Tag Archives: County Durham

Hartlepool, County Durham: Thomas Wade

#TheList Thomas Andrew Wade, born 02/03/1993, previously of Mellor Street, Stockton-on-Tees, but as of September 2020 living in an NHS care facility in Park Avenue, Hartlepool TS26 0DZ – subjected his pet cat to prolonged torture which included putting her into a hot oven and flushing her down the toilet

Thomas Wade pictured outside court
Thomas Wade aka ‘Evil Tom’

Wade claimed in court he heard voices from a WWE wrestler named Kane before launching the attack on the cat, known as Sweetie. During her ordeal, which came after she apparently “disobeyed” her twisted owner, Sweetie was put in a hot oven, flushed in a toilet, strangled with a TV cord and thrown against walls.

Wade then made disturbing voice recordings of himself where he spoke in detail about carrying out the horrific abuse and proclaimed: “No one can be more evil than myself.”

Despite the sickening cruelty, Sweetie miraculously survived the ordeal, but was hospitalised with severe third degree burns.

Wade pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to an animal during his appearance at Teesside Magistrates’ Court.

Stuart Haywood, prosecuting, said loner Wade, who has learning difficulties and autism, received Sweetie as a gift from his sister as she thought it would be “good for him”.

The tabby was then given to Wade for a three week trial before possible adoption.

But on October 8, 2019, Wade went to his sister’s home and told her the cat “was not wanted anymore”.

Thomas Wade pictured outside court

Mr Haywood said his sister then went to Wade’s home where she “smelled a strong smell of burning”.

“The defendant was sitting on a settee and the cat was wet and breathing rapidly, he refused to say why,” he said.

He added that fur was then found in Wade’s oven. After more questions, Wade finally admitted what he had done, saying that it “felt good”.

His sister immediately notified the RSPCA and Sweetie was taken to a vet where she was found to be in a “terrible condition”.

She had sustained skin damage and “significant” third degree burns before being hospitalised.

The police soon became involved and Wade was arrested.

Rambling voice recordings were later discovered of Wade speaking about the abuse.

In the recordings, one of which was eight minutes long, he spoke in detail about attacking Sweetie.

In one sinister recording he said, “No one can be more evil than myself” and said he wanted to “rip out its tongue” after seeing her struggle while being “choke slammed”.

In another he referred to himself as “evil Tom”.

In police interview, Wade said he “threw her against four walls” and said he carried out the violence in part because he claimed he heard voice in his head from the WWE wrestling character, Kane, in his head.

Wade was also remorseless, telling officers “she had not suffered enough”.

He said he put the terrified cat in the oven “on high for five minutes” after throwing her against a wall and said he became infuriated at Sweetie for “disobeying” his orders for her not to go under his bed. The court heard that Wade had “no mental health” issues, but did have learning difficulties.

Matthew Agar, defending, said the incident was “shocking”, and said he “did not want to minimise” the offence.

He said it was his view Wade’s learning disability was a “contributing factor” and that he had serious concerns for him.

Mr Agar added that Wade was now aware of the severity of the offence and that he felt Wade had something like a “split-personality”.

He said that Wade had moved to Teesside from Grimsby and would “go weeks” without any other contact with people.

Sentencing Wade, district judge, Helen Cousins called him an “extremely dangerous man” and that she would liked to have “put him in prison for as long as I could”.

Sentencing: 18-week prison sentence, suspended for two years. Six months of mental health treatment. 30 rehabilitation activity days and 18-week hospital curfew. £440 costs. Banned from keeping pets for 10 years (expires 2030).

GazetteLive

Darlington, County Durham: Joseph Pocklington

#TheList Joseph Pocklington, born 16/10/1990, of Marshall Street, Darlington DL3 – ‘lost his temper’ and punched his pet dog in the face numerous times before dragging her by the neck

Joseph Pocklington
Joseph Pocklington was filmed punching his dog by a woman in her car

Joseph Pocklington was spotted by a woman in Crown Street, Darlington, who filmed the abuse on her phone before confronting him and taking the dog.

