Tag Archives: 2013 cases

Burnley, Lancashire: Tracey Cliffe

#TheListTracey Cliffe (aka Tracey Chubbs), born 04/11/1982,  of Shale Street, Burnley BB12 0PR – left  a family of Rottweilers to starve to death

http://manchesterinnews.com/shocking-new-statistics-reveal-a-rise-in-animal-cruelty-convictions-across-greater-manchester/
Tracey Cliffe, now known as Tracey Chubbs, left a family of Rottweilers to starve to death

Neglect by Tracey Cliffe left only three survivors from a family of two adult Rottweilers and four puppies.

The tragic scene was discovered by RSPCA inspector Charlotte Booker on a visit to Cliffe’s address on Eldon Street, Bury.

David McCormick, prosecuting, said: “She saw a large amount of rubbish in one corner and there was faeces all over the yard. She saw a dead rottweiler in the yard, all its bones were visible and it was emaciated. Curled up in a ball next to it was a live rottweiler which was emaciated.

“It was depressed and did not react when the officer shouted. Both were lying on a pile of rubbish.”

When the inspector called police to get inside, they found a kitchen covered in filth and excrement. A dead puppy wrapped in newspaper had been left on the worktop. Three puppies – believed to have been born to the surviving adult who was too weak to feed them – were in a crate lined with damp newspaper on the floor. Cliffe said another puppy had been eaten by the starving male adult.

A vet found that the dead dog, a three-year-old called Kaiser, had died from malnutrition, weighing just 18.6kg – less than half the expected 45kg.

The second dog, a bitch called Jez, was also malnourished with ribs, pelvic bones and spine clearly visible through her skin.

The surviving puppies weighed as little as 4kg. One had to be put down by RSPCA officers.

Cliffe was found guilty of four animal neglect offences in her absence.

After just five weeks in RSPCA care Jez put on 10kg. Very happily she and the two surviving pups went to new homes.

Sentencing:  20-week suspended prison sentence. Disqualified from keeping all animals for life. 

Manchester Evening News
News article with details of sentence removed

Dudley, West Midlands: Emma Spooner

#TheList Emma Michelle Spooner, born 14/11/1980, as at March 2019 of Owen Street, Dudley DY2 7HT – left an elderly rottweiler to starve in his own excrement for five years

Animal abuser Emma Michelle Spooner, now of Dudley, West Midlands, and Kane the dog she left to starve
Animal abuser Emma Michelle Spooner, now of Dudley, West Midlands, and Kane the dog she left to starve

Emma Spooner admitted failing to make sure that her 11-year-old dog, named Kane, was provided with a suitable diet and environment.

The grandmother was slammed by a judge for neglecting the elderly animal and exposing her children to the dangerous possibility of being savaged when he became feral.

Spooner kept Kane alive by throwing him scraps in the back yard of her then home in Peel Way, Tividale, near Birmingham.

Animal abuser Emma Michelle Spooner, now of Dudley, West Midlands, and Kane the dog she left to starve
Spooner spent much of her time out in nightclubs, while her dog was abandoned to starve

Summing up at her trial, Judge Graham Wilkinson: ‘You left this dog to fester in the back yard. This poor animal, for five years, lived in a small space, unloved and mostly neglected.

‘He goes feral, because he is not getting love and attention. He is left to lie in his own filth. He’s occasionally thrown food and he wastes away.

‘Had it not been that someone locally alerted the RSPCA, eventually you would have realised you had not seen him for a few days, because he would have wasted away to nothing.

‘He was left to starve slowly and would probably have died a sad, lonely death. All this time, you allowed your children to be at risk.’

At one stage, the judge also halted the proceedings, ordering Spooner to leave the court because she was chewing gum, although he called the case back about 30 minutes later.

The aging dog was forced to sleep in a damp, open shed in the faeces-strewn back garden of Emma Spooner’s then home in Tividale, near Birmingham.

Prosecuting for the RSPCA, Gaynor Sutton said Inspector Steve Morrall had called at Spooner’s home on January 29, 2013, and could see the dog was ‘very lean’. The yard was covered in faeces.

Inspector Morrall threw some food to the starving animal, who quickly gobbled it up.

