#TheList Peter Quick, born c. 1981, and Vicki Quick, born c. 1979, both of 18 Oakfield Road, Falmouth, Cornwall TR11 2HR – for the starvation and neglect of two dogs and four cats
Peter and Vicki Quick were found guilty of five counts of animal cruelty.
The court was shown photographic evidence of the couple’s cats and dogs, some of whom had visible rib cages and painful skin conditions.
The two dogs, Scooby and Bambi, together with four cats Toulouse, Cookie, Crumble and Dough, have been in the care of the RSPCA pending the sentencing.
The couple do have another cat, Midnight, described by Vicki Quick as her “therapy cat”, who will also be taken away from them, although he did not have any injuries or issues.
The Quicks’ lawyer said that the offences were committed at a time when the couple, who have four children, experienced difficulties in living at the address. He said they had been threatened and advised not to return to the property
It was said that Vicki Quick has a long history of mental health issues including psychosis, depression and agoraphobia.
In sentencing the pair, the judge said: “It was your responsibility to look after those animals and while we have sympathy for your situation, it is clear that you do not have the skills or understanding at this time to prevent suffering to them.
“We do not accept that you could not have noticed they were being starved and dehydrated and that they were in pain and had injuries, body scabs and fleas.”
Sentencing: £300 costs each. 20-year ban on keeping animals. This was suspended for 21 days, during which time the couple have a right to appeal.
#TheList poacher Arron Crighton, born c. 1997, of Kismet Street, Sunderland SR5 2LG – made shocking videos of his dogs brutally killing foxes; posted graphic photos and videos online showing horrific injuries suffered by both dogs and foxes
Arron Crighton admitted offences under the 2001 Animal Welfare Act and 2004 Hunting Act after using his black whippet, Jet, to attack and kill foxes.
Police were alerted to a number of videos made by Crighton, which included footage of a dog fighting with a fox and a person appearing to hold the fox down with their foot.
A second video showed two dogs with their jaws locked around the fox’s neck and body, while a picture was also taken showing Crighton and others holding a dog which had a bloodied fox in his mouth.
After being made aware of the social media posts, police executed a warrant at an address on Kismet Street, Sunderland, and seized a mobile phone belonging to Crighton.
Investigators discovered hundreds of shocking photos and videos showing the attacks and subsequent injuries of the animals saved on the phone.
Asked why he’d initiated the illegal activity in interview, Crighton responded “for sport”. He also claimed that if one dog was injured by the fox, he would “put another dog on”.
PC Peter Baker, of Northumbria Police, said: “The photographs and videos that Arron Crighton made are incredibly distressing and showed a total disregard for the welfare of these animals.
“Crighton took a great deal of satisfaction out of filming this barbaric and criminal activity and then posted the trophy pictures online.
“It is blatantly clear that he cannot be trusted to own an animal and ensure it is adequately protected from pain, suffering, injury and disease. On this occasion, both Crighton’s own dog and the foxes suffered horrific injuries.
“This investigation was launched following information provided to police by a member of the public who saw the videos online and were rightly disgusted by them. I would urge anyone who sees poaching offences and cruelty of this type online to get in touch.
“This case should act as a reminder to all pet owners that anybody who fails to ensure an animal’s welfare is met could face criminal action. We would always ask anybody who witnesses cruelty or an animal in distress to contact the RSPCA direct or call 101.”
Jet– who was frightened but gentle in nature when officers located him– will also be re-homed.
Sentencing: to follow at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court on 24 April 2019.
#TheList Nicola Barnes (also uses the names Serapheena Moon and Claire Kelly), born c. 1975 of Dalrymple Loan, Musselburgh EH21 – failed to treat her flea-ridden pets’ severe skin complaints
Mother-of-three Nicola Barnes, who works as a spiritualist under the name Serapheena Moon, admitted neglecting 18-year-old cat Ash and eight-year-old Staffy dog Arael by failing to get treatment for their conditions.
Sadly Ash was in such a distressed state she had to be put down while Areal was seized from Barnes by the Scottish SPCA.
