Tag Archives: Birmingham

Aston, Birmingham: Robert Iordan, Florin Nutu and Viorel Manu

#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.

Police mugshots of Robert Iordan and Florin Nutu

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.

Warwickshire Rural Crime Team (Facebook post)

Boldmere, Sutton Coldfield: Louise Lawford

#TheList Louise Lawford, born c. 1970, of Eastern Road, Sutton Coldfield B73 5NU – for animal welfare offences relating to her pet-sitting business Pawford Paws

Pictured is professional dog sitter Louise Lawford who claimed five dogs in her care ran off after being let off the lead in Hopwas Woods, Tamworth
Professional dog sitter Louise Lawford claimed five dogs in her care ran off after being let off the lead in Hopwas Woods, Tamworth

In June 2019 five dogs, who became known as the ‘Tamworth Five’, went missing while in the care of Birmingham-based pet-sitting Louise Lawford. Lawford claimed that the dogs – Ralph, Charlie, Pablo, Maggie and Jack – had run off in Hopwas Woods near Tamworth, but no trace of them has ever been found.

The Tamworth Five - the five dogs that went missing in the care of professional dog sitter Louise Lawford
No trace of the Tamworth Five has ever been found

In court, prosecutors rejected Lawford’s version of events but were unable to prove what had happened that day. Charges relating to the pets’ disappearance therefore had to be dropped.

Lawford was called a “dog killer” by someone in the public gallery, which the judge described as “outrageous”.

The court heard that Lawford had been placed in a position of trust and left customers anguished.

The fate of the Tamworth Five remains a mystery.

Professional dog sitter Louise Lawford is pictured outside court

Some of the pets’ owners were in court to witness Lawford being sentenced.

“The dogs were never found, despite being chipped and there being extensive searches,” said Jonathan Barker, prosecuting, adding he did not accept Lawford’s account that the dogs got lost in the woods, but could not prove otherwise.

Speaking after the hearing, the dogs’ owners – who say they “know” their pets are dead – said they would take civil action against Lawford.

“It’s a positive outcome because the court just did not believe the dogs were lost,” one owner Becky Parsons said. “It just doesn’t make sense.”

She said the past six months had been “an emotional rollercoaster” and that she was so upset at losing her dogs, Pablo and Maggie, that she “couldn’t face going back” to her house and has had to move.

The case, brought by Birmingham City Council, has attracted much attention on social media, and Lawford was called a “dog killer” when she left court briefly before sentencing.

Pictured is professional dog sitter Louise Lawford who claimed five dogs in her care ran off after being let off the lead in Hopwas Woods, Tamworth
Lawford was prosecuted for animal welfare offences unrelated to the disappearance of the five dogs

The former dog walker, who has already had her licence revoked by Birmingham City Council, admitted breaching conditions including limits on the number of dogs she boarded at any one time, boarding dogs from different homes, as well as failing to seek treatment for the dog with a skin condition.

Lawford’s defence said she expressed “extreme and continuing remorse for what happened to the dogs”.

“This is well-intentioned but incompetent care,” her legal representative Tom Walking said.

Lawford apologised for the pain owners of the missing dogs have suffered

Birmingham City Council welcomed the sentence, calling the case “unusual and upsetting”.

“Only Mrs Lawford knows the truth of what happened to the five beloved pets placed in her care,” said Vicky Allwood, the council’s senior animal welfare officer.

Her sentence means she will have to give up her elderly pet labrador.

Sentencing: fined £800 and ordered to pay costs of £2,616 and a victim surcharge of £80. Banned from owning dogs for five years.

BBC News
BirminghamLive

Moseley, Birmingham: Elizabeth O’Sullivan

#TheList Elizabeth Mary O’Sullivan, born 21/05/1967, previously of Sandford Road, Moseley, Birmingham B13 (current address tbc) – starved her three cats to death – forcing one to feed off the bodies of the others to survive.

Elizabeth O'Sullivan left three cats to starve to death in an empty flat. This is the sole survivor but he had to be put to sleep due to his poor condition
This emaciated cat was found barely alive in Elizabeth O’Sullivan’s filthy flat in Moseley, Birmingham. Sadly he was too poorly to be saved.

