#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 donkey ride operator Ronald ‘Ronnie’ Wheeler, born c. 1977, of Haydn Road, Liverpool L14 – let his horse die slowly and painfully from poisoning
Ronnie Wheeler admitted three charges of animal neglect at Liverpool Magistrates Court.
Wheeler left his horse Oscar grazing in a field in Fazakerley which contained the poisonous weed ragwort – which is deadly to horses – despite being warned by Liverpool council to remove it.
The RSPCA were called to the field on August 6, 2018, after receiving reports from members of the public who were concerned about the horse’s welfare.
When inspector Joanne MacDonald arrived at the scene with a veterinary surgeon they could see the horse was staggering around and collapsing.
They realised he was blind, was struggling to stand and was unable to swallow.
The vet decided Oscar needed to be put to sleep to end his suffering and a post-mortem examination confirmed he had been poisoned by ragwort after being exposed to it for many weeks or even months.
The vet also described Oscar as having a low body score for his physical condition, and also revealed a significant worm burden.
The court heard two months before, on June 15, the council had sent a letter to Wheeler urging him to remove the weed which in some places had grown to three feet tall.
Inspector MacDonald said: “It was an awful case to deal with as poor Oscar was clearly suffering. He was collapsing and the ragwort had caused his blindness which meant he was walking into things and was clearly in a distressed state.
“To make matters worse Wheeler had been told previously to remove the ragwort by the council but he had failed to do this.
“Responsible horse owners should know ragwort is damaging to the horse’s liver when eaten. The toxic effect builds up over time, causing irreparable damage.”
Sentencing: jailed for 12 weeks; ordered to pay £786 costs and a £115 victim surcharge. Banned from keeping equines for 10 years.
#TheList Daniel O’Sullivan, born c. 1990, of Bowland Drive, Liverpool L21: stabbed a police dog twice in head and attacked officers while high on monkey dust
Daniel O’Sullivan was jailed for 21 months after he admitted causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal, five counts of assault and two counts of possessing an offensive weapon in a public place.
Police were called to deal with the thug following reports of a man wielding a knife and broken bottle in a street in Hanley, near Stoke, on July 1, 2019.
When O’Sullivan refused to drop the weapons a police dog named Audi was sent into the incident.
O’Sullivan stabbed PD Audi twice in the head before throwing a bottle at an officer and kicking him in the face. He spat at four other officers.
Following his arrest O’Sullivan was taken to hospital for assessment and was aggressive towards medical staff.
Audi needed emergency treatment but survived the attack and has since returned to duty.
The prosecution for the attack against Audi is the first under the new Animal Welfare (Emergency Services) Act.
Known as Finn’s Law, it now recognises police dogs as public servants and not simply police property. The maximum sentence is currently six months.
Detective Inspector Stephen Ward, from Staffordshire Police, said: “O’Sullivan presented a significant danger to anyone who was nearby and we cannot allow the public to be put at risk.
“He assaulted five officers, spitting at four of them, which is a degrading experience for the officers concerned and can present a health risk.
“O’Sullivan was out to seriously hurt PD Audi and it was lucky that he wasn’t blinded or killed as a result of his injuries.
“Aside from the sheer cruelty of his actions, it takes a great deal of time, energy and expense to train a police dog and an experience like that could have ended his career. Fortunately, Audi has recovered well and is back at work.”
Sentencing: jailed for 21 months of which three months was for injuring a police dog.
#TheList Christina Carney, born c. 1981, of Ottley Street, Liverpool L6 3AL – starved and neglected a young puppy who had to be put to sleep
A six-month-old British bulldog named Tank had to be put down after horrific neglect by his owner, Christina Carney, left him with “every bone in his body” sticking out.
Shocking pictures show the dog also suffered bite wounds to his right leg which was swollen and had scarring over his face and neck. Behind his left ear were visible wounds but behind his right ear was a severe wound which had ripped through the ear flap
Sadly, Tank was unable to recover and three separate vets decided he should be put to sleep to end his suffering.
