Category Archives: rats

Meir, Stoke-on-Trent: Natalie Keenan and David Knight

#TheList Natalie Keenan, born c. 1989, and David Knight, born c. 1977, both of Sandon Old Road, Meir, Stoke-on-Trent ST3 – kept 23 pets – including a barn owl, a fox and a raccoon dog – inside a smelly and flea-ridden house of horrors

David Knight and Natalie Keenan of Meir, Stoke kept 23 pets - including owl, fox and raccoon dog - inside 'smelly and flea-ridden' house of horrors

David Knight pleaded guilty to five charges related to animal cruelty, while Natalie Keenan admitted four offences under the Animal Welfare Act.

The pair’s mini-zoo was discovered by chance when a utility company official went round to the Meir home to execute a warrant as they hadn’t paid their gas bill.

He alerted the RSPCA, who were confronted by the stench of neglect, with piles of dog poo in the kitchen, rotting chickens in a snake tank and animals covered in fleas.

David Knight and Natalie Keenan of Meir, Stoke kept 23 pets - including owl, fox and raccoon dog - inside 'smelly and flea-ridden' house of horrors

Other creatures – from pets to exotics to wild animals – were being kept in tiny filthy cages, with barely enough room to move and without ready access to water.

A raccoon dog kept in a foul cage by Natalie Keenan and David Knight from Meir, Stoke

One terrier-type dog, called Lexi, was in such a poor condition that she had to be put to sleep.

Hazel Stevens, prosecuting on behalf of the RSPCA, said Lexi was experiencing ‘significant suffering’. She was virtually blind, emaciated with protruding bones, had little fur and an infected tumour that was hidden underneath a ‘foul-smelling mess’.

The dog was found curled up on a pile of dirty nappies and had to be carried out of the house as she couldn’t walk.

The couple also had:

  • another dog, Mocha the French bulldog
  • a cat called Gizzy, who both had skin and flea problems;
  • a barn owl caged up in a bedroom
  • a fox living in a cage in another room;
  • a racoon dog
  • a rat
  • a bearded dragon
  • five snakes
  • eight degus;
  • and an African grey parrot called Charlie.
David Knight and Natalie Keenan of Meir, Stoke kept 23 pets - including owl, fox and raccoon dog - inside 'smelly and flea-ridden' house of horrors
Lexi was in such poor condition she had to be put to sleep

RSPCA Inspector Charlotte Melvin said: “When I arrived at the property the couple wouldn’t let me inside so I waited outside for over two hours until police arrived.

“During that time the family carried bin bag after bin bag of rubbish out of the house.

“When I finally went inside it wasn’t what I was expecting at all. Even though they’d been clearing out for two hours it was still absolutely filthy and the animals were being kept in horrifying conditions.

“There was cage after cage and animal after animal. The rooms were strewn with rubbish, all of the animals’ accommodation was filthy and their welfare needs were clearly not being met.

“It was disgusting and it was mass-scale neglect.”

The other animals remain in RSPCA care and can now be rehomed or moved to suitable keepers.

“Many of these animals simply shouldn’t be kept as pets let alone kept like this,” Inspector Melvin added.

“To see these poor animals living in such squalor was heartbreaking. I’m just glad they can all now have a second chance at find loving new homes where their needs will be properly catered to.”

Sentencing: 12-month community order including a 30-hour rehabilitation requirement. Total of £235 each in costs and charges.  Both were disqualified from keeping animals for three years.

Stoke Sentinel
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Minster, Thanet, Kent: Lewis Fox

#TheList Lewis Robert Fox, born 29/03/1995, of Southsea Avenue, Minster, Kent ME12 2LU – tortured and killed four hamsters and two rats

Lewis Fox of Minster, Kent, UK, tortured and killed hamsters to torment his girlfriend

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.

Lewis Fox of Minster, Kent, UK, tortured and killed hamsters to torment his girlfriend

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.

