#BoycottStokeSentinel: Craig Chapman Scandal

Why does a family newspaper think it’s okay to platform a former producer of pornographic animal torture videos?

In May 2002 Craig John Chapman from Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire, UK, was imprisoned for producing a series of sick pornographic ‘crush’ videos in which small animals, including mice, guinea pigs, rats and an 11-week-old kitten, were tortured, mutilated and eventually killed by scantily dressed women in high heels for the sexual gratification of both himself and others. Chapman appeared naked from the waist down in one sexually explicit scene involving a mouse.

Chapman sold his films via online fetish chat-rooms to other sexual deviants. One buyer, Brian Patrick McCann, now of Ryde, Isle of Wight, was himself convicted under obscene publications legislation and imprisoned.

Video produced by campaign group StopCrush.org provides some information on animal crush fetishism

Predatory Chapman paid three young women – Theraza Smallwood, Christine Besford and Sarah Cooke – up to £700 to star in the videos.

Craig John Chapman from Stoke produced and starred in pornographic animal torture videos.He paid cousin Theraza Smallwood to torture animals on camera. Brian McCann was a customer.
Craig John Chapman from Stoke produced and starred in pornographic animal torture videos.His cousin Theraza Smallwood was paid to kill animals on camera. Brian McCann was a customer of the ring and specifically requested that a kitten be brutally killed for his sexual gratification.

Articles by reputable news sources including the BBC, the Independent and the Guardian pertaining to the case remain available online.

Craig John Chapman from Stoke produced and starred in pornographic animal torture videos

What is the #BoycottStokeSentinel campaign all about?

In March 2018 and again in December 2018 the Stoke Sentinel published gushing puff piece profiles on Craig Chapman and his “thriving” logistics company, Dulogis. The second article described how Chapman had “left a ‘safe’ office job” in 2003 to start his own business. There is no mention of the fact that he would have been released from prison that year having served half of his two-year sentence.

In May 2018 a sister company of Chapman’s, Duploy Recruitment, was also given free publicity by the Sentinel’s hapless business editor Laura James.

Whilst it is likely that no one at the Sentinel knew about Chapman’s past at the time of the articles’ publication, we understand that they were made aware by a former employee of Chapman’s in late 2018. It is therefore surprising that the PR pieces remain, unedited, on the Sentinel’s website today.

Not content with celebrating a man whose shocking past shows that he has neither morals nor principles, the newspaper went on to make Chapman their ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ at their annual Business Awards event in March 2019.

Entries were submitted via Laura James for consideration by a panel of 15 judges made up of company directors, PR types and senior members of the Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce and Local Enterprise Partnership. More on this lot later.

Stoke Sentinel’s stonewalling of public protests

The case having kicked up a storm on social media in recent weeks, hundreds of people have contacted the Stoke Sentinel asking them to rescind their award to Craig Chapman but, to date, their requests have fallen on deaf ears. Anyone contacting the newspaper through social media to express concern has been ignored and blocked.

By taking a stonewalling approach to this scandal, the Stoke Sentinel are effectively defending Craig Chapman and acting as apologists for sexual deviancy. Their silence is a form of complicity.

The #BoycottStokeSentinel campaign, on which we at CLUK are collaborating with proactive pressure group Operation Frankish, will aims to persuade the newspaper to have a rethink.

Get Involved

There are many things you can do to support the #BoycottStokeSentinel campaign.

Sign the petition

Firstly, please sign and share our petition urging the Stoke Sentinel to publicly rescind their business award to Craig Chapman: http://chng.it/xwM4Hc5tR7

Contact the Stoke Sentinel

Martin Tideswell – Editor in Chief, The Sentinel
t: 01782 864112
e: martin.tideswell@thesentinel.co.uk
e: martin.tideswell@reachplc.com
https://twitter.com/MartinTideswell

Laura James – Business Editor, The Sentinel
t: 01782 864133
e: laura.james@thesentinel.co.uk
e: laura.james@reachplc.com
https://twitter.com/Laura_James88

By snail mail to: Sentinel House. Bethesda Street. Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent. ST1 3GN

The Stoke Sentinel are on Facebook but contact them via this route and you will likely find yourself instantly blocked and banned from their page. This lot take pettiness to a whole new level.

