Tag Archives: history of violence

Helensburgh, Dunbartonshire: Perparim Tahiraj

#TheList Perparim Tahiraj, born 21/09/1970, of 36 Williamson Drive, Helensburgh G84 87LH – failed to get veterinary treatment for his five horses and left them to fly-graze

Kosovan national Perparim Tahiraj is banned from keeping equines for five years after starving and neglecting five horses and leaving them to fly-graze
Kosovan national Perparim Tahiraj is banned from keeping equines for five years after starving and neglecting five horses and leaving them to fly-graze

Perparim Tahiraj, who is originally from Kosovo, told Scottish SPCA inspectors he would not feed or care for horses Al, Africa, Cinderella, Song, and Tia, but refused to sign them over

One of the five horses neglected by Kosovan national Perparim Tahiraj of Helensburgh, Scotland

Tahiraj, who has previously been convicted of domestic violence let the horses roam on land he did not have permission to use. The muddy ground in Helensburgh was unsuitable for grazing, with no shelter from the elements, and the horses became emaciated.

One of the five horses neglected by Kosovan national Perparim Tahiraj of Helensburgh, Scotland

For a year the horses were left to try to fend for themselves on land which was littered with broken fencing and poisonous rhododendron bushes.

Shockingly, on Christmas Eve 2018, Tahiraj announced to inspectors from the Scottish SPCA that he would not feed or care for his horses. But he also refused to hand them over into their care.

Tahiraj was found guilty under Section 24 of the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006 for failing to provide a suitable environment, adequate diet and protection from suffering, injury and disease.

He was banned from keeping horses for five years.

Further sentencing was deferred for six months, meaning if he stays out of trouble for that period of time, he will likely face no further punishment.

Following the sheriff’s verdict, it was disclosed that Tahiraj, who is unemployed, is already using some of his benefits to pay back outstanding fines.

He also claimed he was unable to work due to various alleged health complications, including depression, anxiety, and arthritis, which meant he would be unable to complete a community payback order of unpaid work.

One of the five horses neglected by Kosovan national Perparim Tahiraj of Helensburgh, Scotland

Scottish SPCA inspector Gillian Dick said: “We are pleased Tahiraj has been handed a ban for this level of neglect.

“Tahiraj is well known to the Scottish SPCA, we have had countless dealings with him and removed animals from his care a number of times.

“We tried on several occasions to provide him with guidance and advice on how to care for his animals.

“Tahiraj did not have permission to graze his horses on the land and had effectively been fly grazing within the field and surrounding grass area since January 2018.

“On 24 December 2018 he stated he would no longer attend to his horses or provide feed for them.

“We then asked him to sign the horses over in to our care, which he refused to do. “When we attended horses we discovered them all to be underweight and in poor body condition.

“Four of the five horses were suffering from skin infections, which needed veterinary treatment.

“The field offered inadequate grazing for equine animals and conditions were muddy, with little appropriate shelter from adverse weather conditions.

“The horses were exposed to poisonous rhododendron bushes and discarded fencing material.

“In one corner of the field the fence was broken and taped up, which was not suitable to contain the horses from the nearby busy road. We welcome this sentence. Tahiraj was not capable of meeting the most basic of needs for the horses in his care.

“We hope this sentence makes Tahiraj consider his ability to look after any animal in the future.”

Sentencing: banned from keeping any equine animals for a period of five years.

Helensburgh Advertiser
Daily Record

Cardonald, Glasgow: Kevin Maguire

#TheList notorious sectarian thug Kevin ‘Magwa’ Maguire, born 12/06/1982, of Muirdrum Avenue, Cardonald, Glasgow G52 3AP – punched three police horses during a football riot

Notorious sectarian thug Kevin Maguire attacked three police horses during a football riot
Notorious sectarian thug Kevin Maguire attacked three police horses during a pre-match riot

Celtic fan Kevin Maguire, who owns Casey’s Cafe in Elderpark Street, Govan, Glasgow, was part of a mob that attacked police officers and their horses ahead of a Scottish Cup tie against Airdrie.

The father-of-four, who goes by the nickname ‘Magwa’ and has previous convictions for football-related violence, claimed during his trial that he was an innocent bystander.

Police horse Oban was punched by football hooligan Kevin Maguire
Police horse Oban was punched by football hooligan Kevin Maguire

But Sheriff John McCormick told him: “You were in fact one of the ringleaders of this mob.”

