#TheList John Terence Powdrill, born 15/09/1976, of Mayville Avenue, Kingston upon Hull HU8 8EZ – left his elderly dog to suffer with a hole on his muzzle
John Powdrill left his 16-year-old Jack Russell Jake to suffer in agony.
The RSPCA found Jake wrapped up in a duvet in Powdrill’s kitchen, with a hole half-a-centimetre in size on top of his muzzle.
When they removed the duvet Jake was “very skinny” and had sores all over his body. He was taken to the vets immediately, but was sadly put to sleep due to the extent of his suffering.
RSPCA inspector Lucinda Green said: “When I first saw Jake he was wrapped in a duvet in the kitchen of Powdrill’s home and only his head was visible.
“He had a hole half-a-centimetre in size on the top on his muzzle which went deep into his nasal cavity, and the skin around it was red raw.
“When I lifted the duvet he was very skinny and had sores on his body where his bones were the most prominent.
“I took him straight to the vets and they advised he needed to be put to sleep immediately, such was the extent of this poor old dog’s suffering.”
Powdrill was due to appear before Hull Magistrates Court on November 23, but did not show and was convicted in his absence.
As well as the hole in his nose, all of Jake’s teeth were damaged and infected, and he was severely dehydrated to the extent that his veins had collapsed.
The court heard Powdrill called the RSPCA on August 27 to tell them Jake had collapsed, wasn’t eating or drinking, and lying in his own mess – adding that Jake had deteriorated over the last year and hadn’t been seen by any vets.
In mitigation, the court was told that Jake was owned by Powdrill’s partner’s family, and his defence claimed he had done given the best care he could for a dog that wasn’t his, buying ointments and creams.
The District Judge rejected this by saying what Powdrill did was “wholly inadequate”. He accepted that Powdrill had called the RSPCA but that he had only done so so that the charity would pay for euthanasia.
Sentencing: Ten weeks in prison and a 12-month post-sentence supervision order. Banned from keeping dogs, cats and caged animals for life.
Nine members of a violent gang of travellers, who committed more than 200 burglaries in 11 months across multiple counties in the East of England region have been jailed for a total of 71 years.
Gang members would mask their faces using balaclavas and smash or force open doors or windows in broad daylight.
They would don forensic suits in a bid to outwit police and were so prolific that in one day in July 2017 they committed seven burglaries, eight the next, and a total of 50 for the whole month.
On one travellers’ site Cambridgeshire Constabulary found seven stolen Labrador puppies in the boot of a car as well as an arsenal of deadly weapons.
Nine of the gang pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit burglary:
Charlie Albert Webb, 20, from Newton Flotman, Norfolk – jailed for five years.
John Eli Loveridge, 42, of Greenways, Carleton Rode, Norfolk – jailed for seven-and-a-half years.
John Stanley Loveridge, 23, of Greenways, Carleton Rode, Norfolk – jailed for six-and-a-half years.
Joseph Holmes, 21, of Schole Road, Willingham – jailed for four years.
Danny Stone-Parker, 28, of Braintree Road, Great Dunmow – jailed for six-and-a-half years.
Timothy Stone-Parker, 24, of Clay Way, Ely – jailed for six-and-a-half years.
Joe John Spencer Loveridge, 19, of Winchester Road, Sandy, Bedfordshire – jailed for four years.
Richard Oakley, 27, of Sandy Park, Beck Row, Suffolk – jailed for five years.
Johnny Oakley, 25, of Sandy Park, Beck Row, Suffolk – jailed for five-and-a-half years.
A tenth man, Simon Oakley, 45, of Alburgh Road, Hempnall, Norwich, was found guilty of conspiracy to burgle on 31 October following a trial. He was jailed for nine years.
Detective Inspector Craig Harrison, who led the investigation, said: “These sentences reflect the scale and impact of this gang’s offending.
“Every one of their crimes had a victim so the trauma and devastation caused in quite a short space of time was immense. They clearly had no care at all for the impact their offending was having on communities, particularly in south and east Cambridgeshire, which were particularly badly hit, and, indeed, across the region.”
The gang targeted homes in rural areas, where they could make easy getaways and stole high-performance vehicles to give themselves a better chance of out-running police.
