#TheList Dean Williams, born 15/03/1980. of 13 Clos Y Ffynnon, Pontprennau, Cardiff CF23 8HW – hurled a small French bulldog to the floor from above his head before punching her several times.
Construction worker Dean Williams, whose long list of previous convictions includes rape as well as dishonesty, violence and motoring matters, threw the French bulldog, named Koda, to the ground and punched her in the head before being chased down by a witness on a busy Cardiff street.
Cardiff Magistrates Court heard how 39-year-old Williams was later found lying on the ground trying to entice the “cowering” dog from underneath a car after she had ran off in the early hours of May 4, 2019.
Williams claimed Koda “jumped out” of his arms but magistrates said his version of events was not “credible in any way” and found him guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal.
The court heard that the three witnesses all saw Williams pick up the dog and throw her to the ground near Richmond Road.
Two of the witnesses were students Sarah Bill and Emily Johnson returning home in a taxi after a night out.
Giving evidence to the court, Ms Johnson said: “I looked behind me out of the window and saw him pick it up above his head and throw her to the floor.”
She told the court she believed Williams used two hands and had picked up the dog holding two of her legs.
Ms Bill told the court she only saw Williams throw the dog when it was “about a foot” off the ground, after Ms Johnson called out.
Ms Bill then left the taxi they were travelling in to chase after Williams and the dog, to “try and get it off him because in my opinion he was inflicting pain”.
With the dog under Williams’ arm, Ms Bill said she followed them down Richmond Road and onto Gordon Road.
Ms Bill said she also saw Williams punch the dog in the head “more than three times”.
After chasing Williams, Ms Bill realised she was alone so ran back “hysterical” and calling for someone to call the police.
At this point Uber Driver Chris Inchley stopped to speak to the women after also witnessing Williams throw the dog.
At first Mr Inchley thought Williams was chasing after the dog because she was lost, but he told the court: “[Then] he picked the dog up above his head and threw it to the floor with force.”
He said he was “shocked” and that the dog “yelped”.
Mr Inchley added: “He was punching the dog to the head about four or five times. It was hard, it was very hard.”
The Uber driver then picked up the two women and they returned to Gordon Road where they found Williams laying on the floor looking for the dog.
Ms Johnson said: “When we came down we saw [Williams] lying on the floor looking under the car with a French bulldog cowering underneath. The dog was clearly in fear of this man. When the police came the dog came out.”
Police arrested Williams at the scene, and later interviewed him where he replied “no comment” to each question.
One of the officers, PC Southey, was at one point visibly upset as she gave evidence on Thursday. PC Southey described blood around the mouth of the dog and that it calmed down once Williams had been put in the police car.
A vet report found the dog had some minor injuries, including a small hemorrhage on her eye and a lesion above her eye.
Luis Williamson, defending, questioned if Ms Ball’s and Ms Johnson’s consumption of alcohol on their night out had impaired their judgement, which they both denied, and said there were inconsistencies in the evidence by the three civilian witnesses.
Mr Williamson added that the injuries of the dog were caused previously through “puppy play”.
Giving evidence, Williams said: “She jumped out of my hand and I tried to grabbing her because it was a busy road. She jumped out and I picked her back up. I’m an animal lover myself, I have had her since she was a pup. She was a family pet.”
He added that the dog was under the car only because of the number of people on the street, and denied hurting the dog or remembering interacting with Ms Ball.
In their verdict chair of the bench Martin Dennett said: “We have listened to the evidence we have heard today and while there maybe some inconsistencies, the underlying facts and descriptions are clearly articulated.
“We can clearly see there are facial injuries. We felt it suffered abuse at the hands of [Williams]. We are satisfied an attack took place and substantial in nature. We do not find your version of events credible in any way.”
Williams had pleaded not guilty at a previous hearing after being charged with one count of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal.
On Wednesday 17 July 2019 Williams appeared in court for sentencing.
The court heard Williams was alcohol-dependent and had consumed around four to five pints of lager on the day of the incident but “was not drunk”.
A report by the probation service said Williams was on anti-depressants and he told them he drinks “as much as I can get my hands on”.
Koda was rehomed with witness Sarah Bill and renamed Lola.
Sentencing: eight weeks in custody suspended for 12 months. Ordered to carry out 20 rehabilitation activity days. Total of £735 costs and charges. Banned from keeping animals for three years, which was suspended for four weeks to allow his other animals to be rehomed.
#TheList Norfolk puppy farmers Jacob Murphy, born 14/06/1992, his partner Zoe Rushmer, born 10/02/1993, both of Poppys Place, The Street, Norton Subcourse, Norwich NR14 6RR, and Zoe’s brother Michael Rushmer, born 09/10/1991 of Home Farm, Low Road, Norwich NR14 6PZ. Also Jean Boyes, born c. 1951, of Church Farm Barns, The Street, Norwich NR14 7DW
Greedy and callous puppy farmers Jacob Murphy, Michael Rushmer and Zoe Rushmer kept 74 dogs and puppies, many of whom were sick or dying, in cages, dark sheds and a caravan in temperatures up to 30C.
