#TheList Tina Elizabeth Coles, born c. 1998, and Martin C Hessey, born c. 1980, both of Carolyn Lane Court, Blackman Way, Rugby CV21 2US – failed to get their pet cat Tigger veterinary treatment for a stomach ulcer which later perforated and led to his death.
Tina Coles and partner Martin Hessey both pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to their cat when they appeared at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court.
The court heard how three-year-old Tigger had developed a stomach ulcer but the couple failed to take him for treatment, with the ulcer perforating and killing him weeks later.
A member of the public reported the cat’s death to the RSPCA and inspector Helen Smith was sent to investigate on June 1, 2019.
Inspector Smith found Tigger’s emaciated body in a freezer at the couple’s flat. He weighed just 1.47kg when a cat of his age should weigh 4 to 4.5kg.
Inspector Smith said: “It would have been blatantly obvious that Tigger was in need of veterinary treatment but the couple failed to act.
“The stomach ulcer would have led to an obvious lack of appetite which is why Tigger was so emaciated.
“The vet said he would have suffered for at least a month and his death would have been slow and painful.
“This case really highlights how imperative if it for owners to take their pets for veterinary treatment if they show symptoms of illness. Poor Tigger was left to suffer unnecessarily.”
In mitigation, the court was told both had mental health issues which the magistrates took into account when sentencing.
Sentencing: fined £120 and also ordered to pay a £30 victim surcharge. Both were banned from keeping all animals for seven years.
#TheList for multiple cruelty charges Jodie Annabel Fairbrother (aka Jodie Lewis), born 30/09/1978, and husband Paul Jack Fairbrother, born 10/07/1969, formerly of Immingham, Lincolnshire, but now said to be living in Nar Fokak, Cyprus, with daughter Libby-Jo Fairbrother who was also initially charged.
Mother-of-four Jodie Fairbrother, whose last known UK address was Aberdovey Drive, Eaglescliffe, Stockton-on-Tees TS16 9EZ admitted 10 offences of animal cruelty at 4Paws veterinary clinic – six which related to causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal.
Her husband, Paul Fairbrother, admitted three offences of animal cruelty, including one charge of causing unnecessary suffering to a British bulldog and two charges relating to animal welfare.
The charges were brought by the RSPCA after it conducted one of its largest raids in March 2018 at 4Paws in Killingholme, North Lincolnshire.
More than 60 staff from multiple agencies worked throughout the day to remove 160 animals.
4Paws, which imported 4,600 dogs from overseas over a 15-month period, operated an unlicensed boarding kennels and veterinary clinic after their licence expired.
The animals were found in “abhorrent” conditions.
Some animals were left unattended in baskets and cages for up to 95 hours. Many were kept in cramped kennels with no access to food or water.
They also had untreated health conditions such as respiratory problems or ear infections and untreated wounds.
The body of a deceased dog was found at the clinic and it was later discovered the dog had distemper, a lethal viral disease.
One dog was kept in a cage for four days without food and water and then ‘euthanised’ by Fairbrother, who had no veterinary qualifications.
Three dogs had to be put to sleep and two had Brucella canisa, a serious contagious disease that can be passed onto humans. Another tested positive for distemper.
A total of 144 dogs and 16 cats were then taken in by the RSPCA and Dogs Trust.
Other charges against the Fairbrothers were dropped at an earlier hearing and all 17 charges were dropped against daughter Libby-Jo Fairbrother.
The volunteer also said that the animals had been “living in their own filth” as the kennels were never cleaned properly, and the animals were never looked after, with around 80 new dogs arriving at the kennel every week.
They said: “I used to help out at the clinic and some of the things that I have seen were just disgusting.
“There were 10 to 15 dogs all into one pen, and just roaming about. There was not one bed for a dog.
“Thursday is delivery day, when they get usually around three vans full of dogs from Romania brought to the site. But the most horrible thing is to see them left outside the clinic, sometimes for over a day, just sitting in those vans howling.
“The animals are always getting out and running loose about the place.”
Other local residents hit out at the treatment of horses at the centre, saying they had been left in a field during the heat of the summer without food or water. Residents said they had intervened to feed the animals themselves claiming that clinic staff had informed them they were “too busy”.
Numerous other residents alleged that after speaking out about the conditions at 4Paws, they received threats.
Sentencing: Jodie Fairbrother – jailed for 18 weeks, suspended for 12 months. Paul Fairbrother – jailed for 12 weeks, suspended for 12 months. Both were ordered to pay £500 costs and a £115 victim surcharge each. Both were banned from keeping or trading in animals for five years.
#TheList breeder/hoarder Lynn Stoker, born c. 1957, of Raw Farm House, Byrness Village, Newcastle upon Tyne NE19 1TR – jailed for cruelty to more than 100 dogs and puppies
Stoker was found guilty of 11 charges of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal and four counts of failing to ensure an animal’s welfare needs were met. Her conviction came after 107 dogs and six puppies were found living in cramped cages and with no fresh drinking water.
She had denied all charges but was found guilty after a four-day trial.
