#TheList Tony Israel Price, born c. 1962, of 6 Shirenewton Caravan Site, Wentloog Road, Cardiff CF3 2EE – neglected three ponies
Gypsy traveller Tony Israel Price was found guilty of three horse cruelty offences after failing to take advice from the RSPCA about their care.
In July 2018 RSPCA inspectors Christine McNeil and Simon Evans attended a field off Redway Road, Bonvilston and found 13 horses with “very poor grazing” with ragwort present, and one mare in particular in “very poor condition”.
“During this visit a vet examination was carried out and advice was passed onto the owner as well as a warning notice issued for the poor body condition of the mare,” said inspector McNeil.
“We then re-visited in August and I attended with chief inspector Elaine Spence and the mare’s condition had deteriorated. A vet on site was of the opinion that she was suffering and the two other mares did not have their needs met and would be likely to suffer if their circumstances did not change.
“Sadly our advice had not been taken on board and we had to take action. Further advice was also issued for the remaining horses at the location.”
The three piebald mares were signed over to the charity and will be made available for rehoming.
Sentencing: 18-month conditional discharge; £1,000 costs and a victim surcharge.
#TheList: gypsy traveller James ‘Jimmy’ Goddard, born 06/06/1991, of 1 Mayles Close, Fareham PO17 5NF – beat a cockerel to death with a metal skewer as others filmed him
In a horrendous attack against a defenceless animal, Goddard chased the cockerel around a fenced area with a metal kebab skewer. As the cockerel attempts to run away, Goddard lunges at him, picks him up and beats him to death. As the bird dies Goddard celebrates with his arms in the air.
Police uncovered the video while carrying out a separate investigation.
RSPCA Chief Inspector Will Mitchell described the violent footage: ‘Mr Goddard chases the bird around taking swipes with the 3ft-long metal skewer like a baseball bat.
‘He then grabs hold of the cockerel, holds him upside down by his feet and, while the bird frantically flaps around and tries to escape his clutches, he beats his head with the pole.
‘He swings at the poor bird again and again, hitting him in the head like a pinata.
‘He then throws the bird’s body onto the ground and celebrates the vicious kill.
‘It’s absolutely shocking to watch. His violent behaviour and the savage cruelty he shows towards this bird is difficult to comprehend.”
Sergeant Andy Williams from Hampshire Constabulary’s Country Watch team said: ‘We are pleased that Goddard has finally been punished for what really was a shocking and cowardly act against the animal.
‘We work closely with our partners from the RSPCA on a variety of rural and animal welfare matters.
‘Offences such as this have no place in modern society. When information is received about such offences, the Country Watch team is only too pleased to assist in investigating them and bringing offenders to justice.’
Sentencing: 18-week custodial sentence; total of £865 costs and charges. Banned from keeping any animal for five years.
#TheList Andrew Booth, born c. 1974, of West Road, Moorends, Doncaster; George Horner, born c. 1992, of 30 Brett Street, Bridlington; John Horner, born c. 1999, of 77 Constable Road, Bridlington; Kirk McGarry, born c. 1968, of Southfield Road, Thorne, Doncaster; Richard Willey, born c. 1972, of Westlands Road, Hull – used dogs to attack a badger sett
Andrew Booth, Kirk McGarry, John Horner, George Horner and Richard Willey used two dogs, one of whom was heavily pregnant, to attack a badger sett.
They were each found guilty of wildlife and animal cruelty offences at Beverley Magistrates’ Court.
On the afternoon of 30 December 2017 a concerned member of the public reported to the police that five men with dogs were digging into a badger sett at Melton in the East Riding of Yorkshire.
A number of officers including several wildlife crime officers quickly attended the location and found four men continuing to dig into what appeared to the officers to be an active badger sett.
Four terrier-type dogs were seized at the time of the incident. One dog, Paddy, was seriously injured and was lucky to survive. A second dog, Dizzy, was heavily pregnant when she was seized and gave birth to a puppy, named Romeo, who is now one year old. Two other dogs, Charlotte and Jess, were also seized. All five dogs have been kennelled and have responded well to the care and attention they have received.
Ch Insp Iain Dixon said: “Badger digging is a cruel and barbaric activity and involves horrendous suffering to both the badger and any dog involved.
“In this particular case one dog, named Dizzy, was very far into pregnancy, giving birth within a few weeks of the incident which shows the uncaring and callous nature of those involved all the more.”
Sentencing: the five men were sentenced to a maximum term of six months in prison. They have each also received three year Criminal Behaviour Orders (CBOs) and were told to pay £2,000 costs for dog kennelling and vet’s fees. All are banned from keeping animals for 10 years.
#TheList Kirsty Hamilton, born c. 1984, of 15 Martin Street, Bury BL9 7SF – left an emaciated Arab mare with a severe hoof infection
Hamilton pleaded guilty to four counts of failing to meet the needs of Arab mare Blossom, under the Animal Welfare Act 2006.