Another of Carney’s pets – 18-month-old pug Bear – died while in her care and was said to be in a “very thin” state when she brought his body to experts to be disposed of.
Vets got in touch with the RSPCA with worries about the welfare of Carney’s other animals.
Inspector Claire Fisher was sent to investigate and went to see Tank at the vets where she found “every bone in his body” was protruding.
Claire said: “Tank was in a very sorry state when I saw him, he was so thin with every bone visible he did not resemble a British bulldog at all – he was like a walking skeleton.
“He had numerous injuries of various ages caused by being attacked by other dogs in Carney’s care and he appeared depressed, not like I would expect a puppy to act.
“The vet felt that returning Tank to his home would put him in danger of attack again.
“The body of Bear was also analysed and it was clear the dog was also very thin and had numerous ulcers in her eyes. Carney offered no explanation how or when the dog had died but for her young age she seemed in poor condition
“It was known that Carney also had two more dogs at her home and we were concerned there was also a risk of injury of life to those so Merseyside Police were contacted and were able to seize the dogs and place them into the care of the RSPCA.”
The police took two British bulldogs called Teddy and Roxy from Carney’s home and they are now in the care of the RSPCA where they have been rehabilitated and will be available for adoption soon.
Carney pleaded guilty to four animal welfare offences .
In mitigation the court was told Carney had “difficult personal circumstances”.
Sentencing: 12-month community order; ordered to pay £300 costs, a £100 fine and a £85 victim surcharge. Banned from keeping dogs and cats for just five years.
#TheList Kharled Radman (aka Carl Khalid Radman), born 01/06/1980, of Smithdown Road, Liverpool L15 2HD – caught on camera terrorising a dog with a stick to show he was “head of the pack”
Company director Radman pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering by inflicting intimidating and abusive behaviour on a Mastiff-type dog named Achilles.
The father-of-two was filmed banging on his dog’s kennel on March 11 , 2018 in an upsetting video clip captured by a neighbour.
Radman claimed he was trying to get Achilles, to drop a dead rat, but the footage shows him terrorising the dog by hammering his kennel.
After the incident, which took place at Radman’s partner’s house on Manor Road in Wallasey, the RSPCA attended and found Achilles outside in a small paved area at the rear of the property surrounded by one or two days of faeces. There were two bowls containing dry food with a brown liquid in it.
Achilles was 5 kg underweight when he was seized and had pressure sores on his body from laying down for long periods in his outside kennel – which was not weatherproof.
The court heard that Radman had owned Achilles for eight years after taking him in as a puppy.
Pleading with the magistrates to let him have Achilles back, Radman said: “I’ve had that dog since it was born and I’ve never hit that dog. Even as a baby I never slapped his nose. I was trying to get a rat off my dog.
“I do accept that at one point I was getting aggressive and frustrated but I was never aggressive to my dog.”
He added: “It would have been wrong of me to leave him chewing on a rat and my missus would have killed me if I left him chewing on it.”
“If you are going to take Achilles away from me there’s nothing else that matters to me. I will do anything you say please just don’t take him off me.”
However, prosecuting on behalf of the RSPCA, Chris Murphy described the chain of events that led to Achilles being taken away.
Mr Murphy said: “On March 11 a witness, Miss Kay, woke up at 8.30am and heard what sounded like shouting from her neighbour’s yard.
“She looked out from her toilet to the rear yard and saw the defendant slinging things around the garden, shouting and swearing aggressively.
“He then picked up a stick and started hitting down on the floor, saying ‘I’m going to rip your head off, get out here now. I’m going to kill you.’
“She saw him poking the stick in the kennel then went back to the bedroom to get her phone to record what she saw.”
When he was interviewed by police on March 13, Radman was quizzed over the video his neighbour filmed of the incident.
Mr Murphy said: “[He told officers] He wanted to get the dog to drop the rat so he was hitting the kennel to make him drop it. He said he was trying to assert himself as head of the pack.”
