#TheList Wendy Hylton, born c 1948, of Stanton Drew, Somerset BS39 – failed to provide hoof care for two ponies
Hylton pleaded guilty to two offences, following a prosecution by the RSPCA.
Concerns about two Shetland ponies, known as Tonto and Midnight, had been raised with the RSPCA after one of the two ponies appeared to be unable to walk.
Officers from the animal welfare charity were joined by a vet on May 25, 2019, who carried out a clinical examination of Tonto and found he was in a significant amount of pain, and unable to walk as a result of his severely overgrown hooves and laminitis.
Midnight was also found to have overgrown hooves and both horses were seized by police and taken into the care of a specialist equine charity where they received the care and treatment they needed.
RSPCA inspector Miranda Albinson said: “Providing regular and routine farriery (shoeing of horse care) is a vital part of owning equines.
“Cases like this are very sad as they could so easily be avoided with the correct care.”
The offences took place between March 24 and May 24, 2019, in the vicinity of Radford Hill, Timsbury.
These acts were contrary to S.4(1) of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and S.9(1) of the Animal Welfare Act 2006.
Sentencing: four-month curfew; ordered to pay £385 costs and charges. Lifetime ban on keeping animals.
#TheList Jon-Luc McLoughlin, born 30/07/1992, of Lagland Court, Poole BH15 1RS – punched and kicked his German Shepherd puppy to death in a fit of rage
McLoughlin subjected 11-month-old rescue dog Lexi, whom he had only owned for a month, to a barbaric beating. When the pet died, he attempted to cover his tracks by leaving her body in the woods near his home where she was found by a group of schoolchildren.
The death was reported to the RSPCA, who led the prosecution against McLoughlin.
In court, McLoughlin admitted causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal.
The court heard that a post-mortem carried out on Lexi’s body found she had suffered ‘blunt force trauma’, including a laceration to her liver.
She also had blood in her abdomen and a stomach tear.
During a police interview, McLoughlin initially tried to put the injuries down to a road traffic collision.
However, he later confessed to the killing, telling officers: “I get very angry and I don’t know what came over me.”
Matthew Knight, prosecuting, said: “He punched or kicked the dog to death and dumped the body in some trees near his home.
“It was found by locals and upset local children who saw it.
“She had a laceration to her liver, blood in her abdomen and a stomach tear.
“It is likely that the dog did not survive for long.”
James Moore, mitigating for McLoughlin, said the defendant was under “significant stress” as he was acting as a carer for his ill father at the time of the incident.
“This episode of blind rage is where stress has got the better of him,” Moore said.
“This is not just some violent thug who thinks it is okay to treat his own pet poorly.”
McLoughlin’s sentencing hearing was attended by around 25 animal rights campaigners – including his mother, half-sister and half-brother.
After seeing his sibling go down, Alec Mackay claimed the sentence was too short. He said: ‘My mum is grateful that he has gone down but I don’t think 16 weeks is long enough. If anything it should have been a year minimum.
‘If it was a human he would have gone down for a lot longer. We are all living creatures so he deserved to get more. I hope the dog comes back and bites him on his a***.’
Sentencing: 16 weeks in prison and a lifetime ban on keeping animals.
Since originally publishing details of this case back in August 2019 we have been contacted by various people from Jon-Luc McLoughlin’s past. The following must, of course, be treated as unproven allegations but, if true, demonstrate that we are dealing with a truly monstrous character, who cannot be trusted to be around animals, women, children or the elderly.
Animal cruelty: he has allegedly abused animals before, possibly multiple times.
McLoughlin cares for his grandfather, who has a dog and has allegedly subjected that dog to beatings.
An ex-girlfriend claims that McLoughlin also beat her dog.
McLoughlin has had several previous rescue dogs and was also (allegedly) violent towards them. Whether he killed any of them remains a grey area.
Child cruelty: it’s alleged that McLoughlin’s children were removed from him due to physical abuse. His current girlfriend is said to be pregnant.
Domestic violence: the same ex-girlfriend who claims McLoughlin was violent towards her dog also alleges that she lost a baby following a beating by McLoughlin.
McLoughlin tends to target vulnerable women, sometimes with learning difficulties.
Elderly abuse: it is alleged that McLoughlin’s grandfather is terrified of him and has also been a victim of his violent temper.
==== Alternative address for Jon-Luc McLoughlin: Trinidad Crescent, Poole BH12 3NN .
#TheList Amanda Jane Thorne, born c. 1978, of Little Skewes Farm, St Wenn, Bodmin PL30 5PS, neglected and starved 25 horses
Mother-of-two Amanda Thorne had denied five charges of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal and one of ensuring that the needs of 25 horses were met.
But she was found guilty by the judge after a trial in her absence in October 2019.
All 25 horses suffered because they did not have clean accommodation, adequate food, a constant supply of fresh, clean drinking water, a dry lying area, adequate exercise or parasitic control.
Eight horses had overgrown hooves and four were malnourished because of Thorne’s neglect.
One was in need of veterinary care for a foot abscess, rain scald, lymphangitis, cellulitis and wounds.
One horse tragically died. The rest were taken by the RSPCA and stabled before being found permanent owners. They have made good recoveries.
Nigel Weller, for Thorne, said: “I would implore the court that she has learnt her lesson going through court proceedings.”
He added that the risk of her reoffending was low.
District Judge Diana Baker said: “Horses were starving to death, there were not being treated for their ailments. Their hooves were not being trimmed. They were in a pitiful state.
“You have shown no remorse for what happened and you blamed others. Concerned members of the public brought this matter to the attention of the RSPCA.
“One of the experts said that this could have been a whole lot worse if they had not brought the matter to their attention.”
