#TheList Arthur Donaldson, born 18/02/1977, of 68 Parkmore, Knockmenagh, Craigavon, Co Armagh BT64 2AF – failed to seek veterinary care for his dog’s (unexplained) head injury
Donaldson was convicted of failing to ensure the welfare of an unnamed 19-month-old female German Shepherd in his care.
The case against Donaldson was heard at Armagh Magistrates’ Court on Friday, October 18, 2019.
Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council brought the case against Donaldson under the provisions of the Welfare of Animals Act (Northern Ireland) 2011 following a report from a member of the public who was concerned about the dog’s welfare.
An Animal Welfare Officer visited the defendant’s property in July 2017 and spoke to him regarding a head injury the dog had sustained.
He was then advised to ensure the dog received veterinary treatment as a matter of urgency which he failed to do.
The Animal Welfare Officer later returned to the property with a veterinary surgeon who assessed the dog as being likely to suffer as the wound had become infected. The dog was taken into the care of the council and subsequently rehomed.
Sentencing: fined £500 and ordered to pay a further £424 in fees.
#TheList career criminal William Sheen, born 1996, of no fixed abode, but originally from the Merryweather Estate in Ringwood, Hampshire BH24 1UL and with links to Bournemouth and Salisbury – hit a police dog with a large tin of baked beans
Sheen admitted arson, assaulting an emergency worker and causing unnecessary suffering to a service dog.
The court was told he had been causing a disturbance at the pub on Old Christchurch Road when staff called the police.
Officers from Dorset Police said they found him in a dry storage area of the kitchen shouting “Let me out” before waving a metal object at them and refusing to leave.
A fire was seen coming from the store and Sheen was heard to say “Go away – this place is going to go up”.
The fire service was called to extinguish the flames and a police dog, called Gus, was also sent to the scene.
In a statement, Dorset Police said: “Sheen began to throw items at the officers, including bags of flour and commercial-sized tins of baked beans.
“One of the tins struck PD Gus on the head, stunning him and causing him to back away.”
Police then used a Taser to subdue Sheen and he was arrested.
Ch Insp Heather Dixey confirmed Gus and the police officers involved did not sustain any lasting injuries and are back on active duty.
She added: “This case yet again demonstrates the danger that can be faced by officers and police dogs while dealing with hostile and volatile incidents.”
#TheList Darren ‘Daz’ Haywood, born c. 1982, of Chaloner Close, Bell Green, Coventry CV2 1UE – allowed his two dogs to become severely underweight and failed to get treatment for their skin condition
Haywood was found guilty in his absence of three animal welfare offences, including causing unnecessary suffering.
The court heard how his Staffies, named Tyson and Missy, were severely underweight and suffering an untreated skin condition which had led to fur loss.
A concerned member of the public reported the matter to the RSPCA and Inspector Helen Smith was sent to investigate on March 4, 2019.
She found the dogs at Haywood’s address and could see immediately they both were underweight and appeared to have fur loss caused by a skin condition – they also smelt from the infection.
She was given permission to take them for veterinary treatment where the vet concluded both pets had suffered unnecessarily. He found Tyson, aged 8, weighed 14.5kgs when a normal weight would have been 18-20kgs. His bones were protruding and he was constantly scratching due to a skin infection which had led to fur loss.
Missy, also aged 8, was also underweight at 15.2 kgs and again was constantly scratching due to a severe skin infection. Both dogs have now recovered in RSPCA care and will be available for re-homing soon.
Inspector Helen Smith said: “It was clear from the smell of the dogs and their appearance that both had a severe infection and they were constantly scratching.
“They were also clearly underweight as many of their bones were protruding.
“There is never an excuse not to feed your pets or to leave them suffering when they should be taken immediately to a vets.
“Many vets will offer a payment plan to help spread the cost and there are charities who can help with vet bills.”
Haywood failed to appear for a previous hearing and was sentenced in his absence. He was later arrested but failed to appear for a sentencing hearing. A warrant was issued for his arrest and he was finally brought before the court for sentencing.
In mitigation, the court was told Haywood suffered financial hardship.
Sentencing: 12-month community order with four-month curfew; 15-day Rehabilitation Activity Requirement; ordered to pay a £85 victim surcharge. Banned from keeping animals for five years.
#TheList Gale Elizabeth Maitland, born 15/02/1967 of Carbarns West, Wishaw ML2 0DE – kept cats and a dog in fly- and faeces-infested conditions
Following a tip-off from a concerned postal worker, Scottish SPCA inspectors attended Gale Maitland’s home and were confronted with a scene of horror, with five cats and a dog living in the foulest of conditions.
Maitland admitted two charges of failing to admit the needs of the animals.
Depute fiscal Abby Seal said: “In March police received an anonymous call from a Royal Mail worker who had attended at the locus during her shift and noticed the door lying ajar.
“The caller believed the house had been trashed and wanted to make a report because the house was in a state of disarray and she could see a dog in a cage in a distressed state.
