Category Archives: Birds

Cruelty to domestic and wild birds – budgies, parrots, songbirds, pigeons, seagulls

Newton, Sudbury, Suffolk: Matthew Lowe

#TheList Matthew Lowe, born 26/03/1979, previously of Newton, Sudbury, Suffolk and more recently 4 Gantry Close, Colchester CO1 2ZP – prosecuted for eight offences for neglect of poultry, pigs and rabbits on his smallholding.

Adam Pearson, prosecuting on behalf of Trading Standards at Suffolk County Council, said inspectors had attended Lowe’s smallholding at land off the Street in Assington, Suffolk, on December 19, 2017 after receiving a tip-off from a neighbour.

The pigs and poultry present on the site were found with no food and inadequate shelter. Piglets were in an unsuitable rearing environment, sows were underweight, and both pigs and poultry had parasites present.  Lowe also failed to correctly register to keep pigs.

Mr Pearson described four rabbits which were in such poor health they had to be euthanised.

He said officers found a one large white rabbit lying on its side in an enclosure suffering from breathing problems.

One of the rabbits found on a smallholding operated by Matthew Lowe near Sudbury. The rabbit was later put down Picture: SUFFOLK TRADING STANDARDS

A brown rabbit was discovered with swollen eyes and symptoms of myxomatosis while a second white rabbit was found with a badly injured back leg which had set at an angle, affecting the animal’s movement.

A fourth rabbit was discovered unresponsive with a sore ‘the size of a 50p piece’ on its back.

He added there were signs that rats had infested the rabbit enclosures and that officers also discovered a rubbish bin with four rabbit carcasses inside.

Following the prosecution, Suffolk Trading Standards are now working with Lowe to arrange the safe rehoming of the animals which he owns.

Sentencing:
Lowe was given an eight week prison sentence suspended for 18 months, 25 day’s rehabilitation activity requirement; 100 hours of unpaid work, costs of £4,899 and a £115 victim surcharge. He was disqualified from keeping any farmed animal for five years (expires October 2023).

Suffolk County Council
East Anglian Daily Times

 

Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire: Jeremiah Smith and father Jason Smith

Jeremiah Smith, born July 1997, and his father Jason Smith, born ca 1972, both of 11 Burton Road, Branston, Burton On Trent, Staffordshire DE14 3DL for cruelty to rabbits, hens, owls and a kestrel

Animal abuser Jeremiah Smith from Burton on Trent
Gypsy Jeremiah Smith and two of his victims

Gypsies Jeremiah and Jason Smith were both prosecuted under the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

The RSPCA found up to 70 animals at their address at 11 Burton Road including chickens, rabbits and birds of prey, the latter kept in cages for parrots and being fed unsuitable foods. Chickens were also not being treating for a mite infestation.

Smith senior pleaded guilty to charges of failing to prevent the causing of unnecessary suffering to animals between August 10 and 15, 2017.

This included failing to treat 17 chickens for a mite infestation and failing to meet the need for a suitable living environment for 30 chickens. He also pleaded guilty for failing to meet the need for a suitable living environment for three goldfinches.

His son Jeremiah Smith – father to 3yo triplets – pleaded guilty to four charges of causing unnecessary suffering to protected animals.

Irresponsible gypsy and animal abuser Jeremiah Smith bought and sold birds via social media
Irresponsible gypsy and animal abuser Jeremiah Smith bought and sold birds via social media

This included failing to meet the need for a suitable living environment for five rabbits, a kestrel, two barn owls and 12 pigeons as well as failing to meet their need of a suitable diet and constant water supply for the rabbits.

The RSPCA praised the court for their ruling and warned people not to keep animals they cannot look after.

Sentencing:
Jason Smith – total fines and charges of £1,055.
Jeremiah Smith – total fines and charges of  £1,455.Both were disqualified from keeping animals for two years.

Jason Smith’s lawyer said they would be appealing against the decision.

Newquay, Cornwall: Edward Mosley

#TheList Edward Mosley, aged 19, of 25 St Annes Road, Newquay TR7 2SA – shot and killed two nesting seagulls with an air rifle

Edward Mosley of Newquay shot and killed nesting seagulls with an air rifle.
Edward Mosley shot and killed nesting seagulls with an air rifle.

Mosley admitted shooting the two nesting herring gulls.

The RSPCA described the attack as “callous” and urged people to “be tolerant of the wildlife around them”.

RSPCA inspector Paul Kempson, who investigated the gull attacks for the charity, said: “Gulls have a particularly tough time of it and every year we see callous attacks like this, particularly in coastal areas.”

“We urge people to be tolerant of the wildlife living around them, and remember they are protected under law,” he said.