She added that she had been considering sending farmworker Thorne straight to jail, but decided to suspend her six-month term for 12 months.
The court also heard that Thorne has problems with her mental health, which were exacerbated by the court case.
Speaking after sentencing RSPCA inspector Jo Pearson said the case was one of the cruellest she had ever seen. She thanked neighbours for alerting the charity to the horses’ plight and added: ” Without members of the public coming to us with the information, she would never have been brought before the courts”.
Sentencing: six-month prison sentence, suspended for 12 months; 15-day Rehabilitation Activity Requirement; four-month tagging order; ordered to pay £15,000 towards the RSPCA’s costs. Banned from keeping equines for life.
#TheList Elizabeth Mary O’Sullivan, born 21/05/1967, previously of Sandford Road, Moseley, Birmingham B13 (current address tbc) – starved her three cats to death – forcing one to feed off the bodies of the others to survive.
Elizabeth Mary O’Sullivan left her pets to die when she moved out of her ‘filthy’ flat.
The 52-year-old moved from her home in February or March 2019, but it was up to three months before local authority housing officers discovered the pets.
The dismembered bodies of two cats were found on the living room floor, while a third was found barely alive on May 16,
The officers alerted the RSPCA to their horrific find and Inspector Jonathan Radcliffe was sent to the scene.
Two of the cats had died from dehydration and starvation, but a third was found collapsed in a critical condition having survived off the remains of his fellow pets.
He took the cat for emergency treatment but the vet made the decision to put the pet down to end his suffering.
O’Sullivan was traced to a nearby address ten days later and was arrested by police, though she failed to appear in court on two occasions.
She was tried and found guilty in her absence on November 15, 2019, of one animal welfare offence.
O’Sullivan was arrested two days later and brought before the court for sentencing on Monday, November 18.
Inspector Radcliffe said: “The flat was filthy and the remains of two dismembered cats were on the living room floor.
“There was also a cat which was barely alive collapsed nearby.
“It appears this cat had survived for weeks without food and water by eating the remains of the other two pets as they had died from starvation and dehydration.
“There was no food and water in the flat – but the toilet seat had been left up so the cats may have been able to drink from this, however, as they became weaker they would have been unable to access this water.
“It is incomprehensible to think the suffering these pets must have endured and how terrified they must have been for such a long period of time before dying of starvation.
“It must have been awful for the remaining cat to watch as the others died in front of him and then he was forced to eat their remains in a desperate attempt to survive. Sadly this cat was too ill to recover from his ordeal.”
Sentencing: jailed for 20 weeks; ordered to pay a £150 victim surcharge. Banned from keeping all animals for life.
#TheList Yvonne Mairs, born 04/12/1967, of Sinclair Avenue, Orford, Warrington WA2 9QY – failed to take her desperately ill dog to the vet for treatment
Mairs’ dog, known as Sasha, was found with discharge and blood dripping from her ears and many missing and loose teeth.
Anna McDonald, prosecuting, said on June 4, 2019, Mairs rang the RSPCA saying her dog was ill.
Inspectors arrived at her home and were shown Sasha who was quiet, lethargic, underweight and had infections.
Ms McDonald explained that as well as a chronic ear infection and dental disease, Sasha’s skin was scabbed over and there was a strong smell coming from her infection sites.
The court was told that upon inspection by a vet, Sasha was clearly in pain and would yelp when the vet tried to touch her face.
Sasha was euthanised, as the vet deemed surgery would have been too much for her and carried too many risks.
Ms McDonald said the dog would have been suffering for a minimum of six weeks but possibly many months, although Mairs said she only noticed the extent of Sasha’s illnesses the week before calling the RSPCA.
The court heard how, due to suffering from anxiety, Mairs struggled leaving the house and did not have a way to transport the dog to a vet, but she had been trying to clean Sasha’s head with a cloth.
Mairs’ lawyer told the court her client had owned the dog for her whole life and there was no suggestion to say that she had been neglected before.
Sentencing: 12-week prison sentence suspended for 12 months. Banned from keeping all animals for life.
#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.
Athey, who owns two other dogs – Jack Russell terriers Ruby and Chloe – was convicted of two counts of physical harm to Gracie, which ultimately resulted in the dog’s death.
The second of these counts left her so badly injured she was presented to vets in an unresponsive and comatose state and was ultimately put down.
The vets then contacted the RSPCA to investigate.
A post mortem examination showed a number of recent blunt force trauma injuries including three broken ribs, liver damage consistent with a kick, blunt force trauma to the head and signs of strangulation on the neck.
According to the RSPCA, Athey denied responsibility for Gracie’s injuries, claiming on the first occasion that he had tripped while holding a shopping bag while failing to provide any explanation for her severe injuries on the second.
He did admit to being the only person in the house at the time of Gracie’s injuries.
RSPCA Inspector Miranda Albinson, who investigated for the charity, said: “This saddening case involved a defenceless dog who lost her life because of the series of serious injuries that had been caused by Athey.
“The veterinary reports and the post mortem exposed the deliberate ill-treatment which tragically led to her death.
“There is never an excuse for harming an animal or for failing to treat an animal with the kindness and respect they deserve.”
Sentencing: 20 weeks in jail; total of £865 costs and charges; deprivation order for Ruby and Chloe. Banned from keeping animals for life.
Additional information: several friends of Carl Athey’s have come to his defence today (19/10/19) and to protest his innocence. It is suggested that Athey’s partner is in some way involved in Gracie’s death and that other animals in the household Robyn Garman shares with Athey and her seven-year-old son have come to harm. One or two have said that Gracie may even have been harmed by the child. Garman herself has this to say:
We may never know the truth, but if the allegations about a child being to blame for Gracie’s death are true then that is extremely concerning and there absolutely must be intervention by social services.