Cavehill, Belfast: Wayne McGrath

#TheList Wayne Francis McGrath, born December 1972, of Marsden Gardens Flats, Belfast BT15 5AN – bludgeoned his pet dog to death with a hammer and burnt his remains

Wayne McGrath and victim Patch
Wayne McGrath and victim Patch

McGrath said he killed the American bulldog-type dog, known as Patch, after the animal mauled an eight-year-old girl.

Police found no evidence of the Patch’s remains but a court heard his owner caused him “unimaginable pain”.

McGrath admitted charges of being the keeper of a dog involved in the attack on the child and causing him unnecessary suffering.

Belfast Magistrates’ Court was told Patch was not on a lead when he attacked the girl at Kinnaird Avenue, North Belfast.

The child was bitten and mauled, and witnesses described seeing the dog shake and trail the child by the hair.

Social media image of Wayne McGrath with Patch

McGrath and another man punched and kicked the dog in a bid to break his hold on the girl, the court heard.

She then fled, but the animal shook off a chain put round his neck and began chasing her.

“The dog caught up with the child and got on top of her, and was shaking her and mauling at her chest,” a prosecution lawyer told the court.

The two men then grabbed the dog and restrained him, while the girl was led to safety.

McGrath was questioned at the scene by police, who took both him and the dog back to his partner’s house.

The following day officers checked to see if he had handed over the animal to be humanely destroyed, but McGrath told them he had killed the dog himself.

The court heard he had received death threats and was under pressure to dispose of the dog, but did not have the money to take the animal to a vet to be euthanised.

No remains of the dog were found when police searched McGrath’s home, but during interviews he claimed to have killed the animal at a dump near Ligoniel.

“He admitted killing the dog by hitting it over the crown of the head with a hammer twice, and then putting its remains in a wheelie bin, covering it with copper wire and petrol, and setting the remains and the tools he used on fire,” a prosecution barrister said.

But no evidence of dog remains or the burnt bins were found during further searches of the dump area either.

The court heard McGrath’s admissions were the only evidence that the dog had died in the way described.

The prosecution said the animal had been subjected to unnecessary cruelty.

“A blow to the head with a hammer would cause a lot of damage, trauma and pain,” the lawyer argued.

“In the final moments of its life the animal would have experienced unimaginable pain and fear inflicted by its carer.

“There’s no way to ascertain if the first blow from the hammer would have rendered the dog insensible, and the owner ascertained a further blow was indeed required.”

A defence barrister said McGrath acted out of fear, having received a visit from people connected to an unnamed criminal organisation.

The judge said it was a “terrible case” in which a girl had sustained “lasting injury” and a dog was treated in an “appalling” manner.

“I have no doubt in my mind that unnecessary suffering was caused to that animal.”

Sentencing: four months in prison. Lifetime ban on keeping any animals. McGrath was released on bail, pending an appeal against his jail sentence.

BBC News
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Barry, Vale of Glamorgan: Bridget Gulley

#TheList Bridget Patricia Alexander Gulley, born c. 1997, of Holland Way, Barry CF63 1RF – for dog neglect

Bridget Gulley
Bridget Gulley

Bridget Gulley pleaded guilty to three charges under the Animal Welfare Act in relation to a black female crossbreed dog called Bella.

Gulley “failed to provide adequate veterinary care and attention for its severe skin disease, hair loss and associated infection”.

The offences were committed between September and October 2019.

No further details are currently available.

Sentencing: 12-month community order; 10-day rehabilitation activity requirement; £405 in fines, costs and surcharge. Banned from keeping animals for five years (expires September 2020).

Barry and District News

Louth, Lincolnshire: Byron ‘Baz’ Toyne

#TheList career criminal Byron David Toyne, born c. 1985, of Keddington Road, Louth LN11 0AA – attacked a hamster during a violent domestic incident

Social media image of Byron Toyne
Byron Toyne, who goes by the first name Baz

Byron Toyne, whose previous convictions include harassment and assault, pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to the hamster, known as Nibbles, by throwing and shaking him. Toyne claimed he was unaware the hamster was in the cage.

We understand that Nibbles’ owner only took him to the vet four days after the incident where he was diagnosed with a broken back and put to sleep. She was not prosecuted for her failure to seek prompt treatment for the stricken pet.

