Tag Archives: mental health or learning difficulties defence

Falmouth, Cornwall: Peter and Vicki Quick

#TheList Peter Quick, born c. 1981, and Vicki Quick, born c. 1979, both of 18 Oakfield Road, Falmouth, Cornwall TR11 2HR – for the starvation and neglect of two dogs and four cats

Convicted animal abusers Vicki Quick and Peter Quick from Falmouth in Cornwall
Pet abusers: the Quicks were banned from keeping animals for 20 years after their two dogs and four cats were found to have been starved and badly neglected

Peter and Vicki Quick were found guilty of five counts of animal cruelty.

The court was shown photographic evidence of the couple’s cats and dogs, some of whom had visible rib cages and painful skin conditions.

Peter and Vicki Quick from Falmouth in Cornwall left their pets to starve and failed to treat their painful skin conditions

The two dogs, Scooby and Bambi, together with four cats Toulouse, Cookie, Crumble and Dough, have been in the care of the RSPCA pending the sentencing.

The couple do have another cat, Midnight, described by Vicki Quick as her “therapy cat”, who will also be taken away from them, although he did not have any injuries or issues.

The Quicks’ lawyer said that the offences were committed at a time when the couple, who have four children, experienced difficulties in living at the address. He said they had been threatened and advised not to return to the property

It was said that Vicki Quick has a long history of mental health issues including psychosis, depression and agoraphobia.

In sentencing the pair, the judge said: “It was your responsibility to look after those animals and while we have sympathy for your situation, it is clear that you do not have the skills or understanding at this time to prevent suffering to them.

“We do not accept that you could not have noticed they were being starved and dehydrated and that they were in pain and had injuries, body scabs and fleas.”

Sentencing: £300 costs each. 20-year ban on keeping animals. This was suspended for 21 days, during which time the couple have a right to appeal.

CornwallLive

Skelmersdale, Lancashire: Gary Chadwick

#TheList Gary Sean Chadwick, born 15/01/1999, of Firbeck, Skelmersdale WN8 6PN – battered a 20-week-old kitten and left her to suffer an agonising death

Kitten killer Gary Chadwick outside court.

Gary Chadwick pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal at Liverpool Magistrates’ Court.

He killed the grey and white kitten, named Smokey, after he hit her so hard that he caused multiple fractures, kidney damage and significant bruising.

The kitten likely suffered for “many hours” according to the vet who carried out the post-mortem.

A carer for Chadwick, who has autism and had also previously been on medication for schizophrenia , discovered the kitten after she saw her struggling to use her front legs and heard her wailing in pain before she died.

She said Chadwick was acting “shifty”, claiming the cat always made those noises when it used the litter tray.

The carer left the house and called the RSPCA to report Chadwick for animal cruelty.

When interviewed, Chadwick claimed he had only ever slapped Smokey once during her short life but said he never threw or kicked her.

David Lloyd, defending, told Liverpool Magistrates’ Court: “I don’t think he intended to deliberately hurt the kitten.”

Adding: “He has asked me to inform the court, to say he was fond of the kitten.”

Inspector Joanne McDonald said: “We will never know the exact details of how the kitten came to have these injuries but from what the expert witnesses told the court it must have been terrible.

“Smokey was only 20 weeks old and the suffering she must have endured after the attack must have been terrible.”

Sentencing: two-year conditional discharge. Banned from keeping animals for 10 years.

Liverpool Echo

Preston, Lancashire: Angela Roe

#TheList Angela Roe (aka Angela Atkinson) of Birkdale Drive, Ashton-on-Ribble, Preston, Lancashire PR2 – live-streamed a video showing her abusing a cat who was later found dead

Angela Roe from Preston live streamed a sickening video showing her attacking a cat who was later found dead
Angela Roe from Preston live streamed a sickening video showing her attacking a cat who was later found dead

The sickening footage, which was screened on Twitter’s live-streaming video app Periscope – showed pet cat Misty screaming in agony as her owner, Angela Roe, bit and roughly handled her.

Misty was tragically found dead at Roe’s home by police after the incident was reported by a sickened friend.

Preston Magistrates’ Court heard the witness, who became online friends with Roe, saw Misty on her lap in a live stream on August 26 2017, in which she was “squeezing and shaking” the animal.

She was shouting, calling the cat a ‘pyscho’ and suggesting she should ‘not bite the hand that feeds’.

The woman then saw Roe bite the distressed cat’s ear, causing her to scream in pain.

Cat killer Angela Roe from Preston

Roe was heard to say it “needs to be disciplined or it will walk all over me.

Roe, who has mental health problems, was then seen to self harm and rub blood on the cat’s fur.

The worried woman corresponded with Roe the next day on Periscope, whilst Roe was drunk. She said her ‘other personality was going to come out. The bad side, the Jekyll; and Hyde nasty side of me.’

Misty was seen walking around and appeared to be fine, but the clip showed Roe put her on her lap again and say: ” Can she kill the cat and then kill herself?”