Gulls and their nests are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and it is illegal to intentionally kill, take or injure wild birds.

Sentence:
Curfew,  court costs of £385, weapon destroyed.

BBC News

Camborne, Cornwall: Janet Carter and Trevor Hampton

#TheList Janet Marlene Carter of Newton Moor Farm, Troon, Camborne TR14 9HW and Trevor Alven Hampton of 4 Chapel Court, Edward Street, Camborne TR14 8PA – failed to look after pigs, cattle, horses and birds on their farm

Janet Evelyn Carter and Trevor Alven Hampton pleaded guilty to a string of animal cruelty offences involving farm animals
Janet Evelyn Carter and Trevor Alven Hampton pleaded guilty to a string of animal cruelty offences involving farm animals

Carter and Hampton were convicted under the Animal Welfare Act after horses, pigs, poultry, sheep and cattle were found living in dirty pens without water and were left exposed to dangerous scrap metal that littered barns and fields.

A miniature Shetland pony was found with overgrown hooves so badly deformed that he had to be put down.

A sheep was so starved of food that he was close to death while ducks were kept locked in complete darkness.

Carter owns Newton Moor Farm and most of the animals, while Hampton stays in a caravan and is responsible for looking after the animals.

An RSPCA inspector was called to a paddock at the farm in March 2017, where a miniature Shetland pony belonging to Carter was found to have severely overgrown hooves.

The inspector described how the pony struggled to get to his feet and had long and misshapen hooves.

The court heard how Carter said at interview that the animal was known informally as ‘the rocking horse’ and said he had “always walked funny”.

Heartless Carter added: “If there’s a problem, we’ll just have it shot and that’s that.”

The pony was released to the RSPCA and a vet discovered the bones in his legs had rotated, causing him extreme pain. Sadly there was no alternative but to euthanise him.

Inspectors visited the farm in April 2017 after a complaint about pigs straying into the road.

New-born piglets were discovered in pig sties shivering without heat lamps. Feeding troughs designed to be hung on a fence were being used, exposing the pigs to sharp hooks, and some sties had no railings to stop the sows accidentally injuring the piglets.

Some of the sows were in dirty conditions while in another barn, the piglets were able to squeeze between railings and mix with the cattle.

Concerns were also raised about the number of cattle, the space provided in a large barn and the mixing of bulls, cows, calves and heifers, which was against good practice.

In another visit, in December 2017, inspectors found collapsed fences and trailing barbed wire, as well as metal panels with exposed sharp edges.

Some free range birds had access to water and fresh bedding while others did not. Four ducks were kept in complete darkness with no ability to swim or bathe their heads.

Inspectors also found a sheep which was so severely emaciated he was almost dead.

Sentencing:
Both Carter and Hampton were banned from keeping horses and poultry for ten years. They must wait at least five years before they can apply to the court to have the ban reviewed.

The judge rejected a ban on pigs, sheep and cattle by acknowledging that the pair make their livelihoods from farming.

Carter was sentenced to 12 weeks in custody on each charge, to run concurrently, suspended for one year. She must also pay £7,000 court costs and £115 victim surcharge.

Hampton was jailed for 10 weeks on each charge, again concurrently, suspended for one year. He too must pay £3,000 costs and a £115 victim surcharge.

Cornwall Live

 

 

Ilford, East London: Pakistani cockfighting gang

#TheList Mohammed Asab, born c. 1966, of 37 Water Lane, Ilford IG3 9HN; Mohammed Arif, born c. 1974, of 59 Fairfield Road, Ilford IG1 2JL; Akhtar Hussain, born c. 1970, of 4A Greenhill Grove, London E12 6BA; Mehtab Ahmed, born c. 1976, of 8 Celebration Way, London E4 9AF;  Altaf Hussain, born c. 1963, of 30 Parkstone Road, Coventry CV6 7AL

Ring leader of Pakistani cockfighting gang Mohammed Asab of 37 Water Lane, Ilford
Ring leader of Pakistani cockfighting gang Mohammed Asab of 37 Water Lane, Ilford

Mohammed Asab, the ring-leader of a Pakistani cockfighting gang based in Ilford, East London, was found guilty of causing an animal fight to take place, keeping and training an animal for use in connection with an animal fight, and keeping premises for use for an animal fight.

Mohammed Arif, Akhtar Hussain, Mehtab Ahmed and Altaf Hussain were all found guilty of being present at an animal fight involving cockerels.

Disturbing footage seized by police and produced in court showed bloodied birds being trained by the gang. In the video, shown below,  Asab is seen training and breeding cockerels to fight and even referred to one of his hens as a producer of ‘champions’.

