#TheList animal ‘collector’ Asha Jackson, born c. 1987, of Eastland Road, Chichester PO19 8AZ and partner Karl McLean, born c. 1985, of New Road, Littlehampton – for neglect of several dogs and a gecko in their care
The pair admitted the following charges all relating to a period in September 2019:
caused unnecessary suffering to a Jack Russell terrier-type dog and two crossbreeds, by failing to explore and address their poor bodily condition;
caused unnecessary suffering to a crossbreed dog, by failing to seek appropriate professional veterinary care to address an infected wound;
caused unnecessary suffering to a terrier-type dog, a collie-type dog and a crossbreed, by subjecting the animals to an environment that was detrimental to their well-being
caused unnecessary suffering to a gecko, by failing to explore and address his poor bodily condition.
Sentencing: Community order with Rehabilitation Activity Requirement; McLean must also carry out 80 hours of unpaid work; £90 victim surcharge, £150 costs each. No mention of a ban or deprivation order.
#TheList Charlotte Amy Roberts, born 03/03/1991, of 274 Beech Avenue, Galashiels TD1 2LG – neglected a lizard to the extent it almost died
Roberts, who together with wife Vickie Roberts (née Hay) is a notorious pet peddler with a history of allegedly selling on poorly kittens riddled with parasites, pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to the pet.
Animal welfare officers said the Bosc monitor lizard was close to death when they raided the flat following the tip-off.
In addition to the lizard they found 13 cats, two dogs and a rabbit.
Roberts avoided a ban from owning all animals and has signed over her dogs and cats to the Scottish SPCA.
But there are are still two dogs, five cats and a fish living in the property as they are in the ownership of her 23-year-old wife Vickie Roberts.
Vickie Roberts’ not guilty plea to causing unnecessary suffering to the lizard was accepted by the Crown.
The court heard was told how a complaint was made to the Scottish SPCA about animal neglect at the property.
Charlotte Roberts admitted the lizard was in a “very bad” condition.
The court heard how it was motionless and in a state of collapse and had no access to water. The water dish was dry and was full of wood shavings.
Officers immediately removed the lizard for veterinary attention and it was found to be very weak and emaciated.
Its weight was 1.68 kilogrammes when it should be a healthy weight of between 2.5 and three kilogrammes.
The lizard had seven days of treatment which proved to be successful as the lizard was “fed back to life”. It has now been signed over to the Scottish SPCA.
The Crown had originally called for a ban on Charlotte Roberts owning all animals.
But after consulting the Scottish SPCA – who told them Roberts had been engaging well with them and also Lothian Cat Rescue – the motion was restricted to reptiles.
Depute fiscal Anna Robertson told the latest hearing the Scottish SPCA had spoken highly of Roberts’ attitude and that she had understood their stance over the lizard.
Ms Robertson said that as a result Charlotte Roberts had signed over her cats and one dog to the Scottish SPCA but said there were still animals in the Beech Avenue flat that had not been signed over as they belonged to Vickie Roberts.
She said there were still concerns as all the animals in the house had to be treated for fleas, the landlords Waverley Housing had a policy on the number of pets in their property and all vets in the area had indicated there were outstanding bills to be paid.
The fiscal added that it was understood there was a Go Fund Me page for a dog which had an ear infection.
Defence lawyer Colin Severin said that there were now two dogs, five cats and a fish in the property but added: “All remaining animals are in the ownership of her partner.”
As regards Charlotte Roberts he said, ‘she had taken on more than she could handle’, and there had been no malice involved.
He said a ban on keeping all animals would not be appropriate.
Sheriff Peter Paterson fined Charlotte Roberts £200 for causing unnecessary suffering to the lizard and banned her from keeping reptiles for two years.
But after hearing Charlotte Roberts has a joint Employment Support Allowance of £275 per fortnight with her partner, the sheriff said he found it “difficult to comprehend” how they could afford to keep the amount of cats and dogs they have.
Sentencing: fined £200. Banned from keeping reptiles for two years.
#TheList cat hoarder Pamela J Coombes, born c. 1967, of 114 Gatcombe Road, Bristol BS13 9RG – neglected dozens of cats in her care and kept them in foul conditions
In August 2018 police raided Pamela Coombes’ house after her neighbours called the RSPCA and she repeatedly refused to let them in to look around.
Inside, police officers and RSPCA inspectors found what they described as unhygienic and unsuitable for the number of cats.
Many of the cats were found to be suffering from cat flu, dental disease and flea infestations.
An RSPCA spokeswoman said: “Cats were immediately removed from the premises because of the conditions they were being kept, with some found to have discharge from their eyes and nose, some in poor body condition, and several sneezing.