The RSPCA was contacted by a member of the public who was concerned about Blossom, kept at stables at Nook Farm, Nook Lane, Tyldesely, Astley. On investigating, the mare’s bodyweight was rated one, the lowest on a scale of one to nine, and a vet found she had a bad case of thrush in all her hooves.
Inspector Danni Jennings, said: “The horse was clearly in an emaciated state and had other problems which had not been dealt with such as overgrown teeth.
“The infection in her hooves was awful and was caused by her standing in faeces in a dark and damp stable block for a long period of time.”
In mitigation the court heard that Hamilton had personal problems and was pregnant.
Blossom was taken for treatment and is now in the care of the charity.
Sentencing: 12-month community order; curfew order; total of £1,585 costs and charges. Banned from keeping equines for just one year.
#TheList Martin Veysey, born c. 1955, of 6 Albert Court, Albert Street, Bridgwater, Somerset TA6 7ET – breached a previous life ban on keeping animals imposed on him in 2011
Veysey pleaded guilty to six charges under the Animal Welfare Act and the Cattle Identification Regulations on Tuesday, December 18, 2018 at Taunton Crown Court.
Veysey was banned for life from keeping animals in 2011 after he was prosecuted for causing unnecessary suffering and failing to provide appropriate care for his animals.
The latest prosecution was brought by Devon, Somerset and Torbay Trading Standards Service and related to the purchase, transport and ownership of cattle obtained from markets in the South West.
Charges also related to a pony and an American bulldog owned by Veysey.
Veysey was also found guilty for failing to report and record the movements of cattle and failing to surrender the passports of cattle to Defra’s British Cattle Movement Service.
The court heard that the prosecution followed an investigation by Trading Standards officers.
Officers gathered intelligence from several sources including from members of the public, who responded to adverts he had placed to sell animals, as well as the RSPCA, livestock auctioneers and landowners who had witnessed his involvement with animals.
In sentencing Veysey, the judge told him that ‘the legislation is intended to protect animals from cowboys like you’ and warned him any further breaches would mean that he would go to prison.
Sentencing: eight-month prison sentence suspended for two years. Costs of £2,115.
#TheList puppy dealer James Featon, born c. 1968, of Roughaw Road, Skipton BD23 – kept 23 dogs in poor conditions at a Selby pig farm
Gypsy traveller Featon pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to dogs after two adult dogs and 21 puppies were found in “disgusting conditions” in pig pens on a farm in North Duffield, near Selby.
RSPCA officers and North Yorkshire Police visited the farm on 7 October 2017 where the dogs were found living in pig pens.
The animals were taken into immediate veterinary care. Sadly, only 18 of the dogs survived.
RSPCA Inspector Alice Cooper, who led the investigation, said:
“Some of the puppies were in very poor condition; thin and lethargic with swollen, distended abdomens.
“Three Jack Russell terrier puppies had collapsed.
“Police seized all of the dogs and we rushed them to the vets where a number of the pups were diagnosed with parvovirus – a highly contagious and potentially fatal disease.
“They were all hospitalised and needed intensive veterinary treatment but, unfortunately, we lost four because they were so incredibly poorly.”
Eighteen dogs – including spaniels, lurchers and crossbreeds – pulled through and were taken in by RSPCA centres while the investigation was ongoing.
Inspector Cooper added: “Our investigations established that Mr Featon was buying in dogs from Ireland and elsewhere in England, and then selling them on to the public.
“However, he was keeping the dogs in disgusting conditions and had categorically failed to provide veterinary care to those that had fallen ill.”
PC Sarah Ward of North Yorkshire Police said: “I’m very pleased with the result and thankful that we found the puppies when we did, saving them from more suffering.
“They were kept in cold, damp conditions without their mums and most of them were very ill with a number needing urgent veterinary attention.
“Sadly, some did not make it.
“We urge members of the public to only ever buy puppies from reputable dog breeders or adopt a rescue dog from a known charity.”
The dogs – which have all been in RSPCA care during the investigation – were signed over this week and can now be rehomed. They will be available after Christmas.
Inspector Cooper added: “Unfortunately this sort of thing is something we see all too often at the RSPCA.
“Breeding and selling puppies is big business and with certain breeds selling for hundreds if not thousands of pounds there are a lot of people trying to cash in.
“Sadly, some sellers like Mr Featon will put profits ahead of the health and welfare of the dogs.
“This is completely unacceptable.
Sentencing: total of £460 in fines, costs and charges. Disqualified from dealing in dogs, meaning he can own dogs as pets but isn’t to be involved in commercial activity involving dogs.
Nine members of a violent gang of travellers, who committed more than 200 burglaries in 11 months across multiple counties in the East of England region have been jailed for a total of 71 years.
Gang members would mask their faces using balaclavas and smash or force open doors or windows in broad daylight.
They would don forensic suits in a bid to outwit police and were so prolific that in one day in July 2017 they committed seven burglaries, eight the next, and a total of 50 for the whole month.
