#TheList Naomi Rachel Knapp, born April 1960, of Wingfield Road, Knowle, Bristol BS3 5EQ, but with links to the Somerset village of Congresbury – for cruelty to a Shetland pony
Knapp, who’s a founder/director of a Bristol-based Christian homeless charity, admitted causing unnecessary suffering to a Shetland pony gelding at Moor View Farm, Congresbury, between January 22 and February 14, 2020.
The fate of the pony is unknown.
Sentencing: community order. Disqualified from keeping equines for five years.
#TheList Aaron Ray, born c. 2002, of 29 Mayfield Road, Sunderland SR4 0NE – stabbed a pet cockatiel to death in a fit of rage
Aaron Ray left the unnamed family pet with fatal injuries after plunging a knife into the back of her neck.
Northumbria Police officers found the deceased bird after being called to Ray’s home following reports of a disturbance. When questioned, Ray displayed an astonishing lack of remorse for his sickening cruelty, insisting “it’s just a bird”.
In court, Ray pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to an animal.
PC Peter Baker, wildlife officer at Northumbria Police, said Ray’s conviction should act as a reminder that animal cruelty is a criminal offence.
He said: “Aaron Ray showed a total disregard for the welfare of this bird and inflicted catastrophic injuries that it could not survive from.
“This kind of behaviour is not only reckless and upsetting, but a criminal offence and that’s the lesson that Ray now must learn.
“We are a nation of animal lovers, so it is upsetting to come across incidents such as this where the defendant has caused inevitable and unnecessary suffering to an animal.”
Sentencing: 12-week custodial sentence, suspended for one year. 15-year ban from owning animals.
#TheList Jack Christopher Green, born 15/10/1993, of Sycamore Avenue, Golcar, near Huddersfield, but with links to Longwood, Huddersfield, Leeds and Newmarket – subjected a Patterjack X Dachshund puppy to a life of pain and abuse
Agricultural worker Green was prosecuted by the CPS following an investigation by Suffolk Police. The court heard how he subjected the tiny dog, known as Pippin, to repeated acts of cruelty between 18 January 2019 and 2 May 2019.
Pippin was five months old when she was discovered by police outside an address in Newmarket on 1 May 2019. At the time, she was sporting a white bandage on her right foreleg and Green claimed that she may have fallen from a vehicle. He said that he took her to the vets who told him to treat the injury himself, therefore placing a makeshift bandage on her leg with the use of duct tape and a toilet roll holder.
Officers were not happy with her injury, treatment and his explanation so they seized Pippin and sought immediate veterinary attention. The vet established that her right foreleg showed a severe leg injury that would require some intensive treatment.
In the autumn Green was charged at magistrates court with causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal and pleaded guilty to this charge.
Pippin was rehomed having initially being placed into the care of the RSPCA and attended a vet every two days for three months so she could have her bandages changed. Following her rehoming, Pippin continues to learn to interact with her new family and other animals.
PC Victoria McNamara said: “As a Wildlife Crime Officer for Suffolk Police, I have a specific interest in animal welfare. Animals of all kinds are often hidden victims of crime and animal abuse can be a gateway to other offences being committed, it is wholly unacceptable to cause suffering to any animal and we will investigate and prosecute those offenders, bringing them to justice.
“In the case of Pippin, she was a little puppy who had for the first few months of her life suffered cruelty at the hands of her owner. She was not in the best condition, she weighed 3.1kg and was on pain relief for quite a few weeks due to her fractured leg. Over the last few months with correct care, adequate nutrition and lots of love, Pippin has flourished.
“Alongside A/PS Rebecca Webster, the rural crime unit and colleagues at West Yorkshire police roads policing unit in making the arrest we have all made a difference to the life of a puppy. Coupled with the expertise of Criminal Justice Unit Case Management Officer Jo Foley, it really has been a team effort in bringing the defendant to justice over his actions against this little dog.”
Sentencing: 12-week custodial sentence; £200 compensation. Disqualified from owning animals for just five years (expires June 2025).
#TheList John Bowers, born c. 1989, of 201 Albertbridge Road, Belfast BT5 4PU – physically abused a dog
John Bowers, who also faced charges of assault and racial harassment, was seen grabbing a Staffy-type dog by the scruff of the neck and throwing him over a garden wall. He then lifted the dog up a second time and threw him down on his back.
The fate or identity of the dog is unknown but our photo shows Bowers’ dog, Dre, who is believed to be dead.
In June 2020 Bowers was jailed for 10 months after pleading guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to an animal in addition to two counts of harassment and common assault.
Defence barrister Sean Mullan detailed his client’s battle with alcohol addiction.
“He’s keen to draw a line under all these matters,” counsel said.
Imposing five months custody for the offences, Mr Hamill ordered Bowers to serve a further five months from previously suspended prison terms.
