Tag Archives: fatality

Plymouth: Kieran Mitchell

#TheList Kieran John Jerome Mitchell, born 27/05/1995, of Keswick Crescent, Plymouth PL6 – punched and slapped his pet dog 36 times causing him to suffer wounds to his head and ears

Dog abuser Kieran Mitchell from Plymouth and his victim, Hugo
Kieran Mitchell beat and taunted his pet dog, Hugo

Convicted cannabis dealer Mitchell, formerly of Penrose Street, Stonehouse, Plymouth, was convicted of causing unnecessary suffering to the bull terrier Hugo in November 2017. He was convicted in his absence back in July 2018 and a warrant issued for his arrest the following month.

Mitchell surrendered to custody in March 2020. He was released on bail but failed to turn up at the next hearing. Magistrates have now issued a further arrest warrant.

Dog abuser Kieran Mitchell from Plymouth

The RSPCA, which brought the case, said concerns were raised about the welfare of Hugo, after they were sent an anonymous audio recording of him being beaten and taunted by Mitchell.

RSPCA prosecutor Lindi Meyer told the court it was a “nasty sustained attack” with a total of 36 hits, punches or slaps heard on the recording.

As Mitchell attacked the dog he can be overheard goading him, asking him: “Are you crying now? Whimpering?”

The RSPCA seized Hugo from Mitchell and took him to a vet for examination. The vet found three lesions on his face, one of which was near an eye. The vet said that the beating would have been a traumatic experience for Hugo, causing him to feel “terror, fear, pain and anxiety”.

Dog abuser Kieran Mitchell from Plymouth

Mitchell admitted in his interview that he smacked Hugo and would rub his nose in it if he fouled on the floor.

The presiding magistrate told Mitchell: “You acted in anger against an innocent animal.”

Sentencing: 24 weeks in prison. £115 victim surcharge. Banned from owning animals for ten years.

Plymouth Live

Additional information:

  • Kieran Mitchell has links to Barnstaple and Ilfracombe.
  • He has lived in Wilton Street, Plymouth PL1 5LT
  • We understand that Hugo was put to sleep by police for being a banned breed

Leigh, Greater Manchester: Ashliegh Tolley

#TheList Ashliegh Tolley, born 05/09/1991, of 82A Richmond Drive, Leigh WN7 2XW – left her tumour-riddled dog to die alone in a freezing flat

Heartless Ashliegh Tolley left her dying dog alone in a freezing flat for several days
Heartless Ashliegh Tolley left her dying dog alone in a freezing flat for several days

Feckless career criminal Tolley, who has numerous previous convictions for assault and shoplifting, was found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to her desperately sick labrador, Roo.

Caught in the act: CCTV captures ‘master criminal’ Tolley and her hapless partner stealing booze from a corner shop

The court was told how neighbours called the RSPCA to Tolley’s flat, as they were concerned her dog had been left unattended in the property for some time. They said they had not seen Tolley for several days.

Heartless Ashliegh Tolley left her dying dog alone in a freezing flat for several days

Inspector Emma Dingley was sent to the address and knocked on the door but when she got no reply she looked through the letterbox and could see Roo collapsed on the hallway floor in her own faeces.

She was in an emaciated state and Emma could see a huge tumour on her front leg.

She called the police for assistance so she could enter the property and rescue Roo.

Labrador Roo was put to sleep on humane grounds
Despite the efforts of the RSPCA’s veterinary staff to save her, the stricken dog was put to sleep on humane grounds

The poorly dog was extremely cold and was too weak to stand or lift her head. Emma carried her out of the property and rushed her to the RSPCA’s Greater Manchester Animal Hospital.

Staff at the centre placed heat pads on Roo as she was suffering from hypothermia and gave her fluids as she was severely dehydrated. Her body temperature was found to be just 33.8C where the normal body temperature should be around 39C.

Roo

The veins were very collapsed, which made placement of a catheter for fluid replacement very difficult. It was thought the collapse of the veins was due to both dehydration and hypothermia.

A vet also found a large mass, approximately 12cm by 20cm which was ulcerated and would have been present for weeks causing intense suffering to the dog but Tolley had not sought veterinary treatment.

Heartless Ashliegh Tolley left her dying dog alone in a freezing flat for several days

Emma said: “Roo was in an awful state when I went to rescue her. She was laid in her only faeces and couldn’t stand as she was so weak and in poor health

“She was freezing as there was no heating in the property so I wrapped her in a blanket and comforted her.