Speaking to her local newspaper, Spooner said she had tried to get the RSPCA to put him down, but they had wanted £200 to do the job. She was only willing to pay half.

Spooner, whose 14-year-old daughter had a baby son 17 months earlier, said: ‘The dog belonged to my ex-partner.

‘I was under the impression he would look after it and he should have taken it when he left but he didn’t.

‘I was made out in court to be bad but the dog wasn’t kept outside for five years, like they said. He used to come in at night.’

She added: ‘The dog didn’t like women or children and, apart from biting two of the kids, he went for my throat.’

Sentencing: curfew; costs of £1,000. Banned from keeping an animal for five years (expired September 2018).

Express and Star

Middleton, Manchester: Richard Stewart

#TheList Richard Haye Stewart, born 22/03/1977, of 32 Hollin Lane, Middleton, Manchester M24 5EE – laughed hysterically as he was filmed carrying out a vicious attack on a dog

Council cleaner Richard Stewart attacked American bulldog Peggy with a vacuum attachment after she accidentally soiled the carpet
Council cleaner Richard Stewart attacked American bulldog Peggy with a vacuum attachment after she accidentally soiled the carpet

Laughing thug Richard Stewart used a vacuum cleaner extension pole to deliver 27 sickening blows to the head and body of his three-year-old American bull terrier dog as she yelped in pain.

The horrific incident was filmed on a mobile phone and later handed to the RSPCA.

In court in September 2013 Stewart described the dog, named Peggy, as his ”best friend”.

The video footage shows Peggy cowering in terror near a door at Stewart’s home. He strikes the dog repeatedly whilst swearing and calling her a “dirty bastard”.

Stewart was heard shouting ‘Dirty f* b*, what’s this?’ at the dog before he turned round and laughed at his friend, saying: ‘Is that enough?’ and throwing the attachment on the floor

Abused dog Peggy was mentally scarred by her ordeal

When the RSPCA went to rescue Peggy from her home, she was cowering on the floor and was said to ‘very submissive and very afraid of people’. She went on to recover from her ordeal, however, and was made available for rehoming.

Sentence: six weeks in jail, suspended for 18 months, costs of £2,000. Five-year ban on keeping any animal as a pet (expired September 2018).

Manchester Evening News

Slough, Berkshire: Micky Smith

#TheList gypsy traveller Micky Smith of Sutton Lane, Langley, Slough SL3 – used a catapult to fire a rock at the face of a cocker spaniel he was trying to steal from a garden

Filth: gypsy traveller Micky Smith - known for preying on the defenceless and vulnerable
Filth: gypsy traveller Micky Smith – known for preying on the defenceless and vulnerable

In September 2013 Smith attempted to steal pedigree dogs from a property on the Elvendon Priory Estate, Goring. CCTV captured the thug approaching the doors to the kennel. When one of the dogs started barking, Smith used a catapult to fire a rock at her face. Thankfully the 5-year-old golden cocker spaniel wasn’t badly injured. Not that Smith cared one way or another.

The dog’s owner called the attack “absolutely disgusting”.

He said that Smith – a career criminal with several convictions to his name for burglary and violence – had “got away with it” adding “It doesn’t send out the correct message. He should have been locked up for five years.”

Sentence:  Smith was fined £110 and ordered to pay £100 compensation, a £20 victim surcharge and £85 costs.

Newslink:
Henley Standard

CCTV footage: YouTube

Other crimes:
Slough Observer

Darlington: Brandon Coulton, Liam Crang, Marcus Hall, Thomas Richardson, Jack Tenwick and Damon Dodsworth

#TheList Brandon Coulton, Liam Crang, Marcus Hall, Thomas Richardson, Jack Tenwick and Damon “Damo” Dodsworth all of Darlington – for animal fighting, keeping dogs in squalid conditions, leaving facial injuries untreated

Wildlife persecutors randon Coulton, Liam Crang, Marcus Hall, Thomas Richardson, Jack Tenwick and Damon "Damo" Dodsworth all of Darlington
Wildlife persecutors and dog abusers Brandon Coulton, Liam Crang, Marcus Hall, Thomas Richardson, Jack Tenwick and Damon “Damo” Dodsworth all of Darlington

The six-strong gang of wildlife persecutors were caught as part of Operation Merlin which saw 69 police and RSPCA officers carry out dawn raids on homes in the town.

