#TheList Alison Maria Chesterman, born 16/03/1965. of Victoria Street, Millom Cumbria LA18 5AS – failed to treat her pet dog’s flea infestation
Chesterman was found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to her dog, known as Doodles, who was badly affected by flea bites.
RSPCA inspectors who visited Chesterman’s home found that Doodles had extensive fur loss and his skin had become inflamed and darkened. Veterinary examination showed that he was also suffering a heart murmur, arthritis, conjunctivitis and a chronic skin condition.
He was living in an unhygienic environment which smelled of animal faeces and ammonia. Nine cats were also removed from the property
The court heard RSPCA inspectors visited the house a number of times following an anonymous tip-off and urged Chesterman to take Doodles to the vet.
Eventually, Doodles was taken to a vet by the RSPCA after inspectors found Chesterman still had not acted on urgent advice to do so.
Chesterman, who represented herself in court, said she had tried to rehome her dog so Doodles could live away from her flea-infested home but had not found anyone to take him.
Sentencing: four-week curfew. Banned from keeping any animals for just two years.
#TheList Patrick Carter, born 17/11/1999, of 30 Lansbury Street, Greenock PA15 2NR – filmed his brutalised dogs ripping wild animals apart in a series of horrific animal fighting videos
Carter has been branded ‘barbaric’ after admitting to training his three dogs to attack and kill foxes and badgers and taking them on sickening hunts.
The thug’s vile cruelty — which took place over at least six months — was finally exposed after concern for the dogs was reported to the Scottish SPCA.
Investigators found multiple videos on Carter’s phone showing him and others goading their dogs to fight with foxes and drag badgers from their setts.
One piece of footage showed faceless individuals using spades to hit a doomed badger, as other participants in the barbaric “sport” urged them to allow the dogs to finish it off.
In another sickening video, a badger is pinned in place while dogs attack it.
Carter refused to seek vet treatment for his injured pets despite them suffering serious injuries in battles with badgers.
An undercover Scottish SPCA special investigations unit officer said: “The footage and pictures we uncovered are gut-wrenching.
“The animals he set his dogs on would have endured terrible suffering before they were killed.”
Carter’s dogs, a Patterdale/Jack Russell cross called Laddie, and lurchers Max and Murphy, have now been successfully rehomed.
During the investigation officers uncovered conversations between Carter and a pal discussing animal fighting as well as the result of a recent hunt.
Items associated with animal fighting, including a hunting lamp and used nets, were seized in a raid on his home.
The probe revealed that callous Carter regularly made Laddie, Max and Murphy fight wild animals and the dogs had also suffered severe injuries.
The undercover officer said: “Whilst his dogs appeared to be in good general health when we searched his property, Laddie had severe facial injuries consistent with animal fighting and Max had scarring to the jaw area and his leg.
“On further examination, Laddie and Max were found to have scarring and deformities within the mouth and nose consistent with previous severe traumatic injuries.
“Multiple videos of animal fighting were found on Carter’s personal devices, featuring two lurchers matching Max and Murphy’s description. All of the videos found were incredibly disturbing to view and the animals involved were clearly in great distress and suffered the most horrific end to their lives.
“Over the animals’ screams, voices can be heard in the footage goading and encouraging the dogs to tear the animals apart.”
The investigator said: “Badger baiting and animal fighting are far more common than people would think and anyone engaging in this barbaric activity is inflicting unimaginable pain on the animals involved.”
Carter is a known associate of Sean Ward, who was jailed for seven months in 2018 and banned from keeping animals for 20 years after his activities were discovered by the Scottish SPCA.
Carter pleaded guilty to keeping or training dogs for the purpose of an animal fight between February 6 and July 3 last year, contrary to the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006.
Sentencing: 225-hour community payback order; 6-month curfew; one-year’s supervision. Banned from keeping animals for 20 years.
