Category Archives: working and service dogs

Wherstead, Ipswich: Niall Martin

#TheList lifelong loser Niall Martin, born c. 1990, previously of Speedwell Road, Colchester and now the Strand in Ipswich – threw a police dog against a car, tried to choke her and wrenched her jaw open

Pictured is Niall Martin from Ipswich, UK, who attacked a police dog

Police were called after a row broke out between Niall Martin and his partner in Colchester and officers attended along with police dog, Ivy.

Pictured is the police dog attacked by Niall Martin
The police dog, Ivy, has since been retired

Martin was hiding and when the highly trained German Shepherd bit him. He reacted by hurling her against the car, choking her and pulling apart her jaws.

In a statement read out in court, Ivy’s dog handler said she genuinely feared for the animal’s life.

She said: “She bit him on the arm and then Martin threw Ivy against a parked car.

“I heard Ivy yelp with pain, he was trying to choke her.

“I punched him to the back of the head with all my force to try to get her free.

“I have never heard her make a noise like that before.

“I genuinely believe he was trying to kill or seriously injure her.”

Martin was convicted of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal following a trial. He admitted a charge of possessing cannabis.

Pictured is Niall Martin from Ipswich, UK, who attacked a police dog

Katie Armstrong-Mason, mitigating said: “On this particular day he had consumed alcohol and had an argument with his partner.

“The dog runs after him and bites him on the leg.

“The only reason he grabs the dog’s mouth is because he had been bitten and was in a lot of pain.

“He didn’t want to be arrested – the last time he was he got a four-week prison sentence.

“He has a borderline personality disorder and alcohol exacerbates his mental health problems – he gets in trouble when he drinks.”

Pictured is Niall Martin from Ipswich, UK, who attacked a police dog

In October 2014, Martin has jailed for nine months for his part in an assault on a deaf-blind man and his brother.

Police dog Ivy retired from active duty earlier in January 2020. She was not badly hurt in the incident with Martin.

Chairman of the bench Don Wicks said: “This is a crossroads for you.

“It is a last chance scenario to change your life for the better.”

Sentencing: ten-week prison term suspended for a year. He must attend an accredited programme and 30 rehabilitation activity requirement days. Ordered to pay £300 costs, and £50 to the dog handler who suffered back pain during the incident.

Daily Gazette

Aigburth, Liverpool: David Bennett

#TheList David Bennett, born c. 1978, of Livingston Avenue, Liverpool L17 – attacked a police dog

David Bennett
David Bennett

Career criminal and drug addict David Bennett was convicted on two charges for assaulting police officers and a further charge for causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal.

This was the first conviction in Merseyside under Finn’s Law, an amendment made to the Animal Welfare Act, which makes it illegal to harm service animals.

The law was named after Police Dog Finn who was almost killed protecting his handler from a teenager with a knife.

As at November 2019 Bennett had 33 previous convictions for 72 offences, beginning in 1996, which include 46 thefts and similar offences.

Since he was a youth, he has been locked up for burglary, motoring offences and handling stolen goods.

Bennett was jailed for 12 months for wounding in 2008, and for eight years for dealing heroin and robbery in 2010.

PD Deema is due to receive a commendation for her hard work today.

PD Deema
PD Deema recovered from an attack by drug abuser and persistent criminal David Bennett from Aigburth in Liverpool

Chief Constable Andy Cooke said: “We are so proud of our police dogs and their handlers, and all the hard work they do to protect our communities.

“The commendation Deema will receive is so well deserved and we hope this will help people recognise all our dogs do to help prevent crime.”

Sentencing:
Eight-week custodial sentence consecutive to a 20-month sentence he is already serving for violently assaulting a shop worker.

ITV News

Ringwood, Hampshire: William Sheen

#TheList career criminal William Sheen, born 1996, of no fixed abode, but originally from the Merryweather Estate in Ringwood, Hampshire BH24 1UL and with links to Bournemouth and Salisbury – hit a police dog with a large tin of baked beans

Career criminal William Sheen from Ringwood in Hampshire
Career criminal, lifelong loser, animal abuser: William Sheen from Ringwood in Hampshire

Sheen admitted arson, assaulting an emergency worker and causing unnecessary suffering to a service dog.

The court was told he had been causing a disturbance at the pub on Old Christchurch Road when staff called the police.

Officers from Dorset Police said they found him in a dry storage area of the kitchen shouting “Let me out” before waving a metal object at them and refusing to leave.

