentencing: Kyle Evans – 12-month Community Order including 140 hours of unpaid work and a 20-day rehabilitation activity requirement. Ordered to pay £240 costs with an £84 victim surcharge.
Abigail Hanrahan – £100 fine, £100 costs and a £35 victim surcharge.
Both were banned from keeping animals for ten years.
#TheList Michael Richardson, born 30/07/59, and Beverley Ann Richardson, born 24/10/64, both of 45 Broom Mount, Leeds LS10 3JR – for cruelty offences relating to two dogs and a cat; one dog put to sleep
Michael and Beverley Richardson pleaded guilty to two offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2006.
They admitted, between 3 September and 3 October 2018: (1) causing unnecessary suffering to two West Highland Terrier crossbreed dogs called Bella and Max by failing to explore and address their poor physical health and (2) causing unnecessary suffering to a domestic short-haired cat called Scarlett by failing to explore and address her poor physical health.
RSPCA inspector Kris Walker said: “Both dogs were in a terrible state when I first saw them but poor Bella was the worst and sadly, despite everyone’s best efforts, vets made the difficult decision to put her to sleep to end her suffering.
“The fur around her eyes was matted with yellow discharge and she was unable to open them to see.
“She had a catalogue of other health issues – an ear infection, cystitis, her teeth were covered in tartar and she had gingivitis. She was dehydrated and underweight with her bones visible and she had overgrown nails.
“She was very subdued, as you would expect for a dog that was clearly so very ill.”
Bella was hospitalised and efforts were made to de-matt her eyes but it was too painful for her. When blood test results found she was too poorly for a general anaesthetic to clean and treat her eyes vets gave her pain relief so the matting could be shaved gradually over a couple of days instead.
The Westie-cross was found to have advanced conjunctivitis and scars on her retinas – which are indicative of previous eye ulcers. Her lower eyelids on both eyes were turned inwards and she was suffering from a very painful condition called ‘dry eye’.
Further tests also found she had chronic kidney problems and a tumour on her liver. Vets felt Bella was suffering to such an extent that she was put to sleep on humane grounds.
The couple’s other Westie-cross, Max, had a skin condition, ear infection and conjunctivitis. His teeth were tartar-covered, and he was suffering from gingivitis and a fractured tooth. He was thin, had fleas and his nails were so overgrown that they overlapped causing him difficulty walking.
Max was hospitalised so vets could treat him and he improved over three days. Following 11 days of intensive treatment his skin, eyes and ears were almost back to normal.
Scarlet the cat was thin and had fur loss, sores and scabs all over her body. She also had thickened intestines which vets felt was possibly as a result of diarrhea. She was given parasite treatment and antibiotics.
In mitigation, the court heard that Michael Richardson accepted there was a problem with his pets but didn’t realise how serious it was until the RSPCA intervened. In respect of Beverley Richardson, the court heard that she had no intention of looking after animals in the future due to ill health. Both were very remorseful.
Sentencing: Michael Richardson: 12-month community order requiring 200 hours of unpaid work and 10 rehabilitation days. Total costs and charges of £235. Beverley Richardson: 12-month community order requiring 10 rehabilitation days. Total costs and charges of £235. Both were disqualified from keeping animals for life and a deprivation order was placed on Max and Scarlett.
#TheList Andrew Booth, born c. 1974, of West Road, Moorends, Doncaster; George Horner, born c. 1992, of 30 Brett Street, Bridlington; John Horner, born c. 1999, of 77 Constable Road, Bridlington; Kirk McGarry, born c. 1968, of Southfield Road, Thorne, Doncaster; Richard Willey, born c. 1972, of Westlands Road, Hull – used dogs to attack a badger sett
Andrew Booth, Kirk McGarry, John Horner, George Horner and Richard Willey used two dogs, one of whom was heavily pregnant, to attack a badger sett.
They were each found guilty of wildlife and animal cruelty offences at Beverley Magistrates’ Court.
On the afternoon of 30 December 2017 a concerned member of the public reported to the police that five men with dogs were digging into a badger sett at Melton in the East Riding of Yorkshire.
A number of officers including several wildlife crime officers quickly attended the location and found four men continuing to dig into what appeared to the officers to be an active badger sett.
Four terrier-type dogs were seized at the time of the incident. One dog, Paddy, was seriously injured and was lucky to survive. A second dog, Dizzy, was heavily pregnant when she was seized and gave birth to a puppy, named Romeo, who is now one year old. Two other dogs, Charlotte and Jess, were also seized. All five dogs have been kennelled and have responded well to the care and attention they have received.
