Category Archives: Wildlife crime

Badger baiting, hunting with dogs, foxhunting, hare coursing, animal fighting

Carnforth, Lancashire: Joe Whittam

#TheList Joe Whittam, born 07/06/1990, of Langdale Road, Carnforth, Lancashire LA5 9AU – set his dogs on a pet cat and fox; failed to provide vet treatment for his injured dogs

Two photos of convicted animal abuser Joe Whittam from Carnforth, Lancashire.
Joe Whittam from Carnforth was jailed after filming “blood-curdling” videos of his dogs killing a cat and fox

Joseph Whittam, who also uses the surname Riding, pleaded guilty to four offences under the Animal Welfare Act in relation to encouraging his two dogs to attack a cat and a fox, as well as failing to provide veterinary attention for the dogs themselves.

The RSPCA joined Lancashire Constabulary to execute a warrant at Whittam’s address in August 2017 after intelligence that suggested he was involved in wildlife crimes with his two dogs.

The dogs – a terrier called Rex and a lurcher called Zip – were removed by police and placed into the RSPCA’s care. A mobile phone was also seized and investigators discovered a number of shocking videos saved on the phone.

RSPCA special investigation officer Jason Bowles said: “In one video, the two dogs are going crazy, barking and snapping at the mesh of a trap with a black and white domestic cat inside.

“In a second video, the cat is released along with the dogs and the dogs grab the cat and literally start to rip it apart while the cat screams and cries in pain. It is horrific and absolutely blood-curdling. Many of our staff here at the RSPCA haven’t been able to stomach watching it.

“One of the magistrates had to leave court after watching the sickening footage.

“The cat was killed although we never found the body and never traced the poor cat’s owners.”

He added: “In another video, the dogs can be seen attacking and biting a fox. In all the footage Whittam can clearly be heard encouraging the dogs and egging them on.”

Rex and Zip both had old injuries – thought to be caused by their attacks – which had not been treated. They received veterinary care and remain in the RSPCA’s care. They will be rehomed once the case has concluded.

Further analysis of Whittam’s phone uncovered images of a dog being encouraged to attack a gerbil and still images of the fox attack which show the animal being baited by the dog.

Whittam claimed the fox had been shot and injured before his dogs got hold of it.

Lancashire Constabulary’s Sgt James Pinder said: “This investigation began as a result of community information in relation to animal welfare and poaching offences.

“I hope the investigation clearly demonstrates that we will work with our partner agencies and will deal with offenders in a robust manner.

“The sentence, which marks the end of a 16-month investigation, is welcomed by Lancashire Constabulary and we hope it will send a clear message to those who think it is acceptable to partake in these criminal activities.”

Sentencing Whittam at Preston Magistrates’ Court, the chairman of the bench said the offences were sustained, deliberate and gratuitous

Sentencing:
Jailed for 22 weeks; ordered to pay a total of £490. Disqualified from keeping animals for life. 

Westmorland Gazette

Cumbria: Richard Todd and Wayne Lawson

#TheList Wayne Lawson (DoB: 28/09/78) of Sheehan Gardens, Carlisle, Cumbria, and Richard Todd (DoB: 20/07/78) of Mills Road, Wigton, Cumbria – made a video as they tried to kill a badger by setting their dogs on it

Badger baiters Richard Todd and Wayne Lawson from Cumbria
Badger baiters Richard Todd (left and in green top in middle photo) and Wayne Lawson both from Cumbria plus Scooby the dog who had facial scarring consistent with animal fighting

Lawson and Todd admitted trying to kill the badger while Lawson also pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to a black Patterdale terrier called Scooby.

Lawson failed to get  veterinary care for injuries to Scooby’s ear and lower lip.

The men were due to stand trial but after charges of interfering with badger setts and of causing an animal fight to take place were dropped, they admitted the attempt to kill.

Speaking after the sentencing, RSPCA officer Jason Bowles said: “We received intelligence that Mr Lawson was involved in badger digging and found two dogs at his property with extensive scarring and nasty injuries consistent with fights with badgers.

“We seized a mobile phone which had saved videos showing him and another man digging down to tunnels before placing the dogs underground to find the wild animals.

