#TheList Justin Thomas Williams, born c.1992, of 31 Lon Ogwen, Bangor LL57 2UD – filmed a vicious fatal attack by his dog on a ginger cat
Justin Thomas Williams admitted allowing his greyhound-type dog to bite, drag and shake the cat in the South Stack area of Holyhead, Anglesey, in March 2018.
Prosecutor Diane Williams told a district judge at Caernarfon court that police seized a mobile phone at Williams’s home and a 24 second video clip showed the “vicious and cruel” attack on the distressed cat.
In December 2018 the defendant received a suspended sentence for disclosing private sexual snaps.
A probation officer said the jobless cannabis smoker was hunting rabbits on a farm that night and Williams claimed the dog went into a bush. The defendant maintained there was no intention to set the dog on the cat and he “accidentally” filmed the savaging.
Defence solicitor Bethan Williams said her client denied encouraging the attack. “The video shows Mr Williams. He’s deliberately filming, he can’t deny that he’s filming the dog attack the cat.
“There’s no evidence he deliberately set the dog on the cat but he certainly doesn’t intervene,” the lawyer said. “It appears the cat passed away.”
District judge Gerallt Jones told Williams: “This is a serious incident. It looks to me as you having pleasure from the distress and cruelty that was going on.
“You did nothing at all to help. Rather than try and assist the cat you took pleasure in filming it and encouraging the dog to do what it did.”
Sentencing: 15-week suspended jail term; 150 hours of unpaid work; £615 costs. Banned from having any animal for five years.
#TheList Lee Martin Boyle, born c. 1977, and partner Dawn Nixon, born c. 1980, both of 11 Pendower Way, Newcastle upon Tyne NE15 6SN – allowed their pet dog to become so malnourished he couldn’t stand
Lee Boyle was already banned from keeping animals for life following a conviction in 2006 alongside mother Alice Edgar and junkie brother David Boyle. That case involved the appalling neglect and starvation of a rottweiler named Bella, who had to be put to sleep due to her poor condition, and a crossbreed named Buster.
This time Boyle was found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to a Staffordshire bull terrier/American bulldog cross known as Troy along with his partner Dawn Nixon.
The RSPCA was called in to investigate after a witness spotted Troy looking so skeletal he was described as a “dead dog walking”.
The dog was emaciated and suffering from such bad malnutrition he was trembling and unable to stand, the court heard. He had wounds on his front paws, hip bones and on the back of his legs which were red raw and bleeding when he was found.
Boyle told RSPCA Inspector Kirsty Keogh-Laws Troy had not seen a vet for two years.
And after examining the evidence collected by the RSPCA, vets concluded that Troy had been suffering from malnutrition and emaciation for more than five weeks.
The case against them had been proved in their absence after they failed to attend an earlier hearing.
In mitigation the court heard Boyle had been forced to leave the family home and Troy’s condition had arisen whilst not in his care. Nixon stated she could not look after Troy to the extent she would have liked to due to work commitments.
Sentencing the pair, District Judge Begley called it an “appalling case of cruelty”.
Inspector Keogh-Laws said: “It was heartbreaking to see the photos of Troy in such an awful condition when he was found. There is no excuse to allow an animal to get into such an appalling condition and not seek help.
“There is always help available for those people who need it and we encourage people to seek out this help to prevent animals suffering.
“Owning an animal is a privilege – but this couple’s failure to address the causes of Troy’s poor bodily condition meant that was clearly not appreciated in this case.”
Sentencing: Boyle – 24-week jail sentence, total of £225 costs and charges. New disqualification for life from keeping animals.
Nixon – 18-month community order including 200 hours of unpaid work; total of £285 costs and charges. Disqualified from keeping animals for life.
#TheList Nazar Hussain, born 28/02/1969, of 109 Rotherfield Road, Birmingham B26 2SH, and Mohammed Nabeel, born May 1991, of 50 Ludlow Road, Birmingham B8 3BY – for animal welfare offences at pet shop Bordesley Green Pet & Aquatics
Nazar Hussain and Mohammed Nabeel, the respective licence holder and manager of Bordesley Green Pets & Aquatics based at 149 Bordesley Green, Birmingham B9 5EP, admitted multiple animal welfare offences at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court.
Hussain pleaded guilty to 12 charges under the Pet Animals Act 1951, the Animal Welfare Act 2006, the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, while Nabeel pleaded guilty to seven offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.
The court heard how on 30 May 2018, Birmingham City Council’s animal welfare team received a complaint from the RSPCA about conditions at the licensed pet shop.