The Stoke Sentinel is owned by Reach Plc (formerly Trinity Mirror), one of the UK’s biggest newspaper groups. The CEO of Reach is Simon Fox:

By post:
Reach Plc
One Canada Square
Canary Wharf
London
E14 5AP

Email: simon.fox@reachplc.com
Email for Simon Fox’s PAs: katieandkelly@reachplc.com
Telephone: 020 7293 3000

Example email (feel free to use or adapt):

In March 2019 Craig John Chapman of the Dulogis Group won the Entrepreneur of the Year award at the Stoke Sentinel’s annual business awards event. Twice in 2018 the newspaper published ‘puff pieces’ on Chapman’s business successes.

I understand that in December 2018 a former employee of Dulogis contacted the Stoke Sentinel to notify them that Craig Chapman had been imprisoned for two years in 2002 for producing pornographic animal torture videos, involving mice, guinea pigs and a kitten, which he distributed on the internet. The case, the first of its kind in the UK, made all of the national newspapers, including the BBC, Telegraph and Guardian, and their reports remain online to this day.

The nature of Chapman’s crimes against animals is heinous and extreme and there is no need to go into graphic detail here.

Chapman paid three women to star in the videos and it could be argued that this was also a form of exploitation and abuse.

A 2010 Channel Five documentary on extreme pornography featured a 15-minute segment on the case and a former undercover RSPCA investigator named Terry Spamer devoted a chapter of his book ‘Animal Spy: Animal Welfare Behind Enemy Lines’ to it.

There is also a Wikipedia page on the case.

Although some would argue that Chapman has turned his life around in the 17 years since his conviction, I do not believe that a man with his past should ever be platformed and certainly not celebrated by a family newspaper.

Staff at the Stoke Sentinel have blatantly and repeatedly ignored all attempts to contact them about this matter, which is completely unacceptable. This stance stinks of ‘cover-up’ and has tarnished the newspaper’s reputation for trust and integrity in the eyes of much of the local community and the wider animal-loving public.

I do not feel that this should be swept under the carpet and would urge the Stoke Sentinel to urgently review their position.

Contact the Judges

The 15 judges on the panel included the following:

Gareth Jones – APT Health and Safety Training Solutions Ltd
Lake View, Festival Way, Festival Park, Stoke-on-Trent
ST1 5B
t: 01782 213428
e: gareth@apthealthandsafety.co.uk
https://www.apthealthandsafety.co.uk/
https://www.facebook.com/apthealthandsafety
https://twitter.com/APT1HS

Fiona Hawkins – Plinkfizz Ltd
1 Lyme Vale Court, Stoke-on-Trent ST4 6NW
t: 01782 630777
e: info@plinkfizz.com
e: fiona@plinkfizz.com
www.plinkfizz.com
https://www.facebook.com/Plinkfizz/
https://twitter.com/plinkfizzuk

The judging panel for the Sentinel Business Awards 2019
The judging panel for the Sentinel Business Awards 2019

Julie Mirowski – Rydale Roofing Ltd
Unit 14, Arlington Court, Cannel Row, Silverdale
Newcastle under Lyme ST5 6SS
t: 01782 625894
e: info@rydaleroofing.co.uk
e: julie@rydaleroofing.co.uk
www.rydaleroofing.co.uk
https://www.facebook.com/RydaleRoofingLtd
https://twitter.com/rydaleroofing

Carol Shanahan – Synectics Solutions Ltd
Synectics House
The Brampton
Newcastle under Lyme
Staffordshire
ST5 0QY
t: 0333 234 3409
e: carol.shanahan@synectics-solutions.com
https://www.synectics-solutions.com/
https://www.facebook.com/SynecticsSolutions/
https://twitter.com/Syn_Sol

Margaret Michell – North Staffordshire Chamber of Commerce
Commerce House, Festival Park, Stoke-on-Trent ST1 5BE
t: 01782 399123
e: margaret.michell@btopenworld.com
https://twitter.com/StaffsChambers

Chris Perkins – World of Wedgwood
Wedgwood Drive, Barlaston Stoke-on-Trent ST12 9ER
t: 01782 282986
e: info@worldofwedgwood.com
www.worldofwedgwood.com
https://www.facebook.com/WorldofWedgwood
Note: Chris Perkins no longer works for World of Wedgwood.