“This case really shows the suffering caused to the poor badgers who are hunted for fun as well as the dogs used in this barbaric blood sport. They are often left with hideous injuries and disfigurements and rarely receive appropriate veterinary treatment or pain relief.”

Sentencing:
Both – 140-day prison term, suspended for a year.

Lawson – 160 hours of unpaid work in the community. Disqualified from keeping dogs for four years. Total costs and charges of £1,415.

Todd – 100 hours of unpaid work in the community. Total costs and charges of £1,115.  Banned from keeping animals for two years.

News and Star

Gravesend, Kent: Julius Gadzor

 #TheList Julius Gadzor, born c.  1979, of Wellington Street, Gravesend, Kent  DA12 – trapped and kept wild birds by putting rat glue on feeders in his garden

Julius Gadzor from Gravesend is originally from Slovakia
Julius Gadzor from Gravesend is originally from Slovakia

Slovakian Gadzor admitted possessing wild birds and trapping them.

Officers from the Rural Task Force for Kent joined forced with the RSPCA on Thursday, June 14, 2018, to conduct a search of Gadzor’s home following a tip off they received from the RSPB.

A number of caged wild birds were seized as well as rat glue and other bird trapping equipment.

Some of the cages in which Julius Gadzor kept the wild birds he'd trapped

Gadzor was interviewed four days later where he admitted that he was trying to catch them illegally in his garden.

Sergeant Darren Walshaw, who co-ordinated the search, said: “This is an excellent example of partnership working. The intelligence received from the RSPB allowed us to gain enough information to request a search warrant and the case built by the RSPCA resulted in the man having to admit his guilt.

“Bird trapping is not only illegal, it is incredibly cruel. We are committed to working with our partner agencies to put these criminals, who illegally trap birds for their own financial gain, before the court.”

A spokesman for the RSPCA said: “To take a wild bird from its natural habitat and shut it inside a tiny cage is so cruel. They suffer greatly in captivity, are not used to being in cages and, sadly, often die.

“All wild birds in England and Wales, their nests and their eggs are protected by the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and actions may only be taken under specific licences.’

“It is illegal under the Wildlife and Countryside Act to trap wild birds.”

Sentencing:
28-day curfew; total of £385 costs and charges. 

Metro
KentOnline

 

Chesterton, Cambridge and Slough, Berkshire: James Crickmore, John Jefford, Denny Loveridge and Mark Loveridge

#TheList serial hare coursers James Crickmore, John Jefford, Denny Loveridge and Mark Loveridge all of Cambridge – all are now bound by a 3-year court injunction not to enter Cambridgeshire during the hare coursing season

Cambridge hare coursers

Mark Loveridge, 38, of Milton Place, Horton, Slough, was suspected of 13 hare coursing incidents. He must not own a sighthound or drive a four-wheel-drive vehicle during hare coursing season.

Gypsy traveller and hare courser Mark Loveridge from Slough has a taste for animal cruelty
Gypsy traveller and hare courser Mark Loveridge from Slough has a taste for animal cruelty

John Jefford, 42, of 125/127 Scotland Road, Cambridge CB4 1QL was suspected of 13 hare coursing incidents. He must not own a sighthound or be in the company of another person with one.

Denny Loveridge, 38, of Mill Place Caravan Park, Datchet, Slough was suspected of 17 incidents. He must not own a sighthound or drive a four-wheel-drive vehicle during hare coursing season.

Hare courser Denny Loveridge, another gypsy traveller from Slough
Hare courser Denny Loveridge, another gypsy traveller from Slough

James Crickmore, 38, of 2 Sunningdale, Fen Road, Cambridge CB4 1UN was suspected of 26 incidents. He must not own a sighthound or be in the company of another person with one.

Serial hare courser James Crickmore of Sunningdale, Fen Rd, Cambridge CB4
Serial hare courser James Crickmore of Sunningdale, Fen Rd, Cambridge CB4

All four are bound by an injunction handed down by a county court judge in a successful case brought by Cambridgeshire police.

The injunctions will mean the men cannot enter any farm land in Cambridgeshire during the months of the hare coursing season (31 July to 31 March) for the next three years.

The men were caught by police using a new database designed to track and convict suspected hare coursers.

A police spokesman said: “The judge was satisfied that he had heard evidence showing the men had been involved in hare coursing over a two year period and therefore handed the men injunctions.”