Elizabeth Mary O’Sullivan left her pets to die when she moved out of her ‘filthy’ flat.

The 52-year-old moved from her home in February or March 2019, but it was up to three months before local authority housing officers discovered the pets.

The dismembered bodies of two cats were found on the living room floor, while a third was found barely alive on May 16,

The officers alerted the RSPCA to their horrific find and Inspector Jonathan Radcliffe was sent to the scene.

Two of the cats had died from dehydration and starvation, but a third was found collapsed in a critical condition having survived off the remains of his fellow pets.

He took the cat for emergency treatment but the vet made the decision to put the pet down to end his suffering.

O’Sullivan was traced to a nearby address ten days later and was arrested by police, though she failed to appear in court on two occasions.

She was tried and found guilty in her absence on November 15, 2019, of one animal welfare offence.

O’Sullivan was arrested two days later and brought before the court for sentencing on Monday, November 18.

Inspector Radcliffe said: “The flat was filthy and the remains of two dismembered cats were on the living room floor.

“There was also a cat which was barely alive collapsed nearby.

“It appears this cat had survived for weeks without food and water by eating the remains of the other two pets as they had died from starvation and dehydration.

“There was no food and water in the flat – but the toilet seat had been left up so the cats may have been able to drink from this, however, as they became weaker they would have been unable to access this water.

“It is incomprehensible to think the suffering these pets must have endured and how terrified they must have been for such a long period of time before dying of starvation.

“It must have been awful for the remaining cat to watch as the others died in front of him and then he was forced to eat their remains in a desperate attempt to survive. Sadly this cat was too ill to recover from his ordeal.”

Sentencing: jailed for 20 weeks; ordered to pay a £150 victim surcharge. Banned from keeping all animals for life.

BirminghamLive

Bordesley Green, Birmingham: Mohammed Nabeel and Nazar Hussain

#TheList Nazar Hussain, born 28/02/1969, of 109 Rotherfield Road, Birmingham B26 2SH, and Mohammed Nabeel, born May 1991, of 50 Ludlow Road, Birmingham B8 3BY – for animal welfare offences at pet shop Bordesley Green Pet & Aquatics

Pet shop operators Nazar Hussain and Mohammed Nabeel from Birmingham kept animals in appalling conditions and failed to treat their medical conditions
Pet shop operators Nazar Hussain and Mohammed Nabeel from Birmingham kept animals in appalling conditions and failed to treat their medical conditions

Nazar Hussain and Mohammed Nabeel, the respective licence holder and manager of Bordesley Green Pets & Aquatics based at 149 Bordesley Green, Birmingham B9 5EP, admitted multiple animal welfare offences at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court.

Hussain pleaded guilty to 12 charges under the Pet Animals Act 1951, the Animal Welfare Act 2006, the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, while Nabeel pleaded guilty to seven offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

Mohammed 'Nabz' Nabeel was the manager of Bordesley Green Pets & Aquatics, but failed to look after the animals properly
Mohammed ‘Nabz’ Nabeel was the manager of the pet store but failed to look after the animals properly

The court heard how on 30 May 2018, Birmingham City Council’s animal welfare team received a complaint from the RSPCA about conditions at the licensed pet shop.

The team was unable to attend that day so an RSPCA inspector visited the premises and found a number of animal welfare concerns, including:

  • A cockatiel with an obvious injury to its wing, which later had to be put to sleep
  • Two budgerigars kept in a small, dirty cage
  • A female cat with mammary growths, another cat chained up in the back of the shop and a third cat kept in a small cage with no food, water, bedding or litter tray
  • Two large rabbits kept in a small, dirty cage with no water

The RSPCA inspector issued warning notices to manager Nabeel and instructed him to make numerous and immediate improvements, including taking the cockatiel and the cat with the growths to a vet for an examination.

A senior animal welfare officer from the council visited the shop the following day, accompanied by the RSPCA inspector, and found a number of breaches of the licence relating to cleanliness, size of accommodation for animals being too small, dirty drinking receptacles or no drinking water at all, no environmental enrichment provided and animals being housed in accommodation which did not minimise stress caused by other animals.

Hussain was subsequently advised of the failure to comply with numerous conditions attached to the licence issued to him for the premises. Hussain did not attend two interviews arranged and did not provide any comments. Nabeel was interviewed by the RSPCA officer but denied any wrongdoing.