Neighbours spotted the animals’ condition at Barnes’s former home in Whitecraig Crescent, Musselburgh, and called in Scottish SPCA officers.
SSPCA inspector Stephanie McCrossan said: “I arrived at the property and noted Ash looked extremely malnourished and was trying to eat from an empty crisp packet.
“I offered her some cat meat which she devoured.
“I could see she had four large green infected-looking sores along her side.
“When I assessed Arael, the Staffie, it was clear she had an obvious skin condition and smelled very strongly of yeast. There were open sores on her body and extensive hair loss.
“Both animals were in need of immediate veterinary attention.
“Upon veterinary examination, Ash was given a body score of 2/9 and weighed 3.2kg – a cat of her type should weigh between 4-4.5kg. She had bacterial conjunctivitis of both eyes, as well as a large alopecic area on her chest and flank with scabbing and ulceration. After further examination, she was found to have a heart murmur and was severely anaemic.
“Arael was given a body score of 3/9 and weighed only 13.6kg. There was alopecia and healing scabs on her ears and was evidence of self-trauma and ulceration to the point of bleeding and infected areas with pus were also found.
“Both animals had a severe flea infestation which could clearly be seen in their coat.
“Sadly, Ash’s red blood cell count deteriorated drastically and the veterinary staff made the tough decision to put her to sleep on welfare grounds.
“The suffering Ash and Arael faced was unnecessary and could have been easily avoided with proper diet and vet attention.
“This level of neglect didn’t happen overnight.”
Barnes pleaded guilty to causing two animals unnecessary suffering in May and June 2017.
Her partner and co-accused Allen Smogar, 33, had his not guilty pleas accepted by the Crown.
Barnes’ lawyer Liam Kildare said his client had both pets as a pup and a kitten and the “seasonal” skin conditions would flare up and go away again.
Mr Kildare said that his client had attended a local vets “a number of years ago” but had decided to treat the skin complaints herself using Aloe Vera cream and coconut oil.
The brief added: “She accepts not seeking secondary advice. And she attributes some of the cat’s skin conditions to old age and she used various skin products [on the cat].”
“This is not a case where Miss Barnes did nothing. She did love these animals very much.
Sentencing: fined £360 and banned from owning any animal for two 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 Craig Benton, born 07/10/1985, and Leighann Rowe, born 11/10/1988, both of 1 Jesmond Close, Cannock WS12 0JR – neglected and starved two dogs and two cats
The court heard how the RSPCA were called to investigate after receiving a report that pets at the couple’s property were being neglected.
Inspector Nicola Johnson was sent to investigate and found an Inuit-type dog named Maya, who was described as a “walking skeleton”.
A veterinary examination later revealed she was at least 70 per cent underweight.
A labrador dog, Charlie, was also in the property but appeared to be in good bodily condition , but the home environment all the pets were kept in was said to be unsuitable.
Cats Mischa, and Beauty were also found to be severely underweight and had an untreated flea condition.
Inspector Johnson said: “Maya appeared to be a walking skeleton with fur on and it was lucky she was found when she was as she was so thin.
“The two cats were also extremely underweight and after they were taken into out care both put about 1.5 kilos to get to their expected weight.
“What I find so annoying about this case is there was plenty of pet food in the house. It just seems they were too lazy to feed the animals and they were left to get into this state.
“The labrador appeared in good bodily condition and it is believed he ate the food that was put down for the others as they were unsupervised.
“There is never an excuse not to feed pets – especially when there is food in the home and the extent of their weight loss would be so obvious.”
All the pets have since recovered and have been re-homed by the RSPCA.
In mitigation, the court was told that the couple said they didn’t realise that Charlie was probably eating the food left out for the other animals as they were fed in the same room unsupervised.
Sentencing: Benton was fined £500 and a £30 victim surcharge while Rowe was fined £120 and a £30 victim surcharge. The pair were also ordered to each pay £250 costs. Banned from keeping cats and dogs for five years.