“The house was in an extremely unsanitary state and in complete disarray and there was an overpowering, pungent smell of urine being intensified by the central heating.
“Inspectors from the SPCA found the hall and stairway full of clothing, bin bags, rubbish and half-eaten takeaway boxes.
“Several cats were seen eating mouldy food from takeaway boxes.
“Throughout the property there was animal faeces and urine on the furniture.
“In the kitchen there was a tan crossbreed dog in a crate on the floor which was in a distressed state and the crate was described as being in a horrendous state and totally unsuitable for a dog to caged within it.
“The crate had a deep build-up of faeces and food which was several inches high.
“A downstairs toilet was being used as a large waste area with bin bags stacked on top of each other 6ft high.
“There was an overpowering smell of ammonia coming from three cat litter trays and it was described by inspectors as the worst litter trays they had seen.
“The master bedroom was in a similar state to the rest of the house and a small cat was observed eating from a partially eaten pizza box.
“Photographs were taken of each animal and they were taken to the Lanarkshire rehoming centre.”
Kauser Iqbal, defending, said: “There was no deliberate intent on her part relating to these offences.
“She was under an extreme amount of stress with the health of her father and long hours that she was working.
“The wake up call for her was when the animals were taken away by officers from the SPCA.
“She has taken significant steps in the property and has replaced every item of furniture and carpet inside.
“This wasn’t a deliberate or planned course of action and she has been extremely stressed over these proceedings.”
Two of the cats known as ‘Chance’ and ‘Loki’ will be returned to Maitland but the other three will be re-homed along with the dog.
Sentencing: 240 hours of unpaid work. Banned from keeping dogs for life.
#TheList James ‘Jimboy’ Price, born 25/04/1983, of the Caravan Park, Sherdley Road, St Helens WA9 5DH – dragged a French bulldog behind a trailer for 13 miles after “failing to realise” she was trapped
Price claimed in court that he had not realised his dog’s lead was attached to his vehicle’s trailer as he set off from his home at the travellers’ site in Sherdley Road, St Helens. He then drove for 13 miles before the lead snapped leaving the dog’s mangled body lying on Brasenose Road in Bootle.
Inspectors tracked down Price via the dog’s microchip.
Price pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal on the basis he “ought to have known the animal was not entangled in a vehicle.”
The court heard that Price had “never intended” to harm the dog, named Pepper, whom he and his partner had used for producing multiple litters of puppies, which they then sold on Facebook for around £1,300 each.
Daniel Kenyon, representing Price, told the court the loss of a family pet had been “punishment enough.”
Presiding magistrate Frank Dainty, passing sentence, said: “I do not believe you intended to harm the animal, but in future you need to check every corner of your vehicle before you set off.”
Sentencing: ordered to pay £1,238 in fines and costs. Banned from keeping animals for 12 months(expires October 2020).
#TheList Sarah Hird, born 1984, previous of Shildon Street, Darlington and more recently Ketton Ave, Darlington – left a pet rabbit to live without adequate shelter amongst dirty nappies and household waste in the garden
Sarah Hird’s unnamed pet rabbit was found living in disgusting conditions in a garden filled with discarded rubbish. The little bunny was soaking wet and suffering from painful urine scald, matted fur and untreated digestion problems.
The court heard that Hird’s partner told an RSPCA inspector to “fuck off” when he said the living conditions weren’t good enough for the pet.
Kevin Campbell, prosecuting on behalf of the RSPCA, said: “The investigator called at the address and the door was opened by a man.
“He said he got a shock at the amount of waste and rubbish piled up in the yard and in the corner was a small brown rabbit, soaking wet and without shelter.
“He explained the living conditions were unsuitable and there was an unfortunate exchange where he was told to ‘fuck off out of my house’.
The inspector took the rabbit and he was examined by a veterinary surgeon.
Mr Campbell added: “The vet who examined the rabbit said it was covered in urine scald and had matted fur, the rabbit’s skin was red raw, very painful and it was similar to nappy rash.
“She went on to identify other issues in the rabbit, its digestion system was not working properly. It needs to be working all the time or they become very unwell and die very quickly.
“The hutch was nowhere near good enough, and meant no protection from the extremes of the weather or predators.”
Hird, who was unrepresented in court, pleaded guilty to animal cruelty.
Sentencing: ordered to pay a total of £456. Banned from keeping rabbits for five years.
#TheList Adrianne Susan Peltz (now Thompson), born 22/10/1984, of 3 Beatrice Road, Bangor, County Down BT20 5DG – defrauded the Dogs Trust of nearly £5,500
Peltz pleaded guilty to fraud by abuse of her position involving £5,393.22 at the Dogs Trust in a “breach of trust”.
The 35-year-old, who is originally from South Africa, admitted using a Dogs Trust credit card for personal expenditures.
Peltz had been employed as the Dogs Trust’s campaigns manager for Northern Ireland and had a charity credit card for use in the day to day running of her office.