A fire was seen coming from the store and Sheen was heard to say “Go away – this place is going to go up”.

The fire service was called to extinguish the flames and a police dog, called Gus, was also sent to the scene.

Injured police dog Gus
PD Gus recovered and is now back on duty

In a statement, Dorset Police said: “Sheen began to throw items at the officers, including bags of flour and commercial-sized tins of baked beans.

“One of the tins struck PD Gus on the head, stunning him and causing him to back away.”

Police then used a Taser to subdue Sheen and he was arrested.

Ch Insp Heather Dixey confirmed Gus and the police officers involved did not sustain any lasting injuries and are back on active duty.

She added: “This case yet again demonstrates the danger that can be faced by officers and police dogs while dealing with hostile and volatile incidents.”

Sentencing: jailed for six months.

BBC News

Litherland, Liverpool: Daniel O’Sullivan

#TheList Daniel O’Sullivan, born c. 1990, of Bowland Drive, Liverpool L21: stabbed a police dog twice in head and attacked officers while high on monkey dust

Daniel O'Sullivan from Liverpool was prosecuted under Finn's Law for his attack on PD Audi
Daniel O’Sullivan was prosecuted under Finn’s Law for his attack on PD Audi

Daniel O’Sullivan was jailed for 21 months after he admitted causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal, five counts of assault and two counts of possessing an offensive weapon in a public place.

Police were called to deal with the thug following reports of a man wielding a knife and broken bottle in a street in Hanley, near Stoke, on July 1, 2019.

When O’Sullivan refused to drop the weapons a police dog named Audi was sent into the incident.

O’Sullivan stabbed PD Audi twice in the head before throwing a bottle at an officer and kicking him in the face. He spat at four other officers.

Following his arrest O’Sullivan was taken to hospital for assessment and was aggressive towards medical staff.

PD Audi survived the knife attack and has since returned to duty.
PD Audi survived the knife attack and has since returned to duty.

Audi needed emergency treatment but survived the attack and has since returned to duty.

The prosecution for the attack against Audi is the first under the new Animal Welfare (Emergency Services) Act.

Known as Finn’s Law, it now recognises police dogs as public servants and not simply police property. The maximum sentence is currently six months.

Detective Inspector Stephen Ward, from Staffordshire Police, said: “O’Sullivan presented a significant danger to anyone who was nearby and we cannot allow the public to be put at risk.

“He assaulted five officers, spitting at four of them, which is a degrading experience for the officers concerned and can present a health risk.

“O’Sullivan was out to seriously hurt PD Audi and it was lucky that he wasn’t blinded or killed as a result of his injuries.

“Aside from the sheer cruelty of his actions, it takes a great deal of time, energy and expense to train a police dog and an experience like that could have ended his career. Fortunately, Audi has recovered well and is back at work.”

Sentencing: jailed for 21 months of which three months was for injuring a police dog.

Liverpool Echo

Leeds: Adrian Appleyard and Karl Harwood

#TheList Adrian Appleyard, born January 1977, of Springhead Road, Rothwell, Leeds LS26 0EX, and Karl Harwood, born 1978, of Ivy Gardens, Bramley, Leeds LS13 2NH – neglected three dogs used to guard a building site.

One of the three dogs abandoned in appalling conditions at a building site by irresponsible security business owner Adrian Appleyard and his employee Karl Harwood.
One of the three dogs abandoned in appalling conditions at a building site by irresponsible security business owner Adrian Appleyard and his employee Karl Harwood.

Appleyard and Harwood were found guilty in their absence of mistreating and failing to ensure the welfare of an Anatolian shepherd dog called Athena and two Caucasian shepherd dogs called Koda and Sasha.

Despite freezing weather the dogs had no shelter and hadn’t been fed for several days.

The dogs were kept as guard dogs on a building site on Hollin Busk Lane, Deepcar, Sheffield and were left unattended between January 20 and January 23, 2018, prompting RSPCA inspectors to visit the site.

Insp Kim Greaves told the court the dogs had been left in three shelters but the roof of one covering two of the dogs – Koda and Sasha – had blown off, leaving them exposed to ‘bitterly’ cold conditions and snow.

She said she first visited the site on Friday, January 19, following a call from a member of the public and when she returned on Monday, January 22, the set-up was exactly the same, with tape seals placed on the gates of the compounds by inspectors still in place.