Police officer Sergeant Mark Stewart attended the match and he described the violence as the “worst riot” he had ever seen.

“When I got there, Airdrie fans were being blocked from getting into the ground by Celtic fans,” he said.

“There were families trying to get in and bricks and missiles getting flung as well as spitting and throwing lit cigarettes.

“It was very aggressive and this was the worst riot I had ever seen.”

Notorious football hooligan and sectarian thug Kevin Maguire
Maguire’s lawyer pleaded with the court not to jail his client due to his family responsibilities but that argument cut no ice with Sheriff John McCormick who sent him straight to prison

The officer told the court that Maguire was “directing others” during the violent incident and said he saw him attack the three police horses outside the ground.

He added: “I asked him to move and he punched my horse Oban on the muzzle which caused him to react.

“It was a full-blown punch and he also punched police horse Glasgow on the face.”

Police horse Nerston was punched by football hooligan Kevin Maguire
Nerston was also attacked by Maguire

Sgt Stewart said another police horse Nerston was also punched later on.

Maguire was described as a “prime mover” in the violence orchestrated against police.

Lawyer Michael McKeown, representing Maguire, unsuccessfully urged the sheriff not to jail his client.

Mr McKeown said: “He has got significant family responsibility. He is looking after his young baby and three other children.

“He works as an engineer and earns £600 a week. That employment is still open to him. He also has a business interest in a cafe.”

The court heard that Maguire told social workers who compiled a report on him that he was on ‘an alcohol binge and had no memory of the offence.

Notorious football hooligan and sectarian thug Kevin Maguire

The court had heard that Maguire was previously banned from every football ground in the UK.

He was also out on bail at the time of the police horse attack in January 2019.

Maguire was found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to police horses Nerston, Oban and Glasgow, assaulting two police officers and acting in a threatening and abusive manner.

Sentencing: 10 months in prison. Banned from every football ground in the UK for a further five years.

Daily Record
BBC News

Biddulph, Staffordshire: Andrew Beech

#TheList Andrew William Beech, born 31/05/1986 of 64a Kingsfield Road, Biddulph ST8 6DR – subjected his pet dog to repeated violent attacks over several months, finally killing her

Dog killer Andy Beech from Biddulph, Staffordshire, and victim Millie - a grey Staffordshire bull terrier
Dog killer Andy Beech from Biddulph, Staffordshire, and victim Millie – a grey Staffordshire bull terrier

Neighbours of Andrew Beech had witnessed him screaming and swearing at his blue Staffordshire bull terrier, Millie, many times in the months leading up to her violent death on 19 August 2019.

Dog killer Andy Beech from Biddulph, Staffordshire,
Beech, who also pleaded guilty to assaulting an ex-partner, is banned from keeping animals indefinitely following his brutal killing of a defenceless dog

One witness described seeing Beech throw Millie’s bed into the communal yard and yelling at her aggressively. He then kicked her hard, causing her to cry out. The witness tried to confront him but Beech disappeared inside his flat before she could do so.

Dog killer Andy Beech from Biddulph, Staffordshire,

On the evening of Millie’s death horrified neighbours heard Beech yelling “you shit all over the flat” followed by sounds of a dog in severe distress, crying and screaming.

On August 21, Beech wrote the following on Facebook: “my Millie moo died, completely shocked, RIP”.

Rumours emerged on social media that Beech had killed Millie and one local animal lover, Nicola, decided to go to his house to confront him. Beech told Nicola that Millie had died from natural causes and said he had buried her body in local woods. However, Nicola had noticed bloodstains on the walls of his hallway and was unconvinced by his lies. She went through his bins and was horrified to discover remnants of a blood-soaked dog bed.

Dog killer Andy Beech from Biddulph, Staffordshire,

Police were called but were reluctant to investigate so Nicola, determined to get justice for Millie, decided to take matters into her own hands.

She posted an appeal for information on Facebook and was soon contacted by someone who said they would show her where Beech had buried Millie’s body – actually in a small plot in the car park to the rear of his flat.

Nicola took a shovel and found Millie’s battered body in a cardboard box. She was wrapped in what remained of her dog bed.

The box contained a message that said “Millie, I’m going to miss you every day” with dog biscuits, and a deflated ball.