#TheList Liam Patterson, born c. 1993, of Eastfield Road, Dumfries DG1 – trained three dogs for animal fighting
Liam Patterson was found in possession of videos on his personal devices showing his dogs fighting and being trained to fight. Dog fighting paraphernalia and photos were also found at his home.
Patterson pleaded guilty to training dogs for, causing and taking part in animal fighting. This is contrary to the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006 under Section 23 (1) (a) (2) (e).
He also admitted to being in possession of an American pit bull terrier which is a banned breed under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991.
Two of the dogs involved in the case were Staffordshire bull terriers named Zeus and Gucci and the American pit bull was called Bubba. All three were signed in to the care of the Scottish SPCA. Sadly Bubba had to be put to sleep because he was a banned breed.
An undercover Scottish SPCA special investigations unit inspector said, “We received information from the League Against Cruel Sports that Patterson was keeping and training dogs for the purposes of dog fighting and currently had fighting dogs at his home address.
“The intelligence we received also stated there was dog fighting equipment, books and gear at his home address.
“Due to immediate concerns for the welfare of the dogs, we obtained a search warrant and gained entry to the property where we found the three dogs. All appeared to be in good body condition.
“At the location, we found numerous items relating to dog fighting including weighted collars which are used as a training aid to strengthen and build endurance.
“Multiple videos of his own dogs fighting were found on Patterson’s personal devices. In many, he can be heard shouting encouragement in the background. Other footage discovered included other, unknown, dogs fighting and dogs with injuries consistent with fighting.
“Other videos showed Gucci, Zeus and Bubba being put through a vigorous training regime in line with dog fighting practice.
“Messages were found between Patterson and an unknown individual discussing plans to attend and enter in dog fights and their dogs’ ability to fight to the death. Communication was also discovered outlining Patterson’s desire to buy and sell American pit bulls.
“Over the course of this investigation, it became clear that Patterson had a fascination, verging on obsession, with dog fighting and breeds relating to the American pit bull. How he could hold these dogs in such high regard and let them fight each other with little regard for their welfare is very difficult to comprehend.
“We are very pleased with the sentence that has been handed to Patterson and we hope this is seen as a deterrent to other, active dog fighters.
“Dog fighting is such a well-guarded and underground crime, it’s extremely difficult to detect and investigate. We are proud to be leading the way using intelligence and expertise to bring these people to justice.
“The Scottish SPCA Special Investigation Unit is dedicated to combatting animal fighting. If anyone has any information pertaining to individuals who are involved in this activity, we would urge them to contact our confidential animal helpline on 03000 999 999.”
Martin Sims, director of investigations for the League Against Cruel Sports said: “We’re very proud that it was our intelligence work that has been the basis for this conviction, but what this case serves to show to the public is how abhorrent the world of dog fighting is and why the courts need to have more sentencing powers to properly punish those involved.
“In England and Wales legislation is moving through parliament to see maximum custodial sentences for animal cruelty increased from six months to five years, but we are today calling on the Scottish Parliament to stop consulting on increasing sentences for animal cruelty and get on with passing the legislation that will be a proper deterrent to people like Liam Patterson who inflict pain on animals just to make money.”
Sentencing: 300-hour community payback order; 162-day restriction of liberty order. Banned from owning a dog for 15 years.
#TheList Lindsey ‘Lyn’ Stoneham, born April 1962, of 10 Llwyncelyn, Bettws, Bridgend CF32 8RU – inflicted blunt force trauma on his Jack Russell terrier; dog named Tom put to sleep to end his immense suffering
Lindsey Stoneham, who has a previous conviction for VAT fraud for which he was jailed for three-and-a-half years, was found guilty of animal cruelty following a trial.
The offence concerned subjecting Tom to unnecessary suffering through blunt force trauma.
Stoneham had phoned a veterinary practice on 14 March 2018 in Bridgend asking for them to put Tom to sleep. He claimed the dog had behavioural problems, but refused to pay the £130 quoted, and instead said he would “take the dog to the farmer”.