Another of the dogs abandoned at a building site by Adrian Appleyard and Karl Harwood.
Another of the dogs abandoned at a building site by Adrian Appleyard and Karl Harwood.

Insp Greaves said: “The dog at the front (Athena) was brighter in herself but that’s probably because we had been able to get food and water to her but the other two dogs, because I know the breed, we would expect them to be alert and guarding the site but they weren’t.”

Insp Greaves said she could see Athena’s ribs quite clearly, indicating she was malnourished, and added that she thought the dogs had suffered a ‘prolonged period of neglect’.

Fellow RSPCA inspector Jenny Ronksley said she visited the site on Saturday, January 20 and Sunday, January 21 and left business cards at the site requesting the owners contact her, which they didn’t.

Dr Jenny Turner, a veterinary surgeon at Springfield Vets, also attended the site and said that the housing and nutritional supplies for the dogs were unsuitable.

Prosecutor Philip Brown said: “She believed that the period of suffering would been for at least four to six weeks but probably longer. They had suffered either a variable shortage of food over several weeks or starved entirely for a period of days.”

The prosecutor also told the court that Koda had developed ‘behavioural difficulties’ and that a vet had decided it was in the dog’s best interests to carry out euthanasia.

Sentencing:
Appleyard – 150 hours of unpaid work. Banned from keeping any animal for five years. Deprivation order for the two surviving dogs, Athena and Sasha.
Harwood – 120 hours of unpaid work. No ban.

Yorkshire Post

Whitminster, Gloucester: Jon Humphries-Cuff

#TheList security company boss Jon Douglas Humphries-Cuff, born 30/03/1980, of Hillsborough House, Fromebridge, Whitminster, Gloucester GL2 7PF – neglected a guard dog so badly his tail had rotted

Security boss Jon Humphries-Cuff failed to treat guard dog Goffio's rotting tail and leg sores but was not banned from keeping animals
Security boss Jon Humphries-Cuff failed to treat guard dog Goffio’s rotting tail and leg sores but was not banned from keeping animals

Jon Humphries-Cuff, then a director of Cuff Security Services Ltd, which has since been dissolved, was the owner of a dog found roaming the streets with open sores and a rotten tail. He was found guilty of neglect, following a prosecution by the RSPCA.

The animal welfare charity began an investigation after the Presa Canario, known as Goffio, was discovered wandering the streets by a council dog warden.

Inspector Philip Mann, who investigated, said: “Goffio is such a lovely friendly dog – he’s a real gentle giant. It’s heartbreaking to think he was left to suffer without the veterinary care he desperately needed. The sores had been there for months and months and his tail was in such a terrible state it had completely rotted.

“Goffio was a security dog but sadly he wasn’t given security from pain and suffering he deserved in his own life.

“He was also underweight when he was rescued but thanks to the hard work and dedication of our team at Stubbington Ark RSPCA Animal Shelter, and particularly Hannah Nandhra, he has now recovered and is doing great.

“I’d like to express my gratitude to Stroud District Council’s animal welfare officers and Teckels Animal Sanctuary who helped him when he was found straying and raised concerns for his welfare.”

Humphries-Cuff denied knowing about the condition of his dog’s tail, claiming he had not seen his dogs in daylight for several days. He also told the court he had been treating the sores himself with antiseptic spray.

Following a two-day trial, he was found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering by failing to provide suitable veterinary care for the necrotic and infected tail, contrary to Section 4 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006, and failing to provide veterinary care for the open sores contrary to Section 4 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

He was also found guilty of failing to meet Goffio’s needs by not ensuring he maintained a suitable body weight, contrary to Section 9 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

The RSPCA hoped to rehome Goffio if no appeal was lodged within 21 days.

Sentencing: ordered to undertake 240 hours of unpaid work and pay £1,000 in court costs. No ban on keeping animals was imposed by the court.

GloucestershireLive

Additional info:
According to his entry on Companies House Jon Humphries-Cuff has two active companies: CUFF MANAGEMENT GROUP LTD and MURION TRADING LTD.