The team was unable to attend that day so an RSPCA inspector visited the premises and found a number of animal welfare concerns, including:
A cockatiel with an obvious injury to its wing, which later had to be put to sleep
Two budgerigars kept in a small, dirty cage
A female cat with mammary growths, another cat chained up in the back of the shop and a third cat kept in a small cage with no food, water, bedding or litter tray
Two large rabbits kept in a small, dirty cage with no water
The RSPCA inspector issued warning notices to manager Nabeel and instructed him to make numerous and immediate improvements, including taking the cockatiel and the cat with the growths to a vet for an examination.
A senior animal welfare officer from the council visited the shop the following day, accompanied by the RSPCA inspector, and found a number of breaches of the licence relating to cleanliness, size of accommodation for animals being too small, dirty drinking receptacles or no drinking water at all, no environmental enrichment provided and animals being housed in accommodation which did not minimise stress caused by other animals.
Hussain was subsequently advised of the failure to comply with numerous conditions attached to the licence issued to him for the premises. Hussain did not attend two interviews arranged and did not provide any comments. Nabeel was interviewed by the RSPCA officer but denied any wrongdoing.
District Judge Jan Jellema described the evidence as showing a ‘truly appalling picture of how animals were kept’ and that there was ‘scant evidence of any affection for animals’.
Councillor Phil Davis, chair of the council’s Licensing and Public Protection Committee, said: “This is an absolutely appalling case where the licence holder allowed the conditions in his pet shop to deteriorate. Animals were kept in truly terrible conditions while the manager was incapable of looking after the animals and caring for their needs. In the case of the cockatiel, this lack of care resulted in it having to be put to sleep on welfare grounds.
Sentencing: 10 weeks’ imprisonment for each offence, suspended for 12 months. Total costs of £5,600 between them. They were both disqualified from having custody of any animal for a period of 10 years. Hussain was also disqualified from keeping a pet shop for 10 years.
#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 Jacob Peter Marshall, born 14/02/1996, of 27 Harrowins Farm Drive, Queensbury, Bradford BD13 1DQ – killed his pet dog Lucy by stabbing her seven times and shooting her three times in the head with an airgun
Marshall, who is originally from Burnley Road, Sowerby Bridge, Calderdale, West Yorks, videoed some of his attack on German Shepherd cross Lucy (pictured) and sent the footage to his ex-partner.
RSPCA investigators found the knife Marshall used on Lucy covered in blood in a locked safe in his house.
A neighbour of Marshall’s commented on the CLUK FB page that she had witnessed him beating Lucy on a regular basis and had reported him to the authorities.
It has also been alleged that Marshall – apparently a drug and alcohol abuser – had killed a dog previously by deliberately running her over in his car.
Sentencing: Jailed for 26 weeks. Fine to be paid. Five-year restraining order. Banned from keeping an animal for life.
#TheList Roma gypsies from Hungary Norbert Farkas, born 25/09/1989, and Leila Katalin Horvath, born c. 18/02/1991, previously of Parkside Road, Birkenhead CH42 – struck a mother dog with a metal bar, fed her sausages laced with anti-freeze, left her to suffer for three days in agony and finally stabbed her to death.
Wirral Magistrates’ Court heard how on April 5, 2019 RSPCA inspector Anthony Joynes was contacted by environmental health officers to attend an alleyway off Parkside Road in Birkenhead.
Chris Murphy, prosecuting, told the court how Inspector Joynes found a dead American bulldog wrapped in bin bags and a paddling pool.
Mr Murphy said that the dog’s body was covered with live maggots.
The court heard how Inspector Joynes then went to question Norbert Farkas about the dead dog as his home overlooked the alleyway.
Farkas initially said that that the dog was not his, but then admitted ownership.
He said that the dog, an American bulldog named Luna, who had recently given birth to 12 puppies, had attacked him. He said he hit the dog with a metal bar in self-defence and to protect his partner Leila Horvath.
When Inspector Joynes later questioned Horvath, she admitted that she fed the dog anti-freeze and then stabbed her.
Farkas pleaded guilty to two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal.
Horvath pleaded guilty to two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal, one count of poisoning and failing to see that the dog received proper medical attention.
Mr Murphy later provided graphic details of the events that led up to the dog’s death.
He explained how Farkas struck the dog with a weights bar.
After going online to research how to kill a dog, Horvath fed the animal chicken land sausages aced with anti-freeze.
The court heard that Horvath thought the dog would die quickly but the animal lay in the alleyway lingering to life.