The witness pleaded with Roe saying: “Don’t do that – if you don’t want the cat I will give it a home.”

The court heard Roe told her viewer the only way she would kill her is by ‘starving her’. The woman could then hear the cat screaming but the video then ended.

Prosecuting for the RSPCA, Paul Ridehalgh said: ” Around 25 minutes later the broadcast resumed and the defendant typed:”My cat has just attacked me” and claimed Misty was ‘demonic’.”

The concerned friend asked what had happened and Roe told her the cat had attacked her and turned her phone camera around to show blood on the table, wall, skirting board and door in her home, which Roe claimed had come from her finger.

Mr Ridehalgh added: “When she was asked where Misty was she ‘became very aggressive and hissed like a cat’ at the screen.”

Roe claimed Misty was asleep on a ledge in the living room, but when the woman saw the cat it looked ‘stiff’, and she called the police.

When officers arrived they found Misty dead on the window sill, with blood on her.

Roe, who was drunk, claimed it was from her own self harming and said the cat was asleep. There were dirty dishes and rubbish strewn over the floor.

Misty’s body was taken to a veterinary pathology department in Liverpool, which indicated the cat, who had various injuries, including a haemorrhage in her lungs and bruises, had died from being smothered.

Roe was not convicted of this as there was insufficient evidence she was directly responsible, but she admitted causing Misty unnecessary suffering and failing to meet her needs.

The court heard in March 2018 police attended Roe’s home again to speak to her and she declared: ” There is a video dating back to August this year. The cat bit me and I bit her back. I was ******** out of my head.”

Roe thanked the bench as they agreed to suspend her 12 week jail term for a year on account of her mental health and alcohol issues. The chairman of the bench noted her “deliberate attempt to cause suffering” and added: ” The act was purely intentional as far as you were concerned.”

Sentencing: 
12 weeks in prison, suspended for a year; rehabilitation activity and alcohol treatment requirement. Total costs and charges of £490. Banned from keeping animals for life.

Lancashire Post

Ellesmere Port, Cheshire: Martin Frederick Jones

#TheList Martin Frederick Jones, born c. 1986, of Park Road, Ellesmere Port CH65 0DH – captured on CCTV battering a terrified dog

Puppy Millie was subjected to a vicious attack by her owner, Mark Frederick Jones
Puppy Millie was subjected to a vicious attack by her owner, Mark Frederick Jones

Father-of-seven Martin Frederick Jones pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal on March 7, 2018

He was spotted by two horrified witnesses hitting his golden labrador puppy Millie near Ellesmere Port bus station.

The shocking incident was captured on CCTV and shows Jones assaulting the defenceless dog.

In the footage Millie runs out into the road and is caught by Jones, who grabs her and punches her multiple times in the side, before pulling her back to the pavement.

Wirral magistrates court was told how the two female witnesses had got off a bus and saw Jones yank the dog, before she ran into the road.

When Jones got the dog back he hit her on her side and the witnesses reported Millie cowered and seemed very scared.

The women were so worried about the dog they decided to follow Jones home and saw him further yank Millie with “uncalled for force.”

Chris Murphy prosecuting said: “The women saw the dog shaking and reported that it appeared timid.

“The incident was reported to the RSPCA and the CCTV of the incident was given to vet Holly Jones who also examined the dog.

“The vet expressed concern for the welfare of the dog and Millie was taken from the family home.

“When she examined her Millie seemed very reserved and anxious, although there were no visible bruises she pointed to mental trauma the dog had gone through.

“When the defendant was interviewed by the RSPCA he accepted responsibility and said he had done it to “make her understand.”

The court heard Jones suffers from mental health problems including Aspergers and ADHD and had no previous convictions.

Scott McCrimmon, defending, said Jones was a family man, had seven children and had always owned dogs.

He said: “Millie is a family pet and the children have been missing her.

“He admits he overreacted and caused trauma to Millie, when he was in a blind panic.

“He accepts he used force to control the dog and handled it very poorly.”

Sentencing Jones District Judge Nick Sanders said: “You went over the top, Millie was a young dog that didn’t understand what was going on.

“What you did was in no way helping her understand, you lost your temper.

“You need to take a long hard look at the way you treat animals.”

Labrador Millie, who was subjected to a vicious attack by her owner Martin Frederick Jones
Millie will now be made available for rehoming

RSPCA Inspector Anthony Joynes said: “This was a vicious attack on a completely defenceless dog which is just simply unacceptable.

“The CCTV captures Millie breaking away from her owner and running into a road, the cars are seen to be slowing down and as Jones catches up with his dog he unleashes a number of heavy blows which he said where ‘to confuse her and make her understand’.

“However this would only have had the effect of inflicting pain and resulting in the dog becoming scared of Jones.

“Beating a dog is never acceptable and is certainly not a nice thing to witness. Jones beat poor Millie in front of numerous members of the public in broad daylight seemingly unfazed.

“Thankfully two brave witnesses came forward to assist in the investigation and after CCTV enquiries recovered two clips of the incident, we were able to locate Jones and remove Mille from his abusive care.