Daran Harding – Dains Accountants, 2 Etruria Office Village, Forge Lane, Stoke-on-Trent ST1 5RQ
t: 01782 262121
e: stoke@dains.com
e: dharding@dains.com
https://www.dains.com
https://www.facebook.com/DainsLLP
https://twitter.com/DainsLLP

David Frost and James Leavesley for Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire LEP
Judges’ Chambers, County Buildings, Martin Street. Stafford ST16 2LH
t: 01785 719000
e: contactus@stokestaffslep.org.uk
https://www.stokestaffslep.org.uk/
https://twitter.com/StokeStaffsLEP

Mark Inskip – Brewin Dolphin
12 Smithfield Street, London EC1A 9BD
t: 0161 839 4222
e: mark.inskip@brewin.co.uk
https://www.facebook.com/brewindolphin/
https://twitter.com/mark_inskip

Karen Elder- Beswicks Legal
Sigma House, Lakeside Festival Park, Stoke-on-Trent ST1 5RY
t: 01782 404639
e: karen.elder@beswicks.com
https://www.beswicks.com
https://www.facebook.com/BeswicksLegal/
https://twitter.com/BeswicksLegal

Suzi Archer and Gareth Mobley – MyCleverGroup
Three Counties House, Festival Park, Stoke on Trent ST1 5PX
t: 0330 133 1638
e: enquiries@myclevergroup.com
https://www.myclevergroup.com/
https://twitter.com/smith_suzi
https://twitter.com/Mobster111

Geoff Riley – Staffordshire Business Innovation Centre
Sutherland Institute, Lightwood Rd, Stoke-on-Trent ST3 4HY
t: 01782 333798
e: geoff.riley@thebic.co.uk
https://thebic.co.uk/
https://twitter.com/StaffsBIC

Caroline Mairs – Make it Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire
t: 01782 231163
e: caroline.mairs@stoke.gov.uk
https://www.makeitstokestaffs.co.uk
https://twitter.com/MakeItSoTStaffs

Example email:

I am writing to you as a member of the public and concerned animal lover. I understand that you were on the judging panel for the 2019 Stoke Sentinel Business Awards and was hoping you could help me with a matter of concern.

You may have heard that Craig John Chapman, winner of the Entrepreneur of the Year award, was sent to prison in 2002 for producing pornographic animal torture videos, which he then sold online to sexual deviants. He made these videos over the course of at least a year and countless animals, which included mice, guinea pigs and an 11-week-old kitten, were involved.

The details are gruesome and upsetting and there is no need to go into detail here. The case made all of the national newspapers at the time, including the broadsheets, and most of their articles are still available online. Here are two just for starters.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/1395594/Four-jailed-for-animal-torture-video.html
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/england/2012723.stm

Chapman paid three women, including his first cousin, to star in the videos and it could be argued that his behaviour towards them was abusive and exploitative.

He appeared in one graphic scene involving a mouse, in which he was fully nude.

I appreciate that those on the judging panel were unlikely to have been aware of Chapman’s criminal conviction but wondered if there was a process for withdrawing the award from him now in light of these revelations about his past.

I and many other animal lovers have tried contacting the Stoke Sentinel directly about this but have been ignored. Anyone reaching out to the newspaper via their social media accounts is immediately blocked. I feel that they’ve handled this matter very badly and their conduct has fallen well short of what the public would expect from a respectable family newspaper.

Thank you for reading.