Cockerels armed with sharpened spurs were pitched against one another in an outbuilding where the group had specifically designed a ring compete with seats around the edge and fake grass in the centre.

When police raided the fighting pit they found fresh cockerel blood splattered across white walls and found several distressed birds flapping around inside.

A blood-stained towel was also found and the cockerels were found to have wounds including one deep cut to the neck which someone had attempted to stitch up.

A total of ten cockerels and two hens were seized by police and animal welfare officers during the raid in January 2017.

Sentencing:

Mohammed Asab: given a 22-week suspended sentence and ordered to pay £10,000 for the long-term care of his former cockerels, now forfeited to the RSPCA, and £2,000 in legal costs. He must also pay a £150 victim surcharge, complete 200 hours community service in 12 months, and forfeit his cockfighting paraphernalia. Lifetime bird-keeping ban.

Mohammed Arif, Akhtar Hussain, Mehtab Ahmed and Altaf Hussain were each fined £1,500, plus a £85 victim surcharge, and granted community orders of 200 hours community service to be completed in 12 months.

A 17-year-old was granted conditional discharge and a fine of £180.

Daily Mail
Ilford Recorder

Motherwell, North Lanarkshire: Keith Ross

#TheList Keith Ross, Highfield Crescent, Motherwell –  kept reptiles, including king cobra, rattlesnake and vipers, in his one-bedroom flat in appalling conditions.

Animal abuser and sexual deviant Keith Ross from Motherwell
Animal abuser and sexual deviant Keith Ross from Motherwell

Ross admitted animal neglect after keeping the creatures in his small apartment for six years.

Ross previously ran ‘Keith’s Reptile Parties’ where he charged £80 per hour for attending children’s events with a number of his animals, including the lizards and snakes.

Ross also had turtles, a polecat and a hawk at his flat.

Taunton, Somerset: Rachel Mortimore

#TheList Crufts medal winner Rachel Mortimore, born 30/07/1954, of  Foxdown House, Taunton TA3 7DY – kept 300 animals including dogs, horses, cats, chickens, ferrets and rabbits in squalor.

Former Crufts champion Rachel Mortimore from Taunton kept 300 animals in squalor
Former Crufts champion Rachel Mortimore from Taunton kept 300 animals in squalor. Her lifetime ban on keeping animals was later reduced to just 18 years but she can appeal after 9 years.

Rachel Mortimore admitted two charges of causing unnecessary suffering to animals at a hearing in July 2011.

They related to a cat and a dog which were among 300 animals found in squalid conditions at Culmhead’s Foxdown Dog Training Centre in November 2010.

The dog – a Toller retriever – was found with a hole in the side of his face due to an infected abscess in his mouth that had been left untreated.

The cat had an ulcer on her eye that would have “popped” the eye if left untreated.

RSPCA inspectors described the conditions at Mortimore’s dog training centre as ‘filthy, horrible and unbelievable’.

Recorder Michael Parroy QC said that it was clear that Mortimore had far too many animals on the premises to be able to give them proper care.

Mortimore also works as a dog breeder, selling Toller puppies for £750, and has the largest breeding kennels in the country for the breed.

Sentencing:
140 hours of community service; £1,000 in costs. Banned from keeping animals for life but this was later reduced to 18 years on appeal..  Mortimore is allowed to apply to have the ban lifted in nine years from date of conviction, i.e. around July 2020.

Daily Mail
BBC News

Morecambe, Lancashire: Rosalind Gregson

#TheList Rosalind Gregson, born circa 1950, originally from Silverdale, Carnforth and as at 2018 living at 1 Laister Court, Bare Lane, Morecambe LA4 6LJ – kept 271 animals in her home in appalling conditions

In an extreme case of animal hoarding Rosalind Gregson, now of Laister Court in Morecambe, kept over 270 animals at her home
In an extreme case of animal hoarding Rosalind Gregson, now of Laister Court in Morecambe, kept over 270 animals at her home

Gregson originally faced 69 cruelty charges after RSPCA officers discovered 246 dogs, 16 birds, five cats, two kittens, a rabbit and a chinchilla when they raided her detached cottage in September 2003.

In an extreme case of animal hoarding Rosalind Gregson, now of Laister Court in Morecambe, kept over 270 animals at her home

She admitted nine charges of causing unnecessary suffering to two Yorkshire terriers, three Shih Tzus, a Bichon Frise, an Old English sheepdog, and two Lhasa Apsos.  Five of them had to be put to sleep to end their suffering.