Nicola contacted the RSPCA who collected Millie’s remains and took her to a vet for examination. There it was discovered that she had died from a blunt trauma. She had several other traumatic injuries including a punctured liver and lung, a broken hip and internal bleeding. Almost every rib was broken.

Some injuries were older and had been inflicted on her months earlier, proving that this attack had not been a one-off.

The RSPCA prosecuted Beech but he denied the charges and continued to scream about his innocence to his friends and family and publicly on Facebook.

Faced with overwhelming evidence against him, however, Beech eventually pleaded guilty to two charges of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal as well as harassing an ex-partner.

The court heard Beechhad lost his job at a builders’ merchant following the social media backlash in the wake of Millie’s death.

Dog killer Andy Beech from Biddulph, Staffordshire,

Beech’s lawyer, Peter Howland of Turnocks Defence Solicitors, told the court that his client became frustrated with Millie following a change in his working hours causing him to be away most of the day and that “he kicked her because of her behaviour”.

Speaking about the fatal attack Howland said that his client “kicked the dog a number of times and, as a result of that, it died within a matter of minutes. He was shocked and didn’t know what to do.”

Howland claimed that Beech had been in the Army and had served in Basra “which has had an effect on his mental health.”

This cut little ice with the judge who told Beech: “You could not cope with owning the dog but you made excuses – it would not have taken a genius to give the dog to the RSPCA.

“Instead you subjected the dog to cruelty on a regular basis. This was not a one-off – and then you kicked this dog to death.”

Sentencing: jailed for 24 weeks and banned indefinitely from keeping animals.

Stoke Sentinel

Brixham, Torbay, Devon: Craig Dolling

#TheList Craig Anthony Dolling, born 21/04/1993, of 24A Briseham Road, Brixham, Torbay, Devon TQ5 9NS – subjected his pet dog to a savage beating, causing him to lose a leg

Violent dog abuser Craig Dolling from Devon

Rocco, a young Staffordshire bull terrier, suffered a catalogue of horrific injuries at the hands of his owner Craig Dolling.

The pet was left bloodied with cuts, a broken leg, fractured ribs, cheek bone and skull. Dolling and his girlfriend, Natasha Hilson, 25, then let the animal suffer by not taking him to a vet.

Abused dog Rocco suffered an appalling catalogue of injuries

When asked to explain the injuries Dolling told his partner: “I just went mad on him earlier. You know what I get.”

The RSPCA said Dolling’s behaviour was ‘tantamount to torture’.

Father-of-one Dolling, who has previous convictions for violence, admitted two charges of causing unnecessary suffering to Rocco when he appeared in court.

Lindi Meyer, prosecuting, said the defendant lived with Rocco and his partner Hilson. Both accepted responsibility for the pet.

The RSPCA and police went to the house on September 2, 2019, after reports of an injured dog. Initially the pair did not answer but Hilson let them in just as police were about to force entry.

The dog had obvious leg and head injuries, said the prosecutor.

Hilson said Rocco had hurt his leg trying to get over a gate almost a month before. She confirmed he had not seen a vet.

“There was a strong smell of ammonia and faeces on the floor,” added Ms Meyer.

A police officer said the injured state of the dog was ‘heartbreaking’ and he had never seen such a badly injured animal before.

Rocco had multiple cuts, dislocated femur, swelling, two large head wounds that were so severe vets were unable to examine his right eye, a fractured tooth, cheek, three fractured ribs, and a fracture to the right hock which was several weeks old and so severe the leg had to be amputated.

Abused dog Rocco suffered an appalling catalogue of injuries

There were stains on the carpets which Hilson said Rocco had left after he injured his head trying to escape from his cage.

Dolling said the injury to Rocco’s leg happened about one and a half months before when he tried to jump over a door. Both denied mistreating him and Dolling said he didn’t take him for treatment because he thought the vet might think he had beaten him. He couldn’t explain the fracture to the dog’s eye and denied beating him. He said he thought the animal would die without vet attention.

Texts between the two revealed more of what really happened to the dog.

Hilson demanded to know what had happened to Rocco’s face. Dolling replied: “I just went mad on him earlier. I’m sorry, I didn’t mean it. I’m f****d.”

Hilson said the dog was ‘only a baby’ and hadn’t done anything to deserve such treatment.

