#TheList Margaret Redman, born 1961, and husband Philip Redman, age unknown, both of Borstal Street, Rochester ME1 3HL – left their cat to suffer with a painful mouth tumour
RSPCA officers visited the Redmans’ home on Saturday, March 9, 2019, and found that their cat Misty had a tumour on her mouth which had teeth embedded into it. This was making it difficult for her to eat. She also had matted fur caked with faeces and discharge from the tumour.
Mrs Redman told the officers that they had delayed taking the cat to the vets because she feared she would be put to sleep.
The couple pleaded guilty to failing in their duty to ensure welfare, and two counts each of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal.
Their solicitor successfully argued that the couple were unsuitable for community sentences where there would be a possibility of carrying out unpaid work.
Sentencing: community order involving attendance at a rehabilitation course; £300 costs.
#TheList serial animal abuser Keeley M Boswell, born 18/09/1986, and partner Paul M Flemming, born c. 1991, both of Gerald Avenue, Chatham ME4 5TF – banned from keeping animals for 10 years after their dog’s broken leg had to be amputated
Keeley Boswell was already disqualified from keeping animals alongside previous partner James ‘Jimmy’ Moore for the severe neglect of an emaciated and flea-riddled Rottweiler named Bella and a Staffy, Rizla, with the latter having to be put to sleep.
In June 2018 RSPCA inspectors visited the home Boswell shares with latest partner Paul Flemming and discovered two flea-infested pets: 10-month-old Chihuahua Sandie and a cat called Princess Sandie also showed signs of a deformed forelimb.
Both animals were taken to a veterinary surgery, where Sandie was found to have suffered a painful leg fracture, which would have occurred at least three weeks earlier and been caused by “great force”.
The couple’s solicitor told the court that Boswell was aware she had been banned from keeping animals but she wasn’t sure if the ban was still in force.
She also admitted when asked by inspectors that Sandie’s leg did not look straight.
Flemming said he hadn’t noticed any issue with the dog’s leg but admitted that he ought to have taken her to the vets.
Their solicitor asked magistrates to give the couple community orders rather than a custodial sentence, as they had multiple children in their care and Flemming was named as the household’s only breadwinner.
In addition to the animal cruelty charges, Boswell was convicted of breaching a disqualification order, whilst Flemming was convicted of aiding and abetting this.
Sentencing: 18-week suspended sentence; ordered to take part in a total of 400 hours of unpaid work and supplementary rehabilitation sessions; £450 in costs. Banned from keeping animals for ten years.
#TheList Langley Beck, born c. 1963, or Bell Lane, Boxley, Maidstone, Kent ME14 39G – kept seven dogs and three ducks without water inside his home
Reclusive Langley Beck is said to own 80 acres of property but kept dogs in rooms with surfaces and furniture covered in excrement. Three ducks were found in a ‘hot’ caravan where all the doors and windows were closed. It is believed they had been left without water for 12 hours and had to be euthanised.
Beck, who is believed to live alone at the bleak property in Boxley, is the last member of the area’s oldest farming family.
Medway Magistrates Court heard police and an RSPCA investigator visited his home in July 2017.
RSPCA head investigator Ellie Burtcor entered one portacabin containing four dogs and said her eyes began to water from the stench.
She said: ‘It was absolutely disgusting, my eyes were watering with the urine smell that was coming from there.
‘There was an overwhelming smell of faeces and it was very damp and stagnant.
‘There were piles of faeces everywhere, faeces scraped along the floor, rubbish boxes, there were broken china ornaments.
‘Just everything that was completely unsuitable for a dog to be running around in.’
Giving evidence, Beck said the dogs had all been fed and given water that day and he would have been able to tend to the ducks if he hadn’t been occupied with the police arriving.
When asked about his routine of cleaning the areas the dogs lived in, he remained silent.
Despite the conditions, a vet who inspected the dogs said they were healthy.
A post mortem examination of the ducks concluded that they had gone at least 12 hours without water.
One was in such a bad state it was immediately put down while the other two were euthanised later.
Beck says his family have lived in Boxley for more than 100 years, making them the longest running residents of the village.
