Prosecutions: Latvian nationals Inga Ozola, aged 43, and partner Arunas Venslovas, 50, both of 12 Seven Stars Road, Leyland PR25 1AL – charged with animal cruelty after a severely injured puppy is found buried alive in a field
Spencer, a nine-week-old Pomeranian puppy, had suffered two fractured limbs before he was buried, and later had to be put to sleep, Preston Magistrates’ Court was told.
Inga Ozola denies causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal between April 24 and 27, 2019, by burying the animal while he was still alive.
Ozola and her partner, Arunas Venslovas both deny failing to ensure Spencer received appropriate veterinary care for his injuries.
The trial of the Latvian couple, who were assisted by interpreters throughout the proceedings, was due to start on Thursday 23 January 2020, but Venslovas applied to delay the case as he had attended without representation.
He has since obtained legal aid but further arrangements need to be made.
Prosecuting on behalf of the RSPCA, Carmel Wilde accepted it was potentially an imprisonable matter, but indicated he should have done something about it sooner.
However the bench agreed to the adjournment and the case will now take place on April 27 and 28, 2020. A case management hearing will take place on February 25, 2020.
#TheList Ben Braham, born c. 1991, of Hampden Avenue, Thame OX9 2DT and Emma Hendy, born c. 1982, of Angus Court, Thame OX9 – failed to get veterinary treatment for their Shar Pei’s painful eye condition
The court heard how the dog, named Flake, had been found ‘as a stray’ on May, 4 2018, more than six months after Braham had taken him to the vet to be diagnosed with entropion, a condition in which the eyelid rolls inward against the eyeball.
On this first trip to the vet, on October 17, 2017, Braham had been told to bring the dog back within a week for surgery but never did so. Instead he left him at Emma Hendy’s house, allowing the problem to fester and risking potential blindness.
The court heard how Braham had bought Flake as a puppy for £400 for Hendy and her children.
He bought him a cage and a lead and arranged vaccinations before he was scared off and severed contact with the family.
Despite this, he remained responsible for the pet and therefore had a duty to look after his welfare.
In her own trial Hendy claimed she had frequently urged Braham to take Flake to the vet and, when she did so herself, was told only the owner could arrange treatment.
Sentencing Braham – total of £430 fines, costs and charges. The RSPCA had urged the court to impose a ban on him owning dogs in future but this was refused, meaning he will be able to continue living with another dog at home. Hendy – fined £640 including court costs and a victim surcharge. No ban.
#TheList sexual deviant Bryan Mills, aged 46 at date of offence, of 28 Argyle Square, Sunderland SR2 7BS – caught with 71 images showing humans engaged in sexual activity with snakes, pigs, dogs and horses
Animal sex images which “defy belief” were found on computer equipment belonging to Bryan Mills.
Mills had downloaded the sick bestiality stash featuring humans engaged in sexual activity with snakes, pigs, dogs and horses.
A court heard he was caught with 71 still and moving images of extreme pornography when police went to his home in Sunderland.
The 46-year-old has been spared prison but was warned about the damage such offences cause.
Judge Tim Gittins, at Newcastle Crown Court, told him: “What you must appreciate, and you don’t appear at this stage to appreciate, is although this involved adults and appears to be adults, on occasions, volunteering in this activity, the items are illegal and do untold damage, not just to the animals but to those you erroneously believe are volunteering.
“Very often adults are coerced into doing what they are doing and the images themselves give no indication of the dreadful situation they find themselves in or the damage of them knowing the images are available for viewing.
“It perpetuates the damage that people like you download and retain them.”
Mills pleaded guilty to possessing extreme pornography and was sentenced to a two year community order.
Sometime after 3pm on Monday 16 July 2018 an 11-month-old pug named Pixie went missing from an address in Park Avenue, Baxter Park, Dundee. Pixie’s owner, Kelly, had gone out to do some shopping, leaving the tiny dog alone in the company of her male flatmate, whom we shall call ‘AA’ for now for legal reasons. Kelly had known this man for several years and he had given her no reason to distrust him.
When Kelly left, Pixie was sleeping contentedly and she told AA not to take her out. She was alarmed on her return a short while later therefore to find the flat empty and Pixie gone. As time passed with no word from AA, Kelly became increasingly anxious. As she didn’t have AA’s new mobile number she asked a friend to call him. The friend spoke briefly with AA who was described as angry, screaming down the phone that he would “speak to Kelly later”.
In a state of panic Kelly rushed over to the nearby park and asked dog walkers if they’d seen AA or Pixie but no one had. She returned to the flat and waited anxiously.
When AA finally returned home at 7:30 pm he was alone and there was no sign of Pixie. When Kelly asked him where the dog was, AA shouted “lost!” in a manner that was more irritated than concerned. He said that Pixie had run off in Baxter Park at 4pm and he’d been unable to find her. He then told Kelly, somewhat bizarrely, that he was “away to jail” but didn’t elaborate on what he meant and left in a taxi to go to a girlfriend’s house. Kelly texted AA the following morning to tell him he was no longer welcome at the flat. His response: “I’ve already moved out lol”
AA returned two days later while Kelly was out to collect his things and left for good.
In the following days Kelly posted a number of desperate appeals on Facebook. Her posts were shared extensively in the local area, the charity DogLost got involved, and multiple reports of sightings from pedestrians and motorists started to come in. The news wasn’t encouraging, however, with witnesses reporting seeing a man resembling AA carrying a pug-type dog that appeared to be lifeless.