Contact the Sponsors

Bentley Motors Limited
Pyms Lane, Crewe, Cheshire, CW1 3PL, England
01270 255 155
https://www.facebook.com/BentleyMotors
https://twitter.com/BentleyMotors

Beswicks Legal
Contact: Karen Elder, Sarah Jones
Sigma House, Lakeside Festival Park, Stoke-on-Trent ST1 5RY
t: 01782 404639
e: karen.elder@beswicks.com
https://www.beswicks.com
https://www.facebook.com/BeswicksLegal/
https://twitter.com/beswickslegal

Dains Accountants
Contact: Daran Harding, Jon Dudley
2 Etruria Office Village, Forge Lane, Stoke-on-Trent ST1 5RQ
t: 01782 262121
e: stoke@dains.com
https://www.dains.com
https://www.facebook.com/DainsLLP
https://twitter.com/DainsLLP

Staffordshire Business Innovation Centre
Sutherland Institute, Lightwood Rd, Stoke-on-Trent ST3 4HY
Contact: Geoff Riley, Sandra Butterworth
t: 01782 333798
e: info@thebic.co.uk
https://thebic.co.uk/
https://twitter.com/StaffsBIC

Plinkfizz Limited
Contact: Rob Forster, Fiona Hawkins
1 Lyme Vale Court, Stoke-on-Trent ST4 6NW
t: 01782 630777
e: info@plinkfizz.com
e: fiona@plinkfizz.com
e: rob@plinkfizz.com
www.plinkfizz.com
https://www.facebook.com/Plinkfizz/

My Clever Group Limited
Contact: Gareth Mobley, Suzi Archer
Three Counties House, Festival Park, Stoke on Trent ST1 5PX
t: 0330 133 1638
e: enquiries@myclevergroup.com
https://www.myclevergroup.com/

APT Health and Safety Training Solutions Ltd
Contact: Gareth Jones, Martin Blakemore
Lake View, Festival Way, Festival Park, Stoke-on-Trent
ST1 5B
t: 01782 213428
e: gareth@apthealthandsafety.co.uk
e: martin@gpthealthandsafety.co.uk
https://www.apthealthandsafety.co.uk/
https://www.facebook.com/apthealthandsafety

Synectics Solutions Limited
Contact: Carol Shanahan
Synectics House, The Brampton, Newcastle under Lyme,
Staffordshire ST5 0QY
t: 0333 234 3409
e: carol.shanahan@synectics-solutions.com
https://www.synectics-solutions.com/
https://www.facebook.com/SynecticsSolutions/
https://twitter.com/Syn_Sol

Solidor Limited
Solidor House, Smithpool Road, Fenton, Stoke on Trent
ST4 4PW
e: enquiries@solidor.co.uk
https://twitter.com/SolidorLtd

Rydale Roofing Limited
Contact: Julie Mirowski
Unit 14, Arlington Court, Cannel Row, Silverdale
Newcastle under Lyme ST5 6SS
t: 01782 625894
e: info@rydaleroofing.co.uk
www.rydaleroofing.co.uk
https://www.facebook.com/RydaleRoofingLtd
https://twitter.com/rydaleroofing

Staffordshire University
Flaxman Building, Staffordshire University, College Road, Stoke-on-Trent ST4 2DE
Contact: Sarah Tudor
t: 07770 700486
e: S.Tudor@staffs.ac.uk
https://twitter.com/sarahtudor12

KMF Group
Contact: Gareth Higgins
High Carr Business Park, Millennium Way, Newcastle-under-Lyme ST5 7UF
t: 01782 569060
e: info@kmf.co.uk
https://www.kmf.co.uk/
https://twitter.com/KMFmetal
https://www.facebook.com/kmfmetal

Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership
Judges’ Chambers, County Buildings, Martin Street. Stafford ST16 2LH
t: 01785 719000
e: contactus@stokestaffslep.org.uk
https://www.stokestaffslep.org.uk/
https://twitter.com/StokeStaffsLEP

Stoke on Trent City Council

Or you could go old-school and contact your Member of Parliament. Staffordshire MPs are listed here.