Edgware, London: Nijamul Islam

#TheList serial dog abuser Nijamul Islam, born 19/02/1973, of 91 Farm Road, Edgware HA8 9LR – kept dozens of large-breed ‘protection’ dogs in cramped, dirty conditions and without food or water

Serial dog abuser Nijamul Islam of Edgware, London, kept dogs to be used in the security industry
Islam ran a business supplying dogs to the security industry but kept them in filth and squalor and without food or water

Persistent animal abuser Nijamul Islam was first convicted of dog abuse on a massive scale in November 2012. Then trading as the Vardalu Pet Hotel based in Elstree, Herts, Islam was convicted of cruelty to 173 dogs and puppies, including Rottweilers, German shepherds, Belgian malinois and American bulldogs. He was given a two-year suspended prison term and banned from keeping dogs for 10 years.

Footage from the RSPCA’s 2012 raid on Islam’s then premises in Elstree, Hertfordshire

In October 2014 the authorities discovered he was keeping 102 dogs at Woodhill Farm, Stanstead Road, Great Amwell SG12 9RN after a kennel maid was attacked by a Belgian shepherd and a German shepherd. The victim was rushed to hospital with life threatening injuries and required surgery to save her arms.

The two dogs concerned were later destroyed due to their “extremely aggressive nature”.

Serial dog abuser Nijamul Islam of Edgware, London, kept dogs to be used in the security industry

Both police officers and officers from the RSPCA entered the farm later on the same day where they discovered more than a hundred dogs being kept in “squalid” conditions.

Judge John Plumstead was told several people worked at the farm, where dogs to be used in the security industry were allegedly trained.

The judge was told the conditions for the animals were ‘appalling’ with filthy cages covered in urine and faeces.

The animals, some of which were puppies, had inadequate bedding and no access to clean water or food.

There were also dead dogs on the site.

Serial dog abuser Nijamul Islam of Edgware, London, kept dogs to be used in the security industry

Of the dogs found within the farm, 40 had to be put down either because they were deemed dangerous by the RSPCA or had severe medical conditions and were suffering.

RSPCA inspector Steph Law said: “The conditions the dogs were kept in were horrendously squalid. It was filthy and most of the dogs had been left without food and water.

“Sadly we also found that a number of the dogs were very badly injured and had been left to suffer without veterinary treatment.

“It was sickening to see the scale of suffering as we worked with the police over four days to remove the dogs and bring them into boarding.”

Serial dog abuser Nijamul Islam of Edgware, London, kept dogs to be used in the security industry

Judge Plumstead said Islam had an ‘appalling track record’ for neglect and cruelty to animals.

He said: ‘These were not everyday dogs. They were all large and potentially violent dogs.

‘These dogs were kept in dreadful conditions in a way which could only be described as scandalous.’

He said he had also seen a training video seized from Islam’s business, which showed him setting a large Alsatian-type dog across a field to attack a man wearing a bite suit.

Judge Plumstead said the dog had been ‘biting determinedly and with considerable force until it was called off by the defendant’.

He said: ‘This was not a legitimate business because he was in no position to legally be doing what he was doing.’

In July 2017 Nijamul Islam was jailed for two and half years after pleading guilty to two charges of being in charge of a dog which was dangerously out of control.

Islam also admitted being in breach of an order disqualifying him from keeping dogs and four charges of causing unnecessary suffering to dogs.

Sentencing: two-and-a-half year jail term. Continuation of his original 10-year ban on keeping dogs imposed in 2012.

Daily Mail
BBC News

Reading, Berkshire: Martin Sama

#TheList career criminal Martin A Sama, born 1987, of Faringdon Walk, Reading RG30 3LD – attacked a police dog during a pursuit

Persistent criminal Martin Sama from Reading, UK, attacked PD Caesar during a pursuit.
Persistent criminal Martin Sama attacked PD Caesar during a pursuit. Fortunately Caesar recovered from his injuries and is back on duty while Sama was sent to jail.

Sama, who is originally from Sierra Leone, was convicted of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal, assaulting a constable, possessing an offensive weapon in a public place, possessing cannabis, driving dangerously and driving while disqualified and without insurance.

The court heard that PD Caesar, a Dutch Shepherd, pursued Sama, who then attacked the dog and bit his handler.

It came after police constable Christopher Bushnell spotted a shredded back tyre on a Lexus, being driven by the persistent offender.

The officer pursued Sama, who drove through two red lights and swerved across multiple lanes.

The court heard how Sama then jumped out of the out of the moving car and sprinted down an alley. This prompted the policeman to release Caeser.

Giving evidence, PC Bushnell said: “Caesar chased the male down the alley way and I followed.

“I heard the male scream. Caesar had bit him in the buttock. The man was lashing out and swinging Caesar’s body. The man was striking the dog.