The witness then called the police who later found Pocklington asleep in a nearby church yard.

Joseph Pocklington social media image

Alan Davies, prosecuting, said: “At around 4.20pm on Sunday, December 22, a witness was waiting to pick up her daughter on Crown Street in Darlington.

“She noticed the defendant sat on some steps with a black lurcher or greyhound type of dog on a short lead.

“She recorded him grabbing the dog by the neck, dragging it towards him and punching it to the face a number of times.

“The witness and her daughter challenged him and took the dog, he became upset by this and left. The witness then contacted the police who found him sleeping in a church yard.

“He was arrested and told police ‘yeah, I did give my dog a few slaps,’ he was then shown footage from the incident and became upset, saying he could not remember assaulting the dog and could only remember getting angry because the dog was trying to run into the traffic.”

Pocklington pleaded guilty to one count of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal.

Joseph Pocklington social media image

Stephen Andrews, mitigating, said his client’s behaviour was out of character and he was very upset having watched the footage of the incident.

He said: “You have heard that when he was interviewed he became very upset and that’s because he was appalled by what he seen.

“You have a gentleman here who would describe himself as a dog lover. He has kept dogs for many years without any issues whatsoever, he looked after them and he protected them.

“How then does he end up before you for an offence of this type? He has over a period of time abused alcohol and has essentially become alcohol dependant.

“He has no recollection of the incident, but he tells me he can remember his feet becoming tangled with the dog lead and becoming angry.

“You have heard that police found him asleep in a public area a short time after, and that is because he was so intoxicated. He is incredibly remorseful.”

Sentencing: 12-month community order; total of £180 in costs and charges. Banned from keeping animals for two years (expires August 2022).

Northern Echo
Darlington & Stockton Times

Stanley, County Durham: Lauren Eliot

#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.

Dog abuser Lauren Jane Eliot and neglected British bulldog Royston

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.

Dog abuser 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.

Lauren Eliot with (ex?) partner David Anthony Barker with whom she co-owned Royston
Lauren Eliot with (ex?) partner David Anthony Barker with whom she co-owned Royston

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.”

Dog abuser Lauren Jane Eliot

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.

Northern Echo

South Moor, County Durham: Claire Hewitt

#TheList Claire Hewitt, born 10/08/1988, of Park Road, South Moor, near Stanley, County Durham DH9

Claire Hewitt

Single mother-of-five Hewitt was given an order banning her from keeping pets and ordered to pay £150 after she was convicted of causing unnecessary suffering after failing to address a dog’s poor condition between September 2019 and October 2019.

She was also in the dock for failing to take steps to ensure that the needs of a dog and three cats were met.

Northern Echo

Stanley, County Durham: David Morton

#TheList David Morton, born c. 1992, of Jane Street, Stanley DH9 7BH – left his husky dog to suffer with a broken leg for more than four weeks.

David Morton, who is no stranger to the courts, told magistrates he didn't "give a monkeys'after being convicted for leaving his pet dog to suffer in agony with a broken leg
Morton, who is no stranger to the courts, told magistrates he didn’t “give a monkeys’after being convicted for leaving his pet dog to suffer in agony with a broken leg

Serial headcase David Morton was found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal for failing to get veterinary treatment for his pet husky’s broken leg. The cause of the dog’s injury was unexplained.

Morton, who was recently given community service after sending human faeces to a police officer, told magistrates that he “didn’t give a monkey’s” what they said and would have two dogs by the weekend.

Husky Sendi who was mistreated and neglected by her uncaring owner David Morton
Husky Sendi who was mistreated and neglected by her uncaring owner David Morton

Kevin Campbell, prosecuting on behalf of RSPCA, said the charity became involved after a veterinary surgeon contacted them to raise concerns about Morton’s dog, a female husky named Sendi.

He said: “On the 22nd July [2019] the dog was seen by a vet who conceded that the dog had a fracture to her leg and the injury was four to six weeks old. The dog had either been untreated or treated inadequately.

“She concluded that the dog was clearly suffering as a result of the failure to give it any proper treatment.”