Related image

PC Gareth Tanner said: “This is an excellent result for the rural community and one of the first of its kind. I’m confident that the conditions granted will be effective.

“This has been a considerable piece of work, both due to the complexity of the tactics used, and the amount of evidence presented at court because of the sheer persistence of these individuals.

“Hare coursing costs the farming community thousands every year in damages to crops and land, as well as the obvious cruelty issues.”

Cambs Times

Wigan, Greater Manchester: Lee Evans and Ryan Ryder

#Exposed for wildlife persecution: Lee Evans and Ryan Ryder, Wigan

Here we have permanently drunken feral savage Lee Evans and convicted sex offender Ryan Ryder, both of Wigan, who share a common interest in persecuting wildlife. Often seen with dogs in the Three Sisters area of the town, these lazy, useless and sexually incontinent slobs are notorious for torturing rabbits, foxes and badgers. Their dogs bear the scars of being forced into fights with wildlife. It is believed they are also responsible for the deaths of several cats, so they are all-round stinkers.

Squinty-eyed unemployable piss-head Evans of Derwent Road, Ashton in Makerfield, is well known to the RSPCA and has had at least one dog seized from him but refuses to change his barbaric ways. His addiction to seeing living creatures ripped apart limb from limb is just too strong.

In 2012 Evans’ partner in wildlife crime (though there are several others that may yet be exposed – your turn will come, make no mistake) Ryan Ryder, of Hunter Rd, was convicted of sexually assaulting a 40yo woman – a complete “stranger to him – as she was walking home after a night out. He fled the scene, leaving his victim seriously injured on the ground, but was identified by his DNA and convicted. He is now on the sex offenders register for life. Ryder now focuses his innate aggression on animals.

And despite all this both men have girlfriends. Not nice girls, you understand. I mean, how could they be?

Article originally published on the Pet Abuse UK Facebook page

Bridgwater, Somerset: Scott Ayres

#TheList Scott Ayres (also known as Scott Pope), born 09/06/1992, and partner Leanne Hodge, born 11/05/1995, both of Haygrove Park Road, Bridgwater, Somerset TA6 7BT – failed to seek veterinary treatment for a dog’s wounds

Dog abuser Scott Ayres/Pope from Bridgwater, Somerset, and an image of a 'working' dog taken from his FB profile
Dog abuser Scott Ayres/Pope and an image of a ‘working’ dog taken from his FB profile
Scott Ayres and his partner in pet abuse Leanne Hodge

Ayres and Hodge were found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to a Patterdale terrier named Archie after not seeking veterinary care for wounds to his head, body and injured jaw.

Archie has made a full recovery since being rescued by RSPCA officers

Patterdale terrier Archie was discovered with his lower jaw degloved and puncture wounds to his face and body when he was rescued by the RSPCA in October 2017.

Archie was discovered with his lower jaw degloved and puncture wounds to his face and body when he was rescued by the RSPCA in October 2017.

Whilst no explanation for Archie’s injuries is given or even appears to have been investigated, there is evidence from Ayres’ Facebook profile that he enjoys inflicting suffering on wild animals such as foxes or badgers. The photo of the black lurcher and the shovels is taken from Ayres’ profile and he is a member of several ‘working dogs’ groups.

Archie has since recovered from his injuries during his time in the care of the RSPCA.

Sentence:
Ayres – suspended 12-week prison sentence. Community work. Total costs and charges of £415. Hodge – 16-week curfew order. Both were disqualified from keeping dogs for ten years (expires September 2028).

SomersetLive

Brierley Hill, West Midlands: John Thomas Gough

#TheList John Thomas Gough, born 12 July 1992, of 29 Byron Street, Brierley Hill, Dudley, West Midlands DY5 4JA – filmed two dogs attacking a caged fox in his back garden

Convicted animal abuser John Thomas Gough from Brierley Hill, West Midlands

Gough pleaded guilty to one charge of causing a fight between a dog and fox and two charges of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal.

The court was told the 26-year-old used his mobile phone to video two dogs attacking a fox, which had been trapped in a cage.

He was also heard encouraging the dogs in the footage.

In another video clip, the distressed animal is out of the cage and the dogs are seen to carry on the attack.