“She was clearly starved and as I cradled her in my arms to carry her to the van she knew I was trying to help her and she tried to wag her tail. It was heart-breaking.

“Staff at the animal hospital were doing all they could to save her but she was basically dying in front of our eyes and there was nothing we could do. She refused to eat even though she was starving.

“Sadly the following day she had deteriorated further so the vet made the decision to put Roo to sleep to end her suffering.

“It was so upsetting for us all – I just take some comfort from the fact she had kind people with her when she died and was not frightened and alone in the flat.

“This was a very upsetting case to deal with and there is never any excuse to abandon a pet – particularly in such a callous way.”

Sentencing: six-week jail sentence, suspended for 12 months; 20 days of rehabilitation activity requirement; £100 costs. Five-year ban on keeping animals.

Wigan Today
Leigh Journal

Shirley, Solihull: Samuel Johnson

#TheList serial domestic abuser Samuel Thomas Johnson, born 04/06/1985, of Ashwell Drive, Shirley, Solihull B90 3LR – kicked a dog repeatedly during a drunken and drug-fuelled attack on his girlfriend; traumatised dog put to sleep weeks later

Violent thug Samuel Johnson booted Staffy Rosie repeatedly as she desperately tried to protect her owner from a vicious drug and alcohol-fuelled attack
Violent thug Samuel Johnson booted Staffy Rosie repeatedly as she desperately tried to protect her owner from a vicious drug and alcohol-fuelled attack

Former soldier Johnson, who was previously cautioned for domestic violence against another woman, threw his girlfriend to the floor and strangled her before kicking Staffy Rosie as she desperately tried to protect her owner

The woman’s young son was upstairs while Johnson battered her and Rosie. The brave and loyal dog was left so traumatised by the vicious attack, she had to be put down by the vets just months later.

Serial domestic abuser Sam Johnson also attacked a dog, who later had to be put down
Serial domestic abuser Sam Johnson also attacked a dog, who later had to be put down

In passing sentence, the judge said Johnson had the power to inflict serious damage with his fists along with an issue with his temper.

He touched upon his ‘worrying’ history of two other actual bodily harm (ABH) offences, one inflicted upon a previous partner, and said future girlfriends needed ‘protecting’.

Despite this the judge concluded by wishing Johnson “all the best” as he passed a suspended sentence.

The court heard Johnson is now seeing a psychiatrist in relation to his time in the army, though his defence solicitor said the most recent assault could not entirely be attributed to his traumas.

Sentencing: four-month prison sentence suspended for 18 months. 30 days of rehabilitation activity and a structured intervention for domestic abuse course. 10-year restraining order. No ban on keeping animals was imposed.

Birmingham Mail

Howley, Warrington: Emma Connolly

#TheList Emma Jane Connolly, born 1989, of Wellington Street, Howley, Warrington WA1 – left her elderly pet dog to suffer with multiple ailments

Dog abuser Emma Jane Connolly from Warrington, UK

Single mother-of-two Emma Connolly admitted two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal in that she failed to seek veterinary treatment for her desperately ill 16-year-old Staffy Lucie.

Dog abuser Emma Jane Connolly from Warrington, UK

Lucie was suffering from a skin condition, ‘excessive thirst’ and hind leg weakness and pain. She was very sadly put to sleep.

Sentencing: eight-week curfew; ordered to pay £1,310 in costs and charges. Banned from keeping all animals for 10 years.

Warrington Guardian

Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire: Julie Ward

#TheList puppy dealer Julie Michelle Ward, born 11/04/1983, previously of 26 Douglas Road, Leigh, Greater Manchester WN7 5HG and currently of Greenacres travellers site on Slapton Road, Little Billington, Leighton Buzzard LU7 9BP

One of the dogs abused by puppy dealer Julie Ward and her accomplices

Julie Ward was convicted of animal cruelty offences in September 2016 alongside husband Martin Ward and brother-in-law Patrick Oliver Ward after a dead pet was found at a home they were using as a puppy farm. None of the gang showed up for sentencing and warrants were issued for their arrest

In May 2018 Patrick Ward was jailed for 22 weeks and banned from keeping animals for 10 years.

The Wards sold the puppies from addresses on Douglas Road and Windermere Road, in Leigh, Wigan.

The RSPCA launched an investigation into the trio after eight people complained they received sick puppies.

Customers said the animals soon became ill after they arrived home.