A local vet who examined Achilles after he was seized said the incident would have caused “psychological fear and distress”.
Sentencing: fines and costs totalling £995, which he will pay off in £50 monthly installments. Banned from keeping animals for just two years.
#TheList vet Dr Zahra Tahaneem Rafiq, born circa 1990, now of Wallington, Surrey and previously of Merseyside – took two newborn French bulldog puppies from their owners; one of puppies died
Dr Zara Rafiq was fired after she took a French bulldog puppy she was meant to be delivering.
Rafiq took the pup home with her after joking to a colleague that she planned to do it. The newborn dog died three days later at Rafiq’s home, which she admitted despite earlier saying it had faded in her car.
Rafiq had delivered the litter of six dogs, each worth up to £2,000, by Caesarian.
Instead of leaving them to recover with their mum Lila, she and a colleague, Oscar Perez Maillo, both took a puppy home with them.
The second dog was later returned still alive after another worker with VetsNow raised concerns.
Rafiq was fired by VetsNow in Huyton, Merseyside, and a misconduct hearing by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons found her to be ‘dishonest’. However, she was cleared to practise again after six months.
‘I’m fuming,’ owner Safinah Mhagrh told the Daily Record. ‘That vet stole my puppy. It was a terrible, heartless thing to do. She should not be allowed to practise.’
Safinah had taken her three-year-old French bulldog Lila to surgery after she went into labour in December 2017.
‘The first one was coming out legs first and got stuck. I thought Lila was going to die,’ she said. She was told to go home while vets operated.
When she came back, she was told there had been a litter of four but the stuck one hadn’t survived. Another of the puppies then died as it was too weak, but Lila bonded with the remaining two.
Ms Mhagrh said she had contacted police but the case hadn’t been taken further. A hearing heard Rafiq was remorseful and not motivated by financial gain.
Panel chair Ian Arundel said: ‘The committee concluded Dr Rafiq was very unlikely to pose a risk to animals in future.’
VetsNow refunded the £200 cost for the Caesarian.
Dr Laura Playforth, head of veterinary standards at Vets Now said: ‘We are extremely sorry about what happened, especially to our client and their pets.
‘We are very clear on our position here – these individuals will not work with us again.
‘I want to reassure pet owners that this is an isolated incident. We have almost 600 vets and vet nurses working for us up and down the country, working tirelessly to help animals in their greatest time of need. In my 20 years as a vet, I’ve never seen anything like this case.’
#TheList Scott Bradley Doran, born c. 1988, most recently of Greyhound Farm Road, Speke, Liverpool L24 but with links to Runcorn, Cheshire – assaulted a terrified Staffy and dangled him off the edge of a bridge
Scott Doran was convicted of causing unnecessary cruelty after denying a charge of inflicting “blunt force trauma and physical violence” to the brindle Staffy, named Coban.
Habitual criminal Doran was filmed on CCTV assaulting the dog outside Costcutter on Northwich Road in Brookvale, Runcorn , on March 17, 2016.
North Cheshire Magistrates’ Court heard how Doran had been seen attacking Coban, resulting in an investigation led by RSPCA inspector Naomi Norris.
Local authority CCTV showing a “sustained and violent attack” on the dog.
In the clip, Doran can be seen outside the shop with the dog off the lead and no control over him.
As Doran walks away from shop the dog runs up to a family wagging his tail and it is then when Doran unleashes his attack.
The dog cowers on the floor as Doran picks him up and punches him.
He holds Coban up by the scruff of the neck with his feet off the floor and walks along violently shaking him.
The brutal attack then continues away from the view of the CCTV but a witness told how Doran continued to abuse the terrified pet, who was so frightened he defecated.
He then held the petrified dog over the railings of a footbridge.
Inspector Naomi Norris said: “This was a vicious and nasty attack on Coban who was clearly so terrified he can be seen cowering and the poor dog even defecated during the beating.
