#TheList Andrew John Rooney, born c. 1973, of 26 Mayfield Avenue, Lancaster LA1 2NY – found with two dogs, a cat, a budgie, a hamster and a guinea pig in breach of a 1997 ban on keeping animals.
Serial animal abuser Andrew John Rooney admitted breaching the lifelong disqualification between January 17, 2016, and July 17, 2018, by keeping two dogs, known as Shadow and Max, a cat known as Magic, alongside a bird, hamster and guinea pig.
Rooney pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to one of the dogs, a Labrador, by failing to seek adequate veterinary treatment for her skin condition between February and April 27, 2018.
Sentencing: 14 -week jail term, suspended for two years; rehabilitation activity requirement; 150 hours of unpaid work. Total of £615 costs and charges.
#TheList Kiki Stamatopoulou-Angelitos, born 22/02/1970, most recently of 21 Gomer Gardens, Townhill, Swansea SA1 6QF but may now be living in Greece – on the run after dead and starving pets found in her filthy home
Angelitos was convicted in her absence after magistrates found three charges of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal and three charges of failing to meet the welfare needs of an animal proven. She was due to be sentenced at the end of May 2018 but failed to attend and magistrates issued a warrant for her arrest.
But she has still not been located and a spokeswoman for South Wales Police said arrest enquiries were continuing.
During the hearing, Swansea Magistrates’ Court heard a dead dog was found in the garden of Angelitos’ home in Gomer Gardens, in Townhill, and had been decomposing for two weeks.
A “visibly bony” Malamute dog and several small animals in a bad state, together with six dogs which were kept in one room, were also found in the house.
Sarah Thyer, prosecuting on behalf of Swansea Council , told the court at the time that this was a “distressing case”.
Officers first visited the property on October 6, 2017, after concerns about animal welfare and of the state of the house had been raised. She added: “There was an extremely strong smell of rubbish.
“Rubbish bags were covering the floor to such a large quantity that officers had to walk on this [the rubbish].”
She said there were open bags of dog food as well and that, in the kitchen, the tap was running at full blast.
The “filth” from the floor was washed in with the overflowing water, she continued, and the dogs were drinking from this dirty water. In the first visit, the officer found a room had been barricaded with a large animal crate inside. They weren’t able to see inside clearly as it was dark, she continued, but were able to identify several animal cages and a dog.
A few days later, officers returned to the property and, in the overgrown garden, they found a dog crate in a hole. Inside the crate there was a dog carcass which showed signs of two weeks of decomposition.
She continued: “In one of the bedrooms there was a Malamute which was in a very bad condition.
“The pest warden brought the dog downstairs and it was visibly bony.
“In the same room there were two rabbits which had no access to water. Both rabbits had extremely long claws.
“They were given water and they drank large amounts of it.” The court heard that, in another bedroom, there were six dogs, a gerbil and a hamster, together with some empty cages.
Ms Thyer said Angelitos agreed to surrender a German Shepherd dog in January 2018.
The court heard she had owned the Malamute dog for a year and that she had had the small animals for 18 months.
#TheList Jemma Bishop, born c. 1988, from Newton Abbot, Devon – left a dog and hamster to starve to death in an abandoned property.
Mother-of-four Jemma Bishop admitted two offences of causing unnecessary suffering, contrary to Section 4 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006, when she appeared before magistrates in Plymouth.
RSPCA inspectors were contacted after an emaciated dog and a dead hamster were discovered at a property in Kingsteignton, near Newton Abbot.
Staffordshire bull terrier, Cass, was close to death when he was rescued, with every bone showing, after he’d been left without food or water for more than two weeks.
A hamster, known as Steve, was discovered starved to death in his cage.
Deputy chief inspector Suzy Hannaby said: “These animals were dependent on Bishop and she betrayed their trust by thoughtlessly leaving them to suffer without a care for their welfare.
