#TheList Margarette Cooper, born c.1938, and son Norman Cooper, born c. 1963, both of Gilfach Chwith, Bangor Teifi, Llandysul, Ceredigion SA44 4JE – convicted of animal cruelty after dozens of cows died in ‘nightmare scenes’ at their farm
An investigation by Ceredigion Council found a total of 84 cattle had died or had been seriously neglected at the farm run by Margarette and Norman Cooper.
On the farm, the carcasses of dead cows were found decaying alongside surviving cattle. Among those that had survived, some had to be put down following examination due to the seriousness of their health and their suffering.
“The animal health officers involved with this case have never experienced such appalling conditions at any farm in their careers,” said Alun Williams, corporate lead officer for policy and performance at Ceredigion Council.
“Most of the staff are from farming backgrounds, but they faced horrific circumstances in investigating and retrieving the live animals and the carcasses.”
Sentencing: both were given six months in jail, suspended for two years and ordered to pay costs and charges totalling £2615 each. Norman Cooper was ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work. Both were disqualified from keeping any animals for 10 years, other than their existing four elderly dogs.
#TheList Steven Charles Peachey, born c. 1989, and Emma Benson, born c. 1984, both of Common Road, Diss, Norfolk – left pony Princess to become emaciated and riddled with lice
Princess was kept in the back garden of a house lived in by her neglectful owners Emma Benson and Steven Peachey.
But after visits from the RSPCA and World Horse Welfare the garden was found to be unsuitable for the horse who became very thin and suffered from scabs and lice while being kept at the address.
Appearing at Norwich Magistrates’ Court the pair pleaded guilty to two offences under the Animal Welfare Act including causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal.
Jonathan Eales, prosecuting on behalf of the RSPCA, told the court the back garden where the horse was being kept was “completely muddy and entirely unsuitable”.
The court heard how, in 2017, the pair had twice been visited by Jonathan Jackson from World Horse Welfare who offered Benson and Peachey advice on how Princess should be cared for and arranged for a vet to visit.
Visiting the pair again in February 2018, Mr Jackson noted that by then “the horse was looking bad” and it was arranged for the RSPCA and Mr Jackson to return in March when, concerned that the horse was suffering, Princess was taken into the care of the RSPCA.
Mr Eales said: “A responsible owner should have recognised that this horse was suffering.”
Malcolm Plummer, mitigating, said Benson did ask for help to care for the horse and the case of Princess was one of “well intentioned but incompetent care”.
Adding that Benson suffered from serious mental health issues he said caring for Princess was “going some way in keeping her on the straight and narrow”.
Sentencing: Both Benson and Peachey were ordered to pay £500 in compensation to the RSPCA. They were banned from keeping horses for three years.
#TheList Kimberleigh Joanne Steele (aka Kim Donaghy), born 24/02/1989, currently of Castleland, Tulsk, County Roscommon, Ireland, and previously of 19 Polyanthus Drive, Sleaford and with links to Plymouth, Devon – bred dogs for fighting
Steele was part of a dog fighting ring which was headed up by her partner, John Herbert Knibbs.
Knibbs has failed to attend numerous hearings and a warrant is out for his arrest after he was convicted of dog fighting, ear cropping and causing unnecessary suffering.
Steele travelled from Ireland for a trial at Lincoln Magistrates Court on Monday, 8 April 2019.
Before moving to Ireland Steele lived in Sleaford with Knibbs and has also stayed at two different addresses in Plymouth: Downfield Walk PL7 2DT and Durban Road PL3
In court she was sentenced for aiding and abetting Knibbs as well as possession of a banned pit bull terrier. The court also heard how she had ten animals in total, which were all used in a dog fighting ring. One has since died.
RSPCA prosecutor Hazel Stevens told the court: “At the time of the raid Steele claimed to own all of the dogs.
“We are looking after the dogs in kennels for £15,700 a year. Some are so dangerous they need to be darted before the staff can go inside.”
Sentencing Steele, the judge told her: “Your partner Knibbs has not attended court and is not that big of a man without his dogs.
“The custody threshold has passed but I am going to suspend it because you have young children.”