District Judge Jan Jellema described the evidence as showing a ‘truly appalling picture of how animals were kept’ and that there was ‘scant evidence of any affection for animals’.

Councillor Phil Davis, chair of the council’s Licensing and Public Protection Committee, said: “This is an absolutely appalling case where the licence holder allowed the conditions in his pet shop to deteriorate. Animals were kept in truly terrible conditions while the manager was incapable of looking after the animals and caring for their needs. In the case of the cockatiel, this lack of care resulted in it having to be put to sleep on welfare grounds.

Sentencing: 10 weeks’ imprisonment for each offence, suspended for 12 months. Total costs of £5,600 between them. They were both disqualified from having custody of any animal for a period of 10 years. Hussain was also disqualified from keeping a pet shop for 10 years.

Birmingham Updates

Ward End, Birmingham: Akaash Mushtaq

#TheList Akaash Mushtaq, born 21/06/1996, of 103 Morley Road, Birmingham B8 2HX – found with two dead dogs in his garden and three others seriously underweight

Akaash Mushtaq from Ward End in Birmingham was found with two dead dogs in his garden and three others seriously underweight

Mushtaq admitted two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to the deceased dogs and three counts of failing in his duty of care to the three live dogs when he appeared before Birmingham Magistrates’ Court.

On 19 January 2019, the council received a complaint about a dog straying into back gardens in Morley Road. Dog wardens found the dog and followed it into the defendant’s back garden.

There they found five kennels, with dogs in four of them – two German shepherds, a Rottweiler and a Staffordshire bull terrier.

Akaash Mushtaq from Ward End in Birmingham was found with two dead dogs in his garden and three others seriously underweight

Both the Rottweiler and Staffordshire bull terrier were dead, the latter seemingly having been dead for some time. The German shepherds were profoundly underweight but alive.

Akaash Mushtaq from Ward End in Birmingham was found with two dead dogs in his garden and three others seriously underweight

The dog found roaming, a cross breed, was also underweight, but it was reported that she was scavenging in neighbours’ gardens and bins.

The kennels were filthy and covered with dog faeces, while some also had car parts and car wheels inside them. There was no food or water available in any of the kennels.

Mushtaq was cautioned by officers and all dogs were removed under the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

The three live dogs were signed over to Birmingham City Council by Mushtaq – all three subsequently gained weight simply from being fed a normal diet rather than requiring veterinary treatment. They have since been rehomed.

Sentencing: 24 weeks in jail, of which half will be served on licence; 12-month supervision order to run consecutively. Ordered to pay a £115 victim surcharge. Banned from keeping any animals for 10 years.

Birmingham City Council Facebook post

Weoley Castle, Birmingham: Diane Johnson

#TheList Diane ‘Di’ Johnson, born 16/04/1980, of Dormston Drive, Weoley Castle, Birmingham B29 5XD – starved her pet chihuahua to death

Dog killer Diane Johnson from Birmingham, UK
Diane Johnson and the two surviving dogs Bella and Minnie

Diane Johnson has been banned from keeping animals for life after her pet chihuahua was found starved to death. Two other chihuahuas were discovered in an emaciated condition at her home.

Following a tip-off RSPCA Inspector Herchy Boal went to Johnson’s home, where she found a carrier bag containing the body of ‘Princess’ dumped in a rabbit hutch in her garden. It is believed the underweight dog had been dead for around two weeks.

Dog killer Diane Johnson from Birmingham, UK
Johnson regularly shared photos of her dogs on her Instagram account

Inspector Boal also found two other severely underweight chihuahua-type dogs inside the home – ‘Belle’, a tan dog, and ‘Minnie’, a white dog.

The surviving dogs were signed over to the RSPCA, along with Minnie’s ten-week-old puppy. They were nursed back to health and have since been rehomed.

Dog killer Diane Johnson from Birmingham, UK

Johnson pleaded guilty to one offence of causing unnecessary suffering to Princess and one offence of failing to meet the needs of Minnie and Belle.