Brandon Coulton of 54 Estoril Road South, Liam Crang of 12 Brignall Moor Crescent, Marcus Hall of 137 Neasham Road, Thomas Richardson 8 Headlam Rd and Jack Tenwick of 81 Westminster Road, pleaded guilty to being present at an animal fight. The sixth, Damon Dodsworth of 79 Cobden Street, pleaded guilty to two counts of failing to ensure an animal’s welfare, while Crang and Tenwick each admitted one count. Crang also admitted to setting his dog on a hare in October last year.

Brandon Coulton outside court
Brandon Coulton

Damon Dodsworth outside court
Damon Dodsworth

Jack Tenwick outside court
Jack Tenwick

Marcus Hall outside court
Marcus Hall

Thomas Richardson outside court
Thomas Richardson

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, outdoor, water and nature
Liam Crang

RSPCA footage shows hare coursing and squalid conditions dogs were kept in by a group of Darlington men. The court heard that in March 2011 they had allowed their dogs to chase and kill a fox and posed for a picture with the dead animal afterwards.

Brandon Coulton, Liam Crang, Marcus Hall, Thomas Richardson, Jack Tenwick and Damon "Damo" Dodsworth from Darlington pose with a dead fox
The feral teens pose with a fox brutally killed by dogs

When officers raided the men’s homes they found that lurchers owned by Crang, Dodsworth and Tenwick were living in squalid conditions and bore fresh cuts and old scars.

In mitigation the court heard that the men were all teenagers at the time of the offences, and that those who kept their dogs in poor conditions did so through failure to understand the animals’ needs.

Sentence (Sep ’13): 12-month community order of 140 hours unpaid work; £160 in court costs and charges. Crang, Dodsworth and Tenwick were banned from keeping dogs for ten years, while the other three were given a five-year ban. Crang was also fined £200 for a hunting offence.

Northern Echo

 

Withernsea, East Riding of Yorkshire: Jason Appleby

#TheList Jason Barry Appleby, born 12/07/1975, most recent known address Kirkfield Road, Withernsea HU19 2JZ – caught on camera beating puppy with a piece of wood

Violent thug Jason Appleby subjected Dogue de Bordeaux puppy Bonnie to a terrifying ordeal
Violent thug Jason Appleby subjected Dogue de Bordeaux puppy Bonnie to a terrifying ordeal.

The video filmed by a neighbour shows Appleby hitting and jabbing six-month-old Dogue de Bordeaux Bonnie with the wood several times while she tries to escape. She runs into a child’s playhouse, which Appleby then kicks into the air.

The court heard he gave ‘sarcastic’ answers to RSPCA officers trying to interview him after his arrest, even telling them: “I should have killed [Bonnie] with a hammer.”

Appleby said he was hitting the ground and fence to scare Bonnie after she tore up a dirty nappy in his kitchen.

Violent thug Jason Appleby subjected Dogue de Bordeaux puppy Bonnie to a terrifying ordeal
Jason Appleby told shocked RSPCA officials he wished he’d used a hammer on the dog.

Bonnie escaped with just minor injuries and was fostered and later adopted by Terry Morrill. Speaking at the time Mr Morrill said: “I have never known a dog so nervous in all my life as she was when I first got her. It was heartbreaking to see.

“If anybody came too close to her, or you tried to put a lead on her, she would be trying to get away. She would be petrified. She is so much better now, which is good to see. You couldn’t ask for a better dog, she is lovely.”

Shameless Appleby eventually pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to Bonnie on the day he was due to stand trial.

Sentence: jailed for 4 months, lifetime ban on keeping an animal.

Mirror

Stockton-on-Tees: Christopher Bowman

#TheList Christopher Bowman Watson (DoB 04/09/1994) of 9 Northbourne Road, Stockton-on-Tees TS19 0HN – used a broom to batter a shih-tzu so badly that she was left with 24 fractures

Christopher Bowman Watson and Coco the Shih-Tzu
Violent dog abuser Christopher Bowman Watson and his victim Coco, who miraculously recovered from her ordeal

Watson, who has links to the Hartlepool area, subjected the tiny dog, named Coco, to a violent sustained attack. When found, Coco was emaciated, soaked in urine, found it difficult to walk and was “extremely lucky to be alive” according to a vet’s report.  The force of the attacks carried out by the thug were “so savage they were akin to the dog being involved in a road traffic accident”.

