#TheList Aaron James Williamson, born 12/08/1999, of 33B Westerdale Way, Grimsby DN37 9BY – subjected a kitten to regular beatings and bit off his ear
Aaron Williamson was banned from owning animals for life after a court heard about his sickening catalogue of abuse against the young cat, known as Litten.
The thug admitted he had lost count of how many times he had punched Litten, and said he did so whenever he was angry. He also bit the kitten’s ear multiple times, removing most of it.
Williamson admitted one offence of causing unnecessary suffering to a kitten. Sentencing William, the judge described his actions as “sickening”.
The RSPCA confirmed three kittens were rescued from Williamson’s home on September 11, 2019, following a tip-off.
RSPCA inspector Kate Burris said: “Williamson tortured this kitten. He admitted repeatedly biting Litten’s ear, which resulted in the loss of most of it, and that he had lost count of the times he had punched Litten. He said he did it when he was angry.
“District Judge Curtis said his daily abuse of small, defenceless animals who were unable to harm him and were at his mercy was sickening.
“He said that Williamson had called himself a monster in interview, and that was accurate as to how he behaved.
“We are extremely grateful to the witnesses who contacted us, and got these kittens out of this situation despite the position that put them in. It was very brave.
“I was surprised how friendly Litten was when I first met him given the abuse he had suffered, he was so affectionate and loving and was rubbing his face against mine during his veterinary examination.
“I just knew he was going to make a perfect addition to any family.
“I am so happy that he has found a fantastic new home, with people who love him and are caring for him in the way he always should have been cared for. It could have been a very different outcome for him if we hadn’t been able to intervene when we did.”
Williamson’s two other kittens found a new home together in Derbyshire.
Sentencing: 12 weeks in jail. Ordered to pay £250 costs and a £120 victim surcharge. Lifetime ban on keeping animals.
#TheList equine sanctuary owner Ann Michelle Sim, born 26/08/1984, of Shearford Close, Barnstaple EX31 1AG – neglected and starved multiple horses in her care
Mother-of-three Ann Sim, who ran North Devon Equine Rescue in Rumsam, near Barnstaple, was given a 10-week suspended jail sentence and banned from keeping horses for 10 years after admitting three cruelty charges.
The RSPCA visited Sim’s so-called sanctuary and found horses so thin their spines and ribs could be seen through the skin.
Conditions were described as ‘chaotic’ with animals living in foul conditions among rubbish and with sparse and inadequate bedding.
Ponies and horses had overgrown feet and one had to have his eye removed because an infection had not been treated by a vet.
The court heard Sim had set up the centre with the best of intentions five years earlier but had struggled to cope when her personal life fell apart.
Prosecutor Kevin Withy said Sim had been on the radar of the RSPCA for some time before the offences were committed between June and September 2019.
In one of the foul stables inspectors discovered a mare and foal whose ribs and spine were visible due to lack of food. Conditions were filthy with little clean bedding and only ‘a limited amount of water’.
The animals had been suffering for a number of months and there was no control of parasites.
The chestnut mare, Bumble, also had severely overgrown feet and Sim had not called a vet. A Welsh gelding called Tiggy had an infected eye that needed to be removed and a pony, Punchy, was emaciated, anaemic and had overgrown feet.
Defence barrister Herc Ashworth said the 35-year-old set up the rescue centre to “help abandoned horses back to health” and had “no intention of causing suffering”.
“I accept it was not a deliberate act on your behalf,” the judge added.
All the animals have since been rehomed.
Sentencing: 10-week custodial sentence, suspended for 12 months. Ordered to pay £322 costs. Banned from keeping equines for 10 years.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Natasha Rose Hilson, born 10/08/1994, also of 24A Briseham Road, Brixham, Torbay, Devon TQ5 9NS, has been sentenced for failing to seek veterinary care for Rocco while he was suffering from his injuries.
She must carry out 10 Rehabilitation Activity Requirement days and 240 hours’ unpaid work.
She was also disqualified from owning any animal for 15 years, with no application to lift this for five years, and must pay £200 costs.
#TheList Steven Anthony Harrison, born 12/08/1985, of Brereton Road, Middlesbrough TS4 3HS – starved and neglected his pet dog and let him stray
Steven Harrison’s dog, known as Benson, was found “skinny, lethargic and retching’ with a potato stuck in his throat. He had also swallowed a dishcloth which was lodged in his stomach.
Career criminal Harrison, who has racked up dozens of convictions for house burglary, was convicted of two offences under the Animal Welfare Act: one of causing unnecessary suffering and one of failing to meet Benson’s needs.
A member of the public had alerted the RSPCA after the dog was found straying on February 4, 2019.
Inspector Clare Wilson said: “When I first saw Benson he was skinny, lethargic and kept retching and coughing constantly. I could feel and see all of his ribs and his spine.
“It was late at night so I took him to a nearby vet surgery where staff were concerned that he had an obstruction.
“He was put onto a drip and given pain relief and medication to help with the sickness. Vets did lots of tests and x-rays showed a large obstruction in his chest cavity, behind the heart. He needed a special operation to remove it – and that’s when vets found a whole potato and dishcloth inside him.
“It was touch and go whether he’d survive the complex operation but, luckily, he pulled through.”
Inspector Wilson traced Harrison and was told that Benson had been vomiting for a number of days but no veterinary treatment was sought and he was allowed to stray around the area.
She continued: “He was extremely poorly by the time we were able to get him the vet. He was lucky to survive.”
Benson was signed over to the RSPCA after court.
The inspector continued: “Poor Benson has a stricture in his oesophagus which means he will probably always need to be fed small amounts of food regularly so this incident has had a life-changing effect on him.
“He’s doing well otherwise though and is such a lovely dog that the animal centre staff who are caring for him are hopeful they will be able to find him the special home he needs and deserves when he’s ready.”
Sentencing: six weeks’ custody suspended for 12 months; ordered to do 80 hours of unpaid work and to pay a victim surcharge of £115. Disqualified from keeping all animals for seven years.