Little over two weeks later – on 31 March – Stoneham attended the same veterinary practice with the dog, claiming Tom had been hit by several cars. However, the Jack Russell Terrier was found to be in immaculate condition apart from a single hole in his head, arousing suspicion and prompting an RSPCA investigation.
Tom was smothered in blood from the wound and his eyes were flickering.
Sadly, the extent of the dog’s open head wound meant he had to be put to sleep immediately to prevent further suffering. Vets later confirmed that the injuries were completely inconsistent with a road traffic accident.
A post-mortem revealed that the dog had been struck by a blunt force instrument which was likely to have caused significant trauma. Bruising was also evident to Tom’s head, where fingers were used to hold the head still.
RSPCA inspector Gemma Cooper said: “The treatment of poor Tom and the horrific treatment and immense suffering he endured is so upsetting.
“It was claimed that Tom had been involved in a car accident – but the injuries were found to be wholly inconsistent with such a chain of events.
“Tom, instead, was found to have been subjected to blunt force trauma to the head.
“Sadly, the dog was clearly in immense pain when taken to a veterinary practice with blood all over his body – and he had to be put to sleep immediately.
“This was a lengthy and complex case, but at least we were able to ensure some justice for Tom, who sadly paid such a high price for the mistreatment he faced.”
Sentencing: 12-week prison sentence suspended for one year; total of £2,150 costs and charges. Four-year ban on keeping any animals Deprivation order on two shire horses.
#TheList farrier Michael Francis McNamara, born c. 1979, of Island Gate Stables, Saltash PL12 6RJ – violently attacked a horse to make the animal show him respect
An experienced farrier kicked and punched a horse and jabbed him several times with a metal object because he wanted the animal to “show him some respect”.
McNamara pleaded guilty to one charge of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal.
Prosecutor Lindi Meyer, on behalf of the RSPCA, said the incident happened in the presence of a child at some stables in the south east Cornwall area on the afternoon of January 4, 2019.
McNamara is a fourth generation farrier with 24 years of experience. He was clipping a Bay Gelding horse’s hooves when he “lost his temper” and began beating the animal.
In CCTV shown to the court, McNamara could be seen harshly picking up the horse’s legs, kicking and punching him and also jabbing him with a metal tool several times, all while shouting angrily at the terrified animal.
The horse attempted several times to swing away from McNamara, but was unable to as he was being held by a rope.
A vet concluded that the attack caused the horse pain lasting several days, with injuries including bruising and inflammation, as well as fear, anxiety and a future lack of trust.
“The horse was showing signs of fear and anxiety,” Ms Meyer said. “He offered the horse no reassurance. The horse was in fear and not understanding what was expected.”
In total McNamara punched the horse once, kicked him twice and struck him 18 times with the metal object, connecting each time.
In interview, McNamara admitted he was “heavy handed” and said the horse was “trying his patience”.
Ms Meyer said: “He said his bad back was causing him pain that day, and that he was just trying to get the horse to show him some respect.
“He didn’t agree with the vet’s opinion that the horse was fearful, but agreed he overreacted and lost his rag.”
Defending McNamara, who has no previous convictions, Tracey Baker said: “Hindsight is a wonderful thing and looking back at what happened, this defendant shouldn’t have gone to work that day.
“He made his decision and he has to live with that. He made full and frank admissions and he has been nothing but very genuinely remorseful.
“His prime concern is for his family and the impact on his father’s reputation, his father is very well known in the industry.
“As I say he has no explanation for his behaviour. It is deplorable, he knows that, and he is thoroughly ashamed of himself. This court case and the consequences are going to stay with him for a very long time.”
A number of yards have withdrawn McNamara’s services, meaning he is no longer working full-time.
Sentencing McNamara, District Judge Diane Baker said it was “gratuitous violence” on his part.
Aggravating factors were the presence of a child, abuse of a position of trust and the length of the beating, she said.
Judge Baker told McNamara: “I’ve read a very moving letter from your partner talking about you as a man and not just a farrier.
