Tag Archives: County Down

County Down

Bangor, County Down: Adrianne Peltz

#TheList Adrianne Susan Peltz (now Thompson), born 22/10/1984, of 3 Beatrice Road, Bangor, County Down BT20 5DG – defrauded the Dogs Trust of nearly £5,500

Thief Adrianne Peltz stole almost £5,500 from a charity for abandoned dogs
Thief Adrianne Peltz stole almost £5,500 from a charity for abandoned dogs

Peltz pleaded guilty to fraud by abuse of her position involving £5,393.22 at the Dogs Trust in a “breach of trust”.

The 35-year-old, who is originally from South Africa, admitted using a Dogs Trust credit card for personal expenditures.

Thief Adrianne Peltz stole almost £5,500 from a charity for abandoned dogs

Peltz had been employed as the Dogs Trust’s campaigns manager for Northern Ireland and had a charity credit card for use in the day to day running of her office.

However, upon the termination of her contract, “numerous requests for receipts” to be produced by Peltz were not forthcoming.

Thief Adrianne Peltz stole almost £5,500 from a charity for abandoned dogs

It emerged that on dates between April and October 2017 a number of items totalling £5,392.22 could not be explained as “legitimate company business”.

Defence barrister Stephen Law said it was accepted that all money given to a charity is important and for anyone to misuse it would be “particularly mean-spirited”. He said Peltz had been going through a “particularly difficult time” when the offending happened.

Mr Law said she was “under considerable pressure at work” and was also “trying to juggle her caring and loving role as a mother” and was also a carer for her own mum.

Thief Adrianne Peltz stole almost £5,500 from a charity for abandoned dogs

In the evenings when “under stress” Peltz had “strayed beyond” what the credit card was intended for and made a number of “online” purchases.

Mr Law said it “really has been a classic fall from grace” for Peltz, who had been industrious and occupied a number of important public roles which had now “all come crashing down”, and with it she had lost her reputation.

Following the guilty plea he said the defendant resigned from a number of groups but he said a “glimmer of hope” was that she recently married and her husband was with her in court.

Mr Law said the defendant was unemployed and was not claiming any benefits but “living on the goodwill” of her husband.

Thief Adrianne Peltz stole almost £5,500 from a charity for abandoned dogs

The defence barrister said there was no question that Peltz felt ashamed for her “inexcusable” actions and she may have to move from her current address because she has been “shunned” by the community.

He said although every pound given to a charity is important, the Dogs Trust was a UK-wide organisation and the loss of £5,000 may not have a “significant impact” on them.

Mr Law said it had been a “life-changing experience” for Peltz who is going to “pick herself up, get a job and pay this money back”.

District Judge Nigel Broderick said the offending was “mean-spirited” which involved a “breach of trust” with a charity to which the public had given money in good faith.

He said he read a Victim Impact Statement from the Dogs Trust and the incident had a “traumatic effect” on staff.

The judge said he took into account a guilty plea and said it was not without significance that Peltz lost her job and other employment and there had been an “element of public shame which is attached to such a high profile loss of face”.

He handed down a six-month jail term, suspended for two years, and ordered the defendant to pay back the amount of money involved.

Outside the court the defendant replied “no comment, thank you” as she passed reporters.

Following the sentencing hearing, a Dogs Trust spokesperson said: “We rely on the enormous generosity of the public to help us care for over 15,000 dogs every year and we do all we can to ensure funds are used wisely.

“This was a rare situation for us and we took appropriate steps at the time to recover the funds where we could, but what’s important is that following today’s hearing more of the money will be returned to us and put back into the vital work that we do.

“We would like to thank the police for their prompt assistance in this matter. We respect the decision of the court and are pleased to draw this issue to a close.”

Sentencing: six months in jail suspended for two years. Ordered to repay the money she stole from the animal charity.