Sentencing: 20 days of rehabilitation activities, 100 hours of unpaid work; £1,800 in costs plus an £85 victim surcharge. Banned from keeping animals for life.
#TheList for illegally docking the tail of a 15wo spaniel puppy Liam Jones, born c 1993, of Shrubcote, Tenterden, Ashford TN30
Cocker spaniel Max was discovered in High Halden with an elastic band wrapped at the top of his tail that had been tightened with the aid of crimping pliers, leaving the end to become “withered”.
His owner Liam Jones pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to a puppy by attempting to dock his tail, when he appeared before Maidstone Magistrates.
RSPCA Inspector Dave Grant said that Max had been rescued in July 2018: “When we removed Max from the home he had an orange elastic band wrapped tightly around his tail.
“It was 1.5ins from the base of his tail and the remainder of the tail was withered almost to the point of falling off. I touched his tail and he yelped; he was obviously in pain.”
He added: “Mr Jones was used to docking lambs’ tails and didn’t see any different in applying the same method to his 15-week-old cocker spaniel puppy, Max.
“He claimed his previous dog had suffered a de-gloving tail injury, which is when the skin is torn away, and he wanted to prevent Max going through the same.
Tail docking is illegal under the Animal Welfare Act 2006, except for medical purposes or for certain types of certified working dogs, when the procedure must be carried out by a vet before the puppy is five days old.
“While Mr Jones told us that Max was intended to be a working dog, he was not registered with any groups.”
Insp Grant said. “He also admitted that he was unaware of the laws around tail docking and had used crimping pliers to apply the rubber band to Max’s tail.
“Tail docking is illegal under the Animal Welfare Act. It is a painful process, can impact on how dogs communicate and is often wholly unnecessary.
“We do not believe any animals should be mutilated for cosmetic purposes and that removing part or all of the tail should only be done for medical reasons.”
Max has been rehomed by the RSPCA.
Sentencing: community order of 200 hours of unpaid work and 20-days of rehabilitation activity, to include attending the RSPCA’s pilot intervention programme aimed at stopping re-offending. Total of £385 costs and charges. Disqualified from keeping dogs for two years.
The RSPCA’s Special Operations Unit (SOU) joined Metropolitan Police to execute a warrant at the property in January 2018 after calls from concerned members of the public who had bought puppies from the address in the run-up to Christmas.
To their shock, a total of 38 dogs and 18 cats were found in makeshift pens, in the garden and in cages.
RSPCA Inspector Carroll Lamport said: “We’d been contacted by numerous people buying puppies who had grown suspicious of the operation that was being run from the house in Bexleyheath.
“People were concerned that they were never allowed beyond the living room when they visited the house to see the puppies and many who had purchased dogs reported that their pets had quickly fallen ill.
“Sadly, in some cases, people’s beloved new pet puppies had been so poorly that they’d died.”
In the run-up to Christmas 2017 the RSPCA received six complaints relating to Basset hounds, dachshunds and a boxer. One of the pups – a dachshund – died on Christmas Day having contracted parvovirus.
When officers raided the property they discovered pedigree cats and fashionable dog breeds – such as Newfoundlands, dachshunds, French bulldogs and Shihtzus – being kept in completely unacceptable conditions.
One Newfoundland was found with seriously deformed legs and couldn’t walk while many of the dogs were covered in mud, faeces and their coats were matted with dirt. Some of the dogs had severe dental disease, some with docked tails and many had nasty eye infections or ears clogged with built-up hair and wax.
An independent vet who joined officers on the raid to check all of the animals said it was some of the worst conditions he’d ever seen.
Inspector Lamport added: “The house and garden were total mayhem but the living room – the only space prospective buyers were allowed access to – couldn’t have been more different. A pristine and impeccably clean space.
“Mr Hayes was involved in the day-to-day care of these animals and should have known better than to keep them in such horrendous conditions.
“Thankfully, we were able to save these lovely dogs and cats and they will all go on to lead much happier and healthier lives.”
All of the animals have since been re-homed or are in foster care awaiting new homes.
