#TheList horse abusers Tanya Michelle Taylor, born 28/04/1966, of Oak Crest, Stoney Road, Kilcot, Newent, Gloucestershire GL18 1PB, and Jeffrey Frederick Taylor, born 08/09/1968, of 10 Uxbridge Lane, Quedgeley, Gloucester GL2 2EY
Horse Tallie was found in an appalling condition due to neglect by her owners Tanya and Jeffrey Taylor.
Tallie was treated by Three Counties Hospital for multiple health issues in December 2017 but was too poorly and had to be euthanized.
A prosecution was brought against the Taylors by Forest of Dean District Council’s legal team following an investigation and the pair were convicted of causing unnecessary suffering to Tallie.
In his summing up, the Magistrate said: “Tallie could not have been saved by early vet intervention, but it could have reduced her suffering.
“We find you jointly responsible for her care, and jointly responsible for failing to seek treatment for her, which caused her unnecessary suffering.”
Sentencing: ordered to pay fines totalling £1,010 and court costs of £800.No ban.
#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 Edward ‘Eddie’ George Bath, born 04/06/1961, of 97 Arrael View, Abertillery NP13 1SU – for failure to care for a large number of horses, goats and poultry.
Bath pleaded guilty to four animal welfare offences after the RSPCA found significant failings in his care of 42 horses at a farm in Old Blaina Road, Abertillery
Two horses were found collapsed and were sadly put to sleep on the advice of a vet.
RSPCA inspector Christine McNeil said: “Sadly these animals were not cared for appropriately.
“The horses outside were not given enough food and were not provided for. The stables were filthy and it was just appalling to see these numbers of animals poorly being cared for.”
Inspector McNeil added: “We issued warnings to improve the conditions at the premises, which included a large number of horses, two goats and poultry.
“Sadly this advice was not taken on board and in March we returned and through a warrant, we removed 37 horses. One of these horses was put to sleep due to its condition on the advice of a vet. On this occasion, we also removed 20 poultry and two goats – one of which was pregnant.”
All animals are now signed over to the RSPCA and are being placed into the rehoming process.
Sentencing: 18-week custodial sentence for each offence (to run concurrently) suspended for 18 months; 10-day rehabilitation activity requirement; total of £1,675 costs and charges. Banned from keeping all animals for life.
#TheList Annette Nally, born 18/03/1969, of Pryor Road, Oldbury B68 9QJ – kept rescued horses in filthy ‘death camps’
In a case brought by the RSPCA, Annette Nally was found guilty on four charges, three of causing unnecessary suffering and one of failing to take reasonable steps to care for an animal. The charges related to eight horses found at a yard off Astwood Lane in Stoke Prior, Worcestershire on July 14, 2018, and others at another yard in Solihull.
Nally had worked with charities and organisations to provide homes for neglected and retired thoroughbreds.
Inspectors found one dead horse and 12 emaciated animals in Stoke Prior. Two of the emaciated horses were later put down.
The RSPCA later visited two other sites in Nally’s control in Lapworth, Warwickshire, and Old Green Lane, Solihull. Seven more horses were found there in a poor condition.
District Judge Ian Strongman told the court how a mare called Ruby and her foal Rebecca were found in a barn by concerned members of the public.
He said: “The floor was made up of urine and faeces, it was a filthy stinking mess.
“In the stable next door a stallion Rocky, who a year before was a fine stallion in prime condition, was in the same situation, skin and bone, living in absolute filth.”
The court was told Ruby, who was starving to death, was put down 24 hours after being found at Stoke Prior and Rebecca had survived because she had still been feeding from her mother.
The shocking evidence included post mortem reports showing animals starved to death. In one case string was found in a gelding’s small intestine which the judge concluded may have been eaten in desperation.
The animal was found dead in a barn at Stoke Prior and the court heard marks in filth on the floor by its head indicated it had thrashed as it struggled to get to its feet during its final hours.
The judge told Nally: “You saw animals deteriorating in front of you and did nothing to stop it.”
He added that RSPCA inspectors had been so traumatised by what the had seen at the yard they were unable to continue working on the investigation.
Nally, who had denied all the charges, claimed the horses in her care had been unable to eat properly because the hot summer had cause grass in the fields not to grow.