Offences were committed across Cambridgeshire including Littleport, Wisbech, Fordham, Burwell, Prickwillow, Dullingham, Ely, Waterbeach, Soham, Abington, Cambridge, Chippenham, Little Shelford, Isleham, Sawston, Hardwick, Willingham, March, Histon, Swavesey, Longstanton, Little Downham, Stow cum Quay, Doddington, St Ives, Stretham, Chippenham, Balsham, Cottenham, Cheveley, Elsworth, Swaffham Bulbeck, Fulbourn, Newmarket, Teversham, Boxworth, Yaxley and Friday Bridge.
Two other men – James Pateman, 55, of no fixed abode, and his brother, Thomas Brown, 54, of Fen Road, Chesterton, Cambridge – were also found guilty of handling stolen goods on 31 October following a trial at Norwich Crown Court. The court heard the men were involved in the disposal of jewellery between 12 March and 7 November, 2017.
Pateman was jailed for three-and-a-half years and Brown eight years.
Simon Oakley, who owns Stratton Quick Fit, a garage and workshop at Elite Business Park, in Salamanca Road, Norwich, had previously admitted possession of a firearm without a certificate and handling stolen goods.
He provided false registration plates and directed others to commit crime. He helped to hide stolen vehicles and pass them off as legitimate.
#TheList Jennifer Parnell, born c. 1944, previously of Beaconsfield Road, Clevedon, Somerset – a serial hoarder who breached a previous ban on keeping animals after eight cats were found in squalor at her home
In April 2012 Jennifer Parnell, then living in Burnham-on-Sea, was banned from keeping dogs and cats for 10 years after being convicted of cruelty charges relating to three dogs and four kittens. Now her disqualification order has been extended until 2038 after eight cats were found in disgusting conditions at her current address.
Parnell had crudely white-washed the windows of her home in an attempt to hide the faeces-ridden rooms inside the property and the cats who lived there.
But when the RSPCA got into her home, they found the eight cats living in squalid conditions.
One of the cats was so poorly he had to be put to sleep. He had been left to suffer with a blocked bladder.
Parnell was brought to court but failed to turn up and had to be brought back to court under a warrant.
She was convicted of three charges of causing animal suffering.
“This could have all been avoided if the disqualification order had not been breached,” said RSPCA acting chief inspector Stephanie Daly.
“The courts impose disqualification orders for a reason – to protect animals from suffering and neglect at the hands of people who have been convicted of doing so.
“We rely on the public to inform us if someone has breached a ban and take this very seriously – as do the courts,” she added.
The surviving cats will now be made available for rehoming.
Sentencing: 26 weeks in prison, suspended for two years; £2,000 towards boarding costs. Ban on keeping dogs and cats extended until 2038.
=== Note – 07/12/18: we have been advised that Jennifer Parnell (who has been known to use aliases including the surname Stewart) has now moved to Ashcombe Road, Weston-super-Mare. We understand that this serial hoarder and animal abuser relocates often to avoid detection. Anyone in that road should keep an eye out for those giveaway white-washed windows.
Parnell also apparently keeps four horses in Portbury, near gordano, which were not the subject of the cruelty case. We also hear that two dogs were in her possession as well but the RSPCA’s prosecution only concerned her keeping of cats.
Please watch out for her. By all accounts this is no confused old lady, but a devious individual who has apparently left landlords, vets, farriers and others thousands of pounds out of pocket.
#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
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.
#TheList Frazer Hugh Massey, born 20/03/1993, and Zoe Natasha White, born 11/03/1987, of 5x Morland Road, Sheffield S14 1TB – abandoned two dogs to starve to death; only one survived
Frazer Massey and Zoe White left their property on Wembley Road, Moorends, Doncaster in June 2018. Their dogs – an eight-month-old Yorkie named Rexy and Jack Russell terrier Missy, aged seven – were locked in an upstairs bedroom with no food or water. Sadly Rexie had starved to death by the time they were discovered. Both dogs were riddled with fleas.
The pair admitted causing unnecessary suffering to the dogs by leaving them unattended without taking reasonable steps to ensure that adequate arrangements were made for their care.
RSPCA inspector Tamsin Drysdale said: “When I opened the door to the bedroom Missy ran straight past me, she was so desperate to get out.
“Then I saw the scratch marks in the carpet where the dogs had clearly been trying to escape.
“I went downstairs and gave Missy some water, and she drank excessively and for a long period of time.
“Rexy wasn’t so lucky. His body was amongst the clothes, empty takeaway boxes and fizzy drink bottles on the floor.”