“You also deserve credit for working 24 years following a profession that’s important to you, and satisfying a large number of clients for a long period of time.
“All your references talk about the caring way you dealt with horses, and I have no doubt you are very remorseful and had unusual things to deal with in your personal life [at the time].
“But you are a professional man with a professional responsibility and despite that, you didn’t treat that pony in the way you were supposed to. I have seen frankly quite gratuitous violence while you were in a professional position.
“You should have calmed that pony. You kicked, punched and jabbed it numerous times with a weapon. I’ve seen the CCTV and the pony is simply standing there, clearly extremely frightened and it can’t get away.”
Judge Baker said she was considering sending McNamara to prison but took several factors into account, including because his actions were “severely out of character”.
Sentencing: six-month community order, including a curfew barring him from leaving his home between the hours of 7pm and 5am. Total of £385 costs and charges. Disqualified from working with equines for a period of three years, unless under adult supervision with the right of appeal after two.
#TheList gamekeeper Alan P Wilson, born c. 1958, of Henlaw Cottage, Longformacus, Duns TD11 3NT – killing dozens of wildlife on Longformacus Estate
Wilson admitted nine charges including killing goshawks, buzzards, badgers and an otter.
The offences were committed on the Longformacus Estate in the Borders between March 2016 and June 2017.
The court ruled Wilson was responsible for the deaths of numerous wildlife, including protected species. Investigators found animal corpses including otters, badgers, foxes, birds of prey and more when they searched Henlaw Wood in 2017.
A captive eagle owl which the Scottish SPCA suspects was being used as a live lure on birds of prey who were subsequently shot and killed was also discovered at Wilson’s residence. In 2018, Wilson was fined £400 and banned from keeping birds of prey for ten years for failing to ensure the welfare of the eagle owl.
After an investigation which involved experts from the Scottish SPCA’s special investigation unit (SIU), RSPB and Police Scotland, Wilson was found to have used techniques including illegally set snares and unlawful items such as banned pesticides and gin traps to trap and kill wildlife.
A land inspection also found ‘stink pits’, where dead animal carcasses are left to attract other wildlife. These ‘stink pits’ were surrounded by illegally set snares. Animal remains, including mammal skulls, were recovered.
investigators believe Wilson slaughtered thousands more animals.
One source claimed he was hell-bent on killing “everything that moved” except game birds on the estate that were being bred to be shot by wealthy clients.
One kill list found in Wilson’s home catalogued 1,071 dead animals – including cats, foxes, hedgehogs and stoats.
Sheriff Peter Paterson said the offences merited a jail term but he felt he was unable to impose one due to guidelines against short-term sentences.
“The sentencing options open to me at the moment do not reflect society’s views,” he added.
The court was told Wilson had pledged to no longer work as a gamekeeper and was now employed cutting trees.
Police welcomed the sentencing at Jedburgh Sheriff Court at the end of what they called a “complex inquiry” which had been a “large-scale” investigation.
“The illegal killing of birds of prey and protected species cannot, and will not, be tolerated, nor will the inhumane use of illegal traps and pesticides,” said Det Con Andy Loughlin.
An undercover Scottish SPCA investigator described it as a “despicable case of serious and systematic crimes to indiscriminately remove wildlife from an estate”.
“The sheer volume of dead wildlife discovered is truly shocking,” the investigator added.
“We will never know the total number of animals which perished due to Mr Wilson, though had it not been for the robust intervention of Police Scotland, the Scottish SPCA and our other partner agencies, many more would have suffered and perished.”
Sara Shaw, head of the Crown Office’s wildlife and environmental crime unit, said Wilson’s actions amounted to a “campaign of deliberate criminality”.
Duncan Orr-Ewing of RSPB Scotland called it an “absolutely appalling incident involving the illegal killing of a range of protected wildlife.”
Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture wildlife forensic scientist Dr Lucy Webster said the investigation had been an “excellent example” of partnership working to “bring a prolific wildlife criminal to justice”.
