#TheList traveller Joe Orchard, born c. 1980, of Apondarose Minorca Lane, Bugle, St Austell Cornwall PL26 8QN – mistreated two Labradors and a terrier
Orchard, who is from a notorious family of travellers based in Cornwall, pleaded guilty to failing to provide a suitable environment for three dogs and two charges of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal.
The first charge related to December 16, 2019, when Orchard failed to ensure that the needs of black and white terrier Candis and Labradors Roxy and Lady were met.
Between December 1 and 17, 2019, Orchard caused unnecessary suffering to Candis by failing to investigate and address her poor body condition and weight loss.
Prior to December 16, Orchard caused Candis unnecessary suffering by failing to provide a suitable environment whilst she was of a poor body condition resulting in hypothermia.
The three dogs were removed from his care by the RSPCA and Orchard was banned from keeping dogs for two years.
Sentencing: a total of £580 in fines, costs and charges. Banned from keeping dogs for just two years (expires July 2022).
#TheList Lauren Jane Eliot (aka Lauren Purvis), born 02/08/1997, of 5 Thomas Street, Annfield Plain, Stanley, Co Durham DH9 7SN – left a poorly British bulldog puppy to live in a yard full of rubbish and a mouldy sofa.
Eighteen-month-old British bulldog Royston was underweight, had skin and ear conditions and was living in a cluttered yard full of hazards when the RSPCA rescued him from his heartless owner, Lauren Jane Eliot.
The single mother-of-one was banned from keeping animals for five years after she was convicted of one offence under the Animal Welfare Act.
She failed to appear before Newton Aycliffe Magistrates’ Court but was convicted in her absence of not taking reasonable steps to ensure the dog’s needs for a suitable environment were met and not seeking veterinary attention for his various ailments.
RSPCA inspector Cathy Maddison said: “I had been to this property in April and given advice to the couple living there to clean up the yard where they said Royston – an 18-month-old British bulldog – was living in the daytime.
“I got another call about him in August and when I went the situation had deteriorated.
“Royston was lying on a mouldy sofa in the yard, which was full of hazards.
“He had lost weight, had red skin and his nails were long.
“Eliot said she was taking him to the vets so I advised that needed to happen and the yard needed to be tidied up but unfortunately when I went back over a week later neither had.
“The yard was even worse, with faeces everywhere, and the shed Royston was using for shelter had been filled with chairs so his only resting place was the now very wet sofa.
“Eliot agreed I could take Royston to the vets to be checked over where he was found to be underweight.
“The skin under his chin and neck appeared red raw, his ears were very dirty and he smelled bad.
“He was taken into possession by police on vet advice and placed in our care pending the outcome of our investigation.”
The court heard that the defendant had been left with the dog when she broke up with her partner and was not in a position to care for him.
Inspector Maddison said: “Royston is now fully recovered and doing great.
“He’s a fantastic dog, and I’m really happy that we’ll now be able to find a fantastic new forever home for him.”
Sentencing: ordered to pay a total of £400. Five-year ban on keeping animals.
#TheList Justin Williams, born 10/05/1995, of 7G Elders Court, Dundee DD2 3UJ but with links to Basildon, Essex – starved his dog and kept her in squalid conditions
The Scottish SPCA discovered Staffy Keira in a “severely emaciated” condition and living in squalor at Williams’ flat. She weighed just 9.5kg, with little muscle mass and overgrown nails.
The court heard how the alarm was raised by neighbours who became concerned about the dog’s condition.
Fiscal depute Lynne Mannion told the court: “The employees of the SSPCA saw that the flat itself was in squalor. The hallway had bare floorboards and a dirty dog bowl.
“The dog was clearly emaciated. They asked the accused about the dog and he confirmed it had been losing its body condition.
“An examination found that the dog was severely emaciated and weighed 9.5kg which was half its original body weight.”
The court heard that Keira’s nails were overgrown due to a lack of exercise. There were no other abnormalities found during the examination with the SSPCA officers concluding that Keira’s issues were due to inadequate nutrition.
Keira was taken to the SSPCA’s local rescue centre where she recovered. She has since been rehomed.
Scottish SPCA inspector Alastair Adams said: “This was a case of serious neglect and Keira would not have survived for much longer had we not intervened.
“We welcome this sentence. Williams was not capable of meeting Keira’s most basic of needs.”
Sentencing: ordered to pay £250 and banned from keeping animals for just two years.
#TheList Owen Anthony Gillespie, born 09/02/1979, of 17 Westwood Gardens, Paisley PA3 1NA – left a desperately ill dog in agony and locked in a cage
Gillespie failed to take his pet Staffy, Stella, to the vet to treat a chronic ear condition and an injured foot.
The nine-year-old dog was also suffering from a severe oesophageal condition which left her vomiting violently and in pain.