Toyne also admitted committing criminal damage to a bicycle wheel, art box, leaning board and canvas picture belonging to a Louth woman on the same day.

Sentencing: community order which includes 170 hours of unpaid work. Total costs and charges of £175. He was not banned from owning animals.

Louth Leader

Plymouth, Devon: Michael Rose

#TheList Michael ‘Mikey’ Rose (aka Michael Garner), born c. 1997, previously of Hill Park Crescent, Greenbank, Plymouth PL4 but most recently no fixed abode – punched and kicked a police dog after constables found him living in a tent in woods

Michael Rose aka Michael Garner and PD Ollie
Michael Rose aka Michael Garner and PD Ollie

Rose, who is originally from Basildon, Essex, punched and kicked PD Ollie as constables tried to restrain him. But the dog managed to grab hold of his ankle as he’d been trained to do.

The thug also rained blows on three police officers who found him in a tent and tried to headbutt another back at the police station.

Rose then assaulted two custody officers who were taking him to court the next day. One of the officers later said it was the most aggressive he had seen someone in 17 years of policing.

Jailing him for 18 months in total, Judge William Mousley said all six officers had been “just doing their job”.

Police mugshot of Michael Rose aka Michael Garner

He added that Rose had significant mental health difficulties, including paranoia, though he had refused to co-operate with psychiatric staff in the past.

Rose pleaded guilty to six counts of assaulting an emergency worker and one of causing unnecessary suffering to a dog on December 23 and December 24, 2019.

He changed his pleas minutes ahead of his trial.

Police Dog Ollie’s Twitter account said after the attack that there were no serious injuries and that he “recovered quickly”.

Rose was jailed in December 2017 for 29 months for two offences of blackmail. The latest offences were committed on licence after his release.

Rose, representing himself, mumbled from the dock through the prosecution opening of the case.

Middlesbrough, North Yorkshire: Ashley Corner

#TheList Ashley Lauren Corner, born November 1985, of Park Avenue, Marton, Middlesbrough TS6 0AP – for the neglect of two dogs found in dire condition.

Ashley Corner social media image
Ashley Corner is now banned from owning animals until 2025

Corner’s dogs, West Highland terriers Harvey and Woody, were found by RSPCA officers with matted fur and paws covered in faeces.

The single mother-of-three boys, who is also a backyard breeder, pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to an animal between September 1 and 29, 2019.

Neglected dog Harvey
Neglected dog Harvey (this image is a couple of years old)

Stuart Haywood, prosecuting on behalf of the RSPCA, said officers were called to Corner’s house after reports regarding the state of the dogs.

Mr Haywood said that Corner initially refused the RSPCA officers entry, but they subsequently returned and finally gained entry.

Corner’s home was found to have a “strong smell of urine and faeces” and the dogs were “covered in fleas” with “matted fur”.

The paws of one dog were covered in faeces and both also smelled strongly.

Ashley Corner pictured outside court
Unremorseful Corner laughs outside court

The court heard that Corner signed one of the dogs over to the RSPCA but refused to do so with the other.

Corner, now of Newton Aycliffe, admitted failing to adequately explore and address the causes of the poor condition of both dogs.

Sentencing: 12-month community order with 12 rehabilitation activity days. Ordered to pay £200 costs which will be taken out of her Universal Credit payments. Banned from keeping animals for five years.

GazetteLive

Hartlepool, County Durham: Thomas Wade

#TheList Thomas Andrew Wade, born 02/03/1993, previously of Mellor Street, Stockton-on-Tees, but as of September 2020 living in an NHS care facility in Park Avenue, Hartlepool TS26 0DZ – subjected his pet cat to prolonged torture which included putting her into a hot oven and flushing her down the toilet

Thomas Wade pictured outside court
Thomas Wade aka ‘Evil Tom’

Wade claimed in court he heard voices from a WWE wrestler named Kane before launching the attack on the cat, known as Sweetie. During her ordeal, which came after she apparently “disobeyed” her twisted owner, Sweetie was put in a hot oven, flushed in a toilet, strangled with a TV cord and thrown against walls.

Wade then made disturbing voice recordings of himself where he spoke in detail about carrying out the horrific abuse and proclaimed: “No one can be more evil than myself.”