She also denied the animals had been left without water and claimed three horses had been affected by a mystery illness which caused their faeces to become bright yellow.
The judge dismissed her explanation as “entirely bogus and untrue”.
In mitigation her solicitor, who wished only to be known as Ms Whitehead, told the court her client has debts including a £2,000 vet’s bill, now works a courier and “just about manages to survive”.
Ms Whitehead added Nally was of previous good character and described the case as a “blip”.
The judge said Nally’s reputation for caring for horses meant the public and the Retraining of Racehorses charity send animals to her in good faith and the breach of trust was an aggravating feature of the case.
#TheList Stacy Humphrys (aka Boogile Lee), born c. 1987, of West Meadows Travellers Site, Ipswich IP1 5NU – kept 17 dogs, 23 poultry and a young pony in terrible conditions
Humphrys admitted seven offences under the Animal Welfare Act. These included four counts of causing unnecessary suffering to a filly and seven dogs, and three of failing to meet the welfare needs of 17 dogs, 23 poultry and the filly pony.
The RSPCA were called to Humphrys’ home at the West Meadows travellers encampment in April 2019, following reports of an underweight whippet.
When Inspector Jason Finch arrived he discovered another dog with fur loss and two dogs in a room covered in old and fresh faeces.
After being shown around the rest of the location, Inspector Finch was concerned and alarmed for a number of animals he saw. He then contacted police, a vet and other RSPCA offers for assistance.
Speaking after the case, Inspector Finch said: “It was extremely disturbing to see so many animals living in such terrible conditions.
“As we proceeded round the property more and more dogs were found in runs that were too small. All were filthy with faeces, and had little or no water.
“Some of the dogs, particularly those with long coats, were also filthy with faeces, some dogs had fur loss, and live fleas could be seen on many of the dogs. Two dogs which were extremely thin, nervous and covered in faeces frantically drank a bowl dry when they were given fresh water at the vets.
“We and other organisations have tried to work with this defendant in the past in a bid to help him improve the welfare of all his animals.
“But despite the help and advice he has been given in the past, he failed to do what was right for these animals which led them to suffer.”
All the animals taken from the property were signed over by the defendant and have made a good recovery with many already in loving new homes.
Julie Harding, senior field officer of horse sanctuary Redwings, said: “We were hugely shocked and appalled to discover the unnecessary suffering of the little black filly, as we have previously worked with the owner in a bid to help him improve the welfare of his horses.
“When the young filly arrived at the sanctuary she was so weak and underweight that she couldn’t stand up without our help. Luckily, thanks to the dedication of our vets and care team, she has gone on to make a full recovery and she is guaranteed a safe home in Redwings’ care for the rest of her life.”
Sentencing: 16 weeks in prison. Total costs and charges of £989. Banned for an indefinite period from keeping all animals – with a condition of not being able to apply for the disqualification to be removed for five years.
#TheList farrier Michael Francis McNamara, born c. 1979, of Island Gate Stables, Saltash PL12 6RJ – violently attacked a horse to make the animal show him respect
An experienced farrier kicked and punched a horse and jabbed him several times with a metal object because he wanted the animal to “show him some respect”.
McNamara pleaded guilty to one charge of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal.
Prosecutor Lindi Meyer, on behalf of the RSPCA, said the incident happened in the presence of a child at some stables in the south east Cornwall area on the afternoon of January 4, 2019.
McNamara is a fourth generation farrier with 24 years of experience. He was clipping a Bay Gelding horse’s hooves when he “lost his temper” and began beating the animal.
In CCTV shown to the court, McNamara could be seen harshly picking up the horse’s legs, kicking and punching him and also jabbing him with a metal tool several times, all while shouting angrily at the terrified animal.
The horse attempted several times to swing away from McNamara, but was unable to as he was being held by a rope.
A vet concluded that the attack caused the horse pain lasting several days, with injuries including bruising and inflammation, as well as fear, anxiety and a future lack of trust.
“The horse was showing signs of fear and anxiety,” Ms Meyer said. “He offered the horse no reassurance. The horse was in fear and not understanding what was expected.”
In total McNamara punched the horse once, kicked him twice and struck him 18 times with the metal object, connecting each time.