Four of the pets died suddenly or were so poorly vets decided to put them down to end their suffering.

Back in April 2015 Ward sold a puppy when she was too young to leave her mother.

She also failed to provide a malti-poo with treatment for an ear mite infestation in November 2015, while in February 2016 she failed to provide a black and white puppy with treatment for parvovirus.

Inspector Pippa Boyd, who led the case, said: “We believe Ward, and two other people who were part of the operation and have been dealt with by the courts previously, were importing puppies and then selling them on from two addresses in Leigh.

“When we joined police to execute two warrants at the properties in February 2016 we found a number of dogs and other evidence.

“At one address – in Windermere Road – we found a number of phones labelled with different dog breeds.

“At the other – in Douglas Road – we found three dogs, one with an untreated broken pelvis, and the body of a dead Jack Russell terrier left in a kennel.”

Sentencing: 18 weeks in jail, £150 victim surcharge. Disqualified from keeping all animals for 10 years.

Manchester Evening News

Shrewsbury, Shropshire: Steven To and Charlotte Plimmer

#TheList Steven Sai Chong To, born 21/03/1992, and wife Charlotte Plimmer, born 15/11/1996, both of 13 Theatre Royal Apartments, 15 Shoplatch, Shrewsbury SY1 1HR – for cruelty offences relating to four kittens

Cat killers Steven To and wife Charlotte Plimmer
Cat killers Steven To and wife Charlotte Plimmer. Sadist To is banned from keeping animals for life while Plimmer received a seven-year ban

Takeaway worker Steven To killed two kittens and inflicted months of abuse on two others while his wife, Charlotte To (née Plimmer) failed to react to the ongoing cruelty.

Between August 2018 and March 2019, the Tos inflicted abuse which RSPCA veterinarian Dr David Martin said was the worst he had seen in his 22 years of practice.

The court heard how eight-week-old kittens Jin and Sun, and two-month-old pets Moon and Mew, suffered seizures, broken bones, infections, hair and skin loss, multiple amputations and tail lacerations which left one “hanging on by a thread”.

Steven To pleaded guilty to three animal cruelty charges relating to harming the cats, and Charlotte To pleaded guilty to four charges of failing to provide a safe environment and veterinary care.

Prosecuting on behalf of the RSPCA, Sara Pratt, said: “The defendants lived together with their kittens in a flat in Shrewsbury.

“Over the period of August 2018 and March 2019, they acquired a total of four kittens, two of which were killed while in the care of the defendants, as a result of the actions of Steven To – Jin was almost 12 weeks old and Mew was just five months old at the time of their deaths.”

Cat killers Steven To and wife Charlotte Plimmer.

The court heard Jin and Sun were registered at Animal Trusts Vets and deemed healthy in August 2018, before Moon and Mew were registered at a different practice, Copthorne Veterinary Clinic, in November 2018.

Ms Pratt added: “On September 14, 2018, a phone call was made to Animal Trust Vets reporting that Jin had been playing, knocked over some recycling, started having a seizure and died.

“On September 21, Sun was anaesthetised and X-rays revealed a fresh fracture to her right tibia.”

The court heard in October 2018, Sun was taken to the vets with two “kinks” in her tail, before returning three days later with it “hanging off”.

The defendants bought Moon and Mew in November 2018, before Sun was taken to the vets again with hair and skin loss.

Mew then suffered an injury to her chin where the skin had become detached from her jaw bone and required surgery, the court heard.

Ms Pratt said: “Just seven days after surgery to her avulsed chin, Mew was returned to Copthorne Vets with an extreme fracture dislocation midway down the tail – all tendons had been ripped.”

Mew was found dead on the kitchen floor days after returning from the vets following a tail amputation.

The court heard that an RSPCA post mortem found evidence of blunt trauma to the right side of the cat’s thorax and neck, as well as evidence that the cat had lost blood externally through the nose.

The court then heard how in February 2019, Moon was taken to Abbey Veterinary Centre starved, and again with a leg fracture in March.

Following concerns raised by the veterinary practices and the RSPCA, later that month Moon and Sun were seized by police and a full investigation was launched.

A report by Dr Martin stated that it was “clear” all four cats sustained “serious injuries” and that two died from “traumatic incidents”.

He added: “It is exceptionally unusual to have such a significant incidence of serious trauma in four cats over such a short period of time, to the extent that in 22 years of veterinary practice, I have never seen or heard of such a high incidence of serious injury.”