However, upon the termination of her contract, “numerous requests for receipts” to be produced by Peltz were not forthcoming.
It emerged that on dates between April and October 2017 a number of items totalling £5,392.22 could not be explained as “legitimate company business”.
Defence barrister Stephen Law said it was accepted that all money given to a charity is important and for anyone to misuse it would be “particularly mean-spirited”. He said Peltz had been going through a “particularly difficult time” when the offending happened.
Mr Law said she was “under considerable pressure at work” and was also “trying to juggle her caring and loving role as a mother” and was also a carer for her own mum.
In the evenings when “under stress” Peltz had “strayed beyond” what the credit card was intended for and made a number of “online” purchases.
Mr Law said it “really has been a classic fall from grace” for Peltz, who had been industrious and occupied a number of important public roles which had now “all come crashing down”, and with it she had lost her reputation.
Following the guilty plea he said the defendant resigned from a number of groups but he said a “glimmer of hope” was that she recently married and her husband was with her in court.
Mr Law said the defendant was unemployed and was not claiming any benefits but “living on the goodwill” of her husband.
The defence barrister said there was no question that Peltz felt ashamed for her “inexcusable” actions and she may have to move from her current address because she has been “shunned” by the community.
He said although every pound given to a charity is important, the Dogs Trust was a UK-wide organisation and the loss of £5,000 may not have a “significant impact” on them.
Mr Law said it had been a “life-changing experience” for Peltz who is going to “pick herself up, get a job and pay this money back”.
District Judge Nigel Broderick said the offending was “mean-spirited” which involved a “breach of trust” with a charity to which the public had given money in good faith.
He said he read a Victim Impact Statement from the Dogs Trust and the incident had a “traumatic effect” on staff.
The judge said he took into account a guilty plea and said it was not without significance that Peltz lost her job and other employment and there had been an “element of public shame which is attached to such a high profile loss of face”.
He handed down a six-month jail term, suspended for two years, and ordered the defendant to pay back the amount of money involved.
Outside the court the defendant replied “no comment, thank you” as she passed reporters.
Following the sentencing hearing, a Dogs Trust spokesperson said: “We rely on the enormous generosity of the public to help us care for over 15,000 dogs every year and we do all we can to ensure funds are used wisely.
“This was a rare situation for us and we took appropriate steps at the time to recover the funds where we could, but what’s important is that following today’s hearing more of the money will be returned to us and put back into the vital work that we do.
“We would like to thank the police for their prompt assistance in this matter. We respect the decision of the court and are pleased to draw this issue to a close.”
Sentencing: six months in jail suspended for two years. Ordered to repay the money she stole from the animal charity.
#TheList Tiffany Guest, born 25/12/1989, previously of Winn Close in Kenilworth, Warwickshire and with links to Washbourne Road, Leamington Spa CV31 2LD – left her pets to starve to death after she moved out of her flat and locked them inside.
Guest cruelly abandoned her cats Reggie and Ronnie and dog Kray in a property before concerned neighbours alerted police 10 days later.
Officers forced entry into the flat in Kenilworth, Warwickshire, and discovered the emaciated Staffordshire bull terrier-type dog and the body of a starved cat on May 30, 2017.
Shockingly, a court heard how Kray had only survived by eating Ronnie after running out of contents scavenged from the bin.
The RSPCA were alerted and took Kray into care for treatment while an investigation was launched.
Guest was traced to near her work, which was only a mile away from the flat where she abandoned the pets.
But she left the country in a bid to evade justice after being told she faced animal welfare offences and was later traced to Malta.
Guest returned to the UK 13 months ago and was arrested by border control for the outstanding warrant.
She was brought before magistrates in relation to the animal cruelty charges and was bailed to re-appear at another date – but again fled to Malta.
On October 10, 2019, Guest was again arrested after she re-entered the country and was remanded in custody until her case at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court.
Pictures released by the RSPCA show the emaciated body of poor pooch Kray and the remains of Reggie strewn across the untidy flat.
Other heartbreaking images show how the animals had trawled leftover food from the bin in a desperate bid to survive.
RSPCA Inspector Boris Lasserre said after the case: “It is incomprehensible to think the suffering these pets must have endured and how terrified they must have been for such a long period of time before the cats died of starvation.
“It must have been terrible for Kray to watch as the cats died in front of him.
“There was evidence the pets had scavenged to try and feed themselves as the bin contents were all over the kitchen floor.
“Just 14 days later, by being fed properly in RSPCA care he made an amazing recovery with a significant increase in weight.
“Warwickshire Police officers did an amazing job in finding Kray, who they renamed Bobby, just in time as he would not have survived much longer.
“He is a lovely gentle dog and made a remarkable recovery in RSPCA care and has now been re-homed.”
In mitigation, the court was told she suffered from depression at the time of the incident.
Sentencing: 18 weeks in jail. Ordered to pay £372 costs and charges. Banned from keeping all animals for 15 years.