Stoker was breeding dogs but struggled to sell them on and ended up with a house full of animals. She initially asked for help re-homing the pets but began behaving ‘evasively’ and ‘aggressively’ so a search warrant was issued in May 2018.
The RSPCA told the court that “not a single dog was in a healthy condition” when they were discovered locked up in cramped cages at Stoker’s home in May 2018.
The animals were suffering from a range of untreated health problems including chronic dental disease, eye infections and hip injuries. Stoker also failed to provide them with sufficient water.
Three dogs had a level of dental disease so high it resulted in a fractured jaw, and one of them only had three teeth as all the rest had fallen out because of severe disease.
Some animals were in such a bad state they needed to be put down.
The dog breeder claimed that her pets were never neglected and she had been doing the job for 25 years.
The pets at her home also included two cats and a tortoise.
Sentencing Stoker, district judge Bernard Begley said: “This is a particularly serious type of offence. Significant costs have been incurred.
“I really can’t find any redeeming features. This was a high level of suffering – some animals were euthanised.
“You have not shown a shred of remorse or contrition.”
Sentencing: jailed for 21 weeks; ordered to pay £50,000. Disqualified from keeping or breeding animals for at least 15 years.
#TheList Robert Jason High, born 20/12/1996, and Damien Robert Beales, born 16/04/1998, both currently of 17 James Street, Barrow-in-Furness LA14 1EH – neglected and starved a large number of cats; desperate animals resorted to cannibalism.
Robert High and his partner Damien Beales left cats to starve at a property in Northgate Road, Stoneycroft, Liverpool L13
RSPCA officers discovered starving cats eating the decomposing remains of others when they visited the house on 25 April 2019.
They found up to ten cats who were so desperate and hungry that they had shockingly resorted to cannibalism.
Five dead cats were in the process of being eaten.
The grim remains were discovered by the property’s landlord who was so disturbed that he contacted the police who next alerted the RSPCA.
Beales and High both pleaded guilty to one charge of cruelty.
The men are due to be sentenced later on in September 2019 at Liverpool Magistrates Court.
The prosecution has been previously adjourned after both men, Beales and High repeatedly failed to turn up.
High and Beales move around frequently. They only lived in Stoneycroft for five months. Prior to living there, they lived in Kirkdale, Liverpool. Neighbours of the Kirkdale property allege they overheard the couple accusing each other of raping cats.
High is said to have serious mental health issues, including self-harming. He has a YouTube channel called My Borderline LIfe on which he discusses his borderline personality disorder and also ‘sings’.
#TheList Justin Thomas Williams, born c.1992, of 31 Lon Ogwen, Bangor LL57 2UD – filmed a vicious fatal attack by his dog on a ginger cat
Justin Thomas Williams admitted allowing his greyhound-type dog to bite, drag and shake the cat in the South Stack area of Holyhead, Anglesey, in March 2018.
Prosecutor Diane Williams told a district judge at Caernarfon court that police seized a mobile phone at Williams’s home and a 24 second video clip showed the “vicious and cruel” attack on the distressed cat.
In December 2018 the defendant received a suspended sentence for disclosing private sexual snaps.
A probation officer said the jobless cannabis smoker was hunting rabbits on a farm that night and Williams claimed the dog went into a bush. The defendant maintained there was no intention to set the dog on the cat and he “accidentally” filmed the savaging.
Defence solicitor Bethan Williams said her client denied encouraging the attack. “The video shows Mr Williams. He’s deliberately filming, he can’t deny that he’s filming the dog attack the cat.
“There’s no evidence he deliberately set the dog on the cat but he certainly doesn’t intervene,” the lawyer said. “It appears the cat passed away.”
District judge Gerallt Jones told Williams: “This is a serious incident. It looks to me as you having pleasure from the distress and cruelty that was going on.
“You did nothing at all to help. Rather than try and assist the cat you took pleasure in filming it and encouraging the dog to do what it did.”
Sentencing: 15-week suspended jail term; 150 hours of unpaid work; £615 costs. Banned from having any animal for five years.
#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
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.
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.
#TheList hoarder Jennifer Ann Waddup, born 15/08/1969, of 11 Buckland Road, Somerset TA2 8EW for the neglect of multiple dogs and cats.
Waddup pleaded guilty to four charges brought against her by the RSPCA.
*failing to explore and address the cause of the poor bodily condition of nine domestic cats between March 20 and April 3 this year;
*causing unnecessary suffering to a border collie named Domino by failing to provide professional veterinary care for a chronic skin condition between the same dates;
*failing to ensure the needs of 14 domestic cats and Domino the dog were met by not ensuring their need for a suitable environment in which to live on or before April 3;
*and not taking reasonable steps to ensure the needs of 14 cats were met by not protecting them from pain, injury, suffering and disease as seen by a chronic and significant flea infestation on or before April 3.
Sentencing: 100 hours of unpaid work; total of £385 costs and charges. Disqualified from keeping cats and dogs but can appeal after two years.
