Category Archives: budgies

Ystradgynlais, Swansea: Brandon Woods

#TheList Brandon Woods, born c. 1994, previously of Merthyr Tydfil and now Swansea – set fire to a neighbour’s budgie using an aerosol at the age of 14.

Brandon Woods
Brandon Woods’ sadistic behaviour against a helpless budgie was a red flag for the long history of violent crime to come

This is a horrific case of (non animal) violence from August 2020 but it’s mentioned in the newspaper report that Woods’ first offence was in 2008 when he set fire to a neighbour’s budgie using an aerosol so that earns him an entry on #TheList.

I can’t find the original media but I would imagine he was never named as he was only around 14 at the time.

Woods now has been sentenced to 15 months in jail (half in custody and the remainder on licence) after attacking a young woman.

The woman was left with more than 60 bruises and scratches on her face and body after the “cowardly” assault.

Some of the wounds left by Woods were described as looking like “claw marks”.

Woods; offending began in 2008 when he was a young teenager and he set fire to a neighbour’s budgie.

A judge said at the time that Woods’ pattern of offending demonstrated a “worrying personality trait” and he said he had concerns the defendant would go on to become a “very dangerous man” unless he changed his ways.

Woods’ convictions include spitting at a police officer, battery, criminal damage, drink-driving, driving while disqualified, witness intimidation, drugs matters, and two for assault occasioning actual bodily harm – one of these had seen him attack his mother and then go on to squirt ketchup around the house.

WalesOnline

Bordesley Green, Birmingham: Mohammed Nabeel and Nazar Hussain

#TheList Nazar Hussain, born 28/02/1969, of 109 Rotherfield Road, Birmingham B26 2SH, and Mohammed Nabeel, born May 1991, of 50 Ludlow Road, Birmingham B8 3BY – for animal welfare offences at pet shop Bordesley Green Pet & Aquatics

Pet shop operators Nazar Hussain and Mohammed Nabeel from Birmingham kept animals in appalling conditions and failed to treat their medical conditions
Pet shop operators Nazar Hussain and Mohammed Nabeel from Birmingham kept animals in appalling conditions and failed to treat their medical conditions

Nazar Hussain and Mohammed Nabeel, the respective licence holder and manager of Bordesley Green Pets & Aquatics based at 149 Bordesley Green, Birmingham B9 5EP, admitted multiple animal welfare offences at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court.

Hussain pleaded guilty to 12 charges under the Pet Animals Act 1951, the Animal Welfare Act 2006, the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, while Nabeel pleaded guilty to seven offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

Mohammed 'Nabz' Nabeel was the manager of Bordesley Green Pets & Aquatics, but failed to look after the animals properly
Mohammed ‘Nabz’ Nabeel was the manager of the pet store but failed to look after the animals properly

The court heard how on 30 May 2018, Birmingham City Council’s animal welfare team received a complaint from the RSPCA about conditions at the licensed pet shop.

The team was unable to attend that day so an RSPCA inspector visited the premises and found a number of animal welfare concerns, including:

  • A cockatiel with an obvious injury to its wing, which later had to be put to sleep
  • Two budgerigars kept in a small, dirty cage
  • A female cat with mammary growths, another cat chained up in the back of the shop and a third cat kept in a small cage with no food, water, bedding or litter tray
  • Two large rabbits kept in a small, dirty cage with no water

The RSPCA inspector issued warning notices to manager Nabeel and instructed him to make numerous and immediate improvements, including taking the cockatiel and the cat with the growths to a vet for an examination.

A senior animal welfare officer from the council visited the shop the following day, accompanied by the RSPCA inspector, and found a number of breaches of the licence relating to cleanliness, size of accommodation for animals being too small, dirty drinking receptacles or no drinking water at all, no environmental enrichment provided and animals being housed in accommodation which did not minimise stress caused by other animals.

Hussain was subsequently advised of the failure to comply with numerous conditions attached to the licence issued to him for the premises. Hussain did not attend two interviews arranged and did not provide any comments. Nabeel was interviewed by the RSPCA officer but denied any wrongdoing.

District Judge Jan Jellema described the evidence as showing a ‘truly appalling picture of how animals were kept’ and that there was ‘scant evidence of any affection for animals’.

Councillor Phil Davis, chair of the council’s Licensing and Public Protection Committee, said: “This is an absolutely appalling case where the licence holder allowed the conditions in his pet shop to deteriorate. Animals were kept in truly terrible conditions while the manager was incapable of looking after the animals and caring for their needs. In the case of the cockatiel, this lack of care resulted in it having to be put to sleep on welfare grounds.

Sentencing: 10 weeks’ imprisonment for each offence, suspended for 12 months. Total costs of £5,600 between them. They were both disqualified from having custody of any animal for a period of 10 years. Hussain was also disqualified from keeping a pet shop for 10 years.

Birmingham Updates

Carluke, North Lanarkshire: Margaret Thomson Forsyth

#TheList Margaret Thomson Forsyth, born 1962, of 9x Unitas Crescent, Carluke, North Lanarkshire ML8 5AP – breached a 15-year ban on keeping animals imposed in 2006 following a case of appalling pet neglect

Margaret Forsyth from Carluke breached a 15-year ban on keeping animals imposed on her in 2006
Margaret Forsyth from Carluke breached a 15-year ban on keeping animals imposed on her in 2006

In August 2006 Margaret Forsyth was banned from keeping animals for 15 years after admitting to causing suffering to three toy poodle dogs, two of whom had to be destroyed.

