#TheList Liam Reynolds, born c. 1990, of Oxland Road, Illogan, Redruth TR16 4SH – jailed after appalling conditions led to the deaths of at least three dogs.
Reynolds, who is unemployed and was living in a caravan at Cocks Roost, St Just, at the time of the offences, pleaded guilty to all charges against him. These related to six dogs for which he was responsible.
Police and RSPCA officers attended the site on March 29, 2018, having been concerned about dogs in the care of Reynolds in the past, and were said to have been deeply affected by what they discovered.
The bodies of two dogs were found. One had been left to decompose inside a plastic bag used to store animal feed and the other, Sam, was found in a makeshift kennel. The court heard that witnesses had described a “powerful smell of rotting flesh”.
A lurcher called Ben was thin and had scars around his head and muzzle. He was also found to have what was described as a “de-gloving” injury – when skin is lost – on his face and was likely to have been in considerable pain but had not received any treatment.
Three dogs were found inside a “cramped” trailer without water. One of those was a beagle named Bruno who was described as being aggressive and later had to be put down. A dog called Tia was found inside the caravan which was in a “shambolic state” with a “build-up of faeces, especially on the mattress”.
Kevin Withey, prosecuting for the RSPCA, revealed: “If the circumstances didn’t change [the dogs] would be at significant risk.”
During a search of the site remains of at least three other dogs were also found.
Before signing over care of the dogs to the police, Reynolds told officers: “I know I’ve f*cked up.”
A postmortem examination found that Sam had been dead for at least two or three weeks and had died from malnutrition due to starvation. The results from investigations into the death of the other dog were inconclusive because the body had already started to decompose.
Mr Withey revealed that upon writing his statement, a police officer with 21 years of service described the site as the “most upsetting” scene he had ever witnessed. He also said he had “never witnessed animals being forced to live in such poor conditions”.
Mr Withey added that the animals had been “obviously suffering” and their needs were “deliberately ignored”. He also revealed the RSPCA had concerns for two dogs that Reynolds still had access to but claimed belonged to his partner. However during court proceedings, these animals were also surrendered to the animal charity.
District Judge Diane Baker described the events as the “most appalling case of animal cruelty”.
She said she found Reynolds of the highest level of culpability due to the “prolonged period of serious neglect”. Judge Baker added that he ignored advice of the RSPCA to increase the dogs’ diet and ensure water was available.
She continued: “I have no doubt the suffering was obvious. It was ignored in the most inhumane manner.” Upon sentencing, Judge Baker took into account Reynolds’ supposed good character, family difficulties and late guilty plea.
Sentencing: 16-week prison sentence, of which he will serve half. One-year’s probation. Disqualified from owning any animals for 20 years, with no right of appeal for ten years.