#TheList farmer Dylan E Williams, born c. 1972, of Neuaddlwyd Isaf, Ciliau Aeron, Lampeter SA48 7RE – pleaded guilty to animal cruelty after 47 rotting sheep were found on his land.
Williams, who also owns a tree surgery business, pleaded guilty to four animal welfare and animal by-products offences after an investigation carried out by Ceredigion Council.
When animal welfare officers visited the farm in April 2018, they found 47 sheep carcasses in various states of decomposition. These carcasses were accessible by other sheep and young lambs that were still alive.
The council said the majority of sheep seen on the land were suffering from severe wool loss and irritated skin, signs of a debilitating condition known as sheep scab.
Two of the charges brought against Williams under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 concerned the causing of unnecessary suffering to two ewes – one of which was found unconscious with her intestines protruding from her body.
Another offence related to Williams not meeting the welfare needs of his sheep due to the fact that he failed to properly inspect the flock. He also failed to manage and treat the sheep scab effectively.
In total, there were three separate offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and one under the Animal By-Products Regulations.
Sentencing: 250 hours of unpaid work; ordered to pay £1,648 costs. Not banned from keeping animals.
#TheList Dean Williams, born 15/03/1980. of 13 Clos Y Ffynnon, Pontprennau, Cardiff CF23 8HW – hurled a small French bulldog to the floor from above his head before punching her several times.
Construction worker Dean Williams, whose long list of previous convictions includes rape as well as dishonesty, violence and motoring matters, threw the French bulldog, named Koda, to the ground and punched her in the head before being chased down by a witness on a busy Cardiff street.
Cardiff Magistrates Court heard how 39-year-old Williams was later found lying on the ground trying to entice the “cowering” dog from underneath a car after she had ran off in the early hours of May 4, 2019.
Williams claimed Koda “jumped out” of his arms but magistrates said his version of events was not “credible in any way” and found him guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal.
The court heard that the three witnesses all saw Williams pick up the dog and throw her to the ground near Richmond Road.
Two of the witnesses were students Sarah Bill and Emily Johnson returning home in a taxi after a night out.
Giving evidence to the court, Ms Johnson said: “I looked behind me out of the window and saw him pick it up above his head and throw her to the floor.”
She told the court she believed Williams used two hands and had picked up the dog holding two of her legs.
Ms Bill told the court she only saw Williams throw the dog when it was “about a foot” off the ground, after Ms Johnson called out.
Ms Bill then left the taxi they were travelling in to chase after Williams and the dog, to “try and get it off him because in my opinion he was inflicting pain”.
With the dog under Williams’ arm, Ms Bill said she followed them down Richmond Road and onto Gordon Road.
Ms Bill said she also saw Williams punch the dog in the head “more than three times”.
After chasing Williams, Ms Bill realised she was alone so ran back “hysterical” and calling for someone to call the police.
At this point Uber Driver Chris Inchley stopped to speak to the women after also witnessing Williams throw the dog.
At first Mr Inchley thought Williams was chasing after the dog because she was lost, but he told the court: “[Then] he picked the dog up above his head and threw it to the floor with force.”
He said he was “shocked” and that the dog “yelped”.
Mr Inchley added: “He was punching the dog to the head about four or five times. It was hard, it was very hard.”
The Uber driver then picked up the two women and they returned to Gordon Road where they found Williams laying on the floor looking for the dog.
Ms Johnson said: “When we came down we saw [Williams] lying on the floor looking under the car with a French bulldog cowering underneath. The dog was clearly in fear of this man. When the police came the dog came out.”
Police arrested Williams at the scene, and later interviewed him where he replied “no comment” to each question.
One of the officers, PC Southey, was at one point visibly upset as she gave evidence on Thursday. PC Southey described blood around the mouth of the dog and that it calmed down once Williams had been put in the police car.
A vet report found the dog had some minor injuries, including a small hemorrhage on her eye and a lesion above her eye.
Luis Williamson, defending, questioned if Ms Ball’s and Ms Johnson’s consumption of alcohol on their night out had impaired their judgement, which they both denied, and said there were inconsistencies in the evidence by the three civilian witnesses.