2011 photo of Charlotte Plimmer
2011 photo of Charlotte Plimmer

District Judge Kevin Grego said there was “no doubt” a lifetime ban was necessary for Mr To, and that Mrs To should not have “covered her eyes” to the ongoing abuse.

He said: “The penny must have dropped after a short period of time. She [Mrs To] either should have got those animals out of the house or at the very least ensured it wasn’t going to happen again.”

Judge Grego added: “Animal cruelty is incisive of a mindset that’s corrosive and damaging – that’s what makes this so serious.

“There should be no doubt the animals that died and suffered did so as a result of deliberate cruelty from you, Steven.

“That cruelty and death could have been avoided if you, Charlotte, didn’t frankly cover your eyes and accept what your husband told you when you knew what you were being told was unsustainable

Sentencing: Steven To was sentenced to 22 weeks in prison, suspended for 18 months, with 200 hours of unpaid work, 25 days of rehabilitation, a lifetime ban on keeping animals and was ordered to pay £5,000 court costs, more than £3,500 in vets’ fees and a £122 surcharge.

Charlotte To was given a 12-month community order, with 25 days of rehabilitation, 40 hours of unpaid work, a seven-year ban on owning animals and was ordered to pay £390 costs.

Shropshire Star

Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire: Paul Whitehead

#TheList Paul Whitehead, born c. 1972, of Ravendale Street South, Scunthorpe – failed to get veterinary attention for his desperately ill dog

Paul Whitehead

Eight-year-old Yorkie/poodle cross Tootsie was so poorly that vets felt they would need to put her to sleep as soon as RSPCA officers brought her to them in March 2019.

Her owner, Paul Whitehead, admitted causing pain or suffering to the animal by not ensuring veterinary attention.

Rachel Taylor, prosecuting, told the court that Whitehead’s former partner alerted the RSPCA when she saw Tootsie.

Neglected dog Tootsie

RSPCA inspector Kate Burris took the dog to a vet, where it was found that her weight had gone from 7.6kg to 3.9kg.

The vet recommended the dog should be put down because she was so unwell. She had been suffering for months from a disease which prevented enzymes from digesting food.

Tootsie was excreting blood but Whitehead had not got proper treatment for the animal, even though he had tried feeding her.

Tootsie died three days after being taken to a vet and had suffered significant pain.

Paul Whitehead

The RSPCA began an investigation and interviewed Whitehead. Vets who had previously cared for Tootsie said they remembered her being a “chunky” dog.

Inspectors also checked the owner’s two other dogs but they were found to be in reasonable health.

It was revealed in court the owner suffered from multiple sclerosis and had bi-polar disorder.

A report by a probation officer revealed he had been targeted by vandals who branded him a “paedo” and smashed his windows.

The report said: “He admits he did not give enough attention to the dog and he is sorry. Dogs are his life.”

For Whitehead, Peter Cruickshank said: “Mr Whitehead loves his dogs. He had loved his dog for six years. It suffered from a pancreatic disease.

“This is not a case of deliberate neglect or suffering. He accepts he did not do enough. He wishes he had done more.

“He is sorry and misses Tootsie.”

He added that Whitehead had broken up with his partner and his life was in “emotional turmoil.”

Whitehead had owned dogs for 20 years previously.

Mr Cruickshank said: “He gave well-intentioned but incompetent treatment. It is an isolated incident. He is at a low risk of harm and has a long history of happy dog ownership.

“It is a sad case. He was overwhelmed by his condition.”

Whitehead was allowed to keep his other dogs Chester and Ziggy because there was no evidence that they were being neglected.

Magistrates also said there was insufficient evidence to prevent Whitehead from looking after dogs in the future.

Sentencing: 12-month community supervision order with a 12-week curfew. Ordered to pay costs of £500.

GrimsbyLive

Tiverton, Devon: Ian and Ann Ware

#TheList Ian Ware, born 13/05/1946 , and Ann Ware, born c. 1960, both of Holly Road, Tiverton EX16 6HZ – failed to take their badly injured cat to the vet

Ann Ware from Tiverton, Devon
Ann Ware and husband Ian are banned from keeping animals until March 2023

The RSPCA visited the home of Ian and Ann Ware in September 2019 after receiving a call from a concerned member of the public.

The grey and white cat, known as Snowball, was rushed to a vet by RSPCA Inspector Charlotte Coggins where he had to be put to sleep because of the severity of his condition.