#TheList Rebecca Dawn McHugh, born 08/11/1981 of Boulevard, Hull HU3 – left animals to starve to death in her abandoned pet shop
Rebecca ‘Becky’ McHugh has been disqualified from keeping caged exotics, rabbits, reptiles, guinea pigs and caged birds for life, after a prosecution case brought by the RSPCA.
In January 2018, McHugh was convicted in her absence of four offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and a warrant was issued for her arrest.
The RSPCA was called to Hull Pets and Garden on Beverley Road in June 2018, almost five months after the shop closed.
RSPCA inspector Jilly Dickinson said: “The shop closed down in January, and I attended in June after energy suppliers entered to switch off the supply and found the exotics – it appears they had simply been left behind after the shutters had gone down for the final time.
“Five animals were alive, but only three of these – a corn snake and two bearded dragons – survived.
“The bearded dragons were underweight, and one of them had a horrendous burden of mites, leaving them unable to open their eyes, lethargic, anaemic and dehydrated.
“There was an underweight leopard gecko with long standing metabolic bone disease and subsequent current and historic fractures, and eye problems which were untreatable – meaning that they unfortunately had to be put to sleep.
“A Tegu lizard was described by the vet as being in the worst condition he had ever seen – completely emaciated, dehydrated and lethargic. The Tegu unfortunately didn’t pull through and died not long after coming into our care.”
The surviving animals were signed over to the RSPCA and have now been rehomed.
Sentencing: two-year community order including 250 hours of unpaid work; total of £385 costs and charges. Disqualified for life from keeping caged exotics, rabbits, reptiles, guinea pigs and caged birds.
#TheList Mia Beth Connor, born 21/12/97, formerly of Rockhampton Avenue, East Kilbride, and now of Greenfaulds Crescent, Cumbernauld G67 2PJ – for shocking neglect of cats, dogs and lizards
An investigation by the Scottish SPCA found that single mother-of-one Mia Connor had kept her animals in atrocious conditions and deprived them of food and water.
By the time the SSPCA attended Connor’s then property in Westwood, East Kilbride, a bearded dragon and gecko had already died a slow and miserable death. Their decomposed and dessicated bodies were found in an unlit and unheated vivarium. A surviving dragon named Cheech was found to be suffering severe dehydration and hypothermia.
Connor had failed to feed other pets properly, including cats Nemo and MJ, a collie named Luka and a Presa Canario cross called Hulk. Luka especially was very underweight
SSPCA inspector Jack Marshall described being met with “an overpowering smell of faeces and urine” as he entered Connor’s property which was strewn with rubbish and faeces.
Inspector Marshall continued: “Hulk was contained in a bedroom upstairs and when I entered, he was desperate to get out of the room. He was also in a very lean body condition. This room had an overwhelming stench of excrement and urine.
“The animals were transported immediately to the vet and upon examination all were found to be emaciated and dehydrated. Both dogs were given a body score of 2/5. Hulk had a very marked and generalised skin disease which appeared to have had very little treatment. Luka’s coat was in very poor condition and smelled strongly of urine.
“Both cats had evidence of flea infestation.
“Veterinary examination found this to be marked neglect over an extended period of time, for all of the animals, comprising deprivation of the most basic requirements for life, namely food and water. The timescale involved can’t be given precisely but would be expected to be over several weeks.
“Failing to provide for these animals clearly resulted in an unacceptable degree of unnecessary suffering and stress to all the animals involved.”
Connor pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to the animals but was let off with a paltry fine and a five-year ban on keeping animals.
Sentencing: £600 fine. Banned from keeping animals for just five years.
#TheList Langley Beck, born c. 1963, or Bell Lane, Boxley, Maidstone, Kent ME14 39G – kept seven dogs and three ducks without water inside his home
Reclusive Langley Beck is said to own 80 acres of property but kept dogs in rooms with surfaces and furniture covered in excrement. Three ducks were found in a ‘hot’ caravan where all the doors and windows were closed. It is believed they had been left without water for 12 hours and had to be euthanised.
Beck, who is believed to live alone at the bleak property in Boxley, is the last member of the area’s oldest farming family.
Medway Magistrates Court heard police and an RSPCA investigator visited his home in July 2017.