Lewis Fox of Minster, Kent, UK, tortured and killed hamsters to torment his girlfriend
Fox has a distinctive tattoo of a fox on his chest.

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.”

Lewis Fox of Minster, Kent, UK, tortured and killed hamsters to torment his girlfriend

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.

KentLive

Kingston Upon Hull: Suzanna Falconer and Raymond Spires

#TheList Suzanna Falconer, born 1973, and Raymond Spires, born c. 1990, of Albert Avenue, West Hull HU3, for neglecting banned breed dog; dog put to sleep on BSL grounds; Falconer in breach of animal ban for starving 13 pet rats to death.

Photo shows Suzanna Falconer, Raymond Spires and their neglected pitbull Tia, who was put to sleep after being found to be a banned breed.
Suzanna Falconer, Raymond Spires and their neglected pitbull Tia, who was put to sleep after being found to be a banned breed.

Tia had to be put to sleep after RSPCA inspectors found her at the home where Suzanna Falconer lived with her partner Raymond Spires.

The dog was suffering from a skin condition and was later found to be a pit bull, a breed banned in the UK.

Falconer, who was banned from keeping animals for five years in 2012 after starving 13 rats to death, pleaded guilty to breaching her disqualification order and failing to meet Tia’s needs.

A spokesman for the RSPCA said: “The RSPCA takes breaches of disqualification orders very seriously.

“Unfortunately, in this case, it is clear that no lessons had been learnt by Falconer, despite a disqualification from keeping animals.

“She not only breached the terms of the court order but sadly went on to fail to give Tia the care she needed.”

Spires also pleaded guilty to failing to meet the needs of Tia and aiding and abetting the breach of Falconer’s disqualification order.

Falconer was originally banned from keeping animals for five years after neglecting a rabbit called Bugsy, three ferrets and 13 rats and for causing unnecessary suffering to a hedgehog at her previous home in Downing Grove, east Hull.

The rats were found dead in cages in the shed having been starved to death.

The hedgehog had been kept in captivity and was emaciated.

Falconer had not fed the ferrets properly or protected them from pain, injury, disease and suffering.

Her partner at the time Andrew Gill, was also convicted of the same offences and went on to be banned for a further 20 years after he left his four dogs without food and water or bedding.

RSPCA inspectors and police raided Gill’s house again in September 2013 where they found 20 fish, a corn snake, two Staffordshire bull terriers called Zane and Patch, two terriers called Dufus and Meg, two cats and six kittens.

Dufus and Meg were confined to the kitchen and had been eating out of the bin.

Zane and Patch were found in the rubbish-strewn garden, where there was broken glass jars, rusty metal tins and exposed metal chair springs.

Sentencing:
Falconer – eight-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, £350 costs, £80 victim surcharge.
Spires – 80 hours of unpaid work, £350 costs and £60 victim surcharge.
Both were banned from keeping animals for seven years (expires November 2021) .

Source article removed.

Birkenhead, Wirral: Ronald and Lee Guy

#TheList serial animal baiters Ronald Guy, born c. 1950, of 52 Harrowby Road, Birkenhead CH42 7HU and son Lee Guy, born 1971, previously of 58 Harrowby Road – filmed wild animals being torn apart by dogs in arranged fights

Twisted Lee Guy (left) and father Ronald Guy enjoyed watching helpless animals being ripped apart by dogs
Twisted Lee Guy (left) and father Ronald Guy enjoyed watching helpless animals being ripped apart by dogs

Ronald and Lee Guy pleaded guilty to a total of seven charges of causing unnecessary suffering to chickens, rats, pigeons and a fox.

A joint operation between the RSPCA and Merseyside Police discovered DVDs and films of the offences at the defendants’ homes after a search was carried out at a nearby allotment.

The footage showed animal cruelty taking place and both father and son were arrested.

Ronald Guy pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to three chickens by inhumanely slaughtering them.

Lee Guy admitted the inhumane slaughter of chickens, as well as causing 12 wild rats to be attacked by dogs in locations across Birkenhead, and feeding feral pigeons to ferrets.