Veterinary examination found that Rexy was very thin and had a lot of flea dirt in his coat. A subsequent post-mortem found he had most likely starved to death.
Missy was found to be underweight by the vet. She was still very thirsty and hungry, drinking a large volume of water and eating ravenously when food was offered. She was very itchy and had lots of live fleas and flea dirt in her coat.
She was taken on by RSPCA Doncaster and Rotherham Branch Animal Centre in Bawtry, from where she has been happily rehomed.
The court heard that the couple had left the property on 9 June after an incident during which police were called and had never gone back.
The RSPCA was contacted by a concerned member of the public four days later and placed seals on the door to establish whether anyone was attending. Inspector Drysdale spoke with White the next day who said the 15-year-old daughter of a friend was attending, and they were returning the day after, but that didn’t happen.
Inspector Drysdale said: “It’s hard to imagine any circumstances where I would leave my dogs locked in a bedroom alone, without food or water, and without ensuring that someone was attending to them, like Massey and White did here.
“The animals were discovered after I got a call from White saying she wanted to rehome them and directing me to a spare key so that I could go and get them. If they’d done that sooner, both dogs might have survived.”
Sentencing: Both were given 14-week prison sentences, suspended for 12 months. Massey was ordered to do 150 hours of unpaid work while White was given a curfew order. They were ordered to pay a total of £265 costs and charges each. Both were disqualified from keeping dogs for life.
#TheList Joe Whittam, born 07/06/1990, of Langdale Road, Carnforth, Lancashire LA5 9AU – set his dogs on a pet cat and fox; failed to provide vet treatment for his injured dogs
Joseph Whittam, who also uses the surname Riding, pleaded guilty to four offences under the Animal Welfare Act in relation to encouraging his two dogs to attack a cat and a fox, as well as failing to provide veterinary attention for the dogs themselves.
The RSPCA joined Lancashire Constabulary to execute a warrant at Whittam’s address in August 2017 after intelligence that suggested he was involved in wildlife crimes with his two dogs.
The dogs – a terrier called Rex and a lurcher called Zip – were removed by police and placed into the RSPCA’s care. A mobile phone was also seized and investigators discovered a number of shocking videos saved on the phone.
RSPCA special investigation officer Jason Bowles said: “In one video, the two dogs are going crazy, barking and snapping at the mesh of a trap with a black and white domestic cat inside.
“In a second video, the cat is released along with the dogs and the dogs grab the cat and literally start to rip it apart while the cat screams and cries in pain. It is horrific and absolutely blood-curdling. Many of our staff here at the RSPCA haven’t been able to stomach watching it.
“One of the magistrates had to leave court after watching the sickening footage.
“The cat was killed although we never found the body and never traced the poor cat’s owners.”
He added: “In another video, the dogs can be seen attacking and biting a fox. In all the footage Whittam can clearly be heard encouraging the dogs and egging them on.”
Rex and Zip both had old injuries – thought to be caused by their attacks – which had not been treated. They received veterinary care and remain in the RSPCA’s care. They will be rehomed once the case has concluded.
Further analysis of Whittam’s phone uncovered images of a dog being encouraged to attack a gerbil and still images of the fox attack which show the animal being baited by the dog.
Whittam claimed the fox had been shot and injured before his dogs got hold of it.
Lancashire Constabulary’s Sgt James Pinder said: “This investigation began as a result of community information in relation to animal welfare and poaching offences.
“I hope the investigation clearly demonstrates that we will work with our partner agencies and will deal with offenders in a robust manner.
“The sentence, which marks the end of a 16-month investigation, is welcomed by Lancashire Constabulary and we hope it will send a clear message to those who think it is acceptable to partake in these criminal activities.”
Sentencing Whittam at Preston Magistrates’ Court, the chairman of the bench said the offences were sustained, deliberate and gratuitous
Sentencing: Jailed for 22 weeks; ordered to pay a total of £490. Disqualified from keeping animals for life.
#TheList Leigh Hancock, born February 1984, of 1 Old Dry Arch Cottages, Marstow, Ross-on-Wye HR9 6EQ – ran a puppy farm and conned buyers they were ‘family-raised pets’
Leigh Hanock pleaded guilty to illegally selling puppies and laundering the proceeds of his crimes
The puppy farmer, formerly of Rodley Road, Lydney, Gloucester, was turning out “conveyor belt puppies” which were in poor condition when he sold them.
