#TheList Lynda Elizabeth Went, born c. 1951, of Lake View Bungalow, Alford Road, Thoresthorpe, Alford LN13 9HU – for causing unnecessary suffering to horses in her care.
Lynda Went pleaded guilty to two charges, namely:
Between July 13, 2018 and September 13, 2018, at Thoresthorpe, caused unnecessary suffering to a protected animal, namely four Arab type horses, by an act, namely by failing to explore and address their overgrown hooves.
On or before September 13, 2018, at Thoresthorpe, did not take such steps as were reasonable in all circumstances to ensure that the needs of an animal for which you were responsible, namely two Arab stallions, were met to the extent required by good practice in that you did not ensure their need for a suitable environment in which to live.
Sentencing: For the first offence, Went was handed a 12 week prison sentence, suspended for 18 months. During the 18 months supervision period, the defendant must also carry out 60 hours of unpaid work. Went was also ordered to pay £250 in court costs and a £115 victim surcharge. Two ‘Section 33’ orders were made to deprive Went of ownership of the horses, and a ‘Section 34’ order was imposed to disqualify her from owning horses, keeping horses, participating in keeping horses, and from being party to an arrangement under which the defendant is entitled to control or influence the way in which they are kept, for a period of five years.
For the second offence, Went was handed a 12 week concurrent suspended prison sentence.
#TheList Brendan Gaughan, born c. 1986, most recently of Mendip Road, Duston, Northampton NN5 – dismembered seven pet cats and left remains in plastic bags on their owners’ driveways
Serial arsonist and cat mutilator Brendan Gaughan was sentenced at Northampton Crown Court for a campaign of attacks across the town in the past two years.
Gaughan was caught after an overnight arson spree in June 2018 in which he caused at least £375,000 of damage that destroyed family cafe The Arc, three rough sleepers’ tents and a disused office.
But when he came to court, he asked that 15 other offences were taken into account when he was jailed – namely, a debauched series of cat mutilations and a string of arson attacks in Duston.
The court heard how between August and November 2017 Gaughan targeted and killed seven family pets across Northampton.
He claims the first two were out of ‘spite’ for the owners – but he found the attacks left him ‘satisfied’ and he went on to kill four more in the space of just 10 days.
Nearly every time, Gaughan would set out between 1am and 2am searching for cats, before encouraging them to come near.
He then strangled them, dismembered the bodies and left them on their owner’s driveways or front gardens in plastic bags for them to find.
The body of Rusty was left in a bag on the owner’s doorstep in Northampton
Cat Topsy was left outside the owner’s home in the Kingsley area
Dead cat in a plastic bag was found in a garden in Chewton Close Duston
Mutilated body of a cat was found in Duston
Dismembered cat was discovered in Duston
Dismembered cat was found in a plastic bag on a doorstep in Mendip Road
Cat mutilated and left on car roof in Northampton
Prosecutor Matthew Rowcliffe QC said: “After doing it, he would feel satisfied for hurting [the families].
“But in November 2017, he ‘got bored of harming animals’ and turned his interests to starting fires.”
During an arson spree, Gaughan destroyed three tents, damaged the Outpost Café and its recycling bins and The Ark floating restaurant, both on Bedford Road, set fire to wheelie bins at the Edward Green Shoe Factory, a Vauxhall van and the Bray Learning and Development Centre at St Andrews Hospital.
In court today, the prosecutor shared something Gaughan said during a psychiatric assessment while he was in custody.
Mr Rowcliffe QC said: “[Gaughan] told his psychiatrist he had had thoughts of other kinds of offending, like entering women’s houses, raping them and killing them. He has never done this, but had had thoughts of doing it.”
Gaughan’s defence barrister, Mr Guy Williamson QC, told the judge: “He has expressed extreme regret and is ashamed of his actions, and understands the psychological, financial and physical harm and distress he has caused.
“This is a case of a man with mental health issues that feels isolated and vulnerable in the community in which he lives.
“He felt nothing towards the cats he was killing and he denies feeling any pleasure derived from these crimes.”