He also admitted putting a fox in a cage and setting dogs on it until they tore the animal apart and killed it.

The offences – which took place in front of a gathered crowd at two separate Harrowby Road addresses and a Birkenhead allotment between November 1, 2011 and June 6, 2013 – were captured on video.

Referring to the offences committed by Lee Guy, Chris Murphy, prosecuting on behalf of the RSPCA, said: “The charges involve the slaughter of chicken, they involve the causing of wild rats to be attacked by dogs.

“There are three offences relating to the rats and there’s also an offence which the RSPCA says is perhaps the most serious, of causing the animal fight to take place between a fox and three dogs.

“The fox was in a caged box and the three dogs were put in that box and set upon it, tearing it apart and killing it.”

John Ballam, defending, said both Ronald and Lee Guy were deeply “ashamed” of their actions.

He told the court that the prospect of being banned from owning animals would be a considerable punishment for both men but especially for Ronald given his history and success in dog shows.

District Judge Michael Abelson said: “This was shocking, absolutely inhumane behaviour.

“Most people would not be able to comprehend how you could treat animals with such cruelty.”

The pair’s four dogs – one of which has recently given birth to six puppies – were seized and rehomed.

The dogs had evidence of facial scarring likely caused during fights with other animals.

Following sentencing, RSPCA Inspector Anthony Joynes said: “The maximum sentence would be inadequate with regards to the suffering the animals have gone through.

“This sort of offence is barbaric – it is abhorrent cruelty that belongs in the history books.

“There has been a rise in this sort of behaviour in Wirral and the Northwest and if people are going to take the decision to get involved in that sort of cruelty, then they can expect to spend time in prison.”

Sentencing:
Lee Guy – 22-week custodial sentence; £300 costs.
Ronald Guy – 12-week custodial sentence; £300 costs.
Both were banned from keeping animals for life.

Wirral Globe

Kingston upon Hull: Andrew Gill

#TheList repeat offender Andrew Gill, born c. 1964, of 34 Downing Grove, Hull HU9 3SY –  left his four dogs without access to food, water or bedding; breached disqualification order.

Photo of serial animal abuser Andrew Gill from Hull
Andrew Gill celebrates winning The World’s Biggest Knob competition.

Gill was banned, alongside former partner Suzanna Falconer, from keeping animals in 2012 for causing unnecessary suffering to 13 rats, which died of starvation, failing to meet the welfare needs of three ferrets and a rabbit and causing unnecessary suffering to a hedgehog.

RSPCA inspector Hannah Bryer said: “Throughout the duration of the previous proceedings, Mr Gill was given advice, assistance and warning notices to improve the welfare of his remaining animals.

“After he was banned, he failed to follow the court order and continued keeping animals.

“Mr Gill has proved he is unable to care for animals properly, even when given extensive guidance.

“He has shown a complete disregard for the court order and to the wellbeing of his pets.”

Andy Gill photo

RSPCA inspectors and police raided Gill’s home in September 2012. When they entered the property, he said: “You’re not taking my pets, you are not touching the snake or the fish, no way.”

Inside, they found 20 fish, a corn snake, two Staffordshire bull terriers called Zane and Patch, two terriers called Dufus and Meg, two cats and six kittens.

Miss Bryer said Dufus and Meg were confined to the kitchen and had been eating out of the bin. Zane and Patch were in the garden, which was littered with rubbish including broken glass jars, rusty metal tins and exposed metal chair springs.

Gill admitted breaching his disqualification order and failing to meet the welfare needs of the dogs.

In 2007, Gill spoke of of his devastation after an arson attack on his shed killed his 300 rats, two rabbits, two hamsters, two guinea pigs and three hedgehogs.

Sentencing: 12-week prison sentence, suspended for a year, 200 hours of unpaid work, £250 costs.  Banned from keeping animals for 20 years (expires April 2033).

Source article (Hull Daily Mail) removed.