A district judge at Preston magistrates’ court heard that when the RSPCA team raided Gregson’s £500,000 detached house at Silverdale, near Carnforth, Lancs, they were initially “overwhelmed” by the stench of ammonia and faeces. They found the animals living in virtually unlit, rat-infested rooms with little water and food. Most of the water they did have was contaminated with cat litter.

In an extreme case of animal hoarding Rosalind Gregson, now of Laister Court in Morecambe, kept over 270 animals at her home

District judge Peter Ward was shown an RSPCA video which showed officers viewing the “dismal and depressing conditions”. The camera pans from cage to cage, showing dogs barely able to sit up. One RSPCA officer is heard to say: “How can they live in this? This is appalling.”

Some of the dogs are lifted out of their cages and held up in view of the camera. One, a Maltese terrier, is shown with her fur matted with what appears to be excrement. An officer says: “She’s in a terrible state.”

Another, a Shih-tzu, has matted fur and appears emaciated. Its weakness and reluctance to stand is attributed by a vet to the muscle wasting in its hind legs. The animal was later put down.

An emaciated Yorkshire terrier had a discharge coming from both eyes. Few of its teeth remained, its nails were overgrown and it had a severe skin infection. It, too, had to be put down.

Tim Bergin, prosecuting, said: “It is not the prosecution case that she maliciously caused cruelty to the animals in her home; simply that she allowed her obsession to collect animals to overwhelm her.”

Gregson initially denied 49 counts of failing to provide the animals with necessary care and attention but later changed her plea and admitted nine counts of causing them unreasonable suffering.

In an extreme case of animal hoarding Rosalind Gregson, now of Laister Court in Morecambe, kept over 270 animals at her home

Gregson’s lawyer told the court her client’s obsessive animal collecting began when her son died from a drug overdose 15 years earlier. She said: “This is wholly about a tragic set of circumstances. It’s about sadness, it’s about isolation, it’s about the loss of a child, it’s about despair, it’s about obsession. The list just goes on and on.”

Asked why there were so many animals in the house, Gregson told police: “Because it got out of hand, its just an obsession, I couldn’t stop.”

RSPCA Inspector Sarah Hayland said the scene she found was beyond belief.

“It’s a normal looking property from the outside — and then to be faced with the room full of dogs.

“And we had no idea how many animals were in there, right until the second day when we’d been in all the rooms.

“It’s just the enormity of it, the amount of animals involved is something that I’ve never come across before and hope never to again”.

Sentencing:
Jailed for 3 months – later altered to a three year Community Rehabilitation Order. Disqualified from keeping animals for life – overturned in July 2011.

Telegraph 19/5/2005
BBC News 10/6/2005
The Visitor 22/6/2005
The Visitor 13/7/2011

Pontypridd: Eric and Doreen Buckley

#TheList Eric Buckley (born ca. 1955) and wife Doreen (now deceased) of Tower Street, Pontypridd CF37 1NR – kept 9 geese, 2 goats, a cat,  11 former racing greyhounds and a pony in the basement  of a former pub

Animal abuser Eric Buckley of Pontypridd and some of the animals found in the cellar of his putrid home
Serial animal abuser Eric Buckley of Pontypridd, South Wales. Doreen Buckley died in 2015.

The Buckleys admitted chronic neglect of two dozen animals kept in a squalid cellar at their three-storey home.

The pair had already been banned from keeping dogs for 10 years due to animal welfare breaches in 1993.

After more series breaches in 1995 both were banned from keeping all animals for life.

Then in 2011 they were caught keeping a cat, 11 retired racing greyhounds, nine geese, a pony and two goats in a former  pub in High Street, Gilfach Goch, Rhondda Valley.

Shocked RSPCA officials found the couple’s “stinking” home to be infested with animal faeces.

At one point up to 13 greyhounds had the run of the rambling three-storey former pub, used by them as a toilet.

Most, however, were kept in an unlit cellar whose floor was almost an inch deep in animal waste.

A vet brought in to administer to the animals once they were located was forced to extract 34 rotting teeth from the mouth of one dog.

Four of the dogs were suffering from flea infestations, ear infections and oral disease with subsequent veterinary treatment for the animals amounting to £13,333.

RSPCA inspector Nicola Johnston said when Eric Buckley was approached about the conditions and asked why he kept so many animals, he answered: “Why not?”

Sentencing:
Eric Buckley: jailed for 12 weeks. Banned from keeping animals for life.
Doreen Buckley: 12 weeks’ imprisonment, suspended for 12 months. Lifetime ban on keeping animals.

Daily Mail
BBC News
Wales Online

 

 

The property was in such a putrid condition it was regarded as proof of breaching animal welfare rules alone.

Eric Buckley admitted all the charges against him while his wife failed to attend but had previously made full admissions of all charges through her lawyer.