#TheList Claire Hewitt, born 10/08/1988, of Park Road, South Moor, near Stanley, County Durham DH9
Single mother-of-five Hewitt was given an order banning her from keeping pets and ordered to pay £150 after she was convicted of causing unnecessary suffering after failing to address a dog’s poor condition between September 2019 and October 2019.
She was also in the dock for failing to take steps to ensure that the needs of a dog and three cats were met.
#The List Eleanor (Ellie) Rose Marsh, born c. 1992, and Amy Elizabeth Youll, born 17/02/1992, both of Todmorden Road, Bacup OL3 – both pleaded guilty to not taking reasonable steps to ensure the needs of the eight dogs and three cats were met.
Sentencing: Both women were ordered to pay a total of £180 and banned from keeping animals for just 12 months. Deprivation order on all of the animals.
#TheList Ieuan Batten, born 23/10/1996, of Forest Avenue, Cefn Hengoed, near Ystrad Mynach CF82 – beat up his mother after she intervened to stop his savage attack on a dog
Prosecutor Leah Pollard told the court that 23-year-old Batten had a history of violence against his mother, with previous assault convictions recorded against him.
She said this latest attack happened just before Christmas 2019 when Batten came home “under the influence and in an aggressive mood”.
Judge Daniel Williams was told of how Batten’s mother and two women, one of whom was pregnant with his child, were in her house when he went “completely mad”.
After two dogs began fighting, he took one of them into the kitchen and repeatedly punched and kicked him.
Batten’s mother covered the animal to protect him before her son turned his attention to her.
Miss Pollard said: “He was in a complete rage. He grabbed her by the hair and dragged her into the living room.
“He started punching her and stamping on her all over her body.”
One of the women told police: “It lasted for about half an hour. I have never seen such violence in my life and I was shocked – especially when it was carried out by someone against their own mother.”
The victim was taken to hospital with her face “totally swollen and black and her body covered in bruises”.
Batten pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm and causing unnecessary suffering to an animal.
The court was told he had 20 previous convictions for 49 offences.
Nik Strobl, mitigating, said: “The defendant wishes to express his remorse and he can’t believe what he has done to his own mother.
“He has little recollection of what happened.”
Judge Williams told Batten, who was high on alcohol and drugs during the attack, that: “This was a savage assault. You used dreadful violence.”
Sentencing: jailed for two years and given a five-year restraining order preventing him from contacting his mother. He must pay a victim surcharge upon his release from custody. He was not banned from keeping animals.
#TheList Carolyn Ashton, born 14/03/1971, of 40 Otley Walk, Sheffield S6 3PX – kicked and dragged a terrified dog leaving him frightened and crying
Ashton admitted causing unnecessary suffering to a dog after she was caught kicking and dragging him in the street.
Sheffield Magistrates’ Court heard how Ashton was seen mistreating the dog near McDonald’s restaurant, on Penistone Road, Sheffield.
Rob Coyne, prosecuting, said: “On July 20, in the early hours of the morning, police were called to an incident at McDonald’s on Penistone Road, Sheffield, to assist security with an aggressive female who was this defendant.
“The defendant was seen by others repeatedly kicking a dog which was with her and she was described as drunk and behaving in a disorderly manner.
“The dog was seized from the defendant and appeared in poor condition and was frightened and crying.”
Mr Coyne added the dog was examined by a veterinary surgeon and the dog was found to be in a poor condition covered in fleas and the vet stated the dog’s condition was among the worst cases for fleas he had ever seen.
Ashton pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal by kicking and dragging the dog by his lead and admitted a further count of causing unnecessary suffering to a dog by failing to obtain veterinary care and treatment.
She also pleaded guilty to being drunk-and-disorderly in a pubic place outside McDonald’s.
Sentencing: community order to last until September 2020, with a Rehabilitation Activity Requirement. Fined £25 and ordered to pay £90 victim surcharge and £85 costs. It is not known if she was banned from keeping animals or if the dog was returned to her.
#TheList Scott Bruce, born c. 1972, of 8 Anchor Close, Penrith CA11 9HQ -failed to treat his pet dog’s chronic skin condition and deteriorating physical health
Bruce, whose family won £727,000 on the National Lottery in 2015, pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to a Staffordshire Bull Terrier called Mia. The court heard how he failed to seek appropriate veterinary care for Mia’s chronic skin condition and deteriorating physical health.
Sentencing: 12-week prison sentence suspended for 12 months. Ordered to carry out unpaid work for 80 hours within the next 12 months. £503.20 in court cost. Banned from keeping animals for 10 years with right of appeal after five years.
#TheList Andrew Alexander, born 26/07/1984, originally from Dundee and as at September 2019 of Malvern Drive, Ilford, London IG3 9DR – stole a pug named Pixie who is believed to have died
Eleven-month-old pug Pixie went missing on July 16, 2018 from a flat in Stobswell, Dundee, while in the care of Andrew Alexander.
