Category Archives: Reptiles

Cruelty to snakes, bearded dragons, chameleons, tortoises, other reptiles

Basildon. Essex: Lee Thompson

#TheList Lee Thompson, aged 36. of King Edward Terrace, High Road, Laindon, Basildon, Essex SS5 – kept more than 50 exotic animals in appalling conditions; 17 animals died

Lee Thompson from Basildon Essex, who is known as 'Snake', kept cobras, copperheads, pythons and a Madagascar giant hognose in appalling conditions in a bedroom.
Lee Thompson, who is known as ‘Snake’, kept cobras, copperheads, pythons and a Madagascar giant hognose in appalling conditions in a bedroom.

Thompson was charged with two counts of breaching a ban on keeping a dangerous wild animal, two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal, and two counts of keeping a dangerous wild animal without a licence.

In November 2015 officers attended a unit Thompson rented in Cranes Farm Road, Basildon, where they found 45 exotic animals in a very poor condition.

These were 35 different species of snake, one Nile lizard, seven species of spider, one bullfrog and one snapping turtle.

In January 2018 officers searched a bedroom Thompson rented in a house in Burdett Avenue, Westcliff, and found a 4ft long spectacled Caiman in a makeshift pen.

There were also 23 snakes and a fat-tail scorpion. Seven of the snakes had died and been left to decompose.

Thompson had previously been convicted of keeping dangerous wild animals without a licence in 2009 and was banned from keeping them for ten years.

An Essex Police spokesman said: “Thompson kept wild animals in appalling conditions, ultimately causing 17 to die. Not only did he keep them without a licence but showed no care for their wellbeing or their survival.

“He then twice attempted to evade justice.

“We want to thank the RSPCA, particularly RSPCA inspector Rebecca Benson, for their assistance in helping to ensure the remaining animals were appropriately cared for.”

Echo News
ITV News

 

Denton Burn, Newcastle upon Tyne: Richard Curtis and Claire Fradgley

#TheList Richard Curtis and Claire Fradgley, both aged 36, of Loweswater Road, Denton Burn, Newcastle upon Tyne NE5 2SN – starved a boa constrictor snake to death

Claire Fradgley and Richard Curtis from Newcastle starved a boa constrictor to death
An RSPCA inspector found the dead snake in a cold tank at the rented home of Richard Curtis and Claire Fradgley.

A post-mortem revealed starvation was the only possible cause of death.

Speaking about the case RSPCA inspector Kirsty Keogh-Laws said: “Curtis and Fradgley admitted that they knew the snake was thin but they didn’t do anything about it.”

“This snake suffered and died as a result.”

The couple initially denied any wrongdoing, despite the charity claiming they had caused the reptile to suffer needlessly for more than two months last winter.

But just before their trial at Newcastle Magistrates’ Court was due to start, they both entered guilty pleas to four charges.

The pair admitted causing unnecessary suffering to the animal, along with failing to ensure the snake’s welfare.

They were caught when the landlord of their old Newburn Road property in Newcastle found the unnamed snake.

The attending RSPCA officer discovered the vivarium in which the snake was found didn’t even have a heat lamp.

Magistrates have now banned the pair, who are parents to three boys, from keeping reptiles again.

Sentencing: 
Curtis: a total of £865 fines and costs
Fradgley: a total of £700 fines and costs
Both banned for life from keeping reptiles

Chronicle

Motherwell, North Lanarkshire: Keith Ross

#TheList Keith Ross, Highfield Crescent, Motherwell –  kept reptiles, including king cobra, rattlesnake and vipers, in his one-bedroom flat in appalling conditions.

Animal abuser and sexual deviant Keith Ross from Motherwell
Animal abuser and sexual deviant Keith Ross from Motherwell

Ross admitted animal neglect after keeping the creatures in his small apartment for six years.

Ross previously ran ‘Keith’s Reptile Parties’ where he charged £80 per hour for attending children’s events with a number of his animals, including the lizards and snakes.

Ross also had turtles, a polecat and a hawk at his flat.

Emma Ditch, Slough

#TheList Emma Ditch, of 56 Aylesbury Crescent, Slough SL1 3ES – neglected a dog, degus and a snake

silhouette of a woman - abuser photo wanted

Ditch was found guilty of not meeting the needs of and not keeping safe from injury a German Shepherd named Champ, two degus and a snake.

Following a complaint about incessant barking, council officers rescued the animals, which were all at risk of injury.

