Tag Archives: 2019 cases

Draycott, Derby: Laura Butt and Timothy Wood

#TheList Laura Emily Butt (aka Laura Welch), born 23/03/1986 and Timothy Wood, born 27/05/1966 both of Derby Road, Draycott, Derby DE72 3NJ – left their dogs to starve for months and refused to take them to the vet

Convicted dog abusers Laura Butt and Timothy Wood from Draycott in Derby
Convicted dog abusers Laura Butt and Timothy Wood from Draycott in Derby

Butt and Wood fed their four dogs scraps from takeaway meals and left them to fight at their home in Draycott, Derby.

Dogs neglected by Laura Butt and Timothy Wood from Draycott in Derby

The charges related to a six-year-old Akita-type dog named Bear, and 14-year-old German Shepherd Molly. Another of the dogs, Roxy, seven, was underweight.

Dogs neglected by Laura Butt and Timothy Wood from Draycott in Derby

RSPCA inspectors found the animals with protruding bones and ‘deep scratches’ but the couple refused to take them to the vets, claiming they were ‘too busy’.

Butt and Wood pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal at Southern Derbyshire Magistrates’ Court.

Butt, who is said to have bipolar disorder, adult ADHD and nervous anxiety, sobbed throughout the hearing.

RSPCA officer Helen Mead visited the property numerous times between December 2018 and May 2019.

Dogs neglected by Laura Butt and Timothy Wood from Draycott in Derby

Prosecutor Richard Purchase said: ‘There was a worry at that time that two dogs were underweight. Molly, 14, was thin and Roxy, seven, was underweight. Advice was given that the dogs needed cooked pasta into their dog food and should be taken to the vets.’

By March the dogs had not been taken to the vets because Wood said they were ‘very busy’.

Dogs neglected by Laura Butt and Timothy Wood from Draycott in Derby
Image shows Rio in the condition he was in when rescued (left) and following his recovery

The RSPCA inspector attended their home twice that month but could not gain access.

In May 2019, a police officer attended the property with Ms Mead who had ‘concerns regarding the state of two dogs’. Bear was found lethargic with protruding hip bones and another dog in the home was ‘grumbling’ and ‘had scabs’.

Mr Purchase said: ‘The fear was that it had a fight with one of the other dogs. The scratches were deep and the dog had not had any treatment.

‘Mr Wood said the dogs were fed a lot of food. Ms Mead asked there was any dog food but Mr Wood said no.

‘The concern was that the dogs were not being fed on dog food but scrap food from the local takeaway. It would appear the dogs were so thin because of their diet. All four dogs were seized.’

Wood owned three of the dogs while Butt owned Bear. All four dogs are still with the RSPCA.

Defending Wood, Mark Moore said the couple have become ‘village pariahs’ in Draycott and even the local shop won’t serve them.

The Chair of the Bench said: ‘These cases are always difficult. That said, whilst we fully respect how the RSPCA brought this case, we and they will have seen much worse cases.

‘That is not to minimise the distress you have caused these four dogs. You were incompetent in the care you provided. We also impose a deprivation order for the four dogs.’

Sentencing: total fines, costs and charges of £1,300. Disqualified from keeping any dogs for the next three years (expires October 2022).

Derby Telegraph
Daily Mail

Kessingland, Lowestoft: Brian Medler

#TheList Brian Medler, born c. 1944, of London Road, Kessingland, near Lowestoft NR33 7PN – failed to treat his dog’s aggressive tumour.

Medler pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal after his border collie, known as Leo, developed an aggressive tumour which was not properly treated for four months. The pensioner claimed to have mistaken a cancerous ulcer on the dog’s back for a tick bite.

The court heard the RSPCA had been contacted by a concerned member of the public and following two unsuccessful attempts to visit Medler’s home eventually saw Leo in June 2019. The stricken pet had a lump the size of a hand on his back which was clearly “infected and weeping”. There were also fly eggs in the centre of the wound.

Leo was taken to a vet for further examination where it was concluded that he had been caused unnecessary suffering.

Medler claimed to have taken the dog to a vet in Ireland but could provide no record of this. He also claimed that he was given cream to apply to the dog’s tumour twice a day but as the ulcer was cancerous this was not effective.

Calvin Saker, for Medler, said the 75-year-old had been looking after dogs since the age of 10 and was “hugely remorseful” about the incident.

Mr Saker said: “He saw the injury, took his pet to the vet and followed the advice he was given.”

Medler hoped his dog’s condition would improve and planned to take it to the vets two weeks after the RSPCA inspectors became involved.

Mr Saker said Medler had learnt “a very harsh lesson” but highlighted that he looked after another dog which was in a good condition.