The judge also imposed two-year restraining orders for the racially-aggravated harassment, and banned Bowers from keeping any animal for five years.
Sentencing: custodial. Five-year ban on keeping an animal.
#TheList Latoyah Donna Stones (aka Lottie Devine), born 24/02/1992, of Hillcrest Road, Yeovil BA21 – neglected and starved a dog
Mother-of-three Stones caused unnecessary suffering to the female dog, known as Boston, by failing to explore or address her poor condition between March and September 2019.
The Dogue de Bordeaux had been taken to Vets4Pets in Yeovil on September 22, 2019 by Stones, who claimed the severely malnourished dog was a stray she had found.
Boston, who weighed just 30kg at the time, was taken to St Giles Animal Rescue by the local authority dog warden and social media appeals for information regarding the dog were made.
Stones’ name was put forward by members of the public who identified her as being Boston’s owner, which she later admitted when interviewed.
RSPCA inspector Jo Daniel, who investigated for the animal welfare charity, said: “The vet who examined Boston found her to be very thin, weighing just 30kg when a similar dog in healthy condition could be expected to weigh between 40 to 45kg, and said the dog’s condition was because of a failure to provide adequate food to maintain a normal bodily condition.
“In conclusion, the vet found no underlying causes that would have led to her being in the state she was, adding that she would have suffered for a number of months and have suffered hunger and fatigue during that time.
“This picture, which was taken ten days after she went into the care of the rescue centre, shows what an awful condition she was in.
“Thankfully, she’s now recovered thanks to simply being given an appropriate diet and the care she needs.”
Boston has since been rehomed.
Sentencing: 20 days of rehabilitation activity requirement; total of £365 costs and charges. Banned from keeping dogs for five years.
#TheList Kieran John Jerome Mitchell, born 27/05/1995, of Keswick Crescent, Plymouth PL6 – punched and slapped his pet dog 36 times causing him to suffer wounds to his head and ears
Convicted cannabis dealer Mitchell, formerly of Penrose Street, Stonehouse, Plymouth, was convicted of causing unnecessary suffering to the bull terrier Hugo in November 2017. He was convicted in his absence back in July 2018 and a warrant issued for his arrest the following month.
Mitchell surrendered to custody in March 2020. He was released on bail but failed to turn up at the next hearing. Magistrates have now issued a further arrest warrant.
The RSPCA, which brought the case, said concerns were raised about the welfare of Hugo, after they were sent an anonymous audio recording of him being beaten and taunted by Mitchell.
RSPCA prosecutor Lindi Meyer told the court it was a “nasty sustained attack” with a total of 36 hits, punches or slaps heard on the recording.
As Mitchell attacked the dog he can be overheard goading him, asking him: “Are you crying now? Whimpering?”
The RSPCA seized Hugo from Mitchell and took him to a vet for examination. The vet found three lesions on his face, one of which was near an eye. The vet said that the beating would have been a traumatic experience for Hugo, causing him to feel “terror, fear, pain and anxiety”.
Mitchell admitted in his interview that he smacked Hugo and would rub his nose in it if he fouled on the floor.
The presiding magistrate told Mitchell: “You acted in anger against an innocent animal.”
Sentencing: 24 weeks in prison. £115 victim surcharge. Banned from owning animals for ten years.
#TheList Robert Iordan, born 28/05/1996, Florin Nutu, born 11/01/1984, and Viorel Manu, born c. 1980, all of 41 Dunsink Road, Birmingham B6 6PL – killed and butchered around 350 sheep in Northamptonshire over four months.
Between June 22 and October 7, 2019, the three Romanian nationals travelled across rural areas in the county, killing and butchering sheep in order to steal the meat and profit from it.
The trio’s attacks on sheep and lambs, which all took place in the dead of night, had the county’s livestock farming community gripped in fear.
But they were hunted down by Northamptonshire Police’s rural crime team, acting on key information from NFU members and farmers, and arrested.
All three eventually pleaded guilty and were sentenced at Northampton crown court.
In a hearing in October 2019, the court heard the gruesome details of how the alleged operation was carried out.
The prosecution lawyer said: “The conspiracy involved the slaughter of about 350 sheep, all that have been slaughtered inhumanely.
“Vehicles and weapons have been taken to the location on local farmers’ fields, the sheep are captured and a knife is taken to their throats and they suffer a slow and painful death.
“A pipe is then inserted into the throat of the sheep which are blown up, they are skinned and their remains are left at the scene.”
NFU county adviser for Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Rutland, Harriet Ranson, who was involved in the case from the beginning and liaised with police throughout, said she was delighted with the outcome.
“These crimes were horrific, barbaric and unprecedented and had the whole livestock farming community in Northamptonshire and neighbouring counties living in fear that they would be next for months,” she said.