“Caesar released his grip and dropped off.”

Aware that Caesar, who had been working with him for nearly four years, could be in trouble, PC Bushnell called for backup and swung a punch at Sama.

Persistent criminal Martin Sama from Reading, UK, attacked PD Caesar during a pursuit.
2010 police mugshot of Sama

Sama bit the policeman’s fingers whilst he was being restrained, the court heard.

When more officers arrived minutes later they found Sama to be in possession of a small amount of cannabis and a 20-inch machete.

Limping Caesar was taken to a vets the following day and had to take four days off the beat.

Persistent criminal Martin Sama from Reading, UK, attacked PD Caesar during a pursuit.
Sama pictured outside court

Despite admitting he was driving the car, Sama denied the drugs were his.

“That cannabis was found in a cigarette packet on the alley floor,” he told District Judge Susan Cooper.

“It had nothing to do with me.”

He also claimed the machete was brought into the car by a mystery man he was giving a lift to and whose name he did not know, and that he did not hit the dog or bite PC Bushnell.

He continued: “I did not strike the dog at all. I wouldn’t do that to a dog.

“I also didn’t bite the officers finger’s. I was beaten so badly I even lost my shoes.”

However Judge Cooper was not convinced by Sama, who has previous dangerous driving and drug convictions.

The judge added: “It seems ludicrous to suggest the cigarette packet wasn’t on you.

“Two officers could see it was. I also believe you were travelling at speed.

“You have come to court today and told many lies.”

Sentencing: 27 months in jail.

Reading Chronicle

Tonypandy, South Wales: Christian Latcham

#TheList wildlife persecutor Christian Latcham, born c. 1987, of Morton Terrace, Tonypandy, Rhondda Cynon Taf CF40 2DP

Serial persecutor of badgers, foxes  and deer Christian Latcham of Tonypandy, South Wales
Barbaric Christian Latcham set his dogs on badgers, foxes and deer . He is shown here with regular digging mate Jamie Rush. Rush was exposed alongside Latcham in a 2018 BBC Wales documentary entitled ‘ The Secret World of Badger Baiters’

Blood sports enthusiast Latcham – a father of six – pleaded guilty to two charges under the Animal Welfare Act and six charges under the Badger Act.

Serial persecutor of badgers, foxes  and deer Christian Latcham of Tonypandy, South Wales
Latcham was told that his actions amounted to “unspeakable cruelty” but still avoided jail

The serial abuser was prosecuted after evidence of sickening cruelty towards badgers, foxes and deer were discovered on his mobile phone.

Prosecuting, Geraint Richards described to the court the disturbing pictures of a severed badger head, a photo of Latcham’s dogs savaging a badger and an image of a bloodstained Latcham holding up animal carcasses.

Serial persecutor of badgers, foxes  and deer Christian Latcham of Tonypandy, South Wales
Latcham with two of his six children

The court heard how, on being arrested in 2009 for a separate offence, Latcham had aroused officers’ suspicion as he hurried to conceal his mobile phone.

Serial persecutor of badgers, foxes  and deer Christian Latcham of Tonypandy, South Wales

When the police seized his phone they viewed images of the defendant holding up the carcasses of foxes, deer and badgers.

Clive Rees, defending, said the defendant lacked empathy and had limited social skills.

He said: “He has been unable to put himself in the place of the animals he was dealing with and to think and see through the things he was doing.”

Chairman of the bench Mike Hanley said: “These were deliberate and unprovoked actions which speak of unspeakable cruelty.”

Two dogs used to savage the badgers were taken away from Latcham.

RSPCA inspector Simon Evans said badger baiting had become a prevalent problem in South Wales.

He said: “Offending evidence in this type of case is rare, but this isn’t a one off.”

Sentencing: Five-month prison sentence, suspended for one year; 250 hours of unpaid work; £1,000 costs. Disqualified indefinitely from keeping dogs.

Wales Online
BBC News

2018 update: despite having been banned indefinitely from keeping dogs Christian Latcham featured in an episode of BBC Wales Investigates entitled ‘The Secret World of Badger Baiters’.

The episode, which you can watch on YouTube, showed that Latcham not only had dogs but was still actively engaged in badger baiting alongside Jamie Rush. Other associates include Tomas Young and Ryan Harrison, who were jailed for badger baiting in June 2019. Young’s cruelty included skinning a badger cub alive before feeding it to his dogs.