Dolling answered: “You know what I get. I get what you’re saying. I’m sorry, I’m a nasty c**t.”

Hilson said there was a history of domestic violence in the relationship. Dolling now accepted responsibility for what he had done.

Violent dog abuser Craig Dolling from Devon

Nobody was present at the time Dolling injured the dog and the court was not told what triggered his violence. A vet found the injuries had been sustained by blunt force trauma on at least two occasions. They would have caused considerable pain for Rocco for at least six weeks. The skull fracture was caused by being struck with a ‘heavy linear object’ not consistent with Dolling’s explanation about the door. Injuries to the ribs were caused by kicks, stamps, or throwing against an object, said the vet.

Violent dog abuser Craig Dolling from Devon

Ms Meyer said Dolling’s actions had been ‘deliberate, gratuitous and caused suffering and pain on a number of occasions’. There had been prolonged neglect over months and no vet treatment despite both being aware of the injuries.

The court was played a video of Rocco in the care of the RSPCA, running and chasing a ball. “He’s doing really well,” after learning to walk again, said the prosecutor.

Hilson has yet to sign him over to the RSPCA’s care and has stated she wants him back.

Ben Darby, defending, said Dolling accepted full responsibility for the injuries and was ‘tearful’ and sorry for what he had done. He wanted help for his anger management issues and was motivated to change.

“These are pretty horrendous offences,” said Mr Darby. But he said Dolling had held his hands up and admitted his crime, even though nobody saw him cause the injuries and for that he should be given credit.

Hilson, who did not cause injuries to Rocco, admits a lesser charge under the Animal Welfare Act. She will be sentenced at a later date.

Sentencing: suspended four-month jail sentence. He was told to do up to 10 days anger management with probation and 60 hours of unpaid work. He was banned from keeping all animals for life but can appeal after just five years.

DevonLive

Silverdale, Newcastle-under-Lyme: Daniel Lahey

#TheList Daniel Christopher Lahey, born 10/04/1991, of 25 Duke Place, Silverdale, Newcastle-under-Lyme ST5 6PE but with links to Wolverhampton – locked a rescue dog in a shed to starve to death

PIctured is cruel chef Daniel Lahey who left rescue Staffy Rex to starve to death - after locking him in a shed
Cruel chef Daniel Lahey left rescue Staffy Rex to starve to death – after locking him in a shed

Callous Daniel Lahey, who has a long list of previous criminal convictions including at least one for domestic violence, admitted causing unnecessary suffering to Staffordshire bull terrier Rex.

Lahey had provided a foster home for the dog, after completing a charity’s home checks. But months later charity volunteers discovered Rex’s starved body in a black bag.

The chef told RSPCA investigators that he had not buried the rescue dog because he could not afford a spade.

PIctured is cruel chef Daniel Lahey who left rescue Staffy Rex to starve to death - after locking him in a shed

North Staffordshire Justice Centre heard Lahey took Rex home on December 1, 2018. For the first few months, Lahey sent the charity regular updates, including photographs and videos of Rex’s progress. But the charity was later unable to contact the defendant and then received a call from a relative to collect Rex’s body on April 2, 2010.

Vets discovered that the rescue dog was emaciated – weighing just 12.35 kilograms. A post-mortem examination gave the cause of death as emaciation.

The vet’s report stated: “There is a strong possibility that he was left without food for a few days. During this time he would be hungry, potentially cold at night as he was confined to a shed, and possibly psychologically distressed as scratch marks were found in the shed along with soiling.”

PIctured is cruel chef Daniel Lahey who left rescue Staffy Rex to starve to death - after locking him in a shed

Lahey told the RSPCA that Rex had struggled to put on weight and that he had left the dog with someone else when he went away for a few weeks last March. He said he returned to find Rex dead.

Following the case, RSPCA inspector Charlotte Melvin said: “It is horrendous to think of the suffering which poor Rex went through during the period leading up to his death.

“The vet’s report states he had been left in the shed for a number of days at least as scratch marks could be found near the door as Rex had desperately tried to get out.

“There is never an excuse not to feed a pet or seek veterinary treatment – if people are in need of help there are also plenty of animal charities that can help or in this case the animal rescue centre where Rex had come from would have taken him back.”