Mr Williamson added that the injuries of the dog were caused previously through “puppy play”.
Giving evidence, Williams said: “She jumped out of my hand and I tried to grabbing her because it was a busy road. She jumped out and I picked her back up. I’m an animal lover myself, I have had her since she was a pup. She was a family pet.”
He added that the dog was under the car only because of the number of people on the street, and denied hurting the dog or remembering interacting with Ms Ball.
In their verdict chair of the bench Martin Dennett said: “We have listened to the evidence we have heard today and while there maybe some inconsistencies, the underlying facts and descriptions are clearly articulated.
“We can clearly see there are facial injuries. We felt it suffered abuse at the hands of [Williams]. We are satisfied an attack took place and substantial in nature. We do not find your version of events credible in any way.”
Williams had pleaded not guilty at a previous hearing after being charged with one count of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal.
On Wednesday 17 July 2019 Williams appeared in court for sentencing.
The court heard Williams was alcohol-dependent and had consumed around four to five pints of lager on the day of the incident but “was not drunk”.
A report by the probation service said Williams was on anti-depressants and he told them he drinks “as much as I can get my hands on”.
Koda was rehomed with witness Sarah Bill and renamed Lola.
Sentencing: eight weeks in custody suspended for 12 months. Ordered to carry out 20 rehabilitation activity days. Total of £735 costs and charges. Banned from keeping animals for three years, which was suspended for four weeks to allow his other animals to be rehomed.
#TheList Sophie Esnee, born c. 1990, of Belmont Street, Hull HU9 – threw her pet snake at a neighbour; failed to provide a suitable living environment for the snake.
Serial troublemaker and alleged drug addict Esnee was fined £100 and banned from keeping reptiles for seven years, for failing to provide a suitable living environment for the snake, known as Lucifer.
Esnee received no separate penalty for a further offence in neighbouring Estcourt Street on February 12, 2018, when she failed to protect Lucifer from “pain, suffering, injury and disease”, by “taking the snake out on a February evening and throwing the snake at another person”.
Both offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 were proved in Esnee’s absence at Hull Magistrates’ Court.
Lucifer was ordered to be taken into the care of the RSPCA to be rehomed.
#TheList Alexander (‘Alec’) Isacc Denholm, born 06/07/1974, of 10 Braxfield Terrace, Lanark ML11 9BZ – for starvation of his dog
Denholm was prosecuted following an investigation by the Scottish SPCA. He pleaded guilty to failing to provide a suitable diet to nine-year-old Staffordshire bull terrier-type dog Marley.
Commenting on the case, inspector Heather Lawson said, “I responded to a call to our animal helpline on 8 April 2018 from a member of the public who was concerned about the welfare of a dog
“Upon arrival at the locus I met Marley, who despite being in an emaciated state was bright and alert and appeared friendly.
“I removed Marley from the address, with agreement from Denholm, and transported her to a vet for inspection.
“Upon veterinary examination, she was found to weigh just 12.4kg and was given a body condition score of 1-2 out of 5. There was also evidence of a skin disease on both back legs, possibly produced from self-trauma.
“When she was offered food at the time of the consultation, she ate it ravenously.
“It’s clear Marley suffered neglect over an extended period of time, comprising deprivation of the most basic requirements, namely food and water.
“Marley was taken to our centre in Lanarkshire where she received the care and attention she deserved. After gaining steady weight and being fully rehabilitated, Marley was rehomed to a loving family.
“This level of neglect didn’t happen overnight and could have been easily avoided. We are glad this sentence has been handed down and hope Denholm carefully considers his capability to care for animals in the future.”
Sentencing: £200 fine. Five-year ban on owning dogs.
#TheList Carla Marie Freer, aka Carla Jackson, born c. 1978, of High Street, Loftus TS13 – neglected her Shih Tzu to the point where the dog’s feet had dissolved under her matted fur and Freer didn’t even notice
The RSPCA was called in March 2019 after the dog, known as Lola, was taken to a vet practice by a concerned member of the public.
RSPCA Inspector Clare Wilson said: “Lola was in a shocking condition, her fur was extremely matted and covered in urine and faeces and she was struggling to walk.