Following her disappearance, eye-witnesses reported seeing a dog matching Pixie’s description being hit in the face at Baxter Park and then being carried lifeless by a man through the streets of Dundee towards a bridge over the River Tay.
Now construction worker Andrew Alexander has been fined £250 after being convicted of stealing the dog. As there was no admissible evidence that he had killed or mistreated the animal, he faced no charges in relation to this.
To date, it is not known what exactly happened to Pixie but it is believed that Alexander dumped her broken body in the River Tay.
Alexander was represented in court by dodgy lawyer Ian James Houston of Bruce Short Solicitors, Rattray Street, Dundee. Houston tried to get his client off with the theft charge on the grounds that the “property”, i.e. a much-loved family pet, no longer existed because she was dead. Houston insisted on proving to the court that the dog had died by showing the CCTV footage of Alexander carrying Pixie’s body through the streets despite the anguish of the dog’s distraught owner, who was present in court. How do these people sleep at night?
==== Background: We originally published this article in August 2018 but had to withhold certain details at the time, so as not to jeopardise the prosecution case against Andrew Alexander. This is an edited version of that article. to reflect the latest developments.
Sometime after 3pm on Monday 16 July 2018 an 11-month-old pug named Pixie went missing from an address in Park Avenue, Baxter Park, Dundee. Pixie’s owner, Kelly, had gone out to do some shopping, leaving the tiny dog alone in the company of her flatmate, Andrew Alexander. Kelly had known this man for several years and he had given her no reason to distrust him.
When Kelly left, Pixie was sleeping and she told Alexander not to take her out. She was alarmed on her return a short while later, therefore, to find the flat empty and Pixie gone. As time passed with no word from Alexander, Kelly became increasingly anxious. As she didn’t have Alexander’s new mobile number she asked a friend to call him. The friend spoke briefly with Alexander who was described as angry, screaming down the phone that he would “speak to Kelly later”.
In a state of panic Kelly rushed over to the nearby park and asked dog walkers if they’d seen Alexander or Pixie but no one had. She returned to the flat and waited anxiously.
When Alexander finally returned home at 7:30 pm he was alone and there was no sign of Pixie. When Kelly asked him where the dog was, Alexander shouted “lost!” in a manner that was more irritated than concerned. He said that Pixie had run off in Baxter Park at 4pm and he’d been unable to find her. He then told Kelly, somewhat bizarrely, that he was “away to jail” but didn’t elaborate on what he meant and left in a taxi to go to a girlfriend’s house.
Kelly texted Alexander the following morning to tell him he was no longer welcome at the flat. His response: “I’ve already moved out lol”
Alexander returned two days later while Kelly was out to collect his things and left for good.
In the following days Kelly posted a number of desperate appeals on Facebook. Her posts were shared extensively in the local area, the charity DogLost got involved, and multiple reports of sightings from pedestrians and motorists started to come in. The news wasn’t encouraging, however, with witnesses reporting seeing a man resembling Alexander carrying a pug-type dog that appeared to be lifeless.
One pedestrian recalled seeing the man holding a dog in his arms.
She said: “The dog was very still and I thought that was strange as a dog wouldn’t usually allow itself to be held like that without moving at all.
“He avoided passing close to me on his way towards the city centre – probably because I watching him. It was very clearly a pug and in retrospect, it seemed utterly lifeless.
“The man appeared red and flustered. I wish I had stopped him and asked if the dog was okay.”
Another witness – a young girl – said she had seen a man in Baxter Park pick up a pug by the neck and punch her in the face. The girl had been too afraid to challenge him.
These sightings took place as late as 7pm on the evening of Monday 16 July 2018 – three hours after Alexander said that Pixie had disappeared.
“There have been numerous sightings of what appeared to be a man carrying a small dog resembling Pixie in the Stobswell and Waterfront areas in the following few hours.
“The dog appeared to be lifeless or ill, and the man was described as in his mid 30s-40, tall, large build, and wearing a red t-shirt and blue shorts, possibly with stripes down the side.
“He was last seen shortly before 6pm near the bottom of Crichton Street. These sightings have been confirmed on CCTV.
“We have already received a large amount of relevant information from the public regarding this incident and are currently following a positive line of enquiry.
“We have also attempted to contact a number of witnesses who have been identified to us, but have not been able to get in touch with them.
“We would therefore like to ask anyone who has information about this incident who we have not already spoken to, to contact us – in particular if you saw the described man in the area of Baxter Park, Arbroath Road, Blackscroft, Dock Street, the Tay Bridge, Slessor Gardens or Crichton Street, between 3pm and 7pm on Monday 16th.
“We are also very interested in a report given to us regarding a man being seen possibly mistreating a dog in Baxter Park around that time.
“Anyone with any information should contact Police Scotland on 101, quoting CR/17475/18 or speak to any police officers”.
In the meantime, Kelly and her friends formed the Facebook group Justice for Pixie with the aim of spreading awareness about the case and campaigning for justice. Sadly that justice never came when Alexander walked free from court with a nominal fine for dog theft.