One pedestrian recalled seeing the man holding a dog in his arms.
She said: “The dog was very still and I thought that was strange as a dog wouldn’t usually allow itself to be held like that without moving at all.
“He avoided passing close to me on his way towards the city centre – probably because I watching him. It was very clearly a pug and in retrospect, it seemed utterly lifeless.
“The man appeared red and flustered. I wish I had stopped him and asked if the dog was okay.”
Another witness – a young girl – said she had seen a man in Baxter Park pick up a pug by the neck and punch her in the face. The girl had been too afraid to challenge him.
These sightings took place as late as 7pm on the evening of Monday 16 July – 3 hours after AA said that Pixie had disappeared.
Police Scotland were contacted and on 27 July they issued an appeal for information through the local newspaper and social media. Their statement read:
“There have been numerous sightings of what appeared to be a man carrying a small dog resembling Pixie in the Stobswell and Waterfront areas in the following few hours.
“The dog appeared to be lifeless or ill, and the man was described as in his mid 30s-40, tall, large build, and wearing a red t-shirt and blue shorts, possibly with stripes down the side.
“He was last seen shortly before 6pm near the bottom of Crichton Street. These sightings have been confirmed on CCTV.
“We have already received a large amount of relevant information from the public regarding this incident and are currently following a positive line of enquiry.
“We have also attempted to contact a number of witnesses who have been identified to us, but have not been able to get in touch with them.
“We would therefore like to ask anyone who has information about this incident who we have not already spoken to, to contact us – in particular if you saw the described man in the area of Baxter Park, Arbroath Road, Blackscroft, Dock Street, the Tay Bridge, Slessor Gardens or Crichton Street, between 3pm and 7pm on Monday 16th.
“We are also very interested in a report given to us regarding a man being seen possibly mistreating a dog in Baxter Park around that time.
“Anyone with any information should contact Police Scotland on 101, quoting CR/17475/18 or speak to any police officers.
“Alternatively if you have any information about the incident you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers 100% anonymously on 0800 555 111 or via their Anonymous Online Form at crimestoppers-uk.org.”
In the meantime, Kelly and her friends formed the Facebook group Justice for Pixie with the aim of spreading awareness about the case.
While retaining a tiny glimmer of hope that she may find out what happened to her beloved pet dog, who is almost certainly deceased, Kelly is struggling to come to terms with her loss. A vulnerable woman with long-standing mental health issues, the likely death of her sweet-natured little pug at the hands of a man she trusted has been devastating for her wellbeing.
At the same time Kelly is determined that justice will be served. Sadly, as it stands, legal justice may be elusive. AA has been charged with theft. There is no proof that he harmed Pixie.
CCTV footage captures AA making his way towards the city quay with Pixie and returning moments later without her. Whilst this suggests he dumped her in the River Tay, it’s not conclusive and may not be sufficient to secure a conviction for animal cruelty.
In the meantime heartless AA seems to be getting on with his life just fine. Although there are rumours that he’s been beaten up several times (and is receiving police protection as a consequence), AA still posts on Facebook as if nothing has happened. Whether its about a new council house or potential job or just pathetic jokes about his ridiculous nickname ‘Cider’ (he’s a raging alcoholic as well apparently) it’s all good in AA’s twisted little world. A friend of his named Bob Ramsay even posted this recent photograph publicly to Facebook of the two of them together in a pub.
What’s that saying about a picture speaking a thousand words? Not much evidence of remorse in that photograph, is there? Or even a shred of basic decency.
AA – whom it has since come to light is a violent criminal with a conviction for attempted murder after attacking a mother and her son with a knife in 2010 – is gloating. This man is dangerous and needs to be put back in jail where he belongs.
Please join the Justice for Pixie group to follow developments in this distressing case.
Prosecutions: Courtney Layton, 19, of Samuel Street, Stockton and boyfriend Ian Tait, 45, of Dover Road, Stockton – accused of failing to meet the needs of horses.
Layton and Tait were both at Teesside Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday 7/8/18.
Layton is charged with causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal – a black gelding and a black stallion – by failing to address the causes of poor bodily condition and weight loss. She is also accused of failing to meet the needs of a black gelding called Blaze and a black stallion called Little Man.
Layton and Tait, of Dover Road, Stockton, are both charged with failing to meet the needs of a piebald pony called Dinky and a piebald horse called Harley.
The charges were brought by the RSPCA.
The case was adjourned until August 21, Tait and Layton were granted unconditional bail.
It shows a worker swinging tiny piglets by a back leg and smashing their head against the wall – one continues to kick for at least 10 seconds. In addition, according to Animal Equality, it features ‘piglets screaming in agony as the tips of their tiny teeth are clipped off without pain relief, terrified pigs being shocked repeatedly with an electric prod to force them onto the slaughter truck, and a tiny piglet frothing at the mouth, having been thrown onto a pile of dead piglets and left for dead hours earlier’.
Veterinary expert Professor Andrew Knight from the University of Winchester’s Centre for Animal Welfare viewed the footage and confirmed that it showed ‘inhumane handling and killing of piglets’ as well as ‘excessive and inappropriate use of an electric prod likely to cause pain and fear’.