RSPCA head investigator Ellie Burtcor entered one portacabin containing four dogs and said her eyes began to water from the stench.
She said: ‘It was absolutely disgusting, my eyes were watering with the urine smell that was coming from there.
‘There was an overwhelming smell of faeces and it was very damp and stagnant.
‘There were piles of faeces everywhere, faeces scraped along the floor, rubbish boxes, there were broken china ornaments.
‘Just everything that was completely unsuitable for a dog to be running around in.’
Giving evidence, Beck said the dogs had all been fed and given water that day and he would have been able to tend to the ducks if he hadn’t been occupied with the police arriving.
When asked about his routine of cleaning the areas the dogs lived in, he remained silent.
Despite the conditions, a vet who inspected the dogs said they were healthy.
A post mortem examination of the ducks concluded that they had gone at least 12 hours without water.
One was in such a bad state it was immediately put down while the other two were euthanised later.
Beck says his family have lived in Boxley for more than 100 years, making them the longest running residents of the village.
Sentencing: 20 days of rehabilitation activities, 100 hours of unpaid work; £1,800 in costs plus an £85 victim surcharge. Banned from keeping animals for life.
#TheList Keith Lewis, born c. 1948, of York Road, Barlby, North Yorkshire YO8 – a serial abuser with three separate convictions for neglect involving dozens of animals including dogs, rabbits, ferrets and birds
In the latest prosecution case against him serial abuser Keith Lewis admitted causing unnecessary suffering to a collie dog named Meg
The RSPCA attended Lewis’s property on 13 December 2018, along with police after a call from a member of the public and found Meg tethered to a pipe with a chain inside a dark and muddy shed.
RSPCA inspector Claire Mitchell said: “The chain and tether were absolutely filthy, caked in mud and faeces.
“You could see that whatever Meg had around her neck was really tight and there was an obvious smell of infection coming from her.
“On closer inspection it became clear that it was in fact bailer twine and she needed urgent veterinary attention.”
Meg was seized by police and taken to a vets who found the area around her neck was matted with pus.
The twine – which had been wrapped around her neck multiple times – was embedded in her skin and muscle and infected, and when the vet cut it off she found a wound all the way around her neck.
Meg’s temperature was high – most likely as a result of the infection – and her lower body was matted with dirt and faeces.
She was operated on to clip and clean the wound and stitch it up and hospitalised for five days.
Veterinary evidence suggested that Meg had suffered for at least two weeks.
Inspector Mitchell said: “This is the worst tethering injury I’ve ever seen in a dog. It was absolutely terrible and she suffered a great deal.
“The RSPCA does not agree with tethering dogs for long periods as it can cause distress and restrict natural behaviours but this in itself is not illegal providing that their needs are being met.”
Meg was signed over shortly afterward coming into RSPCA care and has been rehomed.
In mitigation the court heard that Lewis had pleaded guilty, that Meg had been moved to the shed following complaints about her continuously howling where she had been previously tethered near to a public footpath, that he had animals all his life and a disqualification would have a real impact on him.
However, the court remarked that he had previous animal cruelty convictions which were an aggravating factor.
Lewis was first prosecuted in 2016 when York magistrates heard how he kept 60 animals living in filthy, squalid and cramped conditions in former agricultural buildings in Barlby.
On that occasion he admitted neglect offences in relations to about 30 of the animals, mostly poultry and rabbits, and was banned from keeping caged animals for 10 years and ordered to do a 12-week curfew.
Lewis was again taken to court and this time admitted breaching the 10-year animal ban, and failure to care for animals.
He received a second 10-year animal ban, preventing him having animals kept in cages.
But in December 2018, the RSPCA found Meg with the untreated wound round her neck.
At each of his three hearings, he claimed through his solicitors that the animals belonged to his son, claims that are not accepted by the RSPCA.
Sentencing (February 2019): 24-week prison sentence, suspended for two years; total of £415 costs and charges. Banned indefinitely from owning or having any part in the care of any animal of any species. A deprivation order was placed on any other animals in his care, including a number of dogs, cats, poultry, sheep, cows and pigs.