Belfast Telegraph
BBC News

Hillsborough, County Down: Aaron Hobby

#TheList Aaron Hobby, born 09/07/1999, of 29 Grove Park, Hillsborough BT26 6JF – failed to ensure the welfare of several reptiles in his care

Aaron Hobby from Hillsborough, Northern Ireland, failed to look after several reptiles in his care

A milk snake, a gecko and a bearded dragon were among the reptiles found in poor conditions when Animal Welfare Officers from Armagh Banbridge and Craigavon Council visited Hobby’s property in August 2017.

The reptiles were taken into the care of council after a veterinary surgeon assessed them as being likely to suffer.

In particular, the bearded dragon – a cold-blooded reptile which originates from warmer climates and requires artificial heating to remain healthy when kept in captivity – was being warmed by a red bulb, exposing it to serious risk of injury.

A council spokesperson said: “The Welfare of Animals Act (NI) 2011 gives us the powers to prosecute anyone who neglects the needs of exotic as well as domestic animals.

“The substantial financial penalty imposed in this case is a positive outcome as it goes much further in sending out a clear message that those who fail to properly look after animals in their care may face more severe punishments.

“The conditions, in which these reptiles were kept, fell far short of what is acceptable.”

Sentencing: ordered to pay just under £2,100 in legal fees and care costs in addition to a £100 fine and a £15 offender’s levy. Five-year disqualification from keeping and owning animals.

Portadown Times

Seapatrick, County Down: Tyrone Whiteside

#TheList Tyrone Whiteside, born 10/04/1969, of 24 Dickson Park, Seapatrick, Banbridge BT32 4PQ – caused unnecessary suffering and failed to ensure the welfare of a dog in his care.

Tyrone  Whiteside of Seapatrick, Northern Ireland, neglected his (unnamed) pet dog
Tyrone Whiteside neglected his (unnamed) pet dog

A case was brought against Whiteside by Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council under the provisions of the Welfare of Animals Act (Northern Ireland) 2011.

An Animal Welfare Officer, who visited the defendant’s property in April 2016, discovered a dog in poor physical condition. The dog was taken into the care of the council after an assessment by a veterinary surgeon determined that the dog was likely to suffer.

Sentencing: fined £150 and also ordered to pay an offender’s levy of £15. Banned from keeping animals for five years.

Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council news

Newry, County Down: Richard Crozier

#TheList Richard Crozier of Annsville, Newry BT34 1AB – for a catalogue of neglect towards  five adult dogs, four dependant pups and four ferrets in his care.

Richard Crozier was banned from keeping animals after pets were found in ‘appalling’ conditions at his home
Richard Crozier was banned from keeping animals after pets were found in ‘appalling’ conditions at his home

A case was brought against Crozier by Newry, Mourne and Down District Council following a complaint about the condition of animals living at his home.

When council animal welfare officers visited Crozier’s home on March 4, 2016 they found the conditions in which the animals were being kept to be “appalling”.

Sadly, a lurcher-type dog had already died. The dog, who was wearing a muzzle, was chained to a kennel.  He had several open wounds on his legs and was skeletal. A post mortem found that the dog was severely emaciated.

The animals were all deemed to be suffering and were taken into the possession of the council.

In court, Crozier pleaded guilty to all four charges which were brought by the council under the provisions of the Welfare of Animals Act (Northern Ireland) 2011.

Total fines of £1000. Disqualified from keeping animals for just five years (expires November 2023).

Belfast Newsletter

Lisburn, Northern Ireland: Marcus Sarre

#TheList Marcus John Sarre, born 06/01/1994, of 86E Avonmore Park, Lisburn BT28 1NE – crushed the skull of a 15-week-old puppy after she urinated on the kitchen floor

Puppy killer Marcus Sarre from Lisburn, Northern Ireland
Puppy killer Marcus Sarre from Lisburn, Northern Ireland

Aspiring singer Sarre, who has admitted to having a problem with alcoholism, pleaded guilty to a single count of causing unnecessary suffering to the 15-week-old crossbred husky and collie, named Lilo, on April 14, 2018.

The court heard how neighbours called police when they heard screaming.

Marcus Sarre arriving at Craigavon Courthouse yesterday

Prosecuting counsel Nicola Aurett told the court that when police arrived they saw blood on the hallway with a trail leading them to the bathroom.