Following the intervention of the inspectors, Leo had the tumour removed and is recovering well.

Sentencing: total of £625 in fines and costs. Deprivation order on Leo.

Eastern Daily Press

Thurlton, Norwich: Carole Rushmer

#TheList puppy farmer Carole L Rushmer, born 08/11/1959, of Home Farm, Low Road, Norwich NR14 6PZ

Puppy farmer Carole Rushmer (far right) with Michael and Zoe Rushmer all of Norwich, UK.
Puppy farmer Carole Rushmer (far right) with Michael and Zoe Rushmer.

Carole Rushmer has been banned from buying or selling dogs for two years for her involvement in a family-run puppy farm.

She admitted causing unnecessary suffering to four dogs she kept at her farm in Thurlton in Norwich.

Three other family members – Zoe Rushmer, Michael Rushmer and Jacob Murphy – have already been sentenced for their part in a scam, which netted more than £300,000.

The puppies, which have since been rehomed, showed signs of worms and had fur matted with excrement and burns on their skin, magistrates were told.

The court was told Rushmer’s late husband Michael had started a puppy farm to clear debts and later involved his daughter Zoe Rushmer, her partner Jacob Murphy and later his son, also called Michael Rushmer.

She admitted having provided premises for the puppy farm in Thurlton, though her lawyer said she had been coerced into it and was subjected to violence.

RSPCA inspector Amy Pellegrini, who worked on the case for four years, said some puppies were “emaciated”.

The RSPCA removed 74 dogs including several pregnant bitches, one of whom had 93 puppies.

“Being that age, they were very lucky to be alive in those conditions,” she said, speaking outside court.

“That’s not something that we see every day. To see something like that is very upsetting.”

Jacob Murphy, Michael Rushmer and Zoe Rushmer were sentenced in June 2019 for having sold ill or dying dogs they pretended had come from a family environment.

They kept some of the 74 animals in cages, dark sheds and a caravan in temperatures up to 30C (86F), Norwich Crown Court was told.

Murphy and Michael Rushmer were each jailed for 42 months, while Zoe Rushmer was given a two-year suspended jail sentence. They were all banned from keeping animals for life.

Sentencing: 14-week curfew; banned from buying or selling dogs for two years.

BBC News

Basingstoke, Hampshire: Michael Hammond

#TheList Michael Henry Hammond, born 21/10/1992, of 18 Westray Close, South View, Basingstoke RG21 4HY – for neglect/starvation of his Staffordshire bull terrier

Staffy Bowser was underweight and living in foul conditions
Michael Hammond’s starving and neglected dog was living in foul conditions

Hammond was found guilty of three animal welfare offences in relation to two-year-old Bowser, who was in poor body condition and living in an unhygienic, hazardous environment.

The dog weighed just 13kg – which rose to 16.3kg in just two weeks, after he was given an appropriate diet.

The court heard that between April 1, 2019, and May 1, 2019, Hammond failed to take steps which were deemed reasonable in all the circumstances to ensure that the needs of an animal we met.

RSPCA Inspector Jan Edwards, who investigated for the animal welfare charity, said: “Bowser was severely underweight, I could see his ribs and hip bones through the skin, he was not the weight he should be for his age or breed type, and when I touched him I could feel his bones easily under his skin.”

Bowser was rescued from a flat which had a large amount of dog faeces over the floor.

Sentencing: ordered to pay £275. Banned from owning dogs for ONE year.

Romsey Advertiser

Thornhill, Dewsbury: Anthony Oakes

#TheList Anthony Steven John Oakes, born 08/09/1986, of 96 Edge Lane, Dewsbury WF12 0HB – left his dogs to suffer with serious facial injuries consistent with badger fighting.

Badger baiter Anthony Oakes from Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, left his dog to suffer with facial injuries caused in a fight
Smirking and unremorseful animal abuser Anthony Oakes

Oakes, who together with partner Amy Lauren Auty, runs an outdoor clothing company called Oakes Outdoors Ltd, pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to the five dogs by failing to take them to a vet.

Badger baiter Anthony Oakes from Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, left his dog to suffer with facial injuries caused in a fight

In February 2019, West Yorkshire Police and the RSPCA together executed two warrants in Dewsbury after intelligence was gathered about dogs being injured.

Badger baiter Anthony Oakes from Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, left his dog to suffer with facial injuries caused in a fight

Five Patterdale terriers were found and seized from a property and all had serious injuries, mainly on their faces, consistent with badger baiting.

One of the dogs had a severely infected eye which had to be removed.