On one travellers’ site Cambridgeshire Constabulary found seven stolen Labrador puppies in the boot of a car as well as an arsenal of deadly weapons.
Nine of the gang pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit burglary:
Charlie Albert Webb, 20, from Newton Flotman, Norfolk – jailed for five years.
John Eli Loveridge, 42, of Greenways, Carleton Rode, Norfolk – jailed for seven-and-a-half years.
John Stanley Loveridge, 23, of Greenways, Carleton Rode, Norfolk – jailed for six-and-a-half years.
Joseph Holmes, 21, of Schole Road, Willingham – jailed for four years.
Danny Stone-Parker, 28, of Braintree Road, Great Dunmow – jailed for six-and-a-half years.
Timothy Stone-Parker, 24, of Clay Way, Ely – jailed for six-and-a-half years.
Joe John Spencer Loveridge, 19, of Winchester Road, Sandy, Bedfordshire – jailed for four years.
Richard Oakley, 27, of Sandy Park, Beck Row, Suffolk – jailed for five years.
Johnny Oakley, 25, of Sandy Park, Beck Row, Suffolk – jailed for five-and-a-half years.
A tenth man, Simon Oakley, 45, of Alburgh Road, Hempnall, Norwich, was found guilty of conspiracy to burgle on 31 October following a trial. He was jailed for nine years.
Detective Inspector Craig Harrison, who led the investigation, said: “These sentences reflect the scale and impact of this gang’s offending.
“Every one of their crimes had a victim so the trauma and devastation caused in quite a short space of time was immense. They clearly had no care at all for the impact their offending was having on communities, particularly in south and east Cambridgeshire, which were particularly badly hit, and, indeed, across the region.”
The gang targeted homes in rural areas, where they could make easy getaways and stole high-performance vehicles to give themselves a better chance of out-running police.
Offences were committed across Cambridgeshire including Littleport, Wisbech, Fordham, Burwell, Prickwillow, Dullingham, Ely, Waterbeach, Soham, Abington, Cambridge, Chippenham, Little Shelford, Isleham, Sawston, Hardwick, Willingham, March, Histon, Swavesey, Longstanton, Little Downham, Stow cum Quay, Doddington, St Ives, Stretham, Chippenham, Balsham, Cottenham, Cheveley, Elsworth, Swaffham Bulbeck, Fulbourn, Newmarket, Teversham, Boxworth, Yaxley and Friday Bridge.
Two other men – James Pateman, 55, of no fixed abode, and his brother, Thomas Brown, 54, of Fen Road, Chesterton, Cambridge – were also found guilty of handling stolen goods on 31 October following a trial at Norwich Crown Court. The court heard the men were involved in the disposal of jewellery between 12 March and 7 November, 2017.
Pateman was jailed for three-and-a-half years and Brown eight years.
Simon Oakley, who owns Stratton Quick Fit, a garage and workshop at Elite Business Park, in Salamanca Road, Norwich, had previously admitted possession of a firearm without a certificate and handling stolen goods.
He provided false registration plates and directed others to commit crime. He helped to hide stolen vehicles and pass them off as legitimate.
#TheList William (‘Billy’) Henry Welch, born c. 1989, and William Chates, born c. 1965, both of Rowan West caravan site, Levisham Lane, Darlington DL2 1QZ – for “horrific and abhorrent” cockfighting offences
North Yorkshire Police officers described footage of the cockfights, recorded on a mobile phone, as one of the worst examples of animal cruelty they had ever seen – and hailed the “landmark” custodial sentence.
On 13 January 2018, acting on an anonymous call to the police control room, officers from North Yorkshire Police’s Rural Taskforce and the RSPCA attended premises at Skutterskelf, near Stokesley, North Yorkshire.
A number of men were located there. Officers searched buildings and vehicles, and seized a total of 27 live birds, some of which were bleeding from fresh cuts to the body and head. Inside a stable block, officers located bird feathers, and dried and fresh bloodstains on the floor and carpet.
During the enquiry, an examination was carried out on a mobile phone recovered from Welch, which revealed he was present at a number of other cockfights, on 19 December 2017 and 4 January 2018.
Investigators described the extremely graphic video footage on the phone as “sickening”.
The RSPCA provided expert evidence about the condition of the birds, and arranged for their safe storage and ongoing care.
Billy Welch pleaded guilty to charges of causing an animal fight to take place, keeping animals for fighting, and being present at an animal fight on three occasions in December 2017 and January 2018.
Jailing Welch, magistrates told him: “You put your own recreational needs before the welfare of your animals, in the most horrific and abhorrent circumstances.”
William Chates pleaded guilty to being present at an animal fight.
Two further defendants were found not guilty.
Sentencing: Billy Welch was sentenced to 20 weeks in jail, disqualified from keeping all animals for 20 years, and ordered to pay a total of £2,000 costs.
William Chates was sentenced to 120 hours of unpaid work, disqualified from keeping all animals for 10 years, and ordered to pay £170 costs.