But His Honour Judge Roger Tregilgas-Davey said: “The starting of fires by you was deliberate. And in every case, you did nothing but watch. You failed to help extinguish them or alert emergency services.
“These were deliberate and persistent. When a fire did not take, you would make more effort to relight it.”
However, at sentencing, the judge did not rule Gaughan as ‘dangerous’ – and could only add three months to his jail term for the cat killings.
Judge Tregilgas-Davey said: “Any violence has been towards animals and not towards humans.
“In regard to the cat mutilations… I want to make it clear they are they are distasteful. They are distressing. I do not lose sight of that. But any sentence I can impose is limited no matter how many [you killed].”
Sentencing: Jailed for 44 months including just 3 months for killing the seven cats.
#TheList Reece Donohue, born c. 1993, of Wharton Street, Retford, Nottinghamshire DN22 7EH – kicked his housemate’s beloved cat to death
Former special constable Reece Donohue eventually admitted kicking two-year-old cat Marley to death, after initially claiming he had been attacked by another cat in the house. That cat, named Milo, was found hiding in the property.
Marley’s owner Amanda Attwood discovered blood splattered on the walls and furnishings after she returned to the home she shared with Donohue.
She was then horrified to discover her pet’s dead body lying on the floor.
A post-mortem carried out on Marley showed he had been kicked multiple times in the head and had suffered a brain haemorrhage.
He also suffered a broken jaw and had been kicked in the stomach and lungs.
His kidneys and intestines had also haemorrhaged.
Amanda had only lived with Donohue for a few weeks, having moved in at the end of March 2018. She left straight after the incident.
Amanda said: “Marley was such a loving cat, he would always want to get everyone’s attention when people would see him.”
Donohue pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to a cat by subjecting him to unnecessary physical violence which led to his death.
The court heard the offence happened after Donohue had been drinking and that he had tried to cover up the offence.
Sentencing:12-week prison term, suspended for 12 months. 150 hours of unpaid work. Banned from owning or keeping animals for life.
#TheList Sally Wilkinson, born 10/12/1985, of Oxford Street, Blackwell, Alfreton, Derbyshire DE55 5JT – left her elderly Rottweiler to suffer with an agonising skin condition and to become emaciated
Sally Wilkinson was banned from keeping animals for life after her dying dog was found in the worst state an RSPCA inspector had seen in her 17-year career.
Wilkinson pleaded guilty to two animal welfare offences when she appeared before Chesterfield Magistrates’ Court on Monday (12/11/2018).
The court heard how her emaciated Rottweiler dog, ironically called Chunk, was so thin and had a chronic skin condition it was difficult to establish her breed.
Chunk was just half the weight she should have been – at only 23.4kgs when she should have been 42kgs – and an untreated skin condition also left her with no hair apart from around her paws and some on her back.
RSPCA inspector Helen Mead, who was sent to investigate, said it was the worst case of dog neglect she had seen in her 17-year career.
She told how she went to Wilkinson’s home on September 4, 2018, after the animal welfare charity received a call from a concerned member of the public.
She said: “I smelt the dog’s chronic skin condition when I went into the house, even though she was in another room. Then when I saw Chunk I was horrified as she was in an appalling state.
“She was elderly and emaciated with bones protruding and she had almost no hair due to the chronic skin condition which had been left untreated.
“The skin was crusted, scabby, bleeding and thickened and she was covered in fleas. She had sunken eyes with pus around them. I just knew instantly she was in a bad way and must have been suffering enormously.”
Inspector Mead was given consent to take Chunk to a vets who decided the kindest thing to do would be to put her to sleep.
The vet stated that 14yo Chunk would have suffered horrendously for a period of time, suffering from malnutrition for at least two months and from the chronic skin condition for at least four months.
The judge, in his summing up, stated it was “sustained, systemic neglect” and added “it beggars belief it was allowed to deteriorate to this point”.
Inspector Mead said: “The photographs show Chunk was in such an appalling state.
“I was so upset that things had got so bad there was nothing that could be done to help her other than end her suffering.