The gang made £300,000 from selling dogs they claimed had been bred in a family environment.
But some of the “sickly and diseased” puppies died within days or cost their owners thousands of pounds in vet bills.
The trio admitted conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation.
Judge Andrew Shaw described it “as callous and mean-spirited a fraud as I have come across for some time”.
The RSPCA, which brought the case, said the animals were kept in “disgusting conditions” at Home Farm, Low Road, Thurlton. The charity removed 74 dogs, some of which were pregnant and had 20 puppies.
Some of the animals suffered from the potentially fatal parvovirus but were advertised as being healthy, socialised and treated for worms and fleas.
Dogs had an average price of £675 and the defendants made £300,000 from the fraud, though they claimed it was nearer £150,000, prosecutor Hazel Stevens said.
She described how when one of the premises was raided in 2017, dogs were found in cages, some in “pitch-dark sheds with no access to light” and others “in a caravan at temperatures of up to 30C”.
Mitigating, Andrew Oliver said Michael Rushmer was a cocaine user and “foolishly” bought dogs from travellers, which introduced parvovirus to the farm.
At sentencing, Judge Shaw described Murphy, who admitted three animal welfare offences, as the “ringleader”, while Michael Rushmer was “[Murphy’s] deputy if not his equal”.
The latter also admitted 10 animal welfare offences, offending while on bail, and operating a pet shop and breeding establishment without a licence.
Zoe Rushmer would meet buyers with her four children, now aged between four and 10, and was the “legitimate face” of the criminal enterprise run by her brother and her partner.
Rushmer was said to be remorseful and admitted four animal welfare offences.
Judge Shaw told her: “It’s only your children that have spared you from going to prison.”
Jean Boyes admitted the same fraud charge but only once took a litter of seven puppies to be inoculated and received a two-year conditional discharge.
Conspiracy charges against David Green, born 09/11/69 of Homebred Lane, Loddon, Norwich NR14 6UY , and Carole Rushmer, born c. 1960, and also of Home Farm Low Road, Thurlton, were dropped in February 2019.
Judge Shaw said the fraud, which began as early as 2015, “strikes at the very heart of this nation’s love for its pets, dogs in particular”.
“To sell sickly and diseased dogs, so poorly that many do not survive, is about as callous and mean-spirited a fraud as I have come across for some time,” he said.
After sentencing, RSPCA Inspector Amy Pellegrini described the farm as a “puppy factory”.
“Families thought they were buying puppies who had been bred and reared in loving family homes but in reality they had been bred in disgusting conditions with little regard for their health or welfare but simply how much money they would bring in.”
Sentencing: Jacob Murphy and Michael Rushmer were each jailed for 42 months, while Zoe Rushmer was given a two-year suspended sentence and 250 hours of unpaid work. They were all banned from keeping animals for life. Jean Boyes was given a two-year conditional discharge.
=== On Friday 28 June 2019 “remorseful” Zoe Rushmer was hauled back before the court after Judge Andrew Shaw became aware of disrespectful social media posts she had made about the case. In one post she was pictured wearing the balaclava she wore outside court while boasting that she would “wing it”. Another showed her gloating about her “freedom” after being given a suspended prison sentence
The judge expressed concern about the balaclava photo, saying it “indicates someone who’s hoping to get away with it”.
Sadly he decided not to increase her sentence, telling her: “”I’m not going to further your sentence but you need to understand that I came very close to doing so.”
#TheList Christopher Edward Bound, born 17/12/1993, of Rothley Drive, Bicton Heath, Shrewsbury SY3 5BB – subjected a two-year-old pug to a prolonged violent beating, eventually killing her
Cocaine user Bound punched, kicked and threw the black pug named Shelby against a wall as she screeched in pain, before police arrived and found him with his T-shirt covered in blood.
Neighbours alerted police immediately after hearing and witnessing the beating on February 24, 2019.
Bound, who is originally from Newtown in Shropshire, admitted causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal.
Kate Price, prosecuting, told Telford Magistrates Court: “At around 10.30pm to 10.45pm the neighbour heard a loud screeching sound and the defendant shout ‘get back in your bed’.
“They looked out of the window and saw him kicking something. Every time he kicked there was a screeching sound.
“The neighbour went back into their house and the defendant carried on hurting the dog. They continued to watch and he saw him throw the dog at the patio door.
“Then he picked it up and threw it against a wall. Bound kicked it a few more times before washing his hands. The neighbour was too distressed to carry on watching and called police.”