A spokesman for Pebbles Legacy, which placed Rex with Lahey, said: “We are so upset about what has happened to Rex and the suffering he must have endured. He was fostered by Lahey so he could have allowed us to take him back at any time if he was struggling but there was no indication of this at all.

“We carried out a number of home checks on Lahey which he passed and he sent us weekly updates, including videos and photographs, showing how well Rex was doing. There was even one of him looking so happy playing in the snow.

“We have no idea why this changed and it was awful to go the property and find a dog who we had cared for dead in such awful circumstances.

“It has been terribly upsetting for all our volunteers.”

Sentencing: ordered to pay a total of £850. Banned from keeping animals for life.

Stoke Sentinel

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Additional information: we are advised that Daniel Lahey may now be living in Wolverhampton WV10 postcode.

Wherstead, Ipswich: Niall Martin

#TheList lifelong loser Niall Martin, born c. 1990, previously of Speedwell Road, Colchester and now the Strand in Ipswich – threw a police dog against a car, tried to choke her and wrenched her jaw open

Pictured is Niall Martin from Ipswich, UK, who attacked a police dog

Police were called after a row broke out between Niall Martin and his partner in Colchester and officers attended along with police dog, Ivy.

Pictured is the police dog attacked by Niall Martin
The police dog, Ivy, has since been retired

Martin was hiding and when the highly trained German Shepherd bit him. He reacted by hurling her against the car, choking her and pulling apart her jaws.

In a statement read out in court, Ivy’s dog handler said she genuinely feared for the animal’s life.

She said: “She bit him on the arm and then Martin threw Ivy against a parked car.

“I heard Ivy yelp with pain, he was trying to choke her.

“I punched him to the back of the head with all my force to try to get her free.

“I have never heard her make a noise like that before.

“I genuinely believe he was trying to kill or seriously injure her.”

Martin was convicted of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal following a trial. He admitted a charge of possessing cannabis.

Pictured is Niall Martin from Ipswich, UK, who attacked a police dog

Katie Armstrong-Mason, mitigating said: “On this particular day he had consumed alcohol and had an argument with his partner.

“The dog runs after him and bites him on the leg.

“The only reason he grabs the dog’s mouth is because he had been bitten and was in a lot of pain.

“He didn’t want to be arrested – the last time he was he got a four-week prison sentence.

“He has a borderline personality disorder and alcohol exacerbates his mental health problems – he gets in trouble when he drinks.”

Pictured is Niall Martin from Ipswich, UK, who attacked a police dog

In October 2014, Martin has jailed for nine months for his part in an assault on a deaf-blind man and his brother.

Police dog Ivy retired from active duty earlier in January 2020. She was not badly hurt in the incident with Martin.

Chairman of the bench Don Wicks said: “This is a crossroads for you.

“It is a last chance scenario to change your life for the better.”

Sentencing: ten-week prison term suspended for a year. He must attend an accredited programme and 30 rehabilitation activity requirement days. Ordered to pay £300 costs, and £50 to the dog handler who suffered back pain during the incident.

Daily Gazette

Stanley, County Durham: David Morton

#TheList David Morton, born c. 1992, of Jane Street, Stanley DH9 7BH – left his husky dog to suffer with a broken leg for more than four weeks.

David Morton, who is no stranger to the courts, told magistrates he didn't "give a monkeys'after being convicted for leaving his pet dog to suffer in agony with a broken leg
Morton, who is no stranger to the courts, told magistrates he didn’t “give a monkeys’after being convicted for leaving his pet dog to suffer in agony with a broken leg

Serial headcase David Morton was found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal for failing to get veterinary treatment for his pet husky’s broken leg. The cause of the dog’s injury was unexplained.

Morton, who was recently given community service after sending human faeces to a police officer, told magistrates that he “didn’t give a monkey’s” what they said and would have two dogs by the weekend.

Husky Sendi who was mistreated and neglected by her uncaring owner David Morton
Husky Sendi who was mistreated and neglected by her uncaring owner David Morton

Kevin Campbell, prosecuting on behalf of RSPCA, said the charity became involved after a veterinary surgeon contacted them to raise concerns about Morton’s dog, a female husky named Sendi.

He said: “On the 22nd July [2019] the dog was seen by a vet who conceded that the dog had a fracture to her leg and the injury was four to six weeks old. The dog had either been untreated or treated inadequately.

“She concluded that the dog was clearly suffering as a result of the failure to give it any proper treatment.”