Robbie Marsland, director of the League Against Cruel Sports, described it as “one of the worst wildlife crime incidents in recent years”.
A spokesman for the Scottish Gamekeepers Association said Wilson’s actions were “unacceptable” and “entirely out of step” with conduct it expected from its members.
He said Wilson’s SGA membership would be terminated immediately.
Sentencing: ordered to carry out 225 hours of unpaid work and given a restriction of liberty order.
#TheList Carl Kawka, born c. 1962, of 19 Channing Court, Rochdale OL16 4QG – for shocking neglect of ten ponies, only two of whom survived
Kawka pleaded guilty to two animal welfare offences.
The court heard how the RSPCA investigated Kawka over concerns about ten horses he had in his care in stables off Duchess Street in Oldham.
Inspector Danni Jennings and officers from World Horse Welfare found eight horses had severely overgrown and deformed hooves which had left them crippled.
Five of the horses were in such a suffering state that an independent vet decided the kindest thing was to put them to sleep.
Three more horses were sent for emergency veterinary treatment, but they were in such poor condition the independent equine vet also decided these needed to be put to sleep to end their suffering.
All the horses were found in a stable block which was piled high with faeces.
The conditions were so bad two horses had to be dug out of the stable as the filth had piled up so high rescuers were unable to open the stable door.
The court heard the horses had not had a farrier to trim their hooves for at least 12 months, when this should take place about every six weeks. This had caused the hooves to grow out of control leaving the horses crippled and struggling to walk.
Inspector Jennnings said: “Because of the filth in the stables it was difficult to see how bad the hooves were but then it soon became apparent when we led them outside.
“This is the worst case of horse neglect I have seen in my 11-year career as an RSPCA inspector.
“The horses were clearly suffering and were crippled, they were struggling to walk, and it was obvious they had not seen the light of day for a long period of time.
“The way they were neglected was horrific – it was a really sad and depressing day for all involved.”
Following lengthy treatment, two of the horses are on the road to recovery; one, called Ronnie, has now been rehomed, and another, Celine, is recovering well and will be due for re-homing soon.
Sentencing: 18-week custodial sentence suspended for 12 months; five-month curfew; total of £515 costs and charges. Banned from keeping all animals for life.
#TheList Julie Cutting, born 1966, of Heath Road, Lyng NR9 5RT – kicked a dog several times
Victoria Bastock, prosecuting, said Cutting kicked the dog “six to seven times to her side” following an incident at First Performance Exhaust in Norwich.
Miss Bastock said Cutting had been there with her dog and was attempting to get into her vehicle while staff were trying to shut up for the night.
She said that before she started kicking the dog, she chased one of the workers around the car and was swearing at him.
Cutting was previously convicted in her absence of causing unnecessary suffering to a dog, and using threatening/abusive words or behaviour likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress on August 23, 2018.
She has also previously been convicted of stealing £340 of wages from a man in June 2017. The court heard she took the money from his outdoor letter box having damaged it in June 2017.
She had also been convicted of that offence in her absence and another matter of failing to comply with the requirements of a community order on May 1 2018.
James Landells, mitigating, said the events at the garage occurred while the defendant was suffering from a “psychotic episode”.
He said the offences occurred at a time when her mental health was in “some form of chaos”.
He said in October 2018 the defendant’s “already struggling mental health spiralled even further out of control” when her son and daughter-in-law died in a crash.
He said she did not attend her court cases or probation appointment but was now on a much more stable keel.
He said she had her medication sorted out and was also not drinking.
Sentencing: four months’ imprisonment, suspended for 12 months. Three-month curfew. Total of £455 compensation, cost and charges. Disqualified from keeping any animal for the next five years.
#TheList Samantha J Ord, born c. 1983, of Pont Street, Ashington NE63 0PZ – left her three dogs to suffer with painful skin disorders and poor body condition
Ord was charged with two offences after RSPCA officers found the pets at her home in 2018.