Both incidents are said to have taken place at his home address on or about May 16, 2017. It is not known what happened to the fox.

The prosecution was brought after the RSPCA and West Midlands Police – acting on intelligence – executed a warrant at Gough’s home address.

It was during this search that his mobile phone was seized and the video was found showing the fox attack, along with still images.

A fox trap was also found at his home along with equipment used when putting terriers down holes in the ground.

In his vehicle officers discovered two fox tails, a terrier box and shovels.

A spokesman for the RSPCA, said: “We do not know what happened to the fox in this horrific attack and the two dogs in the video were not found at the property.

“But an expert who watched the video taken from the phone was able to state that the fox would have suffered due to the bite injuries as well as one of the dogs which was also bleeding during the horrific attack.

“This was premeditated animal cruelty and both the fox and dog clearly suffered at the hands of Gough.”

Sentence:  jailed for 22 weeks.  Banned from keeping animals for life.

Dudley News

Southampton: Scott Bicknell and George Cole

#TheList Scott Maurice Bicknell, born 05/09/1976 of 13 Kiln Lane, Old Alresford, Alresford SO24, and gypsy traveller George Cole, born  03/07/1946 of Newdeeps Farm, Winchester Road, Upham, Southampton SO32 – for horrific separate acts of animal cruelty involving a rabbit and dog

Stills from video footage used in the RSPCA's prosecution against Scott Bicknell and George Cole
Stills from video footage used in the RSPCA’s prosecution against Scott Bicknell and George Cole

Bicknell and Cole pleaded guilty to one animal welfare offence each of causing unnecessary suffering in relation to two separate incidents.

RSPCA Chief Inspector (CI) Will Mitchell from the Special Operations Unit said: “A mobile phone was seized as part of separate police operation which led to evidence of animal welfare concerns being uncovered and prompted warrants at two addresses in Hampshire.

“On the phone – which belonged to another man who isn’t part of our investigations – we found videos and Whatsapp messages.

“One of these videos showed Mr Bicknell in his garden setting his dogs on a wild rabbit and encouraging them to kill it. It’s really horrific footage to watch.”

The RSPCA joined Hampshire Police Countrywatch Team to execute warrants at two addresses in April.

At the Upham property, officers found a female lurcher collapsed in a pile of hay in a barn.

CI Mitchell added: “The vet checked her immediately and she cried out in pain when he touched her.

“Her breathing was laboured and she was shaking. She was emaciated and weak.

“When officers helped her onto her feet they made a shocking discovery – a huge, ulcerated tumour under her abdomen.

“The vet said it had been there for months, possibly years.”

The dog was sadly put to sleep to end her suffering.

Sentencing:
Bicknell – 12-week prison term, suspended for two years; ordered to complete 80 hours of unpaid work’ total of £415 costs and charges. Disqualified from keeping all animals for just two years (expires August 2020).

Cole – 12-week prison term, suspended for two years; total of £440 costs and charges. Disqualified from keeping all animals for five years (expires August 2023).

Source: RSPCA press release 08/08/2018

 

North Wales badger baiters: David Thomas, Marc Wynn Morris, Jordan Houlston

#TheList convicted badger baiters David Thomas, born 21/03/1966, of Cwm Bowydd Farm, Blaenau Ffestiniog LL41 3EL, Marc Wynn Morris, born 19/05/1991, of Jones Street, Blaenau Ffestiniog LL41 3YF, Jordan Houlston, born 04/08/1993, of Alexandra Road, Llandudno LL30 2DQ and an unnamed 17-year-old

Convicted badger baiters and dog abusers David Thomas and Jordan Houlston
Convicted badger baiters and dog abusers David Thomas and Jordan Houlston

The four men were convicted following an RSPCA probe into badger baiting and animal fighting at Cwm Bowydd Farm, Blaenau Ffestiniog, Gwynedd, North Wales. David Thomas, sole master of the Dwyrd hunt since 1994, is joint-owner of the farm.

These dogs were found at the farm
These dogs were found at the farm

The court heard how artificial badger setts were found at the farm along with seven skulls, possibly those of foxes or badgers.

The RSPCA said this fake sett was used to hold a badger
The RSPCA said this fake sett was used to hold a badger

Pipes were used to hold captive animals and dogs brought to a copse to fight.