A “kindly neighbour” alerted the RSPCA after seeing Coco being beaten. She saw the defendant take a handle of a broom and repeatedly strike the dog on its back with the weighted end. A few days later the same neighbour saw Watson repeatedly kicking the dog. An attempt was made to video this but all that could be seen is the dog apparently being kicked into the air.

RSPCA inspector Aislinn Balderston called at the house but Watson became abusive and threatened violence to the person who had called the RSPCA.

She returned another day with police back-up. Watson ran off but was later found and charged.

Coco was found to have 17 fractures to her pelvis and seven to her ribs. The plucky little dog was housed with a foster family, renamed Maggie, and has made a full recovery.

Yob Watson – a father of two – was sentenced to the jail term despite asking justices for “mercy” and not to send him to prison.

But as he was led away he turned to the RSPCA representative who was sat in court, called her a “rat” and said he would “stamp all over her head”.

Sentence: 18 weeks in prison, banned from keeping animals for life

Newslink:
The Northern Echo

Warrington, Cheshire: Karen & John Anderson

#TheList Karen Mary Anderson, born 08/09/1954, and husband John Anderson, born 07/06/1951, both of Kingsway South, Warrington WA4 1LS – kept two dogs in cage behind sofa for 22 hours a day for two years leaving them covered in sores and scars

Convicted animal abusers Karen and John Anderson are banned from owning animals until August 2023
Vile: Karen and John Anderson are banned from owning animals until August 2023

The Andersons kept Staffies Jet, aged 10, and Tye, aged 12, locked in a small cage 22 hours a day for two years.

John and Karen Anderson from Warrington shunned their elderly dogs Jet and Tye.
John and Karen Anderson shunned their elderly dogs Jet and Tye.

When rescued by the RSPCA on January 20, 2013, both dogs had damaged teeth and were covered in sores and scars from trying to escape the cage.

Inspectors found the broken wires of the cage were bent back into place by the pair to keep the pets contained, concealed behind an old sofa in a dirty, disused bedroom.

Both dogs were emaciated with ribs, spines and skulls all visible.
Both dogs were emaciated with ribs, spines and skulls all visible.

Kevin Worthington, prosecuting, said both dogs were ‘emaciated with ribs, spines and skulls all visible’.

They were rarely fed while trapped, with paws stained from urine and faeces. Neither dog could walk.

The court heard how the defendants had two other dogs, both Dogue de Bordeaux, who Mrs Anderson described as her ‘babies’.

They slept in the bedroom with the couple and were treated as part of the family. The couple also kept barn owls and tropical fish.

All pets were seized by the RSPCA.

At Halton Magistrates Court, District Judge Bridget Knight said: “This case is truly shocking.

“I have seen the photographs of these two dogs that were family pets kept as prisoners.

“I can’t conceive how you as human beings and dog owners could sleep night after night when you knew these two animals were suffering greatly.

“You had grandchildren visiting and I can’t bear to think of young children knowing animals were being treated in this way.

“I almost despair.”

All pets have now been seized by the RSPCA.

Jonathan Conder, defending, said the dogs were separated because they started to fight.

He said: “The defendants fully accept the cage was completely inadequate accommodation for the dogs.

“That wasn’t the right way to keep them.

“The treatment of the dogs is an aberration for people who have kept pets all their lives.”

Sentencing: 18 weeks in prison, suspended for two years. 26-week curfew. Banned from keeping animals for 10 years (expires August 2023).

John Anderson, on long-term sick from self-employed work as a removal man, was told to pay £600 towards a £4,000 vet bill.

Karen Anderson, who is on benefits, will pay £520.

Warrington Guardian
Daily Mail

Illingworth, West Yorkshire: Stacey Crawford and Craig Horsfall

#TheList Stacey Marie Crawford, born 19/11/1988, of 9 Sefton Terrace, Halifax HX1 5RE, and Craig Ian Horsfall, born 04/10/1985, of 45 Denfield Avenue, Halifax HX3 5NL – left a one-year-old bull terrier named Lenny to starve to death in a puppy cage over several weeks.