#TheList Margaret Redman, born 1961, and husband Philip Redman, age unknown, both of Borstal Street, Rochester ME1 3HL – left their cat to suffer with a painful mouth tumour
RSPCA officers visited the Redmans’ home on Saturday, March 9, 2019, and found that their cat Misty had a tumour on her mouth which had teeth embedded into it. This was making it difficult for her to eat. She also had matted fur caked with faeces and discharge from the tumour.
Mrs Redman told the officers that they had delayed taking the cat to the vets because she feared she would be put to sleep.
The couple pleaded guilty to failing in their duty to ensure welfare, and two counts each of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal.
Their solicitor successfully argued that the couple were unsuitable for community sentences where there would be a possibility of carrying out unpaid work.
Sentencing: community order involving attendance at a rehabilitation course; £300 costs.
#TheList April Hawes, born c. 1983, of Banyard Court, Dereham, Norfolk NR19 1ST – threw a cat nine metres’ distance at her neighbour’s door
Hawes attacked a tom cat named Shadow after becoming annoyed that he was “scenting” her home, disturbing her own cats.
The court was shown CCTV footage of Hawes throwing the cat about nine metres into the front of a neighbour’s property, with the animal hitting a bin.
Prosecuting Ashley Petchey said: “Forty seconds later she is seen throwing it a second time.”
On the footage, Hawes can be heard screaming that she hoped the complainant could see it on CCTV and asked if she would be cleaning Hawes’ house.
Hawes was arrested and shown the images during interview. She told police she did not realise her own strength and was surprised how far the cat had gone.
Mr Petchey added: “She said [the complainant’s] two cats had been scenting everywhere and disturbing her own cats.”
Hawes claimed there was no intention to cause Shadow harm. However Mr Petchey said: “Clearly, from the footage, it was a deliberate attempt to cause suffering. Shadow is now walking with a limp.”
Hawes admitted causing suffering to a protected animal.
Anne-Marie Sheridan, defending Hawes, said she suffered post traumatic stress disorder.
She said she had been woken by her neighbour’s cats, which had got into her home, gone through her bin and sprayed. She said she had previously asked the council to stop the animals coming into her home but no action had been taken.
Miss Sheridan added Hawes had to leave her window open to allow her own cats to come and go from her property.
Sentencing: 12-month community order with 30 days’ rehabilitation activity. Ordered to pay £85 in costs and a victim surcharge of £85. No ban.
#TheList Mandy Allinson, born c. 1967, and Michael Connolly, born c. 1963, both of Fotherley Farm, Grosmont, Whitby YO22 5QJ – kept dogs and cats in “squalid and horrific” conditions
Animals in the care of Mandy Allinson and Michael Connolly lived in their own excrement in a filthy barn at their farm near Whitby.
The pair admitted three breaches of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 in relation to two pet dogs, plus 18 other dogs and three cats not provided with a suitable living environment.
Police and RSPCA inspectors were alerted to the farm after a number of people bought puppies which fell ill or were found to be riddled with worms or fleas.
And they discovered dozens of animals being kept in appalling conditions at what was found to be an unregistered, unlicensed business.
The court heard a cocker spaniel called Dexter was barely recognisable because his severely-matted fur made him look like “a big ball of fur”.
He had to be anaesthetised to be clipped by a vet, and the fur removed weighed 1.4kg.
The court heard that the animals got into that state because Allinson and Connolly suffered a variety of health problems, including diabetes and depression.
Speaking after the hearing RSPCA Inspector Claire Little, who led the investigation, said: “We received a number of calls from members of the public who had bought puppies from the premises and, once home, they’d fallen ill or their new families had discovered they were riddled with fleas and worms.
“This couple were running an unregistered, unlicensed business breeding dogs and they were not properly protecting the dogs’ welfare and health.”
When officers raided the property they found 40 dogs and puppies, three cats and a guinea pig at the address. All of the animals were removed.
“The puppies were all being kept inside the house while the adult dogs were kept out in a barn,” Inspector Little added.
“It was cold, dark, dank and filthy in the barn. Some dogs were kept in cramped, dirty cages stacked on top of each other, while other dogs were in disgusting kennels covered in dirt and faeces. It absolutely stank inside the barn, it was hell.
“The dogs were yellow with urine stains and covered in fleas. Many were riddled with worms and suffering from nasty diseases like giardia, campylobacter and coccidia.”
French bulldogs, collies, cocker spaniels, poodles and fashionable crossbreeds, such as cockerpoos, were taken into RSPCA care.
“This couple were clearly trying to cash in on the popularity of designer dogs such as cockerpoos but they were failing to meet these dogs’ basic needs and many were seriously poorly,” Inspector Little said.
“It was overcrowded, the disease control was poor and many of the dogs had matted coats and untreated open wounds. The floor was caked in faeces and water bowls were empty and upturned.
“Some had nasty skin infections and had made themselves bleed from constant scratching. One of the dogs had almost 2kg of matted fur removed.”
A guinea pig was found in a cage in one barn and three cats were found running loose in another barn on the site.
Sentencing: 10-week prison term, suspended for a year. Banned from keeping cats for seven years.