“She could have handed her animals over to the RSPCA or another animal charity when she was aware she was no longer willing to care for them but instead decided to simply abandon them to die after a period of prolonged suffering.
“It’s a miracle that Cass survived. He was just skin and bones when he was rescued but has since recovered and gained weight.
“The team at RSPCA Little Valley transformed him during his time in their care and found him a loving new home with a great family who are showing him the love and care he deserves.”
Sentencing: jailed for 13 weeks. Disqualified from keeping animals for ten years.
#TheList Lewis Robert Fox, aka Lewis Monroe, born 29/03/1995, of Southsea Avenue, Minster, Kent ME12 2LU – tortured and killed four hamsters and two rats
Father-of-one Lewis Fox killed four hamsters, including three called Beano, Bud and Gizmo, and two rats. He repeatedly threw one defenceless hamster against a wall until she died, strangled another with a phone cable lead and squeezed the life out of a third.
A court heard Fox boasted of setting fire to a fourth hamster after she bit him. The next time his teenage girlfriend, Jessica Bradbrook, saw the animal, her fur was scorched and her toes had been burnt off with a lighter.
Miss Bradbrook had bought the first hamster after she and Fox discussed having a baby together. She wanted to see if he was capable of caring for an animal before trusting him with a child.
But within a week he had killed the rodent because he believed the animal ‘preferred’ her to him.
In March 2016 the scaffolder killed another hamster and sent text messages containing images of her dead body to Miss Bradbrook.
Fox later told police he had no feelings ‘for anything or anyone’, and did not even love his mother.
Fox admitted causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal between January 1, 2015, and November 7, 2016.
He also pleaded guilty to engaging in controlling and coercive behaviour in an intimate relationship between December 30, 2015, and November 25, 2016.
This involved him burning her with a cigarette, holding a knife to her throat, pinning her down on the bed and putting his hands around her neck.
Fox also accused her of cheating while he dated other women, verbally abused her, monitored her social media accounts, told her how to dress and flirted with her friends.
“He spat in her face on many occasions but perhaps most disgustingly of all, she describes how he would pick his nose and then the bloody contents on his finger would be wiped into her hair,” said Mr Wright.
A previous court hearing was told Fox’s mother reported his behaviour to police after the couple broke up in November 2016.
A psychiatric report presented to the court diagnosed Fox with a personality disorder with left him with “callous unconcern” for others and a disregard for social norms and rules.
Jailing Fox, who also suffers from ADHD and has a history of substance abuse, Judge Julian Smith said prison was inevitable for such ‘persistent aggression and cruel behaviour’.
He added the sentence was ‘relatively moderate’ considering the impact of his offending but reflected Fox’s mental health problems.
“It was a relationship in which you quickly became controlling and undermining. You used violence and force upon her, blaming her for the injuries you caused,” he told Fox.
“You were cruel and contemptuous of her in your conduct towards her. It was distressing, it was debilitating in its effect upon her.”
Referring to the pet rodents, Judge Smith continued: “You killed them all, in various ways, each characterised by cruelty.
“It was distressing to Miss Bradbrook. You were cruel to those creatures, you were cruel to your partner.
“It is apparent you struggle to see what you have done wrong, why it is an issue. It’s just what you do.
“It’s not an excuse, it’s a worry. Your persistent aggression and cruel behaviour causes this court and the doctor that interviewed you real concern for the future.”
Fox, who has a fox tattoo on his chest, told his mother and girlfriend from the court dock that he loved them.
The couple met in December 2014 and throughout their relationship Miss Bradbrook suffered bruising from Fox pinning her down, kicking or punching her.
“If he did anything to her he would tell her it was her fault and it was she who would have to apologise. He would then tell her to forget it had ever happened,” said Mr Wright.
The court heard that on her 18th birthday in July 2015, Fox verbally abused Miss Bradbrook, threw her cake on the floor and then kicked her out of his house.
He also ‘borrowed’ £1,580 from a gift of £4,000 given to her by her father which he had saved since she was born. The money was never repaid.