The dog had a broken femur and was unable to walk when she was seen by a vet.

Mr Campbell added: “When inspectors attended the address they could see the dog was unable to stand on its hind leg.

“A male answered the door and said he was the defendant, the inspector asked him about the dog in question and he was uncooperative – referring to him as a donkey.

“The defendant told him to f*** off, he was not allowed to enter the property and police had to be called to help him.”

PIctured is convicted dog abuser David Morton outside court

Paul Donohue, mitigating, said the 28-year-old had not set out to harm his own dog.

He said: “The actual injury has not been caused on purpose. It was caused accidentally and the complaint is that the dog did not have the proper treatment. He accepts that the dog did not have an operation but that wasn’t for lack of trying.

PIctured is convicted dog abuser David Morton outside court

“Like many people he does not have insurance so if anything happens it would fall to him to pay for it.

“If he had £5,000 there and then he would have spent it on the dog.

“He didn’t want the dog to suffer but he just has not got the money.”

Sendi was treated by the RSPCA and remains in their care.

Sentencing: ordered to pay £480 costs. Banned from keeping animals for five years. Morton is already serving a community order for a previous offence.

Northern Echo

Cefn Hengoed, Caerphilly: Ieuan Batten

#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

Pictured is violent thug Ieuan Batten from Cefn Hengoed in Caerphilly, Wales, who has numerous previous convictions for violence.
At just 23 years of age Ieuan Batten, who goes by the nickname Skins Citroen, has racked up 20 convictions for 49 offences. These included previous assaults on his own mother.

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”.

Pictured is violent thug Ieuan Batten from Cefn Hengoed in Caerphilly, Wales, who has numerous previous convictions for violence.

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.

South Wales Argus

Keighley, City of Bradford: Gary Bell

#TheList Gary David Bell, born 09/09/1969, of 54 Coronation Way, Keighley BD22 6HH – forced his pet dog to have a bath in bleach, rubbed it into her eyes and battered her over the head repeatedly

Pictured is convicted dog abuser Gary Bell and the dog he abused and battered, American bulldog Smiler.
Sick Gary Bell forced his pet dog to have a bath in bleach and rubbed it into her eyes

Gary Bell battered and abused nine-year-old American bulldog Smiler, leaving her bloodied and barely conscious in the bathroom

RSPCA inspectors were called to Bell’s home over concerns for the dog’s welfare.

They attended the property with police and could hear heavy breathing through the ground-floor bathroom window.

RSPCA inspector Sarah Bagley said: “I was horrified to see Smiler in the bath with a bloodied tea towel on her head.

“A friend of Bell’s let us into the property and we found Smiler barely conscious. She and the bath were wet and there was a bottle of human shampoo and Flash household cleaner which appeared to have been used on her.

The gentle dog was found bloodiedand barely c onscious in Gary Bell's bath
The gentle dog was found bloodied and barely conscious in Bell’s bath

“Between us we were able to get her out of the flat and I rushed her straight to a local vet practice.

“By the time I got her there her eyes were swollen shut. She was found to have multiple injuries including two large wounds to the top of her head which needed to be stitched, bruising to the head and a loose tooth that needed to be removed. Her eyes were flushed to get rid of any cleaning product.”

America bulldog Smiler was repeatedly beaten and mistreated by her owner
American bulldog Smiler was repeatedly beaten and mistreated by her owner

A veterinary examination ruled that the injuries were not accidental and attempts to clean Smiler afterwards would have caused pain and suffering.

Smiler spent a week under treatment and supervision at the vets during which time she slowly started to physically recover.

Pictured is Smiler  following her recovery
Smiler looking healthy and well following weeks of treatment by the RSPCA

Bell, who has previous convictions for assault and heroin possession, was convicted of causing unnecessary suffering to the dog by inflicting trauma on her, failing to provide veterinary attention for her injuries and applying cleaning products to her head and eyes.

He was due to attend Bradford Magistrates Court on January 7, but failed to appear and was arrested on warrant.

Inspector Bagley said: “Bell didn’t offer any plausible explanation for Smiler’s predicament – in interview he said that she had probably cut her head on barbed wire during a walk in the woods.

“She is recovering well, gaining weight, her skin and coat are improving and she seems to be a much brighter, happier dog. The cherry eye is being monitored on vet advice at the moment.