In interview, McNamara admitted he was “heavy handed” and said the horse was “trying his patience”.
Ms Meyer said: “He said his bad back was causing him pain that day, and that he was just trying to get the horse to show him some respect.
“He didn’t agree with the vet’s opinion that the horse was fearful, but agreed he overreacted and lost his rag.”
Defending McNamara, who has no previous convictions, Tracey Baker said: “Hindsight is a wonderful thing and looking back at what happened, this defendant shouldn’t have gone to work that day.
“He made his decision and he has to live with that. He made full and frank admissions and he has been nothing but very genuinely remorseful.
“His prime concern is for his family and the impact on his father’s reputation, his father is very well known in the industry.
“As I say he has no explanation for his behaviour. It is deplorable, he knows that, and he is thoroughly ashamed of himself. This court case and the consequences are going to stay with him for a very long time.”
A number of yards have withdrawn McNamara’s services, meaning he is no longer working full-time.
Sentencing McNamara, District Judge Diane Baker said it was “gratuitous violence” on his part.
Aggravating factors were the presence of a child, abuse of a position of trust and the length of the beating, she said.
Judge Baker told McNamara: “I’ve read a very moving letter from your partner talking about you as a man and not just a farrier.
“You also deserve credit for working 24 years following a profession that’s important to you, and satisfying a large number of clients for a long period of time.
“All your references talk about the caring way you dealt with horses, and I have no doubt you are very remorseful and had unusual things to deal with in your personal life [at the time].
“But you are a professional man with a professional responsibility and despite that, you didn’t treat that pony in the way you were supposed to. I have seen frankly quite gratuitous violence while you were in a professional position.
“You should have calmed that pony. You kicked, punched and jabbed it numerous times with a weapon. I’ve seen the CCTV and the pony is simply standing there, clearly extremely frightened and it can’t get away.”
Judge Baker said she was considering sending McNamara to prison but took several factors into account, including because his actions were “severely out of character”.
Sentencing: six-month community order, including a curfew barring him from leaving his home between the hours of 7pm and 5am. Total of £385 costs and charges. Disqualified from working with equines for a period of three years, unless under adult supervision with the right of appeal after two.
#TheList Emily Patricia Payne, who is also known as Emily Farmer, born c. 1985, of Manor Court, Banbury OX16 3JA – neglected two horses in her care
The RSPCA investigated the long-term neglect of a thoroughbred mare named Esp and a failure to meet the needs of a Welsh pony named Ruby.
A specialist equine vet performed a clinical examination of Esp and reported no clinical abnormalities, other than her having a very poor body condition. After being taken into care and given an appropriate diet, the horse’s weight rose from 454kg on August 31 to 482kg by September 12, leading the vet to conclude that the significant rise in body weight over such a short period of time, with no treatment other than dietary change, showed lack of food over several weeks was the cause of Esp’s emaciated state.
Ruby, a chestnut Welsh cross pony mare, was also rescued after being found to have overgrown hooves and untreated laminitis. Radiographs were taken and revealed excessive length of toe and rotation of the pedal bone, with chronic changes evident at the tip of the pedal bones.
The vet concluded that the pony’s needs were not being met due to pain from changes caused by laminitis, which should have been aided by remedial farriery.
Both horses were in a field that was bare with minimal grass, and empty hay troughs and water buckets.
RSPCA inspector Susan Haywood, who investigated for the animal welfare charity, said: “Cases like this are very sad as they could so easily be avoided. We hope it is a reminder that caring for horses is a huge responsibility and highlights the importance of ensuring their welfare.
“Wherever possible we offer advice and assistance to improve animal welfare, including giving people time to make improvements to their standards of care, however, despite advice from ourselves and vets, Payne continued to fail to provide appropriate care.”
Both horses have recovered while in care since they were rescued.
Payne had pleaded not guilty to offences last month but was convicted.
Sentencing: 18-week custodial sentence, suspended for 18 months; ordered to pay total of £1115. Disqualified from keeping equines for five years.
#TheList Phyllis Burns, age unknown, of Rosapenna Walk, Belfast BT14 6GY – failed to seek vet treatment for her pony’s broken leg
Burns was banned from keeping animals for ten years after she was convicted of causing unnecessary suffering to a pony.
