#TheList career criminal and gang member Joshua Wanless, born c. 1990, of Pankhurst Road, Walton-on-Thames KT12 – encouraged a dog to kill a ferret for his own sadistic enjoyment
Joshua Wanless, who has previous convictions for violence, pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal, a ferret, by feeding it to a dog and causing it to die, and causing unnecessary suffering to a dog by encouraging the dog to attack a ferret.
On January 30, 2019, officers were called to Apple Court Green in Walton after a report that Wanless had forced a dog into a cage with a ferret to kill it.
Officers arrived as Wanless drove into an adjacent road, where they searched his car. In the boot they found a box with a live ferret, a cage covered in blood and a dog with blood on its nose. On the green they also found the ferret that had been killed by the dog minutes beforehand.
Wildlife & Rural Crime Co-ordinator PC Hollie Iribar who investigated the case alongside PC Josh Parry, said: “This is an abhorrent crime which involved Joshua Wanless antagonising a dog to kill a ferret for no other reason than his own enjoyment.
“He denied the offences at the time and told officers at the scene that the ferret had escaped from its box and been killed by accident, but subsequent investigation of his mobile phone revealed text messages stating his cruel intention beforehand.
“Using dogs to commit crimes in this way is disgusting. We know that crimes such as organised dog fighting are linked to serious criminal networks where it is sadly viewed as a sport. Bringing offenders to justice for such barbaric activity is just another way we can disrupt organised criminals from committing other kinds of serious crime.”
Wanless, whom Walton locals say has killed a dog and may also be responsible for air rifle attacks on cats in the area, also pleaded guilty to two breaches of his Criminal Behaviour Order. The breaches are that he caused alarm or distress to another member of the public and entered an area he was not allowed in.
Sentencing: 16-week custodial sentence, suspended for two years; 180 hours of unpaid work; costs and charges totalling £200. Banned from owning or keeping all animals for two years.