Contact the advertisers

If as we anticipate the Stoke Sentinel continues to stonewall public concerns, we feel there is little choice but to hit them where it hurts – in the pocket.

Here are some of the Sentinel’s advertisers.

B S MARSON AND SONS LIMITED
Contact: Mr Edmund J Marson
t: 01782 622141
www.bsmarson.co.uk
https://www.facebook.com/BSMarson/

MAJESTIC TOURS LIMITED
10 Somerset Place, Teignmouth, Devon TQ14 8ZZ
Contact: Mr Mark Wilfred Wright
e: enquiries@majestictours.co.uk
www.majestictours.co.uk
https://www.facebook.com/MajesticToursUK

NEWMARKET HOLIDAYS LIMITED
Cantium House, Railway Approach, Wallington, Surrey SM6 0BP
Contact: Mr Simon Hibbs
www.newmarketholidays.co.uk/ses
https://www.facebook.com/NewmarketHolidays1/

Leons Holidays
Contact: Robert Leon Douglas
t: 01785 241319
http://www.leonsholidays.co.uk/
https://www.facebook.com/leonsholidays

The Camping and Caravaning Club
https://www.campingandcaravanningclub.co.uk/
https://www.facebook.com/thefriendlyclub

Stewart Milne Homes
https://www.stewartmilnehomes.com
https://www.facebook.com/StewartMilneHomes/

Kier Group
https://www.kierliving.co.uk/
https://www.facebook.com/KierLiving1/

Lifestyle Designs Limited
Contact: Mark Shaw
t: 01782 761221
www.lifestyledesigns.org
https://www.facebook.com/LifestyleDesignsLTD/

Good Move
https://goodmove.co.uk

Ken Jervis Limited
t: 01782 481200
Contact: David William Norwood
http://www.kenjervis.com/
https://www.facebook.com/KenJervisKia/

Harris Motor Company
MD: Umesh Samani
t: 01782 834215
https://harrismotors.co.uk
https://www.facebook.com/harrismotorco

Youfitclubs.co.uk
t: 01782 715080
https://youfitclubs.co.uk/club/stoke/
https://www.facebook.com/YouFitStoke/

Kingfisher Holiday Park
http://www.kingfisherholidaypark.co.uk
https://www.facebook.com/KingfisherHolidayParkandCafe

Simply Doors
t: 01782 660966
e: simplydoors1@gmail.com
https://www.simplydoorsstoke.co.uk/

DK Motorcycles Limited
MD: Kevin Neesam
t: 01782 861 100
e: spooner@dkmotorcycles.co.uk
www.dkmotorcycles.com
https://www.facebook.com/dknewspares

Andy’s Bikes
Owner: Andrew Mifflin
t: 01782 818097
e: a.mifflin@ntlworld.com
e: email@andysbikes.com
www.andysbikes.com
https://www.facebook.com/andysbikes/

Aquability.com
www.aquability.com
https://www.facebook.com/Aquability-Walk-in-Baths-Showers-1616567442007471

Springfields Garage & Vehicle Repairs Ltd
Directors: Nathaniel Phillips and Robert Sproson
t: 01782 712702

Stoneacre Motor Group
t: 0845 125 4848
www.Stoneacre.co.uk
https://www.facebook.com/StoneacreMotorGroup

Pinkstones MG
t: 01782 711661
www.pinkstones.mg.co.uk
https://www.facebook.com/MG.Stoke.Staffordshire

Holdcroft Heating
Contacts:  Stephen & Tina Holdcroft
t: 01782 811102
https://holdcroftheating.com
https://www.facebook.com/HoldcroftHeating

Add a dash of creativity

Operation Frankish are proven masters in innovative publicity stunts and they are already working on a few creative ideas for the #BoycottStokeSentinel campaign.

As always, anything they do will be high-vis and bound to attract the attention of media outlets both locally and nationwide.

If you want to contribute to make that happen, then drop OF an email to operationfrankish@gmail.com.