“Smiler is currently being cared for by the great staff at RSPCA Sheffield where everyone absolutely loves her and she will be put up for adoption soon.

“She is a very sweet dog who loves people and I can’t wait to hear that she’s thriving in a loving new home.”

Sentencing: 16 weeks in prison. Disqualified from keeping animals for life.

Yorkshire Post
The Sun
Daily Mail

Chepstow, South Wales: Matthew Benjamin

#TheList Matthew David Benjamin, born 18 May 1982, of Yew Tree Bungalow, Earlswood, Chepstow NP16 6AN – kicked his pet dog repeatedly until he died in extreme pain and distress

Matthew David Benjamin kicked Diesel to death
Diesel was subjected to a brutal attack by his owner Matthew David Benjamin, and died in agony. The builder, who is rumoured to have previous convictions for violence, was said to be wearing steel toe-capped boots as he kicked the dog repeatedly.

The Staffordshire bull terrier, known as Diesel and estimated to be aged between one and two years old, was killed in the early hours of December 4, 2019 at the home builder Shepherd shared with housemate Phillip Moseley.

Matthew David Benjamin kicked this dog, Diesel, to death

Prosecutor Paul Ricketts read the court a witness statement taken from Moseley in which he described how he had heard Benjamin walk into the property and call the dog “in a soft voice” three or four times.

The dog then ran out of the housemate’s bedroom.

“I heard Matthew and the dog go into the kitchen because I could hear two claws on the kitchen floor,” Moseley said.

“The kitchen door was closed and there was silence for a few minutes. Then suddenly I heard Matthew scream.”

He said he heard Benjamin shout “stop pissing on the f***ing floor” before the dog began to “scream and yelp”.

“I could hear every impact against the dog’s body,” he said.

Moseley said the noise was so distressing “I was sick in the bedroom because of the trauma”.

Mr Ricketts said Moseley went to the kitchen door but he was unable to push it open.

Moseley then said he heard Benjamin say: “This f***ing thing is going to die”.

“The attack felt like it lasted forever,” he said.

“I honestly believe Mathew kicked the dog more than one hundred times.”

Mr Ricketts said the police were called and Benjamin was arrested.

Moseley said: “It is so upsetting to think about the suffering the dog went through.

“It was a lovely dog and it was defenceless.”

Matthew David Benjamin kicked this dog, Diesel, to death
Matthew Benjamin kept Diesel in a cage in his filthy home

Judge David Parsons heard how a vet recorded that Diesel suffered wounds to his head and shoulders and “lacerations to the face”.

The dog had died after sustaining blunt trauma to his abdomen and head.

Mr Ricketts said: “After the defendant was arrested, he told the police he had completely lost his head and that the red mist descended.”

Andrew Twomlow of Twomlows Solicitors, mitigating, said his client entered his guilty plea on the basis Diesel was kicked six or seven times, which was accepted by the court. In his probation report, the defendant said he was stressed at the time of the attack and was “gutted” adding that “the dog didn’t deserve to die”.

The court was told that the case had attracted considerable interest on social media.

Benjamin's kitchen following his fatal attack on a helpless dog
Scene of devastation: Benjamin’s kitchen following his cruel attack on his dog

Mr Twomlow told the judge: “The public outrage is understandable. The defendant has had his property and car damaged.

“He has been subject to a degree of vilification.”

The court heard Benjamin had only had Diesel for five weeks after being given the dog by a friend and didn’t know to train him. The defendant said his new pet had destroyed his house and his property but added that the dog could be “quite pleasant” and had taken it to work with him.

Matthew David Benjamin kicked his pet dog Diesel to death
Benjamin, who is said to regularly take cocaine, has been jailed for just 17 weeks for killing a defenceless dog

Mr Twomlow said Benjamin owned a “successful business” called Honey Badger Construction and Plant Hire Ltd and had at one point employed 20 people. He currently trades under the name M. Benjamin Building Services.

Judge Parson told the defendant: “This was a cowardly and vicious attack on a harmless animal and you showed no empathy for its suffering.”

Sentencing: jailed for 17 weeks; £122 surcharge. Banned from keeping animals for life.

South Wales Argus
WalesOnline

Additional information

Alternative address for Matthew Benjamin: 8 Usk Road, Shirenewton, Chepstow NP16 6RY