On the third day Horvath took a large knife and later stabbed the animal in the throat.
Mr Murphy made it clear that the couple would have been able to see the dog as it lay whimpering in the alleyway over a three day period.
District Judge Nicholas Sanders told the court that the case was one of “unimaginable cruelty”.
Horvath told probation officers that Luna’s behavior began to deteriorate after she gave birth to puppies.
She said that she bought anti-freeze from a nearby garage and laced it on sausages, which were fed to the dog.
Horvath said that she thought the dog would die quickly but she did not.
She said that the dog was making “strange noises” and she was concerned that neighbours might call the police. She then decided to grab a large kitchen knife and stab the dog to death.
She told probation officers that they had been reviled by the local community after the incident and had to move to a new address.
Farkas said he had been advised by health professionals to buy a large dog to help treat his mental health problems and stress.
Farkas also claimed that Luna became aggressive toward them after she gave birth to puppies. He claimed that this aggressive behaviour led up to the attack on him.
He claimed to have suffered a panic attack after the dog attacked him and said that was why his partner decided to kill her.
Thomas Hanlon, defending, said that Horvath took full responsibility for her actions.
He said that the couple arrived in the UK from Hungary in 2010 and had both worked full time since arriving, contributing to society.
Mr Hanlon said that the couple had been targeted after their animals were seized by the RSPCA, and that a petrol bomb was thrown at their home.
He said the couple were forced to leave their home in the night after the attack.
Mr Murphy said that a vets report found that if the dog had attacked Farkas in the way he claimed he would have suffered serious injuries which he did not have.
District Judge Sanders told the couple: “You struck the dog with a metal bar, and then you poisoned it with anti-freeze before stabbing it.
“It is hard to imagine a more cruel way of dealing with an animal.”
Speaking after the case, RSPCA inspector Joynes told the ECHO: “Farkas said that Luna had ‘gone for’ his foot and that although there was no injury, it hurt and he felt fear for his and his partner’s life. He described using a metal weightlifting bar to forcefully strike Luna two to three times on the head.
“Farkas stated that Luna had been alive in the garden for around an hour. Horvarth admitted that she had then gone outside and given Luna antifreeze in sausages.”
“Horvath said she had researched the cost of getting a dog euthanised and had also researched poisoning dogs and what chemical to use. Over the next few days, Luna was in the garden slowly dying from poisoning until she was stabbed to death three days later.
“It is absolutely horrific to think what Luna went through. Luna was caused suffering on multiple levels over several days, which was unnecessary and cruel.
“Horvath and Farkas knew Luna could have been put to sleep humanely by a vet but evidence shows that she was killed in her own way over a period of several days, leaving her to suffer greatly.”
A male American bulldog and 12 puppies were seized from Horvath’s and Farkas’ address by police while an investigation was carried out.
Vet examinations of the puppies showed that they were suffering from respiratory illnesses.
All 12 puppies have now been rehomed. The male dog is now in RSPCA care and will be re-homed.
Sentencing: jailed for 10 weeks. Banned from keeping animals for life with minimum of 10 years.
#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 donkey ride operator Ronald ‘Ronnie’ Wheeler, born c. 1977, of Haydn Road, Liverpool L14 – let his horse die slowly and painfully from poisoning
Ronnie Wheeler admitted three charges of animal neglect at Liverpool Magistrates Court.
Wheeler left his horse Oscar grazing in a field in Fazakerley which contained the poisonous weed ragwort – which is deadly to horses – despite being warned by Liverpool council to remove it.
The RSPCA were called to the field on August 6, 2018, after receiving reports from members of the public who were concerned about the horse’s welfare.
When inspector Joanne MacDonald arrived at the scene with a veterinary surgeon they could see the horse was staggering around and collapsing.
They realised he was blind, was struggling to stand and was unable to swallow.
The vet decided Oscar needed to be put to sleep to end his suffering and a post-mortem examination confirmed he had been poisoned by ragwort after being exposed to it for many weeks or even months.
The vet also described Oscar as having a low body score for his physical condition, and also revealed a significant worm burden.
The court heard two months before, on June 15, the council had sent a letter to Wheeler urging him to remove the weed which in some places had grown to three feet tall.
Inspector MacDonald said: “It was an awful case to deal with as poor Oscar was clearly suffering. He was collapsing and the ragwort had caused his blindness which meant he was walking into things and was clearly in a distressed state.
“To make matters worse Wheeler had been told previously to remove the ragwort by the council but he had failed to do this.