The dogs – a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Labrador Staffordshire bulldog and American bulldog – had problems with their skin and poor body conditions.
RSPCA prosecutor Stewart Haywood said the three dogs were taken to a vet and examined.
One pet’s skin was crusty, she had hair loss and there was an unpleasant yeasty smell, while another was also in a poor body condition and had fleas on her coat. There were similar problems with the third.
“All were suffering,” said Mr Haywood. “And this had happened over a period of many weeks.”
The animals were taken into the care of the RSPCA and were nursed back to health. They are now said to be making good progress.
The court was told that Ord, of previous good character, was suffering from depression and experiencing difficulties in her personal life. Her husband died in 2017 and she had struggled to cope.
A probation officer said she had no previous convictions and was at low risk of re-offending.
And Alan Brown, defending, told the court that Ord felt a “sense of shame and regret” over her failure to look after the dogs.
Sentencing: four-month curfew; 18-month community order with rehabilitation activities. Total of £485 costs and charges. Disqualified from keeping animals for five years.
#TheList horse breeder Nicola Jane Haworth, born 4 February 1961, of The Sycamores, Jubilee Lane, Marton, Blackpool FY5 4ER – kept horses in such squalor that 11 had to be put down
Haworth was convicted of causing unnecessary suffering to 24 horses and failing to meet the needs of 31 horses.
Carmel Wilde, prosecuting for the RSPCA, said that the charity’s inspectors had found the animals living in dilapidated stables – some without doors or missing wooden panels.
The horses’ bedding was covered in months of urine and droppings, the court heard.
Ms Wilde added: “The evidence shows the conditions were horrendous. Six animals were such an appalling condition they had to be put to sleep by the vet immediately.
“Five more were euthanased later. Others have behaviour problems and will never be ridden as they are dangerous.
“These were the worst conditions the vets and RSPCA inspectors have ever seen. Basics tasks were not carried out for a prolonged time. It was neglect.”
Some of the horses’ hooves were so overgrown the animals could hardly move because they were in so much pain, the court was told.
There was evidence that some had not been out of their stables for some time to use nearby sand and grass paddocks.
The remaining 20 horses were taken away for care and re-homing.
Writing about the case, which he said was the culmination of over 10 months of hard work and dedication by the RSPCA, World Horse Welfare, HAPPA, Lancashire Constabulary and others, RSPCA inspector Carl Larsson said:
In September 2018 a magistrates warrant was executed and I walked onto a stable yard in Blackpool. I was horrified by the scale and level of suffering one individual could cause to so many horses.
I saw 31 horses in stables which had not had the doors opened in months. Dirty bedding was stacked half way up the doors. Once opened they wouldn’t close again because months worth of muck spilled out.
There were horses with such crippling lameness from overgrown hooves that their legs were shaking with pain. They were unable to step down off the pile of muck out of their stables. One collapsed as it reluctantly made the step off.
Of these horses 6 were immediately euthanised on veterinary advice to end their suffering. Since then a further 5 have been euthanised on welfare grounds. Despite reports to the contrary none of the horses were killed because the RSPCA didn’t know how to handle them. Every decision to euthanise was made on Veterinary advice using police powers.
Since that time the individual involved has offered no defence for her deplorable actions. She actually hasn’t turned up to court yet. Instead she has taken to the internet and launched a smear campaign against the RSPCA and more specifically myself.
I personally will never lose any sleep over what she or her friends may think of me however I will always defend my charity!
Unfortunately, until this point I have been unable to respond to posts on forums, Facebook or wherever else lies have been spread due to the matter being an active case.
However with today’s verdict I can now say that the conditions at this yard were the most horrendous I have ever seen in my time investigating animal cruelty. Furthermore the severe and obvious pain visible in many of these horses was sickening.
Today the overwhelming evidence was presented to a District Judge who had no hesitation in find the defendant guilty on all charges.
Sentencing: £4,000 in legal costs; six-month curfew. Banned from keeping animals for 10 years.