“I am in no doubt that this dog’s horrendous suffering could have been avoided if she was taken to a vet and treated when any problems first arose – it should never have got to this situation.”
Sentencing: Eight-week jail sentence, suspended for two years. Fined £300 and ordered to pay a £75 victim surcharge. Lifetime ban on keeping animals.
#TheList Abbi Mann, aged 36, of Romford Way, Barrow Hill, Chesterfield S43 2PU – drowned two of her three pet cats in a toilet
Single mother Abbi Mann, who has a previous conviction for drink driving, was found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to two domestic cats, called Max and Bob, by killing them in an inhumane manner. A third cat, Pebbles, was rescued and taken into the care of the RSPCA.
Andy Cash, for the RSPCA, told the court that on the evening of the incident a police officer and paramedics had attended Mann’s home in response to a report of a person with suicidal thoughts and noted the defendant seemed under the influence of alcohol.
Mann told the emergency services that one of her cats was struggling to breathe and that she had pushed him down into the water, adding that she had probably killed him. She claimed that the cats had been poisoned by neighbours, who had been bullying her.
A post-mortem examination revealed evidence that Max and Bob had been drowned with an expert concluding they had been forcibly restrained. One cat had bruising to his neck consistent with being held around the back of the head and pushed under water.
Mr Cash said: “This is a lady, who, for whatever reason, in moments of stress has responded entirely inappropriately and we have to be concerned for the welfare of animals in the future and that would be the overriding concern of the society.”
He added: “Two animals have died at the hands of this defendant and they must have suffered considerably.”
Mann denied causing unnecessary suffering to the two cats by killing them after the incident in July, 2017, but she was later found guilty at a trial.
The court heard she had also committed the offence while she was subject to a suspended prison sentence imposed for a motoring offence.
Defence solicitor Shirley Fitton said her client has suffered with depression, mental health and alcohol issues and she had been as upset as everybody else because she dearly loved the cats.
District Judge Andrew Davison told Mann: “It was a dreadful offence on two poor innocent, little cats. It is a sickening and cruel offence and they were drowned not by being tied in a sack and thrown in a river but they have died in your hands which is most sinister.”
Sentencing: 26 weeks in prison suspended for 12 months with a Rehabilitation Activity Requirement. Total of £1,365 in costs and charges. Disqualified from keeping animals for life but can apply to have the ban lifted after eight years.
#TheList Rebecca J Tucker, aged 46, of Bradworthy, Devon, and Luke J Morley, aged 37, who’s now moved back to his home town of Leicester – ran a small holding in Bradworthy where horses, cattle and pigs were kept in squalid conditions without food and water
Tucker and Morley, who previously lived together at Boards Court, Bideford, pleaded guilty to a range of charges under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and the Welfare of Farmed Animals (England) Regulations 2007.
Trading Standards Officers, Animal and Plant Health Agency vets and RSPCA inspectors were called to the pair’s premises at various times during December 2017 and January 2018 and found animals being kept in poor conditions and a state of neglect.
On one occasion a vet found 14 cattle in a newly built shed with no dry lying or bedding or food. There was also a small area adjacent where pigs were housed, and they had no access to water.
On another day a vet arrived at the farm mid-morning to find the animals had not yet received any attention such as food and water that day.
When Trading Standards Officers visited they found 11 horses in a field with no suitable dry area for them to lie down in and they had no supplementary food.
There was also a collapsed five bar gate, collapsed fencing and collapsing netting in the field posing dangers of sharp metal edges and nails and an amount of plastic and burnt rubbish in the area.
Some of the horses were in such a bad state, that the pair were found to have caused them “unnecessary suffering” and so the RSPCA took possession of them.
During the hot sunny period in May vets were concerned about the lack of food, water and adequate shelter for the pigs – sunburn is a significant problem for pigs.
Trading Standards Officers returned to monitor the welfare of the animals and found further issues concerning diet, water and environment and reported their findings and subsequent advice to Tucker and Morley both verbally and in writing.
A further visit in June found eight pigs with a lack of dry bedding and a Belgian blue calf suffering from hair loss, scabs and a significant untreated lice infestation.