“Off camera the witness told how he continued to beat and kick the dog before holding him by the neck over the railings of a footbridge.”
Coban was seized the day after the attack and has since been re-homed by the RSPCA.
Doran, formerly of Cedar Avenue, Sutton Weaver, and Camelot Way, Runcorn, went on the run for two years and was arrested soon after a police car chase.
Sentencing: 12-month community order; fine and costs totalling £525; anger management course; rehabilitation requirement. Banned from keeping dogs for a mere five years.
#TheList Justin Jervis, born c. 1976, of Gorst Street, Anfield, Liverpool L4 0SB – refused to take his ailing elderly dog for free veterinary treatment, leaving her to suffer in agony for almost a year
Justin Jervis’s Shar-pei Bubbles was put to sleep by vets at the PDSA in Kirkdale on September 3, 2018 – after she was presented in a horrifying skeletal state.
The golden Shar-pei was also infected with mature maggots which had nested in her ear canal and began migrating throughout her head, as well as having a back leg which was hugely swollen from cancerous growths.
Jervis pleaded guilty to three charges of causing suffering to an animal, after leaving his dog to suffer in pain for nearly a year.
Prosecuting on behalf of the RSPCA, Peter Mitchell told the court that Bubbles had first been presented to vets at the PDSA in October 2017.
At that point, she was already in such a poor condition that vets suggested euthanasia to prevent any further suffering. Bubbles weighed just 18kg and was categorised as underweight by the RSPCA body weight scoring system.
The system scores animals between one and nine – one representing total emaciation and nine being obese. At the time of her death, Bubbles scored one.
When vets saw Bubbles on October 25, 2017, Jervis asked to be given pain killers for his pet. He was given the medication on the condition that he returned one week later for a follow-up appointment.
He did not return to the PDSA for nearly a year, by which point his dog was at death’s door.
Mr Mitchell said: “Mr Jervis was interviewed under caution and had to be arrested in relation to the matter. He minimised the situation the dog was in and when asked specific questions he made no comment.
“When asked if the dog was caused to suffer or was distressed, he said no comment.
“Sean Taylor [a vet who saw Bubbles] said the dog was in an emaciated condition. The right ear canal was thick with maggots, there were masses on the legs and in the lungs. The dog was clearly in distress back in October 2017 and not then represented until September 2018.
“After that pain medication, it would have continued to suffer and got worse in that 11 months. He says the dog was suffering due to weight loss and due to the condition around the ear with maggots.
“For all these reasons, he says the dog was suffering for 11 months.”
The inspector who handled this upsetting and distressing case described it as among the worst she had seen in her 16 year career with the RSPCA – and burst into tears when the sentence was read out.
Looking at the photos of the neglect, Judge Shaw said: “They are terrible photos aren’t they? I don’t think I have ever seen a dog in that condition.”
Sentencing Jervis, Judge Shaw said: “On November 25, 2017 you were aware that your dog was so poorly that the vet wanted you to consider euthanasia on that occasion. You were asked to take the dog back after seven days.
“Over the next 10 months your dog lost weight to the point where she was obviously emaciated and it’s perfectly clear to any sensible onlooker that the dog was in appalling physical condition.
“The vets choose to use a body scoring condition of one to nine and they chose one for your dog. Her physical condition was appalling and pathetic. You were responsible for her care. Your neglect could equally be considered as cruelty.”
Defending Jervis in court, Emma Smith said: “This is not a case where he has deliberately harmed the dog and he found that very difficult to accept. For 12 years there were no medical issues in relation to the dog that he failed to seek medical assistance for.”
She added: “You might find it difficult to believe but he clearly did have very strong feelings towards the dog. He was upset with himself and upset that the dog had to be put to sleep. It wasn’t done through any type of malice or hatred of animals.”
Sentencing: 16-week custodial sentence, of which he will serve eight weeks in prison and spend 12 months on licence. Banned from keeping animals for 20 years and forbidden from appealing the conditions of this ban for at least 10 years.