Forsyth kept the dogs locked in her kitchen and refused to walk, groom or clip them. The poodles were described as being “in a terrible state” when found living in squalor. All of them had advanced dental problems: their teeth were loose, one poodle’s jaw had disintegrated and another had a hole in the roof of hear mouth. Two of the dogs had to be euthanised to end their suffering.

Forsyth pleaded guilty to causing the dogs unnecessary suffering by failing to provide grooming and veterinary treatment.

Twelve years on and Forsyth was found to have breached her ban after Scottish SPCA officers discovered a 12-year-old Jack Russell dog, a 15-year-old female domestic short haired cat and a budgie at her property.

In December 2018 she was ordered to pay a £360 fine. An additional 21 month disqualification order was add on to her existing 15 year ban, which will now expire around May 2023.

Scottish SPCA news

Taunton, Somerset: Cheryl Relins

#TheList serial animal hoarder Cheryl Ann Beatrice Relins, also known as Cheryl Stokes or Cheryl Harris, born 22/08/1991, of 10 Drake Close, Taunton TA2 6TU – neglected dogs, cats and birds and kept them in squalor

Animal hoarder Cheryl Relins from Taunton, Somerset

Relins, who also keeps horses, failed to seek vet treatment for skin and ear conditions, as well as a flea infestation, suffered by spaniels Ted and Amber. She also failed to investigate lameness in Amber’s hind left leg and to treat a flea infestation in cats Pickle and Vera.

Finally, Relins admitted failing to ensure the needs of all four animals, as well as a zebra finch and a budgie, were met by failing to provide a suitable environment after they were found to be living in filthy conditions.

Sentencing: curfew; total of £490 costs and charges. Banned from owning or keeping an animal for ten years.

Somerset County Gazette

Additional information: as at March 2020 Relins, who is now married to Paul Harris, lives in a household containing around 14 animals. She claims the animals belong to her husband. Neighbours have expressed concern about the conditions in which the animals are living.

Willenhall / Bilston / Birmingham, West Midlands: Chad Worgan, Jake Higgs, Thomas Knox

#TheList Chad Paul John Worgan, born November 1995, of Moxhull Gardens, Willenhall WV12 5XX, Jake Higgs, born February 1992, of Walnut Close, Bilston WV14 8QJ and Thomas James Knox, born July 1995, previously of Dudley Fields, Bloxwich, and more recently (September 2020) of White Road, Quinton, Birmingham B32 2AE -squeezed, kicked and battered dozens of rare birds to death

Chad Worgan, Jake Higgs and Thomas Knox
L-R Chad Worgan, Jake Higgs and Thomas Knox

The trio of Chad Worgan, Tom Knox and Jake Higgs, together with a 16-year-old youth from Erdington who wasn’t named for legal reasons, stole the birds from an aviary in Brownhills, Walsall, belonging to Mr Lee Williams, and bundled them into sacks and containers. The thugs then took them to Dolphin House in Goscote, Walsall.

Once inside the building, the birds were emptied onto the landing. From there, the abuse got underway although police believe a lot were already dead at that stage. CCTV revealed the horror as the rare birds were tortured to death.

One of the yobs can be seen smirking and then appearing to aim a kick at an innocent bird as others are scattered across the floor.

Stills of CCTV footage showing Chad Worgan attacking birs

Other footage shows birds being chased by a dog, jammed into drawers and squeezed to death. Some were posted through letterboxes and dropped through people’s windows.

Worgan admitted an offence of receiving stolen goods and causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal on the basis that he kicked a pigeon.

It was said there was a ‘sick grin across his face’ as he appeared to be enjoying what he was doing, appearing to grab one of the perched birds and visibly squeeze it.

A dog was let into the flat and terrorised the birds. The animal belonged to Knox.

Knox was criticised for spending most of the trial giggling with his co-accused in the dock. He denied causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal and receiving stolen goods, along with the 16-year-old.

Higgs admitted receiving stolen goods but denied causing unnecessary suffering. Magistrates found all four guilty of the charges after the trial.

Knox was convicted of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal, receiving stolen goods, common assault and using threatening words or behaviour.

The latter charges related to his behaviour towards a dog warden and housing staff when he was told his dog was going to be taken away.

Vaughn Whistance, defending, said Knox was a vulnerable young man who suffered with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and autism.

Co-accused Jake Higgs was also due to learn his fate but failed to show up and a warrant was issued for his arrest.

Chairman of the bench, Mr Bob Thomas, said the youths’ actions amounted to ‘joint enterprise’. He added CCTV showed all of them playing some part in the birds’ suffering.

Rare bird breeder Mr Williams had built up his collection of rare jays, finches, doves, budgerigars, quails and pigeons over a number of years.

Maggie Meakin, prosecuting, said it would cost £1,500 to replace the birds, and added: ‘He cannot afford to replace the birds and he cannot claim on the insurance.’

Sentence: Worgan and Knox were jailed for six months and ordered to pay compensation. The 16-year-old minor was given an 18-month rehabilitation order. No details are available on Jake Higgs’ sentencing.

Express and Star