This resulted in her having to be euthanised by the Scottish SPCA as her condition was too severe to be treated.
The SSPCA attended at Gillespie’s home on April 25, 2019, after they received a call to say a dog could be heard screaming in pain at the property.
When they arrived around 10.45am they found the bull terrier vomiting in a cage in the living room and Gillespie told the officers she had been sick for a few days.
The court heard that Gillespie had not taken the dog to the vet as he couldn’t afford it.
Procurator fiscal depute Laura Wilcox said: “The SSPCA officer explained to Gillespie the reason for her visit and asked if she could view the dog.
“He agreed and invited her into the property where she saw the dog in a cage in the living room.
“The dog was in a good bodily condition and seemed bright but she was concerned because the flooring of the cage was covered in watery vomit and the dog was retching as if it was going to be sick.
“He informed the officer that she had eaten the outer covering of a tennis ball a few days prior.
“He let her out of the cage and the officer saw that the dog was lame on her right leg.”
Gillespie was told that the dog would have to receive treatment and that he would qualify for financial help from PDSA as he was unemployed.
It was once the dog was treated by the animal charity’s vet that the full extent of her condition was discovered.
Ms Wilcox added: “Her right front foot was inflamed and there was a nail that was loose. Both ear canals were inflamed, thickened, narrowed and were infected by bacteria and yeast. There was a smell coming from both ears.
“Her abdomen was tense and uncomfortable and it was found that her stomach wall was thickened and that her oesophagus was inflamed and flaccid.
“This meant it was ineffective at propelling food to her stomach.
“Her condition continued to worsen and she continued to vomit and at this point it was decided the best course of action was to euthanise her.”
The court heard the vet had concluded that if Gillespie had sought vet treatment for his dog within an appropriate time, he would have lessened the suffering.
However, prosecutors could not say whether the dog would have survived due to the severity of the stomach condition.
Gillespie pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to his dog between February and April 2019 by failing to seek adequate care to treat an injured foot, persistent vomiting and an ear condition.
His lawyer, Amy Spencer said: “He has already paid a penalty in regards to this as he has lost his much-loved dog.
“This is a heartbreaking case for him. He is still completely traumatised.
“He is embarrassed by his actions and he knows he ought to have sought treatment for Stella. He has worked his whole adult life and recently lost his job.
“He really was hoping she would have made a recovery.”
Sentencing: ordered to pay a £500 fine. Banned from keeping dogs for just one year.
#TheList Sarah ‘Marie’ McGahan, born 11/11/1967 of 2 Belvedere Manor, Lurgan, Craigavon BT67 9NW – failed to ensure the welfare of a Staffordshire Bull Terrier and her puppies.
In a case brought by Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Council, Marie McGahan pleaded guilty to animal welfare offences relating to a Staffordshire Bull Terrier and her pups.
This followed an investigation in 2018 as a result of information from the public.
McGahan had failed to make the necessary improvements to the cleanliness of the area in which dogs were kept and a litter of pups were found in squalid conditions at her home.
McGahan was deemed to be in breach of a notice requiring her to maintain a clean environment for the animals in her care.
A council spokesperson said: “The judge in this case saw fit to impose a five-year ban from keeping animals because the defendant persistently neglected the needs of her dogs and flagrantly disregarded animal welfare legislation.
“This case serves as a reminder that the council will investigate complaints and bring forward legal proceedings against those who do not take reasonable steps to ensure the welfare of their animals.”
Sentencing: fined £150 and ordered to pay council costs of £226. Five-year Disqualification Order in respect of all animals.
#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.
#TheList Michael Edward Levy, born 08/05/1988, formerly of 22 The Drive, West End, Southampton SO30 3AN, but gave his address in court as 35 Metherell Avenue, Brixham, Devon TQ5 9QB – left horses in a field without clean water and shelter
Gypsy Michael Levy, who runs a company called Forest Falconry and Pest Control Ltd and has a previous conviction for fly-tipping, was found guilty of failing to ensure the needs of animals he was responsible for.
The father-of-five was also found guilty of transporting a pony in a way that was likely to cause injury.
The court heard that RSPCA inspectors were called by the police after Levy allowed his ponies to fly-graze on land at Botley Road, West End, Southampton.
The land, which was littered with several hazards, did not have clean water, shade or shelter.
The fencing was also deemed inappropriate fencing for horses, which resulted in one horse getting trapped and losing a shoe.
RSPCA Inspector Tina Ward described the scene.
“A metal gate between two paddocks was hanging off its hinges,” said Inspector Ward. “The paddock also had a hidden dangerous hazard; a cesspit covered by grass and rubble.
“There was rusting metal and car parts as well as partly buried plastic blue piping. All of these had the potential to cause serious harm and injury.”
Police body-camera footage recorded a Shetland pony being unloaded by Levy from a white van.