Dog killer Diane Johnson from Birmingham, UK
Johnson’s Instagram boasts of her work with the Jayla’s Wish charity. She also claims be a promoter of male striptease troupe the UK Pleasure Boys

In mitigation, the court heard Johnson had family difficulties at the time of the offences.

Dog killer Diane Johnson from Birmingham, UK

Inspector Boal said: “Poor Princess died of starvation and must have suffered terribly over a long period. It is awful to think of the suffering she must have gone through.

“There is never an excuse to leave any animal starving in this day and age, then after Princess died she was dumped like rubbish in a carrier bag and left in a rabbit hutch outside.”

She added: “The other two dogs could have suffered a similar fate had it not been reported to us.

“This enabled us to take the other dogs away from this situation and in RSPCA care, where they were able to get back to a healthy weight and I am delighted that they have now been re-homed.”

Sentencing: 18-month community order – including a 40 day Rehabilitation Activity Requirement. Costs and charges totalling £285. Lifetime ban on keeping any animals.

Birmingham Mail

Handsworth, Birmingham: Tony Johal and Kamaljit Kaur Johal

#TheList Tony Johal, born January 1981, and his mother, Kamaljit Kaur Johal, born c. 1949, both of 135 Woodland Road, Birmingham B21 0ET – for severe neglect of an English bull mastiff

Bull mastiff Cyrus was put to sleep after being found covered in flies and sores in a filthy kennel. Now his owners Tony Johal and Kamaljit Kaur have been banned from keeping animals for 10 years.
Bull mastiff Cyrus was put to sleep after being found covered in flies and sores in a filthy kennel. Now his owners Tony Johal and Kamaljit Kaur have been banned from keeping animals for 10 years.

Tony Johal and Kamaljit Kaur Johal admitted causing unnecessary suffering to a the dog, named Cyrus, who was found in a condition described by magistrates as ‘horrific’.

Animal welfare officers from Birmingham City Council visited the pair’s home on 20 July 2018 following a complaint regarding the welfare of a dog at the address. The complaint stated that the dog had scabs, blood and insects all over his body.

Bull mastiff Cyrus was put to sleep after being found covered in flies and sores in a filthy kennel. Now his owners Tony Johal and Kamaljit Kaur have been banned from keeping animals for 10 years.

Officers found that the dog, named Cyrus, was being kept in a dirty wooden kennel with only bare earth to lie on. He was emaciated and suffering from a severe, widespread skin infection, with open sores and cracked skin which bled when he moved. He was also covered in flies.

The person in charge of Cyrus at the time was Kamaljit Kaur Johal who claimed there was nothing wrong with the dog other than he was old. Cyrus’s owner, who spoke to the officers on the phone, was identified as her son, Tony, who lived at the same address.

Cyrus was removed by officers and taken immediately for veterinary treatment, where he was found to be in such appalling condition that he was put to sleep on welfare grounds. The vet confirmed Cyrus had been caused unnecessary suffering.

Sentencing:
Tony Johal was given an 18-week prison sentence, suspended for 2 years, and fined £615.

Kamaljit Kaur Johal was fined £404.

Both were banned from keeping animals for 10 years, with no right of appeal.

BirminghamLive

Castle Bromwich, West Midlands: Wayne Horkan

#TheList sexual deviant Wayne Tarot Horkan, born 10/11/1970, of Chester Road, Castle Bromwich B36 9DP – filmed his partner having sex with a dog; collected almost 2,000 images and videos depicting bestiality involving horses and dogs

Pervert Wayne Horkan from Castle Bromwich got his kicks from watching sick bestiality videos showing horses and dogs
Pervert Wayne Horkan from Castle Bromwich got his kicks from watching sick bestiality videos showing horses and dogs

Company director Wayne Horkan admitted two charges of possessing extreme pornographic images.

Police found the businessman had downloaded 1,469 still images and 210 moving ones involving sexual acts with dogs and horses. He had also used particular search terms to look for this kind of pornography.

Mr Timothy Harrington, prosecuting at Birmingham Crown Court, said the material had been downloaded between April 2014 and April 2015.

He added: “Two of the videos, it was readily apparent, involved a woman with whom the defendant had been in a relationship with.”

He continued: “He admitted he got sexual gratification from these films and had watched them on a number of occasions.”