Speaking after Steele’s sentencing RSPCA Inspector Kirsty Withnall said : “It is a shame that Knibbs wasn’t here today.
“We are pleased with the district judge’s comments and the sentence he’s handed down. Knibbs isn’t bold enough to be here, we hope he will be sentenced soon.”
Sentencing: suspended custodial sentence of 16 weeks; £615 in fines. Banned from keeping animals for a paltry five years.
#TheList Lorna Farrar, born c. 1992, of Wellingborough – neglected and starved two dogs, one of whom had to be put to sleep
Lorna Farrar allowed her dogs, Staffies Panda and Budz, to become malnourished, underweight and in generally poor condition with their coats covered in faeces and urine.
When the mother-of-two took the dogs to the vet Panda collapsed and had to be put down. Budz was given food and water and immediately began eating. Six weeks later he had put on four times his body weight after being put on a normal diet.
The court heard that the examining vet had never seen a dog as emaciated as Panda whom she believed had been starved for three weeks .
There was no underlying medical condition that could have caused the dogs to become emaciated.
Farrar’s lawyer told the court her client was “well-intentioned” but “incompetent” when it came to care.
A post-mortem examination of Panda revealed she had undigested penne in her stomach – because Farrar had been feeding the dogs a “pasta diet”.
Sentencing: Farrar was originally jailed for 18 weeks but this was reduced to a 12-month community order on appeal. Banned for life from keeping animals.
#TheList Christopher Bloy, born c. 1992, and partner Heather Wray, born c. 1993, both of Patrick Street, Grimsby DN32 – banned from keeping animals after their extremely malnourished German Shepherd had to be put down
Neglectful Christopher Bloy and mother-of-two Heather Wray admitted causing unnecessary suffering to German Shepherd Cassie by failing to investigate the cause of her poor body condition and weight loss.
Rachel Taylor, prosecuting for the RSPCA, told the court that the emaciated dog weighed only 12kg when the usual weight for a dog of her size and breed is between 30kg and 35kg.
“There was a real failure to investigate why this dog weighed such a low weight of 12kg when it was presented in such a condition that it had to be euthanised,” said Miss Taylor.
Ironically, there was another dog at the couple’s house but that one had a normal weight and had received food.
“Cassie was not receiving food,” said Miss Taylor. “Either the other dog was eating it or there was no food put down.
“The charge is failing to address the loss of weight rather than a deliberate act of cruelty.
“I can’t say that this is a deliberate case of failing to feed. Certainly, the dog was not sufficiently fed.”
The prosecution did not accept that the dog had an underlying condition because the couple seemed to have been advised by a vet in 2016 that follow-up appointments would be needed. Her weight then was only 18kg.
These appointments were never kept, however, and attempts by the veterinary surgery to make contact were unsuccessful.
A post-mortem suggested that there was no underlying reason for the weight loss.
Craig Davy, mitigating, said the other dog was perfectly healthy but was treated in a similar way to Cassie and they claimed that the second dog might have taken some of Cassie’s food.
“They noticed the weight of Cassie declining in a period of a few weeks,” said Mr Davy.
“They should have done more over that period of time. Both were distressed by the fact that Cassie had to be put down.”
The court heard that Bloy claimed because he worked away 60 to 70 hours a week, he did not notice the dog had lost weight. She used to play around in the garden and the first time he realised there was a problem was when the dog collapsed.
Wray had owned Cassie since she was a puppy but two years ago, her behaviour changed and she started jumping at shadows and running around obsessively.
The pair said they sought help and tried to sort out the problems but the dog would not eat when she was watched.
Wray admitted that she should have sought advice a lot earlier and she regretted that.
A woman who was in court supporting the couple had offered to provide a new home for the other dog.
District judge Daniel Curtis told the couple: “Unfortunately, through your neglect, this dog had to be euthanised on the day that it appeared in front of a veterinary surgeon, who took the view, having examined it, that it was extremely malnourished and had been neglected.
“During that period, you did not do enough to save that dog. You should have looked after it. It’s an obligation that you have.
