#TheList Nicholas John Wilburn (aka Nick Maddock), born 19/10/1990, of 8 Bank Lane, Little Hulton, Manchester M38 9UF – carried out DIY medical treatment on a wounded cat; set up a rescue for reptiles while still being subject of a three-year banning order
Serial animal abuser Nicholas Wilburn was banned from keeping animals for three years in November 2016 for cruelty offences involving a wounded cat named Jasper.
Wilburn self-diagnosed and self-treated Jasper using a substance made of alcohol which he applied to an open wound.
He later advised another person to use the same treatment when he passed over care of the cat.
But RSPCA officers say the treatment administered by Wilburn would actually have caused Jasper additional pain and suffering.
At the time Wilburn was involved with Bolton-based exotic pet rescue MagnaRep, later renamed Nick’s Ark – which was shut down in April 2017 following an RSPCA raid.
A trial followed during which five people, including Wilburn’s mother, Sue Maddock, were cleared.
Nicholas and Ryan Wilburn, who have since separated, have now been convicted.
Wilburn was found guilty of breaching his disqualification from owning animals; and for owning a bush viper without a licence.
Nick Wilburn’s ex-husband Ryan Anthony Wilburn, born 29/07/1991, of Epping Drive, Sale, Trafford M33 5LN was found guilty of aiding and abetting the breach of a disqualification; and for owning a bush viper without a licence.
Anna McDonald, prosecuting on behalf of the RSPCA, said charity workers are still looking after 70 seized animals. Some died following the raid.
Sara-Lise Howe, defence lawyer for Nicholas Wilburn, pushed for a lenient sentence for her client, highlighting that he is a carer for his mother and another disabled woman.
“He has anxiety and depression,” she added.
“It was his involvement with animals which made him not have to take medication. His own health is affected by a continued disqualification.”
The judge banned Nicholas from owning animals for a further five years.
Judge John Temperley told him: “I am concerned that you do post a risk in relation to animals.
“I find you made a serious and persistent breach which took place over a matter of months. You showed an almost complete disregard [for the order] the court made.
“There was a risk of suffering or harm to a large number of animals kept at Nick’s Ark.”
Ryan Wilburn was said by the judge to have had a ‘misguided sense of loyalty’ to his husband when he got involved.
Defence lawyer, Sheila Whitehead, said: “[Ryan] is not a danger to any animal.
“His part in the charity was only to clean and feed the animals and follow the instructions of Nick.”
Judge Temperley said: “Nick was the more dominant one in the relationship.
“I accept that Nick was the driving force and that yours was a smaller role.”
Ryan escaped a disqualification order.
Nick Wilburn – 12-week suspended prison sentence; 200 hours of unpaid work; £500 costs. Banned from keeping animals for a further five years.
Ryan Wilburn – 200 hours of unpaid work; £500 costs; no ban.