“Unfortunately when vets put her under anaesthetic to clip her fur what they found was worse than anyone could have imagined.
“Her hind feet had literally dissolved under the matting, and her back legs were just stumps with exposed bone.
“The vet decided that the only humane thing to do was to put her to sleep to prevent further suffering which took place with her owner’s consent.”
Lola’s owner, mother-of-three Carla Marie Freer pleaded guilty to one offence under the Animal Welfare Act.
Veterinary evidence produced in court said that it was highly likely that the matting – which in extreme cases can restrict blood supply – had caused Lola’s feet to be destroyed.
The expert vet said that in 30 years’ experience, and dealing with many cases of matting including where limbs had been lost, it was “without doubt…the worst case of a matted animal I have seen”.
In mitigation the court was told that Freer’s personal circumstances had dramatically changed resulting in her not having so much time for Lola. It wasn’t deliberate cruelty, and she didn’t know the extent of the injuries or she would have acted.
Sentencing: four-month prison sentence suspended for two years; two-year community order comprising 150 hours of unpaid work, 10 days of rehabilitation requirement days, and an eight-week curfew. Freer was ordered to pay a total of £515 costs and charges. She was disqualified from keeping all animals for life.
#TheList wildlife persecutor and dog killer Daniel John William Brockley, born 24/03/1989, of 6 Bury, Dulverton, West Somerset TA22 9NE – allowed his terrier to work underground knowing there was a risk of him becoming injured
Brockley, who is employed as a gamekeeper by shoot management firm Loyton LLP based at the Haddeo Estate in the Exe valley, was found guilty after a two day trial.
He was also charged with an offence of intent to kill, injure or take a badger but was found not guilty as ‘beyond reasonable doubt’
In August 2018 the RSPCA, police and DEFRA carried out a raid at Brockley’s home and seized mobile phones. Text messages between Brockley and head keeper Alan Floyd referred to digging for vixens, fox cubs and badgers.
Images on Brockley’s phone showed a dog named Henry who had suffered horrific facial injuries. Vets said the nature of Henry’s wounds were consistent with badger fighting.
The court heard that on three separate occasions – January 18, 2017, 19 May, 2017 and January 30 2019 – Brockley had put a Patterdale terrier named Rock at risk of injury by forcing him to work underground.
According to the RSPCA, photos showing Rock’s de-gloved lower jaw – where skin has been removed as a result of an injury – and text messages about his condition were shared by Brockley.
A text message from January 2017 said “Dug Rock again tonite!” and was accompanied by a photo on Brockley’s phone of a locator receiver showing a depth of 0.8m.
In May 2017 Brockley texted a picture of Rock with full degloving injury of his lower jaw and wrote: “This is the last time I dug him last May…I’ve not worked him since coz had to revive him after that one”.
A witness told the court that Rock had died after being shot and disposed of by Brockley “to try and cover his back”.
There was evidence that other dogs had died in similar circumstances while in the care of Daniel Brockley.
Magistrates decided against banning Brockley from keeping animals as he has had many dogs in the past, Rock was described as being otherwise kept well and was well loved, and a ban would lead to Brockley losing his livelihood and accommodation.
Sentencing: 140 hours of unpaid work; total of £2,335 costs and charges.
#TheList Michaela Alison Durkin, born c. 1995, of Jesmond Gardens, Hartlepool TS24 – allowed her dog to suffer with a broken leg for a month, eventually forcing vets to amputate it.
Durkin pleaded guilty one count of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal between March and April 2019.
The mother-of-two lied to RSPCA inspectors claiming her whippet, Lola, had fallen down the stairs and injured her right hind leg, but appeared to “brighten up” after a couple of days.
A member of the public contacted the animal welfare charity after noticing the family pet had an “obvious and noticeable injury”. Lola was unable to put any weight on the leg and it appeared visibly swollen.
The court heardhow Durkin denied witnessing Lola falling down the stairs, but had heard a yelp. However, she claimed she could not remember the date that the dog first began holding up one leg.