Despite the sickening cruelty, Sweetie miraculously survived the ordeal, but was hospitalised with severe third degree burns.

Wade pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to an animal during his appearance at Teesside Magistrates’ Court.

Stuart Haywood, prosecuting, said loner Wade, who has learning difficulties and autism, received Sweetie as a gift from his sister as she thought it would be “good for him”.

The tabby was then given to Wade for a three week trial before possible adoption.

But on October 8, 2019, Wade went to his sister’s home and told her the cat “was not wanted anymore”.

Thomas Wade pictured outside court

Mr Haywood said his sister then went to Wade’s home where she “smelled a strong smell of burning”.

“The defendant was sitting on a settee and the cat was wet and breathing rapidly, he refused to say why,” he said.

He added that fur was then found in Wade’s oven. After more questions, Wade finally admitted what he had done, saying that it “felt good”.

His sister immediately notified the RSPCA and Sweetie was taken to a vet where she was found to be in a “terrible condition”.

She had sustained skin damage and “significant” third degree burns before being hospitalised.

The police soon became involved and Wade was arrested.

Rambling voice recordings were later discovered of Wade speaking about the abuse.

In the recordings, one of which was eight minutes long, he spoke in detail about attacking Sweetie.

In one sinister recording he said, “No one can be more evil than myself” and said he wanted to “rip out its tongue” after seeing her struggle while being “choke slammed”.

In another he referred to himself as “evil Tom”.

In police interview, Wade said he “threw her against four walls” and said he carried out the violence in part because he claimed he heard voice in his head from the WWE wrestling character, Kane, in his head.

Wade was also remorseless, telling officers “she had not suffered enough”.

He said he put the terrified cat in the oven “on high for five minutes” after throwing her against a wall and said he became infuriated at Sweetie for “disobeying” his orders for her not to go under his bed. The court heard that Wade had “no mental health” issues, but did have learning difficulties.

Matthew Agar, defending, said the incident was “shocking”, and said he “did not want to minimise” the offence.

He said it was his view Wade’s learning disability was a “contributing factor” and that he had serious concerns for him.

Mr Agar added that Wade was now aware of the severity of the offence and that he felt Wade had something like a “split-personality”.

He said that Wade had moved to Teesside from Grimsby and would “go weeks” without any other contact with people.

Sentencing Wade, district judge, Helen Cousins called him an “extremely dangerous man” and that she would liked to have “put him in prison for as long as I could”.

Sentencing: 18-week prison sentence, suspended for two years. Six months of mental health treatment. 30 rehabilitation activity days and 18-week hospital curfew. £440 costs. Banned from keeping pets for 10 years (expires 2030).

GazetteLive

Glynneath, Neath Port Talbot: Greg Phillips

#TheList Greg Phillips, born January 1980, of Ynyslas Crescent, Glynneath SA11 5LB – repeatedly punched his cocker spaniel

Greg Phillips, who was caught on camera launching a brutally violent attack on his helpless dog
Greg Phillips was caught on camera launching a brutally violent attack on his helpless dog

Phillips was caught on dashcam footage shoving his dog into the back of his car outside a shop on Pentre Street, Glynneath, Neath Port Talbot, on 31 March, 2020.

Dashcam footage showed him grabbing hold of the dog as she jumped out of his car when he went to put a crate of beer on the back seat.

Greg Phillips' three dogs, including the cocker spaniel he attacked
Greg Phillips’ three dogs, including the cocker spaniel he attacked

He then punched her several times, before throwing her into the boot along with other dogs, and then striking her again.

Passers-by can be heard hooting their car horns and shouting at him to stop.

RSPCA Inspector Keith Hogben said: “In broad daylight and with people all around, this poor dog was beaten by his owner, who clearly had no regard for his legal responsibilities towards his animal.

“Fortunately, the dashcam footage helped us to identify this individual and ensure we could take action.

“Clearly, this is no way to treat an animal, and thankfully, the vast majority of people across south Wales and beyond will be shocked by this footage, and the beating this poor cocker spaniel was subjected to.”

Sentencing: 150 hours of unpaid work; a total of £390 costs and charges. No ban or deprivation order.

BBC News
North Wales Live