“The dog was lying dead in the bath with blood all around it,” said the lawyer adding that Sarre, who had “drink taken”, admitted kicking the puppy.

She told the court that a report from a pathologist who examined the dog’s remains said the cause of her death was skull fractures.

Puppy killer Marcus Sarre

Arrested and interviewed, Sarre said that he had let the dogs out after he had been away for a short time but his older dog, Polo, did a poo on the kitchen floor and he shouted loudly at him. This caused Lilo to urinate on the floor and he kicked her against a kitchen cupboard.

Sarre, who was upset during police interviews, told officers Lilo was bleeding from the mouth and was unresponsive so he took her to the bathroom where he tried CPR but without success.

Puppy killer Marcus Sarre from Lisburn, Northern Ireland

Ms Auret submitted it was an aggravating feature that at the time of the incident, Sarre was on bail for assault.

In that case, the court heard that police were called at an address in Lisburn on January 21, 2017, and found a female sitting in a sofa, crying and bleeding from her swollen nose. The woman, the ex-partner of Sarre’s father, said the pair had been drinking when Sarre tried to kiss her but that when she pushed him away, he head butted her and then kicked her several times when she fell to the floor.

Puppy killer Marcus Sarre from Lisburn, Northern Ireland

Defence counsel Damien Halloran conceded that both incidents had been “deeply unsavoury”. He added that Lilo’s tragic death was “almost instantaneous” and while Sarre tried to resuscitate the dog, it was a “futile exercise”.

Puppy killer Marcus Sarre

The lawyer submitted it had been a “moment of madness” for Sarre to lash out but Lilo’s death had left him “completely hysterical, lying on the ground crying”, adding there was no suggestion of cruelty to his other dog Polo whom he rehomed from a rescue centre five years ago.

Mr Halleron revealed that Sarre had been abusing alcohol and drugs and had a difficulty coping with stress “if things didn’t go his way”, submitting that the judge could impose community service or leave “something hanging over his head”.

Image result for "marcus sarre"

Judge Lynch disagreed however and jailed Sarre. For killing Lilo, Sarre was jailed for six months and the judge imposed four months for causing actual bodily harm, ordering the sentences to be served consecutively.

Jailed for six months for kicking the puppy to death, followed by 18 months on supervised licence. He will serve a further four months in jail for head-butting his father’s ex-partner. Banned from keeping any animals for 10 years.

Belfast Telegraph

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Bangor, County Down: James Michael Lane

#TheList James Michael Lane, born July 1968, of Groomsport Road, Bangor, County Down BT20 – failed to act when his 14-year-old Labrador developed a painful “satsuma-sized” tumour.

A lawyer for Ards and North Down Council, which prosecuted the case,  told the court an enforcement officer was contacted by a member of the public who had “serious concerns over the body condition” of a stray dog.

When the officer attended, he saw a “large open abscess growth on the side of the dog’s neck” so took the animal, called Tess, to the vet, who said that she was suffering.

In addition to that tumour, which was “red raw and coated in puss”, there was a second, smaller lump beside it, and the dog was described as skinny with her “ribs and spine clearly showing”.

Optometrist and company director Lane was spoken to and confirmed the family had owned Tess since she was a puppy, but she was now “doubly incontinent” and that the tumour had been there for about a month but had only opened in the previous two weeks because she had been scratching at it.

“He said that he hoped the dog would die peacefully,” said the lawyer, but he added the vet had told Lane that instead “she would likely die a slow and painful death”.

Lane signed the dog over voluntarily and she was put to sleep.

A defence solicitor entered guilty pleas on Lane’s behalf to offences of causing unnecessary suffering to the dog, and failing to take reasonable steps to meet the dog’s needs on a date unknown on or before April 21 2016.

The solicitor said Tess had belonged to Lane’s daughter who had been sitting her A-levels and he did not want to upset her.

“He has been very contrite and in reflection, he should have euthanised the dog at an earlier stage,” the solicitor said.