Sentencing: 200 hours of community service; fined £500. Disqualified from keeping dogs for two years. All five dogs were signed over to the RSPCA for rehoming.

West Yorkshire Police
Dewsbury Reporter

Loundsley Green, Chesterfield: Aidan Spencer

#TheList Aidan Peter Spencer, born 14/05/1997, of Langhurst Court, Wenlock Close, Loundsley Green, Chesterfield S40 4PE.

Spencer pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to a dog by manhandling the dog and being aggressive towards her. No separate penalty.

He also pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to a snake by keeping it in poor and inappropriate conditions.

Sentencing: Committed to prison for 12 weeks suspended for 12 months with an Alcohol Treatment Requirement, a Thinking Skills Programme and a Rehabilitation Activity Requirement. Must pay £328.83 compensation, a £115 victim surcharge and £85 costs. Disqualified from owning or keeping animals for seven years.

Derbyshire Times

Malton, North Yorkshire: Jean Simpson

#TheList Jean Audrey Simpson, born 27/04/1958, of Milton Avenue, Malton YO17 7LD – for severe neglect of a Bichon Frise

Neglected bichon frise Oscar
Little Oscar was in an appalling condition following at least two years of neglect by his cruel owner Jean Simpson of Malton in North Yorkshire. The dog originally belonged to Simpson’s son, a convicted paedophile currently in jail for his crimes.

Simpson pleaded guilty to neglect under the Animal Welfare Act. after leaving her Bichon Frise Oscar to suffer unbearable pain. The little dog’s entire body was covered in clumped fur, with infections causing “tar-like gunge” to spread across his face. His fur was so badly matted that vets were forced to remove one of his eyes.

RSPCA Inspector Alice Cooper, who was called to Simpson’s home, said it was clear that “Oscar had extreme and extensive matting over his head, face, ears, legs and feet”

She added: “His ears were two huge clumps of infected matted fur with green, yellow and black tar-like gunge, spreading out of his ears and across the side of his face.

“One eye was completely matted over with fur and the other was crusty with green gunk stuck to the eyeball and surrounding area.

“His legs were solid clumps of thick, tightly packed matts and his feet were now large balls of matted fur. I couldn’t see his foot pads, and I could only see the odd nail poking out the matted ball.

“Oscar was making a whimpering noise and crying out in pain if I tried to stroke him or touch him to assess his condition.”

Neglected bichon frise Oscar was covered in sores, had an inflammation of the ear canal and needed 17 teeth removed
As well as losing an eye, Oscar was covered in sores, had an inflammation of the ear canal and needed 17 teeth removed

Simpson had called the RSPCA to her property to ask them to re-home Oscar because of his poorly ears. But the dog was sedated and vets spent several hours removing the fur – leaving him 1kg lighter by the time they had finished.

Oscar, who was covered in sores, had an inflammation of the ear canal and needed 17 teeth removed. Vets were also forced to remove an eye due to permanent damage caused by the matting which left him blind.

Inspector Cooper added: “These were all health problems that could have been quickly and easily treated if his owner had taken him for veterinary treatment and had him groomed regularly.”

Oscar came to be in Simpson’s care unexpectedly in September 2016 after her predatory paedophile son, Darren Simpson, was sent to prison.

Bichon frise Oscar looking happy and healthy in his new home
Oscar has been rehomed to a couple who adore him

The dog has now been re-homed with a new family after recovering at York Animal Home.

Inspector Cooper said: “Oscar has lost an eye and will need medication for the rest of his life but he’s been lucky enough to find a new home with a wonderful couple who absolutely adore him.

“I appreciate that Ms Simpson didn’t plan on having a dog and that she couldn’t afford to treat him when he needed veterinary care. However, anyone who is struggling to care for their animals needs to ask for help so animals are not left to suffer.”

Sentencing: 12-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months. Banned from keeping animals indefinitely.

Yahoo News

Kingston upon Hull: Celestino Furtado

#TheList Celestino Jorge Tavares Furtado, born December 1986, of 165 Hemswell Avenue, Hull HU9 5LD – kept an American bulldog left locked up in an empty office without food or water

American bulldog Teddy was locked in a filthy office by his owner Celestino Furtado from Hull, UK.
American bulldog Teddy was locked in a filthy office without food or water for several days before being rescued. He has recovered and will be looking for his forever home.

Former restaurateur Celestino Furtado, owner of Galitos LX Charcoal Grill Bar until it was shut down in 2018 for food hygiene breaches, said he didn’t have anyone to look after the dog when he went away, so he locked him up in an office and abandoned him.

The dog, now called Teddy, was so desperate for water and food he tried to chew through the door and was found walking in his own urine and faeces.