Bound was then seen taking his top off and continued to kick and punch the dog. “The screeching was getting quieter and quieter each time,” added Mrs Price. “Officers arrived and saw the blood on his T-shirt and found the dog in its bed. They established it had severe injuries.”
Shelby was taken to a vet for an emergency appointment, but could not be saved and died from internal bleeding.
Defence agent Adrian Roberts said: “He had a normal life until his brother died of cancer in 2013. Before that happened he was a reasonably successful sportsman, playing for local rugby and cricket teams in Newport, and he had a good job with Laura Ashley.
“He turned to cocaine to numb his feelings.”
Mr Roberts described Bound’s girlfriend, Georgia O’Keefe, who is standing by him despite the killing and was in court with his father, as a “stable influence”, and added that Bound had suffered with depression and anxiety.
“Clearly he’s a man who needs help,” he said.
After the case, Simon Paulo from the Crown Prosecution Service said: “As a nation of dog lovers this was a sad case to prosecute.
“Domestic animals are protected in England and Wales. Owners have a responsibility towards the welfare of their pets.
“I would like to commend the neighbours for calling the police when they witnessed this brutality taking place. I urge anyone who may witness any form of animal cruelty to report it as a criminal offence so that justice can be served.”
Sentencing: 12 weeks’ imprisonment, suspended for 12 months; 35 rehabilitation days. Costs and charges totalling £1,200. Banned from owning animals for life.
#TheList Frankie Jane Kane, born 03/07/99 of Printfield Walk, Woodside, Aberdeen AB24, and Yasmin Doherty (aka Yasmin Walker), born circa 2000, of Marischal Court, Castlehill, Aberdeen AB11 – filmed themselves abusing an escaped boa constrictor in the street
Vile Frankie Kane and Yasmin Doherty shared twisted videos of themselves mistreating the snake, named Esmerelda, on social media site Snapchat.
Kane hurled the escape animal 10ft across an Aberdeen street and Doherty swung her above her head.
The disturbing footage which they captured in the early hours of July 4, 2018, showed Esmerelda “writhing in pain” and sparked widespread outrage on social media.
Kane later confessed to causing the animal unnecessary suffering and throwing her, while Doherty admitted the same but also pleaded guilty to “spinning the snake around” and causing her to suffer injury.
Fiscal depute Rebecca Clark said: “The snake’s owner, who had it for three years, kept it in an enclosure in his bedroom and noticed it was missing – but thought it was elsewhere in the property.
“It was 3am when the two accused were outside the Marischal Court block of flats and found it.
“Both were under the influence of alcohol at the time, and Doherty began filming the snake on her mobile phone and posting it on Snapchat.
“Kane then picked it up and threw it several feet across the road.
“The snake appeared to be moving in a distressed state and Doherty said ‘it’s real’ before before picking it up, spinning it around above her head and throwing it.”
A passer-by intervened at that point and handed Esmerelda in to the police, who gave her to the Scottish SPCA.
Ms Clark added that the 4ft snake was “regurgitating blood”, and “appeared to be convulsing in pain”.
She said: “The chief inspector described the animal as writhing about in agony, coughing up blood and clearly dying.
“The decision was made to humanely destroy the snake, which had severe internal injuries.”
Kane’s solicitor maintained that his client did not realise Esmerelda was a live animal at first.
He said: “She though it was a fake snake, but quickly became aware it was real after picking it up and hearing it hiss at her.
“She should have placed it on the ground but she threw the snake through the air.”
Defence agent Tony Burgess said Doherty had lost her job as a result of the incident and is now “struggling to find her way back into employment”.
He added: “She accepts that her behaviour was completely reprehensible.”
Mr Burgess said the snake may have suffered some of her injuries when she escaped from her home and fell “from quite high up” on the multi-storey block.
Sheriff Aitken said he had “limited sympathy” for the teenagers, whose troubles he said were “nobody’s fault but their own”.
He added: “I hope it was drunken stupidity that led to this, rather than an underlying defect in your character. People do not like those who abuse animals.”
The Scottish SPCA welcomed the sentencing of Kane and Doherty but expressed disappointment that no order was imposed preventing them from keeping pets.
Scottish SPCA chief inspector John Carle said: “Although we are pleased to hear this sentence has been passed down we are disappointed a ban was not also imposed.
“Doherty and Kane caused cruel and unnecessary suffering to Esmerelda the snake.
“Treating any animal this way is despicable behaviour and the injuries caused ultimately contributed to the death of the poor snake.”
Sentencing: Kane was ordered to perform 80 hours of unpaid work in the next six months, and Doherty 120 hours. No ban on keeping animals was imposed on either of them.
#TheList Matthew Dennis Cassidy, born 19/03/1976, of Rosedale Grove, west Hull HU5 – was seen beating, dragging and throwing his West Highland terrier, Charlie
Cassidy pleaded guilty to the animal cruelty charges against him.