Inspector Ward said the pony “had been travelling with a rope headcollar on that was loose. There were no windows giving light or ventilation, no partition to support the pony’s body, which is particularly important.”
She said: “If the pony was to lose its balance when the vehicle went round a corner or stopped suddenly, he could have injured himself significantly.”
Inspector Ward added where the pony had been standing was a number of items including a tin of paint and metal ladders.
“These also had the potential to cause the pony serious injury had he had fallen over. The method of transporting the pony was highly dangerous and would have also caused significant distress,” she said.
Inspector Ward concluded: “There were no windows giving light or ventilation, no partition to support the pony’s body. The method of transporting the pony was highly dangerous and would have also caused significant distress.”
Sentencing: Levy was ordered to pay a total of £1,233. He was banned from keeping equines for six months.
#TheList farmer William Martin Brown, born 16/01/1961, of Herbertshaw Farm, Howgate, near Penicuik EH26 8QA – filmed by undercover officer punching and kicking sheep
William Brown was filmed violently abusing two male sheep by a PETA officer posing undercover as a farmworker.
In the footage, Brown can also be heard shouting “Come on ya fucking cunt” and “fucking bastards” at the frightened animals.
Brown pleaded guilty to causing the protected animals unnecessary suffering by repeatedly punching and kicking them and was fined. He was not banned from owning or working with animals
The Scottish SPCA said it was pleased Brown admitted the offence, but was disappointed that no ban was imposed on him by the court.
Scottish SPCA chief inspector John Chisholm said: “This is a serious case of animal cruelty by an experienced farmer. He will be fully aware that sheep experience fear and can perceive humans as a threat.
“Violently lashing out at the sheep will spread fear amongst the rest of the flock.
“We would expect anyone involved in the rearing of livestock for commercial purposes to have the highest standards of welfare and treatment.
“We are disappointed that Brown wasn’t banned from owning or working with animals but we hope this will serve as a warning that this behaviour is unacceptable and we will fully investigate any reports of cruelty towards livestock.
“We would welcome the opportunity to discuss welfare practice with the wider industry.”
#TheList Victoria Catherine Brooksbank, born c. 1977, of 42 Severn Drive, Garforth Leeds LS25 2BB and Richard Marnick, born 19/06/1995, of The Marsh, 70 Uppermoor, Pudsey LS28 7EX – allowed a horse to “deteriorate” and suffer
The court heard that Marnick had been loaned a thoroughbred gelding called Archie and he paid Brooksbank, who is an experienced trainer trading under the name VB Equestrian, £80 a week to look after him at her stables in Garforth.
Archie appeared to be healthy when he arrived at the stables and Marnick paid for the full livery package, that included hay and hard feed, but after 18 months the horse was found to have deteriorated and had lost a lot of weight.
In July 2019, Archie’s original owner saw a photograph of him on social media and arranged for him to be examined by a vet.
Archie was very thin and given a body condition score of one out of five, meaning he was emaciated. The RSPCA then decided to prosecute Marnick and Brooksbank.
The court heard there had been “inadequate nutrition” and the suffering may have gone on “for weeks, possibly months”.
Archie was very thin and was given a body condition score of one out of five, meaning it was poor.
Marnick, who pleaded guilty to the offence at an earlier hearing, told the court he usually checked in on Archie once a week, but was preoccupied as he was working six days a week as a courier.
He said: “I pleaded guilty because I should have done something about it sooner. I should have removed Archie (from Brooksbank) a lot sooner than I did.”
He also said he had been speaking to a nutritionist and trying to figure how to help Archie, but the horse was taken away before he had the opportunity to help.
A probation worker, who interviewed Brooksbank, said: “She believed the horse belonged to Mr Marnick and continuously contacted him, saying he needed more exercise, hard feed and for a nutritionist to look at the horse.”
The probation worker also said that Brooksbank “wishes she had been more forceful” with Marnick and convinced him to contact a nutritionist sooner.
The court that Brooksbank, who denied the offence but was convicted at an earlier hearing, has taken good care of the other horses in her stable for years and this case was “an anomaly”. ‘There was no desire to neglect the horse’
Presiding justice Richard Powell said: “This was unintentional. “There was no desire to neglect the horse but I think I need to make a point now – there is only one victim in this whole affair and that’s the horse called Archie, who has been neglected.”
Addressing Marnick, he said: “You were the owner of the horse and you had taken your eye off the ball.
“You were busy with your job and you did not give enough attention to the horse.”
Mr Powell said Brooksbank had “no intention to harm the horse” but was an experienced professional who should have taken better care of the animal.
He added: “We find you more culpable, because you had day to day concern with the horse and watched it deteriorate.”
Marnick was fined a total of £532 and £300 of that money will be sent to the RSPCA.
Brooksbank was fined a total of £982 of which £750 will be sent to the RSPCA.