#TheList Michael Rodger Warren, born 20/06/1985, of Avondale Close, Grangetown, Middlesbrough TS6 9SD and with links to Guildford, Blackpool, Whitstable and Worthing – let a German Shepherd starve to death and left another with severe muscle wastage in squalid faeces-littered house
When RSPCA inspectors visited Michael Warren’s filthy home on June 27, 2020, they discovered the stricken dogs, Bolt and Panther. Very sadly, Bolt had already died from malnutrition while Panther had been starved to the point of emaciation. He weighed just 17.5kg, which is around half the weight of a healthy German Shepherd.
He had also suffered hair loss and was riddled with fleas.
When interviewed Warren was said to show “very little remorse” for what happened and “at one point he got up to make a cup of tea”.
Warren was charged with two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal but didn’t even turn up to his trial at the Magistrates’ Court.
He was found guilty in his absence and also appeared on Thursday 10 July 2020 to be sentenced for breaching a suspended sentence order relating to an offence he was sentenced for in 2019.
Nicci Horton, mitigating, said her client had a diagnosis of dyslexia, had attended special needs schools in his youth and was taken into foster care at the age of six.
Ms Horton told the court that the puppies were bred by Warren’s mother, prolific backyard greeder Lucy Koca of Redcar. In June 2018 Koca had given her son two of the puppies as a birthday present but when he tried to return them, she refused to take them back.
Ms Horton agreed her client had been “negligent” in his actions, adding that he had been mostly living at another address at the time.
Warren has six previous convictions for eight offences.
In January 2019 a court heard how he threatened to slit his ex-girlfriend’s throat.
Judge Jonathan Carroll told Warren: “You neglected these two dogs to the extent that one nearly starved to death and the other one actually did.”
He added: “You must have known that dog was suffering and you did nothing about it.”
The court directed that the surviving dog, Panther, be passed into the care of the RSPCA for rehoming.
Sentencing: 30 weeks in jail. Disqualified from keeping animals for 10 years.