“The dog was emaciated in 2016. It was even worse when you presented it at the vet’s in 2018.”
The RSPCA will decide whether the supporter who was in court is a suitable person to have care of the other dog.
After the hearing, the woman was among angry supporters of Bloy and Wray who confronted a Grimsby Live photographer, hurling loud abuse and waving their arms around to try to prevent pictures of the defendants being taken as they left court.
Sentencing: Bloy was given 80 hours’ unpaid work and Wray was given five days’ rehabilitation. Total of £585 costs and charges each. 10-year ban on keeping animals with no right of appeal for five years.
Scottish SPCA chief inspector John Chisholm said: “This charge was dealt as Storer failed to provide adequate nutrition and veterinary treatment to Sasha, a female Boxer, who, upon vet examination was scored with a body condition score of 1/5 with her ribs, spine and pelvic bones easily evident from a distance.
“Sasha had inflamed and overgrown gums with evidence of a chronic bacterial infection. As well as this, several of her lower incisor teeth were fractured and diseased which was obviously painful to the touch.
“Three small tumours were found on various points of her body and a veterinary exam found Sasha to have renal compromise, dental disease and hypothyroidism.
“Unfortunately, after struggling with various health issues, the sad decision was made to put Sasha to sleep.
“I’m happy the courts have dealt with this case, however it further highlights our push for tougher and more consistent sentencing. This level of neglect didn’t happen overnight and could have easily been avoided.”
Sentencing: Storer was fined £300 and banned from owning dogs for two years.
#TheList backyard breeders Wayne Glasby, born 01/12/1981, and Joanne Glasby, born c. 1968, of Cedric Crescent, Thurcroft S66 – illegally docked their dogs’ tails causing them pain
Former butcher Wayne Glasby, who is originally from Worksop, and wife Joanne Glasby pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal and removing whole or part of a dog’s tail.
The pair used docking rings to remove four terriers’ tails when they were around six-weeks-old.
Andy Cash, for the RSPCA, told the court that the couple’s offending came to light when they advertised three terriers for sale online.
“By chance, a person who was looking at these photographs [in the advert] had a history as a vet and she thought she could see a docking ring and referred the matter to the RSPCA,” said Mr Cash.
The RSPCA visited the Glasbys on November 30, 2018, and found four puppies, aged around six to seven weeks, with docked tails.
Mr Cash said a vet who inspected the dogs assessed that the operation had not been carried out by a qualified practitioner and took the view that it had been an “act of mutilation”.
“It was likely to have caused unnecessary pain which is anticipated to have lasted a few days,” said Mr Cash.
When Wayne Glasby was interviewed by police he admitted owning the puppies but denied docking their tails.
He said the operation had been carried out by a vet, but when efforts were made to trace the practitioner, it was discovered no such vet existed.
Joanne Glasby told officers she was also responsible for the puppies and denied knowing who was responsible for docking their tails.
“She thought it was just what was done to terriers,” said Mr Cash.
The Glasbys’ lawyer told the court her clients had rehomed all of their terriers ahead of the court hearing but still had a 12-year-old lurcher whom they were hoping to rehome within their family. She said the proceedings had had a traumatic effect on the couple.
The pair also have a smallholding where they keep a pony, sheep and lambs and the presiding judge expressed concern over the welfare of those animals.
Sentencing: 150 hours of unpaid work; £600 costs each. Banned from keeping dogs for five years.
#TheList Amanda Kernohan, born 24/01/1974, of 129 Orkney Drive, Ballymena BT42 4EG – left her elderly German Shepherd dog to become emaciated while suffering from a large untreated cancerous tumour
Mother-of-two Amanda Kernohan pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to her German Shepherd dog contrary to section 4 of the Welfare of Animals Act (NI) 2011.
The charge was brought against Kernohan by Mid and East Antrim Borough Council related to findings following an investigation by Animal Welfare Officers regarding concerns over the welfare of the dog, known as Bruno.
Animal Welfare Officers found Bruno in an emaciated, dehydrated state, suffering from a large untreated cancerous tumour, and was unable to stand.
Sentencing: 120 hours of community service. Costs of £268.