Portuguese national Furtado was found guilty in his absence of three offences contrary to section 9 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006, including failing to meet the dog’s need for a suitable environment, adequate care and supervision and an adequate supply of fresh drinking water.

A warrant was issued for his arrest and he appeared before the same court on October 1, 2019, to be sentenced.

American bulldog Teddy was locked in a filthy office by his owner Celestino Furtado from Hull, UK.

RSPCA Inspector Jilly Dickinson said: “The smell coming out of the unit was unbearable. There was a wooden door inside which Teddy had scratched and chewed along with exposed electrical wires.

“It was a warm day and he appeared desperate for water – drinking every bowl we put in front of him. The environment was completely unhygienic and the large build-up of faeces suggested it had not been cleaned in some time.”

Previous advice had been given to Furtado by the RSPCA relating to keeping his dog’s environment clean, however, conditions had deteriorated to an unacceptable level.

Inspector Dickinson attended Furtado’s business address in Oxford Street, Wincolmlee, in May 2019, along with a Welfare Officer from Hull City Council.

They found the dog walking in his own urine and faeces, which led to some sores developing on his paws, although they were not infected.
He had skin irritation, particularly under his chin, most likely caused as a result of the unhygienic environment. The smell emanating from the unit was overpowering and could be smelt from outside.

Sentencing: 12-month community order to include 180 hours of unpaid work; ordered to pay £700 costs and an £85 victim surcharge. Banned from keeping dogs for five years. Deprivation order on Teddy who will be rehomed.

HullLive

Woodville, Swadlincote, Derbyshire: Harry Thompson

#TheList Harry Thompson, born 19/09/2001, of Burton Road, Woodville, Swadlincote DE11 – put a cat inside a washing machine overnight until she suffocated; laughed about what he had done

Cat killer Harry Thompson from Swadlincote, Derbyshire, UK
Vile thug Harry Thompson showed no remorse for causing a cat’s death

Thompson appeared at the youth court at North Staffordshire Justice Centre where he admitted causing unnecessary suffering to the cat, known as Squeak.

The court was told the next day when the cat was found dead there was “hilarity and mocking” from Thompson.

Cat killer Harry Thompson from Swadlincote, Derbyshire, UK

The court heard that between November 12 and November 14, 2018, at a house in Jennings Way, Burton, Thompson caused unnecessary suffering to Squeak by throwing her and placing her in a washing machine.

Cat killer Harry Thompson from Swadlincote, Derbyshire, UK

Magistrates noted that Thompson’s actions would have caused the cat prolonged suffering.

Sentencing: four-month detention training order – half to be spent in custody and the other under supervision. Ordered to pay £230 compensation and charges. Banned from owning animals for five years.

DerbyshireLive

Forfar, Angus: Mark Findlater

#TheList animal porn offender Mark Findlater, born c. 1987, of Mains of Coul Cottages, Forfar DD8 3TX

Animal porn offender Mark Findlater of Forfar, Angus, Scotland

Mark Findlater was convicted in 2016 for possessing images and videos depicting sex acts between adults and dogs, cows, pigs and horses on his home computer.

Colleagues at an animal sanctuary where Findlater was working, had found a link to a bestiality website on a computer he used.

A search warrant at his home uncovered over 1,000 images and 400 videos of the sex acts. He was given a community payback order and banned from keeping animals for three years after admitting the offence, but flouted the latter restriction.

He was originally given a community payback order after he admitted possessing the extreme material between March 2011 and November 2013, but he repeatedly breached it and was warned by a sheriff he was “sorely trying” the patience of the court.

Animal porn offender Mark Findlater of Forfar, Angus, Scotland

The breaches included continuing to keep animals in defiance of the ban.

Findlater’s lawyer told the court that her client recognised his failure to comply with the community order had left little option other than prison.

“Unfortunately, criminal justice feel they can no longer work with Mr Findlater and I think that decision has been made with a heavy heart,” she said.

“They really feel they are at the end of the road.”

She added: “He would be someone who would be very vulnerable in a custodial setting.

“Custody is something that frightens him, he is honest about that,” added the solicitor, who asked the court to consider a restriction of liberty order curfewing Findlater to his mother’s home.

Sheriff Murray told the accused: “When I first sentenced you I said these were horrendous offences.

“I said then that the choice was between what would be, because of the number of images, a relatively brief custodial sentence, or a lengthy community payback order.

“I think you understand a restriction of liberty order is nowhere near serious enough to deal with this, and in my mind there is no alternative to custody,” said the sheriff.

He jailed Findlater for seven months and placed him on the sex offenders’ register for 10 years.

The Courier
Metro