Sentencing: 20 weeks in jail suspended for 18 months; 250 hours of unpaid work; fined £3,500 plus £115 victim surcharge. Disqualified from keeping animals indefinitely
#TheList Julius Gadzor, born c. 1979, of Wellington Street, Gravesend, Kent DA12 – trapped and kept wild birds by putting rat glue on feeders in his garden
Slovakian Gadzor admitted possessing wild birds and trapping them.
Officers from the Rural Task Force for Kent joined forced with the RSPCA on Thursday, June 14, 2018, to conduct a search of Gadzor’s home following a tip off they received from the RSPB.
A number of caged wild birds were seized as well as rat glue and other bird trapping equipment.
Gadzor was interviewed four days later where he admitted that he was trying to catch them illegally in his garden.
Sergeant Darren Walshaw, who co-ordinated the search, said: “This is an excellent example of partnership working. The intelligence received from the RSPB allowed us to gain enough information to request a search warrant and the case built by the RSPCA resulted in the man having to admit his guilt.
“Bird trapping is not only illegal, it is incredibly cruel. We are committed to working with our partner agencies to put these criminals, who illegally trap birds for their own financial gain, before the court.”
A spokesman for the RSPCA said: “To take a wild bird from its natural habitat and shut it inside a tiny cage is so cruel. They suffer greatly in captivity, are not used to being in cages and, sadly, often die.
“All wild birds in England and Wales, their nests and their eggs are protected by the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and actions may only be taken under specific licences.’
“It is illegal under the Wildlife and Countryside Act to trap wild birds.”
Sentencing: 28-day curfew; total of £385 costs and charges.
#TheList for horrific horse neglect – career criminal Jonathan Levi Dunn (DoB 20/12/1983) and partner Bridget Linda Saunders (DoB 25/11/1986) both of the Denton gypsy traveller site at Dering Way, Gravesend DA12 and Ronnie Vine, aged 46, of Havengore Avenue, Gravesend DA12
The offences related to 13 horses which were part of a large group kept in appalling conditions in a field near Denton Caravan Site, Dering Way, Gravesend.
The horses were kept in a field which did not have enough grazing to sustain the numbers, and it was riddled with litter and hazards such as barbed wire, plastic bags and plastic netting.
The main water source was a dyke contaminated due to decaying horses’ remains and was green and full of rubbish.
The RSPCA had also discovered a large number of dead and rotting horse bodies littering the field.
There was a drain with the manhole cover removed, which led to a 6ft drop which the horses could have fallen into.
Speaking about the case RSPCA inspector Rosie Russon said: “Many of the horses taken were just youngsters and had probably only known a life of misery, sickness and riddled with worms, in a field far too small for them, with no grazing, and a lack of supplementary feed.
“It is such an awful shame that in this day and age, we are still seeing cases of animal cruelty of this scale.
“I was truly horrified at the sheer number of horses being kept in such terrible conditions in one small location, the horrors were clear for all to see – yet despite this the owners failed to make improvements for them.
“This is one of the largest number of horses that the RSPCA has taken into its care in the Kent area in recent years, and I am pleased to say that almost all of the horses are now doing exceptionally well.”
Dunn – 26 weeks in prison; disqualified from keeping any equines for 10 years (expires July 2028).
Saunders – two-year conditional discharge; total costs and charges of £130; a mere three-year ban on keeping all horses (expires July 2021) .
Vine – total costs and charges of £1,430; banned from keeping any equines for just one year (expires July 2019).
Our image shows Jonathan Levi Dunn and partner Bridget Linda Saunders. Dunn is from a notorious family of travellers based at Barnfield Park Caravan Site, Ash, Sevenoaks, Kent, who between them have multiple convictions for theft and driving offences, not to mention horse cruelty. In February 2017 three members of Jon Dunn’s family – brothers Harry and Matthew and cousin Tommy Tucker Dunn – were also banned from keeping horses after they left sick animals in the same field as a rotting carcass and poisonous ragwort. See also here.
This conviction was preceded by a similar one in August 2012 when Tommy Dunn Senior and Tommy Dunn Junior were sentenced to pay £5000 in costs each and Shirley Dunn was ordered to pay £500 in costs after pleading guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to horses and failing in their duty of care under the Animal Welfare Act.