The dog had a broken femur and was unable to walk when she was seen by a vet.

Mr Campbell added: “When inspectors attended the address they could see the dog was unable to stand on its hind leg.

“A male answered the door and said he was the defendant, the inspector asked him about the dog in question and he was uncooperative – referring to him as a donkey.

“The defendant told him to f*** off, he was not allowed to enter the property and police had to be called to help him.”

PIctured is convicted dog abuser David Morton outside court

Paul Donohue, mitigating, said the 28-year-old had not set out to harm his own dog.

He said: “The actual injury has not been caused on purpose. It was caused accidentally and the complaint is that the dog did not have the proper treatment. He accepts that the dog did not have an operation but that wasn’t for lack of trying.

PIctured is convicted dog abuser David Morton outside court

“Like many people he does not have insurance so if anything happens it would fall to him to pay for it.

“If he had £5,000 there and then he would have spent it on the dog.

“He didn’t want the dog to suffer but he just has not got the money.”

Sendi was treated by the RSPCA and remains in their care.

Sentencing: ordered to pay £480 costs. Banned from keeping animals for five years. Morton is already serving a community order for a previous offence.

Northern Echo

Hartlepool, County Durham: Natasha Corbett

#TheList Natasha Kaye Corbett, born 16/02/1988, of Meryl Gardens, Stockton Road, Hartlepool TS25 2PL – neglected and starved two dogs kept in pens in an outbuilding.

Convicted animal abuser Natasha Corbett from Hartlepool

Single mother Natasha Corbett pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to a dog called Lucky and of failing to ensure the welfare of a second dog, Otis.

The court heard vets found Lucky had a body condition score of 1 out of 9, along with painful, matted fur and Otis was significantly underweight with a score of 2 out of 9.

Pictured is Lucky after she'd been shaved to remove painful matted fur
Lucky had to be shaved to remove painful matted fur

Stewart Heywood, prosecuting, said an RSPCA officer attended Corbett’s house in early October 2019 after concerns were raised about the dogs’ welfare.

He said the dogs were being kept in metal pens inside an outbuilding and the officer could see they needed immediate vet care.

The prosecutor said: “She said she relied on the children to feed both the dogs, but admitted she did not check they were doing so.”

Pictured is neglected dog Otis.
Otis was underweight due to not being fed properly

He said Corbett was given an RSPCA caution in 2018 after she admitted causing unnecessary suffering to a number of puppies.

A spokesman for the probation service said Corbett, a former pupil at Manor College of Technology, is a single mother and works full time as a senior sales assistant for BrightHouse.

He said her two sons, aged nine and 11, were given the responsibility of caring for the dogs.

Convicted animal abuser Natasha Corbett from Hartlepool

He said: “Ms Corbett now recognises that the responsibility to care for the dogs was her own.

“Due to her ignorance and lack of finance the dogs were not cared for as they should have been.

“She feels guilty about what happened.”

Andrew Teate, defending, said the dogs had been brought into the family by Ms Corbett’s former partner who was then sent to prison.

He said Ms Corbett’s cats were well looked after and the RSPCA had no issues with their care.

He said: “The children were caring for the animals, she accepts with the benefit of hindsight that was unsatisfactory.”

Sentencing: 12 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months; four-week curfew. Banned from keeping all animals for ten years. Deprivation order on her cats.

Hartlepool Mail

Additional information:
Natasha Corbett Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tashacorbett88/

Newton Aycliffe, County Durham: Sharon Lunn

#TheList Sharon Lunn, born c. 1975, of Biscop Crescent, Newton Aycliffe DL5 – failed to get treatment for her elderly dog’s severe dental disease, cataracts and large tumour.

Elderly dog Max was neglected by his junkie owner Sharon Lunn
Junkie Sharon Lunn ignored 14-year-old Max’s health problems

RSPCA inspectors attended Lunn’s address in response to a call from a concerned member of the public where they found 14-year-old Max dirty and with a large swollen lump on his testicle.