The court heard Hancock “blitzed” social media with adverts for Golden Retriever and Labrador puppies that were purportedly the result of ‘accidental pregnancies’ but were in fact from the puppy farm he ran from an adapted shed in the back of his former home in Lydney.
He would say the puppies were socialised with humans, children and other family pets when the reality was they were kept in cages in the shed.
Trading standards officers analysed a series of advertisements that Hancock placed under various pseudonyms.
Prosecutor Rosamund Rutter said: “A hundred adverts were associated with the defendant – and seven mobile numbers.”
Hancock used various email addresses including the name of one of his children on one email. This was ‘to avoid advertising platforms suspecting he was a trader rather than private seller.’
“When analysed it was noted they were worded in a strikingly similar manner, and contained similar grammatical errors,” the barrister said.
Ms Rutter told the judge of members of the public who were looking for family pets and were assured that was what they were buying.
She added that Hancock even told one couple he and his family were ‘heartbroken they had to give the puppy up.’
The offences dated between June 2016 and March 2017 but Ms Rutter told the court that the operation was running before then.
She described it as a “conveyor belt of puppies, in poor conditions”.
Hancock admitted placing 60 advertisements between July 2016 and March 2017 which implied the pups he was selling were from a family home.
He also admitted withdrawing £23,134.56 of ‘criminal property’ from his bank on March 29 2017 when authorities executed a search warrant at his address and he became aware they were there.
Recorder Ben Browne QC told the defendant the puppies were: “A very different proposition from what you advertised.”
“In each case the set up was to make it look like it was, but it was blatantly untrue.”
#TheList Carl Stephen Hollis, born c. 1962, and Melanie Hollis, born c. 1967, both of 4x Warren Drive, Broughton, Chester CH4 0PT – for animal cruelty offences towards two dogs and five cats
The court heard that Carl Hollis, owner of a plastering and joinery business called Hollis Construction, was responsible for two elderly labrador dogs, both of whom were suffering from a skin condition. Five flea-riddled and underweight cats found at the property were the responsibility of Melanie Hollis. None of the pets had received veterinary treatment.
Prosecuting, Chris Murphy said the couple had received RSPCA advice and a voucher for veterinary care in September 2017 and December 2017 following concern for the two dogs.
When an RSPCA inspector visited the Hollises on June 30, 2018, she was informed the couple had gone on a two-week holiday, due to return on July 10, and had left their sons to periodically go round and check on the animals.
On initial sight there were 10 cats seen at the property and there was dried cat and dog food in the bowls.
It was noted both dogs had extensive hair loss and there was a strong smell of ammonia in the front room, with puddles on the floor and dirty water in the bowls.
In total there were seven cats, six kittens and two labradors at the property. However, it was accepted most of the cats were either strays or not owned by the couple.
All animals were taken to the vets to be checked over. None of the them were microchipped.
One of the cats – who was about 20 years old – had to be put to sleep, but the court heard that all of the other animals are doing well and that some had been rehomed.
When interviewed, Carl Hollis admitted to ownership of the dogs – who were in their mid to late teens – and said he did not take the dogs to the vet for fear they would be put to sleep.
Melanie Hollis accepted the cats had not received the veterinary care they should have. She admitted she had taken on “far more than she could chew” by letting in stray cats .
The couple’s two sons were spoken to and claimed that they had visited the property daily to check on the animals.
Defending Melanie Hollis, Richard Thomas said she had been looking after animals for more than 30 years and there had been no prior advice for her from the RSPCA regarding the welfare of the cats.
It had been accepted the 20-year-old cat was in poor health and was dying, and would likely be put to sleep if he had been taken to the vets, but “misplaced loyalty” meant his owner could not face doing it.
With all the animals at the home, the situation had “become slightly chaotic,” Mr Thomas added.
Although Carl Hollis was not represented, Mr Thomas said on his behalf: “He had owned these animals for 15-16 years; he tried to treat them at home but admittedly should have taken them to the vets. There was nothing deliberate about the mistreatment.”
Carl Hollis added: “I apologise for the mistreatment, I was ignorant.”
Sentencing: 12-month community order: Carl Hollis must complete 200 hours unpaid work while Melanie Hollis must do 150 hours unpaid work. Total of £530 each in costs and charges. Banned from keeping animals for 10 years.