In one violent incident Fox put his hand around her throat while gripping a hamster in his other hand and threatening to kill it.
Describing an occasion when she woke at 4am to find Fox with his hands around her throat, the prosecutor told the court: “She couldn’t breathe and thought she might die. He told her it would be so easy to snap her neck.”
When arrested and interviewed, he claimed he threw one hamster against a wall to kill it because it had suffered a broken leg after dropping it.
“He said the text messages (of another dead hamster) were attention-seeking, to make her feel bad that he couldn’t control her,” added Mr Wright.
“He described it as a ‘f*-up relationship. He continually stated they were just as bad as each other.
“He said he doesn’t have any feelings for anything or anyone. He said he once loved Jessica but now felt nothing, not even love for his own mother.”
Craig Evans, defending, said Fox, who has one previous conviction for a drug offence, had to give up his job because of suicidal and self-harming tendencies.
He added his family had done all they could to support Fox but he had failed to take advantage of the assistance offered by them and various organisations.
Sentencing: 14 months in jail. Banned indefinitely from keeping an animal.
#TheList Raeef Saeed, born c. 1992, of 20 Melrose Road, Sheffield S3 9DN – glued a hamster to a plastic bottle in a ‘crucifixion pose’ for a sick Facebook selfie
In a prosecution case brought by the RSPCA, Saeed pleaded guilty to one offence under the Animal Welfare Act of causing unnecessary suffering to a small rodent by cruelly ill-treating the animal.
RSPCA inspector Jennie Ronksley said: “We got a call from a third party who had seen the ‘selfie’ then it ended up on Facebook and the post identified Saeed.
“I attended his house and he was shown a screenshot of the photo and admitted it was him. He was laughing and smiling – he couldn’t understand what all the fuss was about as he said he hadn’t killed it.
“He claimed the rodent was a wild mouse he’d caught on a glue board – though vets suspect it was in fact a pet Russian dwarf hamster and co-incidentally the defendant had owned a hamster and even showed me the empty cage.
“He said he’d prised the rodent off the glue board with a spoon and washed it under a tap with water during which time it was squealing.
“Glue boards are essentially just boards or trays of plastic, wood or cardboard coated in a extremely strong, immediately holding glue.
“They are horribly cruel and cause enormous suffering to the animals unfortunate enough to get stuck in them. The act of removing the rodent from this would have been horrific for the tiny creature.
“If that wasn’t enough he then stuck the poor animal to the bottle to take the photo before, he said, letting it go in the house somewhere.
“We don’t know what happened to it after that, no body was recovered, but it seems impossible that things ended well.”
Sentencing: 80 hours of unpaid work; costs and charges totalling £285. 12-month disqualification on keeping all animals.
#TheList Aisha Farooq (AKA Aisha Amin), born 17/08/1973, of 20 Maple Close, Stoke-on-Trent – broke a previous ban on keeping animals after being found with two cats, one of whom needed a leg amputating
The RSPCA was contacted in November 2016 by a local police officer who had seen cats at Aisha Farooq’s home address, despite her being convicted of animal welfare offences in 2014 and receiving a lifetime disqualification order on owning animals.
Farooq pleaded guilty to two offences: being in breach of the disqualification order imposed on her in February 2014, and for failing to meet the needs of one of the cats by failing to investigate the cause of an injury.
Farooq was previously banned from keeping animals for life after letting her cats starve to death in her abandoned flea-infested home. The court heard how she allowed five cats and two hamsters to live in filthy conditions at her then address in Spring Road, Normacot, after becoming too poor to care for them. She left the pets behind after being moved into a B&B in Hanley (original newslink – Stoke Sentinel – removed).
RSPCA inspector Charlotte Melvin said: “There were two cats inside the property – a kitten named Whiskers and an adult cat named JJ, who had a terrible injury and was walking with an abnormal limp.
“After examination by a vet, it emerged that JJ had a fractured hip which should have been examined by a vet much earlier. As a result of this, she had to have a leg amputated.