#TheList Rachid Serroukh, born c. 1978, of The Elders, Court Hill, Littlebourne, Canterbury CT3 1XT – left his dog in a van on 29-degree summer day
Police officers were called to Rachid Serroukh’s van, which had been parked unattended at The Gatehouse public car park in Chichester Gate from at least 9am until 1.10pm on Tuesday, June 20 2016.
A passer-by noticed the van was shaking and called police. Inside, officers found the dog – a Dutch Herder named Nero (pictured) – in a major state of distress.
The dog was taken straight to the local vet, seized from the owner and placed into the care of the RSPCA.
PC Martin George of the Chichester investigations team said: “This dog is lucky to be alive and it is a sharp reminder to all drivers not to leave your dog in a hot car.
“We worked closely with the RSPCA and we are happy the dog has made a full recovery.”
A spokesperson for the RSPCA said: “Throughout last summer the RSPCA received thousands of calls across the country regarding the concern of dogs being put in perilously dangerous situations by being left in hot cars.
“The RSPCA and other charities and organisations, joined forces to raise awareness amongst the general public that it is never acceptable to leave a dog in a hot car as part of its annual Dogs Die in Hot Cars campaign.
“There are still too many instances where animals are being left in sweltering cars, caravans and conservatories and tragically some of them have deadly consequences.
“We would also like to remind people that in an emergency call 999 to report a dog in the hot car to the police, because as a charity, the RSPCA may not be able to attend quickly enough, and, with no powers of entry, we need police assistance at such an incident.”
Sentence: Serroukh was sentenced to 70 hours of unpaid work and payment of a £300 fine
#TheList Lewis Robert Fox, born 29/03/1995, of Southsea Avenue, Minster, Kent ME12 2LU – tortured and killed four hamsters and two rats
Father-of-one Lewis Fox killed four hamsters, including three called Beano, Bud and Gizmo, and two rats. He repeatedly threw one defenceless hamster against a wall until she died, strangled another with a phone cable lead and squeezed the life out of a third.
A court heard Fox boasted of setting fire to a fourth hamster after she bit him. The next time his teenage girlfriend, Jessica Bradbrook, saw the animal, her fur was scorched and her toes had been burnt off with a lighter.
Miss Bradbrook had bought the first hamster after she and Fox discussed having a baby together. She wanted to see if he was capable of caring for an animal before trusting him with a child.
But within a week he had killed the rodent because he believed the animal ‘preferred’ her to him.
In March 2016 the scaffolder killed another hamster and sent text messages containing images of her dead body to Miss Bradbrook.
Fox later told police he had no feelings ‘for anything or anyone’, and did not even love his mother.
Fox admitted causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal between January 1, 2015, and November 7, 2016.
He also pleaded guilty to engaging in controlling and coercive behaviour in an intimate relationship between December 30, 2015, and November 25, 2016.
This involved him burning her with a cigarette, holding a knife to her throat, pinning her down on the bed and putting his hands around her neck.
Fox also accused her of cheating while he dated other women, verbally abused her, monitored her social media accounts, told her how to dress and flirted with her friends.
“He spat in her face on many occasions but perhaps most disgustingly of all, she describes how he would pick his nose and then the bloody contents on his finger would be wiped into her hair,” said Mr Wright.
A previous court hearing was told Fox’s mother reported his behaviour to police after the couple broke up in November 2016.
A psychiatric report presented to the court diagnosed Fox with a personality disorder with left him with “callous unconcern” for others and a disregard for social norms and rules.
Jailing Fox, who also suffers from ADHD and has a history of substance abuse, Judge Julian Smith said prison was inevitable for such ‘persistent aggression and cruel behaviour’.
He added the sentence was ‘relatively moderate’ considering the impact of his offending but reflected Fox’s mental health problems.
“It was a relationship in which you quickly became controlling and undermining. You used violence and force upon her, blaming her for the injuries you caused,” he told Fox.
“You were cruel and contemptuous of her in your conduct towards her. It was distressing, it was debilitating in its effect upon her.”
Referring to the pet rodents, Judge Smith continued: “You killed them all, in various ways, each characterised by cruelty.
“It was distressing to Miss Bradbrook. You were cruel to those creatures, you were cruel to your partner.