Dog killers Stacey Crawford and Craig Horsfall of Illingworth, near Halifax, West Yorks
Dog killers Stacey Crawford and Craig Horsfall of Illingworth, near Halifax, West Yorks

Lenny had been living in a cage in a bedroom at the couple’s home. They said that they had stopped feeding him because when they tried to put food in the cage he would bite them. They hadn’t sought help with him because, they said, they had no credit on their phones.

When Lenny finally starved to death, Crawford and Horsfall buried him on public land. This was, however, witnessed by a member of the public who alerted the RSPCA. RSPCA Inspector Charlotte Booker and a police officer then dug up the burial spot where Lenny’s carcass was found.

Crawford and Horsfall locked Lenny in a puppy cage and left him there to starve to death. When he eventually died, they buried him.
Crawford and Horsfall locked Lenny in a puppy cage and left him there to starve to death. When he eventually died, they buried him.

Inspector Booker said: “This was a very harrowing case to deal with and I think the memory of it will stay with me forever.

“I dug this dog’s emaciated body up. He weighed just 10kg, half his ideal weight, and his feet were stained yellow from urine.

“The owners had dog food in the house but they hadn’t fed him. They told me he hadn’t been out of the cage he was living in for four weeks before he died. They had cats, bearded dragons and tropical fish which were all being fed.”

“Lenny starved to death right in front of them,” said Insp Booker.

Crawford and Horsfall locked Lenny in a puppy cage and left him there to starve to death. When he eventually died, they buried him.
Dog killer Stacey Crawford
Crawford and Horsfall locked Lenny in a puppy cage and left him there to starve to death. When he eventually died, they buried him.
Dog killer Craig Horsfall

The two cats were signed over to the RSPCA for rehoming and the bearded dragons and tropical fish were found new homes by the couple.

Sentence: jailed for 18 weeks and banned from keeping animals for life

Halifax Courier

Clay Cross, near Chesterfield, Derbyshire: Richard Canlin

#TheList Richard Canlin, born 23/08/1978,  at the time of John Street, Clay Cross, Chesterfield, Derbyshire S45 9NQ – battered his dog to death and seriously injured another.

Psychopath Richard Canlin subjected Leyla (top) and Daisy to brutal beatings, eventually killing one and severely injuring the other.
Psychopath Richard Canlin subjected Leyla (top) and Daisy to brutal beatings, eventually killing one and severely injuring the other.

Canlin battered his dogs so ferociously that he tried to cover his cruelty by claiming his dogs had been involved in a road traffic collision.

Canlin initially denied causing the injuries to his two Staffordshire bull terriers and claimed his dogs had been involved in a road traffic accident. But a vet said the injuries had been deliberately inflicted and Canlin later admitted five charges, during a hearing at Chesterfield Magistrates Court on May 1, 2013.

The body of Daisy, a white Staffy, was found in a holdall in Canlin’s cellar in 2012. She had suffered multiple head traumas and fractured ribs. Canlin was also charged with failing to provide veterinary care for an eye injury.

A second dog, Staffy-cross Leyla, was found four months later, cowering at the top of the stairs, suffering from head injuries.

The charges, of causing unnecessary suffering and failing to provide appropriate veterinary treatment, date from April to October 2012.

Brian Orsborn, prosecuting said the dogs had suffered deliberate blows to the head.

RSPCA inspector Nick Wheelhouse added: “This is an extremely horrific and disturbing case and it was horrendous to find the dog stuffed in a holdall and see blood on the floor.”

Felicity Clarke, defending, said Canlin suffered from psychopathic tendencies. She added: “At the age of nine or ten he was in care due to violence in the family and his parents were not able to cope with his behaviour. From that age he had been hearing voices and having blackouts.”

NDET 1-5-13 MC 1'Richard Canlin RSPCA case

Ms Clark went on: “He has the lowest capacity of intelligence. 99 per cent of the population are more intelligent than him.”

Canlin said that he could not remember what had happened to the dogs but accepted he must have caused the injuries.

Sentencing:
Canlin was sentenced to 23 weeks in prison and banned from keeping animals for life.

Derbyshire Times