Following the guilty pleas, the council’s lawyer withdrew the same charges against Lane’s wife, fellow optometrist and co-director of Lane & Lane (N.I.) Ltd, Carol Anne Lane ( born November 1967).

James Michael Lane and wife Carole Anne Lane operate an optician’s business named Lane & Lane.

Fined £5,000 plus costs. No ban was imposed by the court.

Belfast Telegraph

Kircubbin, County Down: Dominic O’Connor

#TheList Dominic O’Connor (DoB 18/10/1989) previously known as William Mocsari and also William Stevens, previously of Roden Street, Kircubbin, Co Down  – convicted of cooking and killing a dog

Evil dog killer Dominic O'Connor
Deranged dog killer Dominic O’Connor AKA William Mocsari AKA William Stevens – given just two years in jail for his crime

O’Connor strangled his four-year-old collie, Jess, with a lead before cooking her, using “a few onions and an Oxo cube” in December 2016. He then fed the stew to his other dog. He put Jess’s remains on the fire and later dumped the ashes into Portavogie harbour.

O’Connor was found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to a dog and banned for life from owning another animal.

Prior to being sent to prison for two years in November 2017 O’Connor was seen at a property in  Dundela Avenue, Belast BT4 3BT.  His family are based in Bangor, Co Down and he also has links to Hammersmith in London and Surrey.

The court heard that O’Connor bought Jess on the internet classifieds site Gumtree.

The incident was uncovered when he told hospital health professionals what he had done.

Police then visited his house, where they found burned dog hair and a liquid on the grate of the fire.

Sentencing O’Connor, the judge said this was a “particularly disgraceful and heinous offence”.

He said O’Connor had misled the people from whom he got the dog, leading them to believe she would be nurtured and protected.

Instead, he said that it was clear that O’Connor was going to kill this dog and “inflict serious cruelty”.

He said O’Connor’s behaviour was “barbaric and calculated”.

The judge added that O’Connor had raised questions about his mental health, but did not provide any medical evidence on which the court could rely.

He said he had displayed “no real remorse” and despite not giving evidence on his own behalf, O’Connor seemed to challenge the evidence against him.

The court heard that O’Connor had 23 previous convictions.

Sentence: He was sentenced to two years in prison and a further two on licence. He was banned from owning any animal for life.

BBC News

Newtownards, County Down: Daniel Gerard Taggart

#TheList Daniel Gerard Taggart of 2 Rockfield Drive, Portaferry, Newtownards BT22 1RL – for the neglect of a golden Labrador dog, who had had so little exercise his toenails had curled into his paw pads

Neglected dog Barney has now been rehomed with a loving family
Neglected dog Barney was in agony with overgrown toenails. He has since recovered and been rehomed with a loving family

Taggart was found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to the 9yo dog, named Barney, who was seized by Ards and North Down Borough Council’s animal welfare officer in January 2016.

A vet reported it was the worst case of toenail overgrowth he had seen, in more than 13 years of practice.

The vet estimated that the nails would have taken at least 18 months to get into the condition they were in, making it highly unlikely that the dog received any exercise in a long time.

Barney was placed with the Animal Connexions charity and has since been rehomed.

Three-month custodial sentence suspended for 12 months. Costs of £963.27. Lifetime ban from keeping or having any involvement with any animals.

BBC News

Ballymacarrett, East Belfast: Mark Elliott

#TheList Mark Elliott, born 08/10/1991, of 6B Dundee Street, Belfast BT13 2JD- left his German shepherd dog to starve to death

Dog killer Mark Elliott from Belfast

Mark Elliott pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to his animal.

The case against Elliott came to light after officials from Belfast City Council were called to a property he formerly rented in Templemore Street.

Inside the flat, the officials found the remains of the German shepherd.

The kitchen floor where the dog was found was described as being covered in faeces and dried blood, which may have been passed by the dog before its death.

Veterinary evidence confirmed the cause of the dog’s death as starvation.

Sentencing: 200 hours of community service. Disqualified from owning dogs for life.

Belfast Telegraph