Despite repeated advice and intervention, Tucker and Morley made only temporary improvements, if any, in caring for their animals.
At the time of the offences it is understood that Tucker was the owner of the farming business and employed Morley to feed and care for the animals.
The Judge commented that Tucker “shirked responsibility” and put blame of the animals’ state on Morley, even though extensive advice had been provided to both by the inspectors.
Sentencing: Tucker – 17 weeks’ imprisonment for each offence to be served concurrently and suspended for 12 months. 180 hours of unpaid community work. Total costs of £390.
Morley – 12 weeks’ imprisonment for each offence to be served concurrently and suspended for 12 months. 120 hours of unpaid community work. Total costs of £240.
Both – banned from keeping animals for ten years (expires October 2028).
#TheList Sarah Burnham, 27, and Louise Wood, 61, formerly of Hunloke Road, Holmewood, Chesterfield S42 5RZ – mistreated 19 dogs and 3 cats who were kept in filth and squalor
Wood and Burnham pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to the 19 dogs and three cats by subjecting them to an environment which was detrimental to their wellbeing between October 2017 and January 2018.
The animals were kept in appalling conditions in their own excrement in dark rooms.
Sentencing Burnham, now of no fixed abode, and Wood, now of Edensor Court, Middlecroft, Chesterfield, were both fined £360 each and were each ordered to pay a £36 victim surcharge and £300 costs. Both Wood and Burnham were also disqualified from keeping animals for life and no application to lift the order will be allowed for ten years.
#TheList Kevin Charles Howard and wife Christine Anne Howard (nee Walker), Park Street, Kings Cliffe, Northamptonshire PE8 6XN – battered a border terrier puppy named Winston with a gun and strangled him to death supposedly as an act of self-defence
Kevin Charles Howard, aged 57 (b. July 1961), faced magistrates in Northampton on Monday 20/8/18 with wife Christine, aged 71 (b. March 1947). Both were charged with causing unnecessary suffering to an animal.
The court heard the Howards saw their neighbours’ border terrier puppy Winston with one of their chickens in his mouth on August 1, 2017 in a scene described as ‘carnage’.
Mrs Howard caught the dog and shouted at her husband to ‘get the gun’ before passing Winston to her husband as he bit him.
An eyewitness said she heard Mr Howard hit Winston with the barrel of his gun ‘eight or nine times’ as he sat on him, although Mr Howard said he only hit the dog three times.
Former company director Mr Howard held Winston by the scruff of his neck in an attempt to prise his jaw off him but strangled him in the process. He carried the dog out to the drive by his legs, covered in blood from a chicken, as the dog’s owner and his 10-year-old son arrived.
He then said: “I doubt it will survive.”
A vet said the dog died from strangulation.
In a victim statement read out in court, Winston’s owner described Howard’s actions as ‘unspeakable’ and a ‘cruel way to kill a puppy’.
The court heard the dog had previously killed 16 of the Howards’ chickens – which the dog’s owner had compensated them for – and chased a cat inside their house.
Mitigating, Andy Cave said the Howards were not animal abusers but animal lovers. He said: “They’ve spent years rescuing animals, looking after stray animals and cats and dogs at their own expense.
“Their chicken coup could be described as a five star chicken coup.”
Mr Howard reported the incident to the police himself and said he was distraught at what had happened. He told officers he had killed the dog with his bare hands but the court heard police initially told him he had done nothing wrong as he was protecting his livestock.
Mr Cave added: “They did not try to shoot the dog because that’s not in their nature.
“He had to try and get the dog off him. They’ve never done anything like this before and they will never do it again.”
The Howards denied the charges they faced but were found guilty after a day-long trial earlier this year. The court heard the trial placed such a strain on Mrs Howard she collapsed outside court and had to be resuscitated.
Sentence: Kevin Howard – 12-month community order with 10 days of rehabilitation requirements; ordered to pay compensation to the family of £212.50, £75 to the 10-year-old boy and a victim surcharge of £85. Christine Howard – fined £98 plus victim surcharge of £30. The pair must also pay trial court costs of £775 between them.