“Responsible horse owners should know ragwort is damaging to the horse’s liver when eaten. The toxic effect builds up over time, causing irreparable damage.”
Sentencing: jailed for 12 weeks; ordered to pay £786 costs and a £115 victim surcharge. Banned from keeping equines for 10 years.
#TheList Jeffrey J Taylor, born c. 1987, and wife Sara J Taylor, born c. 1990, both of Salisbury Avenue, Hornsea HU18 1SX – put an emaciated and flea-infested dog to sleep to hide neglect from RSPCA
Evil Jeffrey and Sara Taylor falsely claimed 12-year-old spaniel Max had cancer and had him put to sleep to cover up their neglect after the RSPCA launched an investigation into their treatment of their four dogs.
The pair, who pleaded guilty, had been warned that Inspector Jilly Dickinson wanted to speak to them about Max’s “worryingly thin” appearance and had him euthanised the next day.
Despite the Taylors claiming Max had cancer, it was later found he didn’t have any tumours and was skinny and riddled with fleas due to their shocking neglect.
Insp Dickinson said: “When I attended the property there was no answer but I could see a number of animals in the house through the window.
“I walked around to the back door to knock and could see two further dogs through another window.
“The Jack Russell terrier was worryingly underweight and the liver and white spaniel was painfully thin. I could see his hip bones protruding upwards and outwards, his spine was prominent and I could see all of the bones in his back legs.
“He was one of the thinnest dogs I have seen during my time as an RSPCA inspector.”
She had left a note attached to the front door at their home in Hornsea which asked the owners to contact her. She then spoke to Mrs Taylor later that day.
When she re-visited the address the next day, Insp Dickinson was informed Max had been euthanised the night before by a vet.
She said: “Mrs Taylor told me that she’d booked Max in to be put to sleep the previous weekend but when I spoke to vets they told me that the appointment to have him put to sleep was made the previous day – the same day as my visit to the home.
“They also told me that they offered tests and scans but that the owners refused and asked that he be euthanised. Prior to that appointment, Max hadn’t been to the vets since 2016.
“Max’s body was seized and found to be in extremely poor condition. All of his bones were protruding and could be easily seen and felt. Fleas were easily visible on his fur and there was a build-up of flea dirt in his fur.
“Max’s owners should have investigated his weight-loss and sought veterinary help. They failed to adequately protect him from pain or suffering and, I believe, they attempted to hide this from the RSPCA by having him put to sleep as soon as they were aware that I had visited.”
The court heard how a postmortem found that Max was not suffering from any form of cancer but instead was in very poor body condition and infested with fleas.
Sara Taylor – 12-month community order of 100 hours of unpaid work; total costs and charges of £385.
Jeffrey Taylor – 12-month community order with 10 rehabilitation activity requirement days and 40 hours of unpaid work; total costs and charges of £385. Both were disqualified from keeping dogs for five years.
The court imposed a confiscation order in respect of three other dogs they own: Jack Russell terrier Titch, Chihuahua Phoebe and lhasa apso Hugo.
#TheList Jon-Luc McLoughlin, born 30/07/1992, of Lagland Court, Poole BH15 1RS – punched and kicked his German Shepherd puppy to death
McLoughlin subjected 11-month-old Lexi, whom he had only owned for a month, to a barbaric beating. When the pet died, he attempted to cover his tracks by leaving her body in the woods near his home where she was found by a group of schoolchildren.
The death was reported to the RSPCA, which led the prosecution against the defendant.
In court McLoughlin admitted causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal.
The court heard that a post-mortem carried out on Lexi’s body found she had suffered ‘blunt force trauma’, including a laceration to its liver.
She also had blood in her abdomen and a stomach tear.
During a police interview McLaughlin initially tried to put the injuries down to a road traffic collision.
However, he later confessed to the killing, telling officers: “I get very angry and I don’t know what came over me.”
Matthew Knight, prosecuting, said: “He punched or kicked the dog to death and dumped the body in some trees near his home.
“It was found by locals and upset local children who saw it.
“She had a laceration to her liver, blood in her abdomen and a stomach tear.
“It is likely that the dog did not survive for long.”
James Moore, mitigating for McLoughlin, said the defendant was under “significant stress” as he was acting as a carer for his ill father at the time of the incident.
“This episode of blind rage is where stress has got the better of him,” Moore said.
“This is not just some violent thug who thinks it is okay to treat his own pet poorly.”
During the hearing magistrate Martin Arthur told McLoughlin that sentencing options were “completely open” and that custody was “not off the table”.