Dave Dedman, prosecuting on behalf of the RSPCA, said: “Lola was taken to see a vet who stated she was incapable of putting any weight on the leg and it was clear there was a fracture to the femur, muscle contractures and shortening of the limb.
“She said that had occurred over a prolonged period of time. She was hospitalised on April 5, 2019, but very sadly, because of the break and because the muscle had contracted, Lola had her right hind leg amputated on April 8.”
Durkin, was interviewed four days later and said she thought Lola had not been herself for a couple of days, but had perked back up and she had no reason to think Lola’s leg was broken.
Vets caring for the whippet confirmed it was impossible for the dog to have sustained the injury by falling down the stairs and said the fracture had happened at least four weeks prior to the RSPCA investigation.
They instead suggested Lola’s leg had been subjected to “substantial lateral force”. The court heard allegations that the father of Durkin’s children had kicked the dog, however no charges were brought against him.
Mr Dedman concluded there had been “prolonged neglect”, adding: “It’s a very sad and there’s a high level of suffering caused to the dog, to the point where her leg had to be amputated.”
A probation report stated Durkin had significant personal and financial problems and could not afford veterinary bills.
Durkin’s solicitor, Gavin Musgrave, conceded the family pet had sustained a “horrific injury” and told the court that Lola had been signed over into the care of the RSPCA.
Mr Musgrave said: “She was a responsible dog owner and she’s had animals in the past. She’s very remorseful for the incident and she’s fearful of the consequences.”
Sentencing: 12-month community order; total of £485 fine and charges. Disqualified from owning or being in control of any animal for ten years.
#TheList unlicensed animal trader Bradley Michael Tomes, born 27/04/1995, of Moss Lane, Hesketh Bank, Preston PR4 – kept dozens of exotic animals in filthy conditions and with untreated injuries
Tomes pleaded guilty to 15 offences under the Animal Welfare Act after dozens of neglected exotic animals had to be rescued by the RSPCA.
The offences relate to six iguanas; two mara (large rodents from South America); 16 peafowl; two pelicans; three agouti (a rodent native to America and South America); five porcupines; one green parakeet; two jardine parrots; one golden pheasant; one green winged macaw; one white necked raven and one cape parrot.
In January 2019 the RSPCA were called by police to a farm on Taylors Meanygate in Tarleton and found the animals being kept in squalid and unsuitable conditions. The charity then attended a second address on Moss Lane, Tarleton where a shed-type building at the back of the premises contained a number of animals.
RSPCA Deputy Chief Inspector Alison Fletcher said: “Some of these animals were species we as RSPCA inspectors of many years’ experience had never dealt with before, and it was a shock to see them kept in such conditions.
“Both locations were filthy. Many of the animals were in accommodation that was obviously completely unsuitable, did not have access to food or water, or were suffering.
“At the farm, we found two mara inside a small plastic transportation crate on the floor of one of the make-shift buildings. Mara are a large rodent who stand up on their hind legs. The height of the crate was 300mm, or just 12 inches. The depth of the crate was 560mm, and the length was 870mm giving no real room for them to move around.
“A squalid enclosure at the same location housed three agoutis, two pelican and 13 peafowl (pictured above).
“Four porcupines (pictured right) were in a pen which was wet and muddy with just a small structure for shelter – temperatures on site were close to freezing with snow and driving rain.
“At the second address a macaw was found in a black crate, similar to a dog crate. The bird’s tail feathers were touching the sides of the crate.
“The iguanas were at this location too – all six of which were in poor body condition and four had injuries to their tails.”
Two animals, an Agouti and a Mara, have subsequently died, and the court heard further dead birds and animals were discovered at the same locations but are not subject to charges, as the cause of death cannot be established.
In mitigation the court heard that Tomes had an interest in animals all of his life and had been employed as a zoo keeper.
He had signed all of the animals over in February and pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity. He had gone through a difficult break up but had now turned his life around and had a new job and new relationship.
The surviving animals have been rehomed to specialist keepers.
Sentencing: 20 weeks in prison suspended for 12 months; 25 rehabilitation days; 120 hours of community service; total of £615 costs and charges. Disqualified from keeping all animals for five years with no appeal for two years.