Inspector Coggins said: “The pinna was damaged, leaving the cartilage of the ear canal exposed.

“Around the ear canal there was a deep deficit in the skin and underlying muscle to the extent that the bone of the skull could be seen rostral to the ear canal.

“The diagnosis from the vet was of a chronic severe deep infection of the ear canal and surrounding tissues. The exact cause could not be ascertained on clinical examination but it may have resulted from a bite to the area from another cat or rodent.

“As a result of this infection, the vet found Snowball to be suffering severe pain and that the infection had been present for some time based on the severity and extent of tissue destruction including damage to the cartilage of the ear canal.”

The defendants admitted causing unnecessary suffering to Snowball by failing to provide prompt or effective professional veterinary care and attention for the severe and chronic infected wound of the left ear canal and surrounding tissue.

Sentencing: four-week curfew order; £110 each in court costs. Banned from keeping animals for three years.

DevonLive

Shirecliffe, Sheffield: Nisar Hussain

#TheList Nisar Hussain, born 12/10/1984, formerly of 70 Morgan Road, Sheffield S5 8QT and more recently 203 Emerson Crescent, Sheffield S5 7SY – left a dog to starve to death in his back yard

Nisar Hussain is finally behind bars – more than four years after first appearing in court after evading capture.

Hussain, who has links to St David’s in Pembrokeshire, Wales, pleaded guilty to two offences relating to a Bully Kutta dog called Bella in August 2016.

The case was adjourned for sentencing but he didn’t show up and a warrant had been out for his arrest since.

RSPCA chief inspector Lynsey Harris said: “It has been almost four years since Hussain failed to appear for sentencing in relation to what happened to this dog, the previous September.

“Bella’s body was discovered in the backyard of Hussain’s then Sheffield address (his foreign-born wife and mother of his children, Saiqa Nisar, still lives there) by the dog warden, who had been called the previous night under the guise that Hussain had taken the dog in as a stray.

“She was emaciated, covered in dirt, her face was in a pool of vomit and she was surrounded by mud, faeces and a large number of dog biscuits.

“However several witnesses, including myself, had seen the dog at the property going back to August 10 tethered in the yard, and had given advice on her care.”

Bully Kutta are a very large breed originating in Pakistan and not commonly kept in the UK.

Nisar Hussain was implicated in a 2013 high-profile ‘crash for cash’ case alongside others, but was ultimately acquitted

Sentencing: jailed for 18 weeks with a further 14 days for non-RSPCA related matters, plus 21 days for failing to surrender but to run concurrently. Ordered to pay £615 in costs and charges. Disqualified from keeping animals for life.

RSPCA News
Doncaster Free Press

Hereford: Ian Reidy

#TheList Ian Mark Reidy, born 10/01/1989, of 32 Springfield Avenue, Hereford HR2 7JH – left his horse to suffer with a broken leg for two months

Ian Reidy's 11-year-old gelding, known as Brownie, was found unable to bear weight on the affected leg, with pressure sores from lying down, and muscle wastage
Ian Reidy’s 11-year-old gelding, known as Brownie, was found unable to bear weight on the affected leg, with pressure sores from lying down, and muscle wastage

The court heard Reidy failed to act on veterinary advice in relation to his 11-year-old horse, Brownie’s, broken leg between July 26 and September 19, 2019.

RSPCA Inspector Suzi Smith investigated after the animal welfare charity received a call about a horse with a severe untreated leg injury.

Ms Smith said: “Initially it appeared Brownie had collapsed. He seemed unable to get up. The foot was worn at the toe from the continued dragging of it over the weeks. He was wearing a thick rug in warm weather.

“Once we did get him up, he was non-weight bearing on the front leg. Upon removal of the rug it showed he was underweight with muscle atrophy to the broken leg where the muscle had wasted away over the weeks from his inability to use the leg. He had a pressure sore on his hock from the excessive time he had been spending laid down due to the pain.

“An x-ray showed his elbow to be in three pieces and vets found it was too late to perform any surgery to help.

“Reidy had initially called a vet when the injury occurred but refused to follow their advice before putting them off when they called to request a check-up of Brownie on eleven occasions, instead telling them he was getting better, rather than seeking the help Brownie desperately needed.”

Sentencing: 12-week custodial sentence. Ordered to pay a £122 victim surcharge. Banned from keeping any equine for life.

The court also made a seizure order for the remaining horses Reidy owned, but he told the court he had given them away.

Hereford Times
Horse and Hound