“Vets who assessed the cats found many to be suffering from cat flu, dental disease and flea infestations.
“Conditions in Coombes’ home were described as being unhygienic and unsuitable for animals, with a lack of provision for the number of cats confined in the space,” she added.
District Judge Anthony Callaway said there was no evidence that Coombes had been “deliberately cruel” to the cats and her actions were borne out of “a desire to help too many animals to the extent that the care of others may be jeopardized by further additions and cruelty, not inflicted deliberately, but on the contrary, cruelty borne of kindness.”
Sentencing: Coombes was found guilty of five separate animal welfare offences and given a two-year conditional discharge. She was banned from keeping cats for just three years. All of her cats were handed over into the care of the RSPCA.
#TheList hoarders Cherie Samantha Moore (born 11/04/1988), wife Robyn Melissa Moore, née Daniels (born 03/01/1987) and their friend Aaron Cummings (born 02/10/1987) all of 37 Cables Wynd House, Leith, Edinburgh EH6 6DF – kept nine cats, one dog and a rabbit in cramped and filthy conditions in a flat
A Scottish SPCA investigation found that the majority of the cats were kept inside two rooms, and they were eating food so hungrily it was causing them to choke.
The dog was in lean condition and had a visible skin issue. She was also very anxious and mentally highly strung. They found her pacing around a room and scratching excessively.
The rabbit had overgrown nails which were affecting his mobility. He has since had to be put to sleep due to severe dental issues.
The trio admitted failing to provide the basic needs for the animals, including a suitable environment, veterinary treatment and diet.
Scottish SPCA chief inspector Paul Anderson said, “The living environment for these animals was cramped and filthy.
“The majority of the cats were contained in two rooms.
“Upon entering the rooms, our inspectors were overwhelmed with the smell of ammonia.
“Four cats were in one room, eating food so hungrily, it was causing them to choke. They were clearly starving.
“No food or water was provided in the other room where three other cats were kept.
“The dog, Honey, was in a lean condition and had a visible skin condition that had caused hair loss along her back and down her legs.
“She appeared very anxious and mentally highly strung. She was pacing around the room and was scratching excessively.
“The male rabbit, Snowy, was found to have very overgrown nails which were affecting his mobility but was otherwise in good condition.”
He added: “Police Scotland were called to assist with the seizure of the animals.
“On veterinary examination, the body condition of the cats was overall very poor. Their health issues ranged from emaciation and dehydration, to flea infestation and visible signs of stress, such as excessive itching.
“The cats and dog have since been successfully rehomed. Unfortunately, due to severe dental issues, Snowy the rabbit had to be put to sleep on veterinary advice.”
Sentencing: all three were banned from keeping animals for three years.
#TheList hoarder/breeder Kilmany Jane O’Connor (aka Kim O’Connor), born c. 1962, of Morecambe in Lancashire – banned from keeping animals for life after 54 dogs were found locked in tiny filthy cages at her home
Kilmany O’Connor pleaded guilty to five offences under the Animal Welfare Act – four of causing unnecessary suffering to 36 of her 54 dogs, and one of failing to meet all 54 dogs’ needs.
O’Connor’s home was raided by the RSPCA and police officers, after concerns were raised about the welfare of a number of dogs at the address.
RSPCA Inspector Sam Morris described the scene.
The first thing that struck me when I walked through the front door was how cluttered the hallway was, with household items everywhere. There were three cages stacked on top of another, and each had a cockerpoo or cocker spaniel-type dog inside. The cages were filthy, and the dogs’ fur was badly matted with faeces.
All the cages within the property appeared to be similar in size, which measured approximately 50cm high, 44cm wide and 60cm in length – the dogs were barely able to turn around and lie down, stretch out or stand on their hind limbs and of course they couldn’t escape.
The situation got worse in the living room. It was very cluttered and filthy, and the smell inside was awful. The ammonia was overpowering. The curtains were drawn and thick with cobwebs. The windows were closed and the room was quite dark. This room contained 13 dogs in cages – two of the cages had two dogs inside. One dog was tethered to a table leg and there were five loose dogs.
Two more dogs were caged in the kitchen. Two dogs were caged in the utility room and 14 were loose. Another 14 dogs were caged in an upstairs bedroom, which was very humid.
Some of the dogs had obvious veterinary issues. None of the dogs in the property had access to water.
The dogs were all signed over at the scene and taken into RSPCA care. One of the dogs – Mindy – lost one of her front paws as a result of her neglect and another of the dogs – Fifi, who was tethered in the living room – now uses wheels to get around after having lost the use of her back legs, but all have been happily re-homed.