In passing sentence Judge Melbourne Inman QC said: “Between 2014 and 2015 you downloaded imagery which it is not necessary to detail again, which are abhorrent.

“Two of them involved a lady whom you were living with which is an aggravating feature.

“There is no suggestion at all this was anything other than consensual adult behaviour.”

He said he had taken into account the significant delay involved in the case and that there had been no repetition of the behaviour.

The judge said Horkan was an intelligent man who had lost “important” employment as a result of the offence but had since set up a company with a partner.

Lynette McClement, defending, said the defendant’s initial relationship with the woman had been a financial one although that had changed.

She said: “In the course of that relationship his interest in extreme pornography was limited to that timescale. This was a shared interest.”

She said the business he had embarked upon had every chance of being successful and employed 10 people.

Sentencing: fined fined £4,000 and ordered to pay £1,200 costs.

Birmingham Mail

Druids Heath, Birmingham: Selina Shepherd

#TheList Selina Shepherd, born c. 1982, of Bells Lane, Druids Heath, Birmingham B14 – left her dog to endure pain for 11 days after trying to fix her broken leg with a homemade splint.

Photo shows Lola
Selina Shepherd left her dog, Lola, in agony with a broken leg for 11 days

Selina Shepherd pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to her dog, named Lola.

Lola nearly lost her leg and can now be rehomed as a result of Shepherd’s sentence.

Birmingham Magistrates’ Court heard how Shepherd treated her pet at home after Lola was hit by a car on September 1, 2018 after escaping through an unlocked gate.

Shepherd failed to take Lola to see a vet, and was only confronted when a concerned member of the public reported her to the RSPCA.

Inspector Jonathan Ratcliffe visited the home, and had to call police as Shepherd was ‘hostile’ towards him.

He said: ‘She (Lola) was struggling to walk and could not bear any weight on that leg, she was clearly in pain.

‘I took her for veterinary treatment and it was discovered the break was made more complicated by the fact she had not been treated for nine days.

‘There was a real fear that she might have to have her leg amputated but thanks to the veterinary team her leg was saved and surgery was successful.

‘The owner would not sign Lola over to us for rehoming so she has been looked after for 14 months in RSPCA care and thanks to the conclusion of this case we will now be able to find her a loving home.

‘This case highlights the fact that there is never an excuse not to get your pet’s veterinary treatment if they are suffering – especially in this incident when the dog must have suffered terribly with such a serious injury.’

Sentencing:
12-week prison sentence suspended for 12 months; total of £315 costs and charges. Banned from keeping animals for 10 years. 

Metro
Birmingham Mail

Birmingham: Leanne Marie Ungless

#TheList Leanne Marie Ungless, aged 35, of Avondale Road, Sparkhill, Birmingham B11 –  convicted in her absence of animal cruelty after her pet dog Roxy was found starving in the street

Cruel single mother-of-four Leanne Ungless, who is originally from Nottingham, threw her emaciated dog out onto the streets to die
Cruel single mother-of-four Leanne Ungless, who is originally from Nottingham, threw her emaciated dog out onto the streets to die

Staffy Roxy was found wandering near to the the Ackers Adventure Centre in Sparkbrook, Birmingham. She was in such a poor condition that the RSPCA launched an immediate investigation.

Inspector Herchy Boal, who led the successful prosecution, found out the dog was microchipped to an address in Nottingham, which is where Ungless is originally from.

The woman at the East Midlands property said she had given Roxy away to a family member and provided her with Ungless’s address.

Inspector Boal visited Ungless’s home  on a number of occasions and left messages for her to get in touch – but she failed to make contact.

Leanne Ungliss was banned from keeping animals for life.

Ungless was summoned to Birmingham Magistrates’ Court on Friday, October 5, 2018, to face an offence of causing unnecessary suffering to Roxy but failed to appear and was convicted in her absence.

Speaking about the case Inspector Boal said: “Poor Roxy was very emaciated and she was basically thrown out on the streets by her owner who should have been caring for her.

“There is never an excuse for failing to meet the needs of an animal and allowing them to get into such a poor and emaciated condition.”

Sentencing:
12-month community order, which includes a 12-week curfew order between 8pm and 7am. Total costs and charges of £585. Banned from keeping animals for life.

BirminghamLive