The charges under the Welfare of Animals Act (Northern Ireland) 2011 date back to 2015.
Burns’ crimes were uncovered when the Animal Welfare service attended a livery yard on the Colinglen Road in Dunmurry and found a pony suffering from a broken leg.
A vet said the leg appeared to have been broken for some time and the dressing was not the work of a veterinary qualified person.
The vet determined that the animal should have received veterinary treatment long before it was discovered, but unfortunately the pony had never been cared for accordingly. The council contracted vet concluded “it was apparent the pony had been left to suffer for some time with no veterinary attention.”
Sentencing: five-month suspended prison sentence. Ordered to pay costs totalling £600. Banned from keeping or having any involvement with animals for ten years.
#TheList Carl Kawka, born c. 1962, of 19 Channing Court, Rochdale OL16 4QG – for shocking neglect of ten ponies, only two of whom survived
Kawka pleaded guilty to two animal welfare offences.
The court heard how the RSPCA investigated Kawka over concerns about ten horses he had in his care in stables off Duchess Street in Oldham.
Inspector Danni Jennings and officers from World Horse Welfare found eight horses had severely overgrown and deformed hooves which had left them crippled.
Five of the horses were in such a suffering state that an independent vet decided the kindest thing was to put them to sleep.
Three more horses were sent for emergency veterinary treatment, but they were in such poor condition the independent equine vet also decided these needed to be put to sleep to end their suffering.
All the horses were found in a stable block which was piled high with faeces.
The conditions were so bad two horses had to be dug out of the stable as the filth had piled up so high rescuers were unable to open the stable door.
The court heard the horses had not had a farrier to trim their hooves for at least 12 months, when this should take place about every six weeks. This had caused the hooves to grow out of control leaving the horses crippled and struggling to walk.
Inspector Jennnings said: “Because of the filth in the stables it was difficult to see how bad the hooves were but then it soon became apparent when we led them outside.
“This is the worst case of horse neglect I have seen in my 11-year career as an RSPCA inspector.
“The horses were clearly suffering and were crippled, they were struggling to walk, and it was obvious they had not seen the light of day for a long period of time.
“The way they were neglected was horrific – it was a really sad and depressing day for all involved.”
Following lengthy treatment, two of the horses are on the road to recovery; one, called Ronnie, has now been rehomed, and another, Celine, is recovering well and will be due for re-homing soon.
Sentencing: 18-week custodial sentence suspended for 12 months; five-month curfew; total of £515 costs and charges. Banned from keeping all animals for life.
#TheList donkey ride operator Ronald ‘Ronnie’ Wheeler, born c. 1977, of Haydn Road, Liverpool L14 – let his horse die slowly and painfully from poisoning
Ronnie Wheeler admitted three charges of animal neglect at Liverpool Magistrates Court.
Wheeler left his horse Oscar grazing in a field in Fazakerley which contained the poisonous weed ragwort – which is deadly to horses – despite being warned by Liverpool council to remove it.
The RSPCA were called to the field on August 6, 2018, after receiving reports from members of the public who were concerned about the horse’s welfare.
When inspector Joanne MacDonald arrived at the scene with a veterinary surgeon they could see the horse was staggering around and collapsing.
They realised he was blind, was struggling to stand and was unable to swallow.
The vet decided Oscar needed to be put to sleep to end his suffering and a post-mortem examination confirmed he had been poisoned by ragwort after being exposed to it for many weeks or even months.
The vet also described Oscar as having a low body score for his physical condition, and also revealed a significant worm burden.
The court heard two months before, on June 15, the council had sent a letter to Wheeler urging him to remove the weed which in some places had grown to three feet tall.
Inspector MacDonald said: “It was an awful case to deal with as poor Oscar was clearly suffering. He was collapsing and the ragwort had caused his blindness which meant he was walking into things and was clearly in a distressed state.
“To make matters worse Wheeler had been told previously to remove the ragwort by the council but he had failed to do this.
“Responsible horse owners should know ragwort is damaging to the horse’s liver when eaten. The toxic effect builds up over time, causing irreparable damage.”
Sentencing: jailed for 12 weeks; ordered to pay £786 costs and a £115 victim surcharge. Banned from keeping equines for 10 years.