Sentencing: 16-week custodial sentence suspended for two years. Ordered to pay court costs. Lifetime ban on keeping animals.
#TheList Gale Elizabeth Maitland, born 15/02/1967 of Carbarns West, Wishaw ML2 0DE – kept cats and a dog in fly- and faeces-infested conditions
Following a tip-off from a concerned postal worker, Scottish SPCA inspectors attended Gale Maitland’s home and were confronted with a scene of horror, with five cats and a dog living in the foulest of conditions.
Maitland admitted two charges of failing to admit the needs of the animals.
Depute fiscal Abby Seal said: “In March police received an anonymous call from a Royal Mail worker who had attended at the locus during her shift and noticed the door lying ajar.
“The caller believed the house had been trashed and wanted to make a report because the house was in a state of disarray and she could see a dog in a cage in a distressed state.
“The house was in an extremely unsanitary state and in complete disarray and there was an overpowering, pungent smell of urine being intensified by the central heating.
“Inspectors from the SPCA found the hall and stairway full of clothing, bin bags, rubbish and half-eaten takeaway boxes.
“Several cats were seen eating mouldy food from takeaway boxes.
“Throughout the property there was animal faeces and urine on the furniture.
“In the kitchen there was a tan crossbreed dog in a crate on the floor which was in a distressed state and the crate was described as being in a horrendous state and totally unsuitable for a dog to caged within it.
“The crate had a deep build-up of faeces and food which was several inches high.
“A downstairs toilet was being used as a large waste area with bin bags stacked on top of each other 6ft high.
“There was an overpowering smell of ammonia coming from three cat litter trays and it was described by inspectors as the worst litter trays they had seen.
“The master bedroom was in a similar state to the rest of the house and a small cat was observed eating from a partially eaten pizza box.
“Photographs were taken of each animal and they were taken to the Lanarkshire rehoming centre.”
Kauser Iqbal, defending, said: “There was no deliberate intent on her part relating to these offences.
“She was under an extreme amount of stress with the health of her father and long hours that she was working.
“The wake up call for her was when the animals were taken away by officers from the SPCA.
“She has taken significant steps in the property and has replaced every item of furniture and carpet inside.
“This wasn’t a deliberate or planned course of action and she has been extremely stressed over these proceedings.”
Two of the cats known as ‘Chance’ and ‘Loki’ will be returned to Maitland but the other three will be re-homed along with the dog.
Sentencing: 240 hours of unpaid work. Banned from keeping dogs for life.
#TheList Robert Jason High, born 20/12/1996, and Damien Robert Beales, born 16/04/1998, both currently of 17 James Street, Barrow-in-Furness LA14 1EH – neglected and starved a large number of cats; desperate animals resorted to cannibalism.
Robert High and his partner Damien Beales left cats to starve at a property in Northgate Road, Stoneycroft, Liverpool L13
RSPCA officers discovered starving cats eating the decomposing remains of others when they visited the house on 25 April 2019.
They found up to ten cats who were so desperate and hungry that they had shockingly resorted to cannibalism.
Five dead cats were in the process of being eaten.
The grim remains were discovered by the property’s landlord who was so disturbed that he contacted the police who next alerted the RSPCA.
Beales and High both pleaded guilty to one charge of cruelty.
The prosecution has been previously adjourned after both men, Beales and High repeatedly failed to turn up.
Sentencing: 16-week prison sentence suspended for 12 months. Each ordered to pay £500 costs and a £115 victim surcharge. Banned from keeping animals for life.
High and Beales move around frequently. They only lived in Stoneycroft for five months. Prior to living there, they lived in Kirkdale, Liverpool. Neighbours of the Kirkdale property allege they overheard the couple accusing each other of raping cats.
High is said to have serious mental health issues, including self-harming. He has a YouTube channel called My Borderline LIfe on which he discusses his borderline personality disorder and also ‘sings’.
#TheList breeder/hoarder Lynn Stoker, born 04/07/1956, of Raw Farm House, Byrness Village, Newcastle upon Tyne NE19 1TR – jailed for cruelty to more than 100 dogs and puppies
Stoker was found guilty of 11 charges of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal and four counts of failing to ensure an animal’s welfare needs were met. Her conviction came after 107 dogs and six puppies were found living in cramped cages and with no fresh drinking water.
She had denied all charges but was found guilty after a four-day trial.
Stoker was breeding dogs but struggled to sell them on and ended up with a house full of animals. She initially asked for help re-homing the pets but began behaving ‘evasively’ and ‘aggressively’ so a search warrant was issued in May 2018.
