#TheList Steven Klein, born c. 1969, his partner Melanie Harding, born 20/01/1972, and their lodger Kelly Marie Oldham, born c. 1999, all of Rowan Avenue, Ribbleton, Preston PR2 6QE – charges relating to the physical and mental abuse of four dogs
Staffies Trinity, Harley, Quinn and Petrol were heard yelping by a neighbour as Steven Klein hit, kicked and threw things at them.
Preston Magistrates’ Court heard a witness’s flat overlooks a communal area where Klein, who owns Harley, his girlfriend Melanie Harding – owner of Trinity and Quinn – and their lodger Kelly Oldham, Petrol’s owner, keep their dogs.
The neighbour reported she had seen and filmed Klein losing his temper, shouting and swearing at the dogs and being physically abusive on an “almost daily basis” and reported it to Gateway Housing, which in turn reported it to the RSPCA.
RSPCA prosecutor Paul Ridehalgh said: “The case involves potentially painful and frightening handling and control methods employed by Stephen Klein which were known and observed by Melanie Harding and Kelly Oldham and they failed to protect their dogs from Stephen Klein.
“She has observed the dogs cry out after being hurt and they appear scared of Mr Klein. She has provided CCTV video of the communal area showing various incidents that have occurred and this video corroborates her written description of the incidents.”
Videos show Klein kicking a lighter coloured dog, who ran away lame in the right hind leg, holding another dog down and forcibly slapping her, and swiping at a dog with the broom, hitting his head.
Further video evidence shows Klein pick up a ball and throw it forcefully at a dog, into his side, as he tries to run past.
In May 2019 the dogs were seized and the three defendants interviewed.
In interview Klein claimed that he would use a stick to “control” the dogs and after being shown the video clips he claimed that he was “just playing” with the dogs.
He denied failing to ensure their needs were met by failing to protect them from suffering but was found guilty after a trial.
Klein: ordered to pay a total of £570 in fines, costs and charges. Banned from keeping animals for six years (expires August 2026).
Harding and Oldham, who were described in court as ‘vulnerable’ were ordered to pay £300 costs. They were banned from keeping animals for four years (expires August 2024).