#TheList Mason Medford, born 17/11/1999, most recently of Clifton Grove, Leeds – locked Staffy Leo in a room to starve to death over a two-month period; dumped his body in a suitcase; reportedly laughed to friends about finding him dead
Self-styled ‘gangsta’ thug Medford, who also calls himself ‘MK South’, was due to appear to Leeds Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday 15/08/18 to face animal cruelty charges in connection with the abandonment of the helpless dog, but failed to attend. It was agreed the case would go ahead in Medford’s absence and he was found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering.
The court heard that Leo had been purchased for £100 by friends of Medford’s but didn’t get on with the dog they already had. The couple asked the York-based seller if he would have Leo back but he said no and so they asked if Medford would have the dog.
On November 26, 2017 Medford took Leo home to his address with a 25kg sack of dog food that the friend Adele Green had given him.
He later told police, after handing himself in following social media coverage of the horrific discovery, that the dog had growled at him and acted aggressively so he left him in the house – apparently for two months.
RSPCA prosecutor Andrew Davidson said: “The case can be summed up very sadly but very simply. The defendant left Leo at the house in question, locked him in a room and never came back. He left him in the house without food and water and did not return to look after him at any point. When he finally did return he was deceased.”
The court heard evidence from housing officer Sarah Blackburn that she visited the house on more than one occasion due to concerns about the dog and health and safety. She reported they found “squalid conditions through the property, rubbish and clothing and the kitchen was a disgusting state.” There was faeces, urine and splatters of blood in the house.
A statement was also read out from Medford’s mother, Emma Medford, of Bellbrooke Grove, Leeds. She said she had gone to the house to collect clothes in January 2018 and was confronted by faeces and urine. She had not been to the house for months and found Leo dead outside the bathroom covered by a towel. She confronted her son and said he should “do the decent thing” and bury the dog.
Leo was found in the suitcase at Harehills Cemetery on Wednesday January 24, 2018.
A postmortem confirmed Leo died as a result of multiple organ failure as his body shut down. He was “completely emaciated”, weighed half of what he should and there was nothing in his stomach or intestines.
The vet carrying out the examination said: “He would have suffered greatly after not being fed adequately for four weeks.”
Mr Davidson added: “For him to be dumped in a suitcase demonstrated how little the owner actually cared for him.”
Once arrested Medford, who has links to Milton Keynes and Northampton, will be brought before the court and sentenced.
UPDATED FOR SENTENCING: Mason Medford (D.O.B 17.11.99) of Bellbrooke Grove, Leeds LS9 6AT was picked up on warrant on Monday 20/8/18 and presented to Leeds Magistrates’ Court for sentencing.
He was jailed for 18 weeks and disqualified from keeping animals for life,