The RSPCA told the court that “not a single dog was in a healthy condition” when they were discovered locked up in cramped cages at Stoker’s home in May 2018.
The animals were suffering from a range of untreated health problems including chronic dental disease, eye infections and hip injuries. Stoker also failed to provide them with sufficient water.
Three dogs had a level of dental disease so high it resulted in a fractured jaw, and one of them only had three teeth as all the rest had fallen out because of severe disease.
Some animals were in such a bad state they needed to be put down.
The dog breeder claimed that her pets were never neglected and she had been doing the job for 25 years.
The pets at her home also included two cats and a tortoise.
Sentencing Stoker, district judge Bernard Begley said: “This is a particularly serious type of offence. Significant costs have been incurred.
“I really can’t find any redeeming features. This was a high level of suffering – some animals were euthanised.
“You have not shown a shred of remorse or contrition.”
Sentencing: jailed for 21 weeks; ordered to pay £50,000. Disqualified from keeping or breeding animals for at least 15 years.
#TheList hoarder Jennifer Ann Waddup, born 15/08/1969, of 11 Buckland Road, Somerset TA2 8EW for the neglect of multiple dogs and cats.
Waddup pleaded guilty to four charges brought against her by the RSPCA.
*failing to explore and address the cause of the poor bodily condition of nine domestic cats between March 20 and April 3 this year;
*causing unnecessary suffering to a border collie named Domino by failing to provide professional veterinary care for a chronic skin condition between the same dates;
*failing to ensure the needs of 14 domestic cats and Domino the dog were met by not ensuring their need for a suitable environment in which to live on or before April 3;
*and not taking reasonable steps to ensure the needs of 14 cats were met by not protecting them from pain, injury, suffering and disease as seen by a chronic and significant flea infestation on or before April 3.
Sentencing: 100 hours of unpaid work; total of £385 costs and charges. Disqualified from keeping cats and dogs but can appeal after two years.
#TheList unlicensed animal trader Bradley Michael Tomes, born 27/04/1995, of Moss Lane, Hesketh Bank, Preston PR4 – kept dozens of exotic animals in filthy conditions and with untreated injuries
Tomes pleaded guilty to 15 offences under the Animal Welfare Act after dozens of neglected exotic animals had to be rescued by the RSPCA.
The offences relate to six iguanas; two mara (large rodents from South America); 16 peafowl; two pelicans; three agouti (a rodent native to America and South America); five porcupines; one green parakeet; two jardine parrots; one golden pheasant; one green winged macaw; one white necked raven and one cape parrot.
In January 2019 the RSPCA were called by police to a farm on Taylors Meanygate in Tarleton and found the animals being kept in squalid and unsuitable conditions. The charity then attended a second address on Moss Lane, Tarleton where a shed-type building at the back of the premises contained a number of animals.
RSPCA Deputy Chief Inspector Alison Fletcher said: “Some of these animals were species we as RSPCA inspectors of many years’ experience had never dealt with before, and it was a shock to see them kept in such conditions.
“Both locations were filthy. Many of the animals were in accommodation that was obviously completely unsuitable, did not have access to food or water, or were suffering.
“At the farm, we found two mara inside a small plastic transportation crate on the floor of one of the make-shift buildings. Mara are a large rodent who stand up on their hind legs. The height of the crate was 300mm, or just 12 inches. The depth of the crate was 560mm, and the length was 870mm giving no real room for them to move around.
“A squalid enclosure at the same location housed three agoutis, two pelican and 13 peafowl (pictured above).
“Four porcupines (pictured right) were in a pen which was wet and muddy with just a small structure for shelter – temperatures on site were close to freezing with snow and driving rain.
“At the second address a macaw was found in a black crate, similar to a dog crate. The bird’s tail feathers were touching the sides of the crate.
“The iguanas were at this location too – all six of which were in poor body condition and four had injuries to their tails.”
Two animals, an Agouti and a Mara, have subsequently died, and the court heard further dead birds and animals were discovered at the same locations but are not subject to charges, as the cause of death cannot be established.
In mitigation the court heard that Tomes had an interest in animals all of his life and had been employed as a zoo keeper.
He had signed all of the animals over in February and pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity. He had gone through a difficult break up but had now turned his life around and had a new job and new relationship.
The surviving animals have been rehomed to specialist keepers.
Sentencing: 20 weeks in prison suspended for 12 months; 25 rehabilitation days; 120 hours of community service; total of £615 costs and charges. Disqualified from keeping all animals for five years with no appeal for two years.