All of the animals were re-homed.ba

Sentence: £525 in costs. Banned from keeping rodents and reptiles for just two years (expires April 2019).

Newslink
Slough Express

Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire: Emma Clark

#TheList Emma Louise Clark (also known as Emma Lounds or Emma Anderson), originally of St Peters Walk, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire,  and more recently at A1 Deerfield Road, March, Cambridgeshire PE15 9AH – starved three dogs, two cats, two rabbits, a pair of snakes and a lizard to death over a period of nearly four months

Emma Clark/Lounds, now of March, Cambridgeshire, left ten animals to starve to death
Emma Clark/Lounds, now of March, Cambridgeshire, left ten animals to starve to death

Clark’s pets included a German Shepherd called Beast, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier named Tyson and a Mexican hairless dog called Stanley. She also had a cat called Mittens, a kitten called Lucy and a leopard gecko called Leonard. Clark also had a boa constrictor and a corn snake as well as two domestic rabbits.

Emma Clark/Lounds, now of March, Cambridgeshire, left ten animals to starve to death
A sad end for beautiful loyal dog Beast thanks to his owner Emma Clark/Lounds
Emma Clark/Lounds, now of March, Cambridgeshire, left ten animals to starve to death
Another victim of Emma Clark’s cruelty: one of the two cats left to starve to death.

All of them died as a result of the neglect they suffered.

RSPCA officers had made numerous visits to the house between 1 November 2014 and 22 February 2015, but each time they were told by Clark all the animals had been re-homed.

When they were eventually discovered in March it is thought many of the creatures had been dead for months.

RSPCA officials said it was one of the worst cases of animal neglect they had ever seen, and totally avoidable.

Sheona Morley, from the charity, said: “In my 20 years, this is the most horrific case I’ve ever been to – it is also the saddest.

“It was absolute horror to see all those animals had died from starvation, left in their cages with no access to food or water.”

Magistrates told Clark her animals were effectively locked up and starved to death.

Sentence: 18 weeks in custody and banned from keeping animals for life.

BBC News
Daily Mail

Hartlepool, County Durham: Daniel Winspear

Daniel ‘Winnie’ Winspear (DoB 18/11/1990) of Arncliffe Gardens, Hartlepool TS26 9JF – smashed a tortoise to pieces with a baseball bat

Convicted animal abuser Daniel Winspear of Hartlepool
Cruel: A drunken Winspear smashed a tortoise to bits with a baseball bat

Drunken Daniel Winspear, who was aged 18 at date of conviction, carried out the attack on the defenceless creature – which is a protected species – at a house party.

Winspear was found in the conservatory in the early hours of May 23, 2008, with the bat in his hand and the dismembered tortoise next to him.

An RSPCA statement said: “This was an act of gruesome, sadistic cruelty and the magistrates sentence, including the disqualification, reflected not only the magistrates’ disapproval but society’s disapproval of such acts.”

Winspear had been invited to the party by a cousin who was already there. But on arrival he was “very drunk.”

John Ellwood, prosecuting for the RSPCA, said: “While at the house he took a small baseball bat and smashed a tortoise to death.”

The teenager who lived at the house then came into the conservatory and saw “the mess everywhere” and asked what had happened.

Mr Ellwood added: “Mr Winspear appeared to have the baseball bat in his hand and was smiling and accused one of the other boys of having done it.

“On further inquiries he admitted he had done it and was told to leave.

“The young man and his friends tried to clean up the mess and put the tortoise in the bin.

“Unfortunately they kept finding bits of the tortoise splattered about the conservatory and the smell was truly grim.”

The pet’s owners rushed back from their holiday in Blackpool after hearing about the sickening act, and they immediately called the RSPCA.

A vet from the charity said the tortoise had not died instantly but “suffered between the repetitive blows.”

In interview with RSPCA inspectors, Winspear said he was too drunk to remember doing it.

The chairman of the magistrates’ bench, Katie Brown, said: “The photos we saw made sickening viewing and you really should have faced up to what you did.

“You committed this while under the influence of alcohol which is indicative of the perils of alcohol abuse.”

Winspear was allowed to appeal against the ban on looking after animals after five years.

Sentence: 18-month community order with 250 hours of unpaid work; costs of £1,652.71 to cover RSPCA, vet and solicitor bills; banned from keeping animals for 10 years (expires March 2019).

Hartlepool Mail