“It is fantastic to see the courts treating these appalling crimes with the seriousness they deserve and handing down suitably lengthy prison terms to these dangerous men.
“This case really highlights how important local information from farmers, the NFU and the public is in helping to bring offenders before the courts.
“We’d like to thank Northamptonshire Police, their rural crime team and the police and crime commissioner for their relentless pursuit of these criminals and we hope this case sends out a clear message to anyone planning to do something similar – you will get caught and you will get punished.”
Sentencing: Iordan and Nutu were both handed jail terms of four years and four months and Manu was ordered to serve two years and 11 months inside.
#TheList Lesley Cameron (aka Lesley Grimshaw), born 01/04/1960 of 30 Dundas Gardens, Whitby YO21 1HD and Alexander Cameron, born 08/10/88 of 2 Greens Yard, Church Street, Whitby YO22 4AY – left their pet dog suffering in pain with a foul-smelling infection
Lesley Cameron and her son Alexander Cameron pleaded guilty to offences related to causing unnecessary suffering to their pet dog, Tigerlilly The Akita was suffering from a painful uterus infection but her owners failed to take her to the vet for treatment.
The court heard that an RSPCA inspector visited the pair’s home on November 28, 2019, after concerns were raised that the dog had missed her last three vet appointments.
Upon arrival, the RSPCA, along with North Yorkshire Police, found Tigerlily in a sorry state and suffering from pyometra.
RSPCA inspector Claire Little said: “I’ve met Tigerlily many times over many years and she’s a very friendly dog who has always come to the door to meet me.
“Upon entering the room where Tigerlily was lying on the floor, there was a noticeable and unpleasant smell, and she didn’t get up which worried me.
“I encouraged her to stand up so I could check her over, which she did, and she had lost weight from my last visit.
“Immediately I could see that the fur around her back end was wet and dirty.
“As she stood up I could smell the unpleasant smell more strongly and upon closer examination, I saw a greeny milky coloured discharge from her body
“The fur around there was soaked and appeared sticky when touched and her fur was matted.”
She added: “Ms Cameron allowed me to take Tigerlily to the vets for examination and she was taken into possession by police on vet advice and placed in RSPCA care pending the outcome of my investigation.
“Tigerlily is doing really well with a foster family at the moment I am really happy that we’ll now be able to find a permanent home for her, where her needs will always be met.”
In addition to the disqualification, a deprivation order was placed on Tigerlily whose care will now pass to the RSPCA.
Sentencing: Alexander Cameron – 12-month community order with 10 rehabilitation activity requirement days; 140 hours of unpaid work; total of £290 in costs and charges.
Lesley Cameron 12-month community order with 10 rehabilitation activity requirement days; £290 in costs and charges.
Both were banned from keeping animals for 10 years.
#TheList Lauren Jane Eliot (aka Lauren Purvis), born 02/08/1997, of 5 Thomas Street, Annfield Plain, Stanley, Co Durham DH9 7SN – left a poorly British bulldog puppy to live in a yard full of rubbish and a mouldy sofa.
Eighteen-month-old British bulldog Royston was underweight, had skin and ear conditions and was living in a cluttered yard full of hazards when the RSPCA rescued him from his heartless owner, Lauren Jane Eliot.
The single mother-of-one was banned from keeping animals for five years after she was convicted of one offence under the Animal Welfare Act.
She failed to appear before Newton Aycliffe Magistrates’ Court but was convicted in her absence of not taking reasonable steps to ensure the dog’s needs for a suitable environment were met and not seeking veterinary attention for his various ailments.
RSPCA inspector Cathy Maddison said: “I had been to this property in April and given advice to the couple living there to clean up the yard where they said Royston – an 18-month-old British bulldog – was living in the daytime.
“I got another call about him in August and when I went the situation had deteriorated.
“Royston was lying on a mouldy sofa in the yard, which was full of hazards.
“He had lost weight, had red skin and his nails were long.
“Eliot said she was taking him to the vets so I advised that needed to happen and the yard needed to be tidied up but unfortunately when I went back over a week later neither had.
“The yard was even worse, with faeces everywhere, and the shed Royston was using for shelter had been filled with chairs so his only resting place was the now very wet sofa.
“Eliot agreed I could take Royston to the vets to be checked over where he was found to be underweight.
“The skin under his chin and neck appeared red raw, his ears were very dirty and he smelled bad.
“He was taken into possession by police on vet advice and placed in our care pending the outcome of our investigation.”
The court heard that the defendant had been left with the dog when she broke up with her partner and was not in a position to care for him.
Inspector Maddison said: “Royston is now fully recovered and doing great.
“He’s a fantastic dog, and I’m really happy that we’ll now be able to find a fantastic new forever home for him.”
Sentencing: ordered to pay a total of £400. Five-year ban on keeping animals.