Ch Insp Iain Dixon said: “Badger digging is a cruel and barbaric activity and involves horrendous suffering to both the badger and any dog involved.
“In this particular case one dog, named Dizzy, was very far into pregnancy, giving birth within a few weeks of the incident which shows the uncaring and callous nature of those involved all the more.”
Sentencing: the five men were sentenced to a maximum term of six months in prison. They have each also received three year Criminal Behaviour Orders (CBOs) and were told to pay £2,000 costs for dog kennelling and vet’s fees. All are banned from keeping animals for 10 years.
#TheList Lisa Stephanie Crossley (aka Lisa Jones), born 1973, of 56 Cherry Tree Drive, Oswestry SY11 2QG – failed to get treatment for her black Labrador’s horrific skin and eye condition
Four-year-old Labrador Abbie had an untreated skin condition that thickened around her face, and caused eyelids and eye lashes to fold inwards and caused her constant irritation.
Her owner, Lisa Stephanie Crossley, failed to get treatment for her and after an inspection by the RSPCA in 2018, officers decided to put the dog down.
Crossley pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to a dog between April 18 and July 14, 2018.
Inspector Kate Parker, who was one of those who investigated the incident, described it as one of the most upsetting cases she had ever had to deal with.
The court heard how the animal charity was called to investigate the condition of the dog after a report from a concerned member of the public.
Officers rushed Abbie to a vet, where it was found that the skin condition had thickened to the point of being grey and solid, which is known as elephantine skin.
This condition had also caused an extremely uncomfortable condition called entropion, which was affecting the dog’s eyes.
Inspectors said the dog was left in that state between April and July 2018, and they felt that the kindest option was to put the dog to sleep.
Inspector Parker said: “Imagine how it feels when you have an eyelash in your eye – this dog had all hers in her eye and couldn’t relieve her own suffering for months – she would have endured constant pain and would have been unable to see. It must have been terrifying for her.
“The vet believes she suffered like this for at least three months however records show she had a skin condition dating back to when she was eight weeks old.
“During interview I asked Crossley how she could just sit at home and watch her dog suffer like that and she told me it was difficult – yet she still didn’t seek veterinary treatment.
“There is never any excuse to not seek veterinary treatment when a pet is clearly in need.”
Sentencing: Fined £298 and ordered to pay £380 costs. Five year ban on keeping animals. Ordered to give up her two other dogs and seven cats within 10 days.
#TheList Linda Dean, born 03/02/1971, of 24 Victoria Road, Pudsey, Leeds LS28 7SR – allowed her border collie dog to suffer with sore and bleeding infected skin growths
Linda Dean admitted causing unnecessary suffering to a male black and white collie called Coda when she appeared at Leeds Magistrates’ Court.
Dean failed to provide proper and necessary veterinary care for a chronic skin condition over a two-month period in 2018.
RSPCA inspector Kris Walker said: “Coda was in a lot of pain for a long period of time from a severe and obvious skin condition.
“He had cauliflower-like growths on his back where the fur was missing, and the growths were infected, sore and bleeding.
“Both ears were thickened and crusty, he had fleas and was underweight.”
The RSPCA went to Dean’s home on September 10 2018. The court heard vets believed Coda had been suffering since at least July 10, but most likely much longer.
Inspector Walker said: “Dean said in interview that Coda had started nibbling his back in April, and had started going bald in June.
“Dean’s cat had brought fleas home in August and because of this she had treated Coda with a flea spray and used a buster collar which she said he had managed to get off.
“Coda desperately needed veterinary treatment and as soon as we intervened, and he got it, he started to improve.
“It’s been a long road for this poor boy but I’m really happy to say he is now almost recovered. His demeanour has completely changed, he’s gone from a despondent dog unwilling to socialise to a dog that’s happy and very playful.”
In mitigation, the court heard that Dean had “a lot on her plate” with children and relatives she cares for.
She apologised to the court and the RSPCA and said she did love the dog which she had owned since he was a puppy in 2011.
She accepted there would be a disqualification but hoped Coda could be rehomed to her mother and that she may be allowed to keep her cat.
Sentencing: 12-month community order involving 200 hours of unpaid work and 15 rehabilitation days. Total costs and charges of £385. A deprivation order was placed on Coda and Dean’s cat. Their ownership will now pass to the RSPCA. Lifetime ban on keeping animals.