“It is apparent you struggle to see what you have done wrong, why it is an issue. It’s just what you do.
“It’s not an excuse, it’s a worry. Your persistent aggression and cruel behaviour causes this court and the doctor that interviewed you real concern for the future.”
Fox, who has a fox tattoo on his chest, told his mother and girlfriend from the court dock that he loved them.
The couple met in December 2014 and throughout their relationship Miss Bradbrook suffered bruising from Fox pinning her down, kicking or punching her.
“If he did anything to her he would tell her it was her fault and it was she who would have to apologise. He would then tell her to forget it had ever happened,” said Mr Wright.
The court heard that on her 18th birthday in July 2015, Fox verbally abused Miss Bradbrook, threw her cake on the floor and then kicked her out of his house.
He also ‘borrowed’ £1,580 from a gift of £4,000 given to her by her father which he had saved since she was born. The money was never repaid.
In one violent incident Fox put his hand around her throat while gripping a hamster in his other hand and threatening to kill it.
Describing an occasion when she woke at 4am to find Fox with his hands around her throat, the prosecutor told the court: “She couldn’t breathe and thought she might die. He told her it would be so easy to snap her neck.”
When arrested and interviewed, he claimed he threw one hamster against a wall to kill it because it had suffered a broken leg after dropping it.
“He said the text messages (of another dead hamster) were attention-seeking, to make her feel bad that he couldn’t control her,” added Mr Wright.
“He described it as a ‘f*-up relationship. He continually stated they were just as bad as each other.
“He said he doesn’t have any feelings for anything or anyone. He said he once loved Jessica but now felt nothing, not even love for his own mother.”
Craig Evans, defending, said Fox, who has one previous conviction for a drug offence, had to give up his job because of suicidal and self-harming tendencies.
He added his family had done all they could to support Fox but he had failed to take advantage of the assistance offered by them and various organisations.
Sentencing: 14 months in jail. Banned indefinitely from keeping an animal.
#TheList David William Lee, born 01/02/1966, and Lydia Ann Lee, born 18/07/1963, both of The Oaks, Radfall Ride, Whitstable CT5 3EW – kept a neglected dog outside in a faeces-filled kennel and wild birds in cages
David and Lydia Lee, who are members of the travelling community, were disqualified from keeping animals for life after their terrier type dog was found living in appalling conditions.
The RSPCA prosecuted them after issuing a warrant in relation to the illegal trapping and keeping of wild birds. At the property they found wild birds and set traps in the shed as well as the small dog, Frances, living outside in filthy and freezing conditions.
The couple were charged with causing unnecessary suffering to the brown and white female terrier by failing to investigate and address the cause of her poor body condition and weight loss. They were also charged with keeping Frances in a filthy faeces-contaminated kennel which had a sodden carpet and no bedding or dry lying place.
She was also tethered by a chain which was embedded in faeces and mud on the floor which restricted her movement, contrary to Section 4(1) of the Animal Welfare Act 2006.
David Lee was also charged with possession of live wild birds, 12 Goldfinches and a Redpoll, as well as committing an offence of intentionally taking wild birds and possessing traps, all contrary to the Wildlife & Countryside Act 1981.
RSPCA Inspector Carroll Lamport was one of the inspectors on the scene in January 2017 when they arrived at the property following an investigation into wild bird trapping and keeping.
He said: “It was a very upsetting scene. Whilst there I found the little dog frozen to the floor of the kennel as the chain was frozen fast. This was a very nasty case of a deliberate act of long-term cruelty as the trapping of birds is a planned act, and this was coupled with the long term neglect of the pitiful little dog that I found in filthy, wet and frozen conditions.
“It was a very upsetting and unnecessary case of deliberate, planned and callous cruelty.”
Thankfully Frances the terrier managed to pull through after suffering from mange and malnourishment and was later rehomed to her forever home.
Sentencing: Lydia Ann Lee – 12 weeks in custody, suspended for two years; 12-week curfew; costs and charges totaling £415. David Lee – 18 weeks in custody, suspended for two years; 18-week curfew; ordered to pay a total of £865 cost and charges. They were also both disqualified from keeping animals for life.