The court heard how a number of members of the public reported Cassidy after seeing him beat and drag the animal around the streets of Hull. Two teenagers were so concerned they even took the dog off him.
Cassidy also failed to protect Charlie from pain, suffering, injury and disease due to an untreated skin problem.
RSPCA inspector Jilly Dickinson said: “Cassidy was seen kicking and dragging Charlie around as he walked around the Anlaby Road and Linnaeus Street areas with him on May 21 .
“Witnesses saw Cassidy pick Charlie up by the scruff of the neck so that he was fully off the floor and shout in his face and later pick him up to chest-height by his collar, causing him to make coughing and choking sounds, and then throw him to the ground.
A number of people called police and the RSPCA between 5.30pm and 8.30pm when a passing police community support officer was approached by a member of the public after two teenagers took Charlie from him.”
Thankfully, Charlie has recovered well after being cared for by the RSPCA.
Ms Dickinson said: “Charlie was taken to a vets where, luckily, he was found to be uninjured but suffering from a skin condition. Cassidy admitted he’d been suffering with it for six weeks. Happily he’s made a good recovery in RSPCA care.”
In mitigation, the court heard that Cassidy was drunk at the time. Cassidy said he was disgusted by his behaviour and was very sorry for what had happened.
Sentencing: 18-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months; 12-month community order including 10 days of specified activity; total costs and charges of £450. Disqualified from keeping animals for life.
#TheList Angela Roe (aka Angela Atkinson) of Birkdale Drive, Ashton-on-Ribble, Preston, Lancashire PR2 – live-streamed a video showing her abusing a cat who was later found dead
The sickening footage, which was screened on Twitter’s live-streaming video app Periscope – showed pet cat Misty screaming in agony as her owner, Angela Roe, bit and roughly handled her.
Misty was tragically found dead at Roe’s home by police after the incident was reported by a sickened friend.
Preston Magistrates’ Court heard the witness, who became online friends with Roe, saw Misty on her lap in a live stream on August 26 2017, in which she was “squeezing and shaking” the animal.
She was shouting, calling the cat a ‘pyscho’ and suggesting she should ‘not bite the hand that feeds’.
The woman then saw Roe bite the distressed cat’s ear, causing her to scream in pain.
Roe was heard to say it “needs to be disciplined or it will walk all over me.
Roe, who has mental health problems, was then seen to self harm and rub blood on the cat’s fur.
The worried woman corresponded with Roe the next day on Periscope, whilst Roe was drunk. She said her ‘other personality was going to come out. The bad side, the Jekyll; and Hyde nasty side of me.’
Misty was seen walking around and appeared to be fine, but the clip showed Roe put her on her lap again and say: ” Can she kill the cat and then kill herself?”
The witness pleaded with Roe saying: “Don’t do that – if you don’t want the cat I will give it a home.”
The court heard Roe told her viewer the only way she would kill her is by ‘starving her’. The woman could then hear the cat screaming but the video then ended.
Prosecuting for the RSPCA, Paul Ridehalgh said: ” Around 25 minutes later the broadcast resumed and the defendant typed:”My cat has just attacked me” and claimed Misty was ‘demonic’.”
The concerned friend asked what had happened and Roe told her the cat had attacked her and turned her phone camera around to show blood on the table, wall, skirting board and door in her home, which Roe claimed had come from her finger.
Mr Ridehalgh added: “When she was asked where Misty was she ‘became very aggressive and hissed like a cat’ at the screen.”
Roe claimed Misty was asleep on a ledge in the living room, but when the woman saw the cat it looked ‘stiff’, and she called the police.
When officers arrived they found Misty dead on the window sill, with blood on her.
Roe, who was drunk, claimed it was from her own self harming and said the cat was asleep. There were dirty dishes and rubbish strewn over the floor.
Misty’s body was taken to a veterinary pathology department in Liverpool, which indicated the cat, who had various injuries, including a haemorrhage in her lungs and bruises, had died from being smothered.
Roe was not convicted of this as there was insufficient evidence she was directly responsible, but she admitted causing Misty unnecessary suffering and failing to meet her needs.
The court heard in March 2018 police attended Roe’s home again to speak to her and she declared: ” There is a video dating back to August this year. The cat bit me and I bit her back. I was ******** out of my head.”
Roe thanked the bench as they agreed to suspend her 12 week jail term for a year on account of her mental health and alcohol issues. The chairman of the bench noted her “deliberate attempt to cause suffering” and added: ” The act was purely intentional as far as you were concerned.”
Sentencing: 12 weeks in prison, suspended for a year; rehabilitation activity and alcohol treatment requirement. Total costs and charges of £490. Banned from keeping animals for life.