Kevin Campbell, prosecuting, said: “The dog was removed from the house and taken to the vets who confirm that the dog has cataracts and severe dental disease on both sides of its mouth, on the upper and lower jaws and a large swollen lump on his testicle.

“He states that the dog would have been suffering as a result of the neglect. He also had suppressed bone marrow, anaemia and fleas at that time and needed 21 teeth removing as a result.

“The vet states that the dog would have been in pain, with that degree of toothache.

“It would have been visible to any reasonable dog owner.

“The vet states the symptoms would have been visible for at least six months.

“They believe that the person responsible should not be looking after animals.

“It’s accepted by the RSPCA that this was not a deliberate cause of suffering, rather neglect over a long period of time.”

A report from probation said Lunn was devastated about what had happened.

It said: “She lives alone and has not worked for a number of years and she’s not really able to start work at the moment because of her emotional health.

“She is also currently on a methadone prescription.

“During her early 20s she became addicted to cocaine after a serious operation which progressed to heroin.

“There have been times in her life when she has been unable to leave the house.

“She says she knows she should have got medical attention but the dog seemed happy and running around.

“She is devastated by everything that has happened and says the dog was the only thing she had left in her life. She very much regrets her actions and the thought that the animal suffered devastates her.”

Lunn pleaded guilty to three charges of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal between August 2018 and August 2019.

Sentencing: 12-month community order with a requirement to complete 15 rehabilitation activity days. Total of £235 costs and charges. Banned from keeping animals for five years.

Northern Echo

Stanley, County Durham: Natasha Brown

#TheList Natasha Joanne Brown, born 03/11/1993, of 6 Lumsden Terrace, Stanley DH9 8EQ – killed a dog by punching her four times to the head

Dog killer Natasha Brown from Stanley, Co Durham, UK

The court heard how Brown, accompanied by her female terrier dog, had met up with her ex-partner to discuss the return of some items and the pair had gone to the home of her great uncle in Washington.

Oriana Frame, prosecuting, said everything was fine at first, but after Brown had consumed lager and a bottle of wine, she tried to kiss and cuddle her ex, who said no and asked her to leave.

However, she wouldn’t and the situation escalated with Brown becoming aggressive.

Reading from a statement by Brown’s former partner, Ms Frame said they were in the sitting room trying to calm her down and Brown was threatening to smash the great uncle’s phone if he called the police.

The statement went on: “Her dog was sitting on the sofa, she picked up her dog and punched it four times to the head with force. It was screaming. It went limp and lifeless.”

She said Brown then grabbed her ex by the throat and hit her head against the wall. She also bit her finger.

Dog killer Natasha Brown from Stanley, Co Durham, UK

The statement said: “I was trying to comfort the dog and [my great uncle] was telling her to get out and she clenched her fist and told said ‘shut up or I will hit you as well’. Natasha pushed him in the chest causing him to fall back.”

Ms Frame said Brown’s former partner managed to phone the police and when they arrived the dog appeared to be having a fit and was shaking uncontrollably. She was taken to the PDSA where vets said she had a bleed on her brain and an injured leg and they couldn’t save her.

Ms Frame said Brown told police: “I punched the dog because I couldn’t punch my ex – I’m sorry I didn’t mean to hurt her.”

In his statement, the elderly man said at 82-years-old he couldn’t stop the defendant and was frightened at what she would do next, during the incident on October 1, 2019.

Brown, who has a history of violence and previous convictions for robbery and harassment, said: “I hate myself more than anybody else could.”

Natasha Brown

Angus Westgarth, defending, said: “I have no doubts at all that there is very, very deep regret. She is still torturing herself about what she did.”

He said she takes medication for mental health problems.

Brown admitted two charges of assault and one of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal.

Sentencing: 24-week jail sentence, suspended for 24 months; two-year restraining order. She was ordered to pay costs and charges totalling £207.