“This could have all been avoided if the disqualification order had not been breached in the first place. The courts hand out disqualification orders for a reason – to protect animals from suffering and neglect at the hands of people who have been convicted of doing so.
“Thankfully, both cats which were removed from Farooq’s property have been rehomed and are now living lovely new lives.
“It is important to reiterate to the public that we rely on them to tell us if someone has breached a ban. We depend on the public to be our eyes and ears and we take breaches of bans very seriously – as do the courts.”
Sentencing: For breaching the ban, magistrates gave Farooq an eight-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months.
Magistrates also imposed on her a 12-week prison sentence, also suspended for 12 months, for failing to meet the needs of the cat with the injury.
Farooq was also ordered to pay £300 in costs.
Her lifetime disqualification order still remains in place.
#TheList Rosalind Cormack, born 28/03/1956 of 12 Wellgarth Walk, Knowle, Bristol BS4 2TA – left 16 pets including cats, rabbits and a dog to starve to death inside her abandoned home
RSPCA inspectors found eight dead pets in Rosalind Cormack’s filthy home – and a further seven had to be put down.
Prosecuting for the RSPCA, Lindi Meyer said RSPCA inspector Kimily Walters went to the property on August 14, 2014.
“She noticed there were flies on the window and a strange smell,” Ms Meyer said.
“The inspector attended again the next day and there was no reply. She returned the following day, on August 16.
“A tortoiseshell cat was at the kitchen window trying to get out. Another cat was at the letterbox, clawing to get out of the property.
“She looked in a black bin outside the property and saw the head of a black cat. Police were called.”
One police officer said: “The stench was unbearable, making it impossible to breathe through my nose.”
There were several bowls of food and water around the cluttered home, which was strewn with animal faeces and corpses.
The tortoiseshell female cat, named Mimi, was trapped in the kitchen as a dead tan collie dog was wedged in the door.
A white kitten was found dead on the stairs, covered in fleas. A white cat was discovered dead in Cormack’s bedroom, and officers also found a dead tan hamster in a filthy cage in a front bedroom and two rabbits dead in their hutch in the garden.
A further dead kitten was discovered in Cormack’s lounge.
In interview, Cormack said the dog had been dead for up to a month, while the rabbits and hamster had died up to four months earlier.
She claimed three of the dead cats had been alive when she left, though admitted they were thin and had fleas.
Tests on the dead animals could not establish a cause of death due to the degree of decomposition, Ms Meyer said.
Inspectors took the eight live cats for treatment and found all were suffering from cat flu, fleas and had behavioural problems.
“All but one had to be euthanised,” Ms Meyer added.
Cormack pleaded guilty to one count of causing unnecessary suffering to Mimi, not providing a suitable environment for a further eight cats, all of whom were alive on discovery, or for three cats which had died.
Sentencing: 12-week custodial sentence, suspended for 12 months. Costs and charges totalling £1,080. Lifetime ban on keeping animals.
#TheList James Neill White, born 08/07/1991, formerly from York but as of April 2020 living at 16 Webster House, Boleyn Road, London N16 8LW – fried a hamster in a drunken prank
Police found the dead Syrian hamster in a frying pan next to a heated oven hob in James White’s flat, but it was unclear whether the animal was dead or alive when it went into the pan.
White, who at the time was studying politics and international relations at the University of York, denied killing the hamster by frying her on February 4, 2013, but admitted animal cruelty.
District judge Roy Anderson heard a post-mortem examination showed the hamster did not die of natural causes, but it was not clear whether she died from being fried or from rough handling minutes before she was put in the pan.
“Quite what happened on that night is still shrouded in a degree of mystery,” he said to White. “You, by your treatment of this small unfortunate rodent, destroyed your good character and earned a criminal conviction.”
Sentencing: 120 hours of unpaid of work in the community; £1,000 costs. Eight-year ban on keeping animals (expires March 2021).