#TheList Harry Todd, born 10/04/1957, of 49 Joanmount Park, Belfast BT14 6PF – for abandonment of 150 pigeons; dog also found dead at his property
Todd was convicted of four animal welfare offences after causing a dog unnecessary suffering and abandoning more than 150 pigeons at an address on the Ballysillan Road.
The prosecution case was brought by Belfast City Council after a report from a member of the public who was concerned for the welfare of the birds. The person also informed staff of a dog carcass which was in an upstairs room of the property.
Animal welfare officers visited the address on 02 November 2017 and found the partially skeletonised remains of a dog, a number of dead pigeons and 153 pigeons deemed to be suffering.
Sentencing: five month suspended sentence for each offence. Costs of £79. Banned from keeping animals for 15 years.
#TheList persistent hoarder Edwin Harris, born c. 1939, of Murthering Lane, Stapleford Abbotts, Romford RM4 – kept 13 dogs, six pigs, six cockerels, two ducks, four cats, a pigeon and a rook in foul conditions; breached previous ban
Harris was banned from keeping animals for life for a second time after he admitted breaching a previous ban when he was found to be keeping a large number of animals in appalling conditions.
He also admitted failing to provide the animals with a suitable environment and causing unnecessary suffering to Bella, a Shar Pei-type dog, by failing to adequately investigate and address the cause of her ear and skin conditions.
The RSPCA attended the address in May 2018 with the police and found a large number of animals being kept in appalling conditions.
Dogs were found in small cages covered in mess and faeces with little or no water, and one was even found locked inside a cupboard which had been turned into a makeshift cage.
The cockerels, pigeon and rook were also kept in small cages covered in faeces, and the pigs were kept in a small narrow space within an outbuilding with hardly any room to turn round or exercise.
RSPCA Inspector Adam Jones said: “The conditions were appalling, most of the small animals and dogs were kept in cages and probably had not known any other life. They had obviously never been socialised and were scared.
“The cages had not been cleaned out and the animals were surrounded in their own faeces and dirt. If they did have water it was usually filthy. I was horrified to find one small Jack Russell being kept in a cupboard that the defendant had converted into some kind of makeshift cage.
“By his own admission the defendant had claimed he had a compulsion to keep animals because he loved them and he couldn’t stop taking them in. Had we not removed these animals it’s likely the numbers would have only increased – one of the pigs we removed had later had a litter of piglets.
“I hope that now he has been sentenced by the court the defendant will learn his lesson and not get animals which he clearly is unable to look after properly.”
Although the matter had crossed a custody threshold the bench said they had taken into account the defendant’s age and vulnerability and the fact that he has never been to prison before, but were keen for him to have some rehabilitation
In 2014 Harris was disqualified from keeping animals for life following a prosecution by the RSPCA.
Sentencing: Two-year community order with the requirement to carry out 135 hours of unpaid work and 60 days of Rehabilitation Activity Requirement; costs of £1,300 and a £85 victim surcharge. Lifetime ban on keeping animals.
#TheList serial animal baiters Ronald Guy, born c. 1950, of 52 Harrowby Road, Birkenhead CH42 7HU and son Lee Guy, born 1971, previously of 58 Harrowby Road – filmed wild animals being torn apart by dogs in arranged fights
Ronald and Lee Guy pleaded guilty to a total of seven charges of causing unnecessary suffering to chickens, rats, pigeons and a fox.
A joint operation between the RSPCA and Merseyside Police discovered DVDs and films of the offences at the defendants’ homes after a search was carried out at a nearby allotment.
The footage showed animal cruelty taking place and both father and son were arrested.
Ronald Guy pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to three chickens by inhumanely slaughtering them.
Lee Guy admitted the inhumane slaughter of chickens, as well as causing 12 wild rats to be attacked by dogs in locations across Birkenhead, and feeding feral pigeons to ferrets.
He also admitted putting a fox in a cage and setting dogs on it until they tore the animal apart and killed it.
The offences – which took place in front of a gathered crowd at two separate Harrowby Road addresses and a Birkenhead allotment between November 1, 2011 and June 6, 2013 – were captured on video.
Referring to the offences committed by Lee Guy, Chris Murphy, prosecuting on behalf of the RSPCA, said: “The charges involve the slaughter of chicken, they involve the causing of wild rats to be attacked by dogs.
“There are three offences relating to the rats and there’s also an offence which the RSPCA says is perhaps the most serious, of causing the animal fight to take place between a fox and three dogs.
“The fox was in a caged box and the three dogs were put in that box and set upon it, tearing it apart and killing it.”
John Ballam, defending, said both Ronald and Lee Guy were deeply “ashamed” of their actions.
He told the court that the prospect of being banned from owning animals would be a considerable punishment for both men but especially for Ronald given his history and success in dog shows.
District Judge Michael Abelson said: “This was shocking, absolutely inhumane behaviour.
“Most people would not be able to comprehend how you could treat animals with such cruelty.”
The pair’s four dogs – one of which has recently given birth to six puppies – were seized and rehomed.
The dogs had evidence of facial scarring likely caused during fights with other animals.
Following sentencing, RSPCA Inspector Anthony Joynes said: “The maximum sentence would be inadequate with regards to the suffering the animals have gone through.
“This sort of offence is barbaric – it is abhorrent cruelty that belongs in the history books.
“There has been a rise in this sort of behaviour in Wirral and the Northwest and if people are going to take the decision to get involved in that sort of cruelty, then they can expect to spend time in prison.”
Sentencing: Lee Guy – 22-week custodial sentence; £300 costs. Ronald Guy – 12-week custodial sentence; £300 costs. Both were banned from keeping animals for life.