The RSPCA discovered this caged fox at the farm
The RSPCA discovered this caged fox at the farm

Video footage showed badger baiting, which has been illegal since the 19th century.

A badger had been brought to the area in advance and arrangements made for dogs to chase and injure the animal.

The presiding judge Gwyn Jones said: “Fortunately, we didn’t see how the badger was ultimately killed, but it’s quite clear the death would have been slow and no doubt extremely painful.

“That activity would also have had an adverse impact on the dogs.

“This was a deliberate and planned venture to cause suffering to an animal,”

“Mr Thomas and Mr Houlston played a leading role.”

Thomas was found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to a badger by causing it to fight with dogs. He was also found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to two foxes by keeping them caged close to dogs, causing the foxes to be terrified, and other animal welfare allegations.

Houlston, the hunt terrier man, was convicted  of ill-treating a badger, and unnecessary suffering by causing a badger to fight with dogs at Cwm Bowydd Farm in February 2017. He was also found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to four dogs and failing to meet the welfare needs of seven dogs.

Morris pleaded guilty to wilfully injuring a badger, being present at an animal fight and causing unnecessary suffering to a badger by causing it to fight with a dog.

Sentencing:
David Thomas –  imprisoned for 22 weeks, and placed under close supervision for a 12-month period; costs of £5,000. Disqualified from keeping dogs for eight years.

 Houlston – imprisoned for 20 weeks, and also placed under close supervision for a 12-month period; total of £750 costs and charges. Disqualified from keeping dogs for eight years.

Morris – 10-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months; 150 hours of unpaid work; total of £650 costs and charges. Disqualified from keeping dogs for four years.

The unnamed 17-year-old who had pleaded guilty to being present at an animal fight was ordered to pay a total of £220 in costs and banned from keeping dogs for four years. 

Daily Post
BBC News

Cimla, Neath Port Talbot: Liam Moran

#TheList Liam Moran, born 01/10/1986, of Groves Road, Cimla, Neath SA11 – filmed his dogs viciously mauling a badger for two minutes before stabbing it to death

Horrifying footage on Liam Moran's mobile phone showed a badger being attacked by dogs
Horrifying footage on Liam Moran’s mobile phone showed a badger being attacked by dogs

Liam Moran pleaded guilty to two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to a dog, to failing to protect four dogs from pain, suffering or injury, and four counts of wilfully injuring or ill-treating a badger.

Video footage stored on Moran’s mobile phone showed two lurchers and two terrier-type dogs savaging the the helpless badger for two minutes before it was stabbed to death.

RSPCA officers who raided Moran’s home found three dogs with scars and scabs in the garden.

One of the dogs, a terrier called Josh, was also missing an eye and had a ‘severe’ jaw injury which had healed.

In sheds at the property and in the back of Moran’s VW Kangool van officers found items including Dettol and other antiseptic products, a blood-stained skin stapler and staples, skin glue, a lamping light, spades, metal bars, and tablets given to dogs to boost their muscles and increase their stamina.

Mr Tarrant said it was the prosecution’s case that the first aid items found in the raid were to allow injuries to dogs to be treated ‘in house’ without having to take them to vets and thereby attracting attention.

The court heard the inspectors removed three of the dogs from the house and also seized Moran’s mobile phone.

When the phone was examined a number of disturbing video clips were found, along with numerous conversations about digging brocks and ‘pigs’, which the prosecution said were references to badgers.

Mr Tarrant said the messages were evidence of ‘wide scale and extensive activity’ by Moran.

After viewing the footage RSPCA inspectors went back to Moran’s house and found more dogs in the garden, including one with ‘puncture wounds’ under its chin. These too were seized.

It is not known where the badger baiting caught on camera took place.

District judge Neale Thomas said he did not believe the defendant’s assertion that the encounter with the badger had been by chance, calling the incident caught on film a ‘premeditated plan for gratuitous cruelty’.

He said Moran had shown ‘medieval barbarity’ and a ‘level of depravity almost too great to be believed’ in his hunting of badgers.

Sentence:
22 weeks in prison. Banned from owning dogs for life. The court ordered the retention of seven dogs seized from the Neath property.

Daily Mail