Sunderland Echo
Metro
Daily Mail

Darlington, County Durham: Sarah Hird

#TheList Sarah Hird, born 1984, previous of Shildon Street, Darlington and more recently Ketton Ave, Darlington – left a pet rabbit to live without adequate shelter amongst dirty nappies and household waste in the garden

Animal abuser Sarah Hird from Darlington

Sarah Hird’s unnamed pet rabbit was found living in disgusting conditions in a garden filled with discarded rubbish. The little bunny was soaking wet and suffering from painful urine scald, matted fur and untreated digestion problems.

The court heard that Hird’s partner told an RSPCA inspector to “fuck off” when he said the living conditions weren’t good enough for the pet.

Kevin Campbell, prosecuting on behalf of the RSPCA, said: “The investigator called at the address and the door was opened by a man.

“He said he got a shock at the amount of waste and rubbish piled up in the yard and in the corner was a small brown rabbit, soaking wet and without shelter.

“He explained the living conditions were unsuitable and there was an unfortunate exchange where he was told to ‘fuck off out of my house’.

The inspector took the rabbit and he was examined by a veterinary surgeon.

Rabbit neglected by Sarah Hird from Darlington

Mr Campbell added: “The vet who examined the rabbit said it was covered in urine scald and had matted fur, the rabbit’s skin was red raw, very painful and it was similar to nappy rash.

“She went on to identify other issues in the rabbit, its digestion system was not working properly. It needs to be working all the time or they become very unwell and die very quickly.

“The hutch was nowhere near good enough, and meant no protection from the extremes of the weather or predators.”

Hird, who was unrepresented in court, pleaded guilty to animal cruelty.

Sentencing: ordered to pay a total of £456. Banned from keeping rabbits for five years.

Northern Echo

Stockton-On-Tees, County Durham: Nicola Poppleton

#TheList Nicola Poppleton, born 26/03/1981, of Bridge House, 48-56 Bridge Road, Stockton-on-Tees TS18 3AX – for the severe neglect of her pet dog, who was found with injuries including cigarette burns

Alcoholic mother of six Nicola Poppleton from Stockton-on-Tees left her elderly dog Buster to suffer with a variety of ailments and injuries including cigarette burns
Alcoholic mother of six Nicola Poppleton left her elderly dog Buster to suffer with a variety of ailments and injuries including cigarette burns

Mother-of-six Nicola Poppleton, was drinking up to eight litres of cider a day while her cross-breed terrier named Buster suffered skin lesions, a severe ear infection and a jaw muscle condition.

The dog was found by an RSPCA inspector in a flat in Hartington Road, in central Stockton, while Poppleton was “fighting in a drunken state” outside.

Poppleton had faced four separate charges relating to causing suffering to an animal which were found proved in absence when she failed to attend Teesside Magistrates’ Court the previous month.

Stewart Haywood, prosecuting, told the court that the 10-year-old dog was found with a number of lesions consistent with cigarette burns.

He also stated that there was “muscle wastage to his head and he could barely open his jaw.”

The inspector was unable to speak to Poppleton at length as she “got into a fight with a group of people who were in a similar state.”

After further talks, Poppleton finally allowed Buster to be taken in by the RSPCA.

He was immediately taken to see a vet, who carried out tests and estimated Buster had been suffering for around three months.

The court heard Buster couldn’t fully open his mouth, meaning he could not regulate his body temperature correctly.

The vet gave him treatment, including pain killers but he was still only able to open his mouth about “three centimetres”.

He also had an ear infection, with the vet also believing he had injuries consistent with “cigarette burns.”

Despite the findings, it could not be determined if the burns were deliberate or accidental, Mr Haywood said.

The court heard that Poppleton had “accepted ownership” of Buster and that she “didn’t know he was suffering.”

A probation report stated that Poppleton was “too drunk” to notice anything was wrong with her dog who she claimed she “loved.”

Neil Douglas, defending, told how his defendant acknowledged that she was not capable of caring for the animal at the time.

He said: “This was a lady of good character who had clearly looked after the dog in reasonable state for a number years.

“However it was her alcohol misuse which essentially caused her to lose the ability to look after the dog and very nearly herself.”

Sentencing: 12-month community order with an alcohol rehabilitation requirement; £480 in costs. Banned from owning animals for just five years.

TeessideLive