“After waiting many months for this case to come to trial today, Millie can now look forward to finding a loving forever home.”

Sentencing:
Total of £270 fines, costs and charges. Banned from keeping animals for a mere three years (expires November 2021).

Liverpool Echo

Lisburn, Northern Ireland: Marcus Sarre

#TheList Marcus John Sarre, born c. 1994, of Avonmore Park, Lisburn – crushed the skull of a 15-week-old puppy after she urinated on the kitchen floor

Puppy killer Marcus Sarre from Lisburn, Northern Ireland
Puppy killer Marcus Sarre from Lisburn, Northern Ireland

Aspiring singer Sarre, who has admitted to having a problem with alcoholism, pleaded guilty to a single count of causing unnecessary suffering to the 15-week-old crossbred husky and collie, named Lilo, on April 14, 2018.

The court heard how neighbours called police when they heard screaming.

Marcus Sarre arriving at Craigavon Courthouse yesterday

Prosecuting counsel Nicola Aurett told the court that when police arrived they saw blood on the hallway with a trail leading them to the bathroom.

“The dog was lying dead in the bath with blood all around it,” said the lawyer adding that Sarre, who had “drink taken”, admitted kicking the puppy.

She told the court that a report from a pathologist who examined the dog’s remains said the cause of her death was skull fractures.

Arrested and interviewed, Sarre said that he had let the dogs out after he had been away for a short time but his older dog, Polo, did a poo on the kitchen floor and he shouted loudly at him. This caused Lilo to urinate on the floor and he kicked her against a kitchen cupboard.

Sarre, who was upset during police interviews, told officers Lilo was bleeding from the mouth and was unresponsive so he took her to the bathroom where he tried CPR but without success.

Puppy killer Marcus Sarre from Lisburn, Northern IrelandPuppy killer Marcus Sarre from Lisburn, Northern Ireland

Ms Auret submitted it was an aggravating feature that at the time of the incident, Sarre was on bail for assault.

In that case, the court heard that police were called at an address in Lisburn on January 21, 2017, and found a female sitting in a sofa, crying and bleeding from her swollen nose. The woman, the ex-partner of Sarre’s father, said the pair had been drinking when Sarre tried to kiss her but that when she pushed him away, he head butted her and then kicked her several times when she fell to the floor.

Defence counsel Damien Halloran conceded that both incidents had been “deeply unsavoury”. He added that Lilo’s tragic death was “almost instantaneous” and while Sarre tried to resuscitate the dog, it was a “futile exercise”.

The lawyer submitted it had been a “moment of madness” for Sarre to lash out but Lilo’s death had left him “completely hysterical, lying on the ground crying”, adding there was no suggestion of cruelty to his other dog Polo whom he rehomed from a rescue centre five years ago.

Mr Halleron revealed that Sarre had been abusing alcohol and drugs and had a difficulty coping with stress “if things didn’t go his way”, submitting that the judge could impose community service or leave “something hanging over his head”.

Judge Lynch disagreed however and jailed Sarre. For killing Lilo, Sarre was jailed for six months and the judge imposed four months for causing actual bodily harm, ordering the sentences to be served consecutively.

Image result for "marcus sarre"

Sentencing
Jailed for six months for kicking the puppy to death, followed by 18 months on supervised licence. He will serve a further four months in jail for head butting his father’s ex-partner. Banned from keeping any animals for 10 years.

Newslink

Meir, Stoke-on-Trent: Natalie Keenan and David Knight

#TheList Natalie Keenan, born c. 1989, and David Knight, born c. 1977, both of Sandon Old Road, Meir, Stoke-on-Trent ST3 – kept 23 pets – including a barn owl, a fox and a raccoon dog – inside a smelly and flea-ridden house of horrors

David Knight and Natalie Keenan of Meir, Stoke kept 23 pets - including owl, fox and raccoon dog - inside 'smelly and flea-ridden' house of horrors

David Knight pleaded guilty to five charges related to animal cruelty, while Natalie Keenan admitted four offences under the Animal Welfare Act.

The pair’s mini-zoo was discovered by chance when a utility company official went round to the Meir home to execute a warrant as they hadn’t paid their gas bill.

He alerted the RSPCA, who were confronted by the stench of neglect, with piles of dog poo in the kitchen, rotting chickens in a snake tank and animals covered in fleas.

David Knight and Natalie Keenan of Meir, Stoke kept 23 pets - including owl, fox and raccoon dog - inside 'smelly and flea-ridden' house of horrors

Other creatures – from pets to exotics to wild animals – were being kept in tiny filthy cages, with barely enough room to move and without ready access to water.

A raccoon dog kept in a foul cage by Natalie Keenan and David Knight from Meir, Stoke

One terrier-type dog, called Lexi, was in such a poor condition that she had to be put to sleep.

Hazel Stevens, prosecuting on behalf of the RSPCA, said Lexi was experiencing ‘significant suffering’. She was virtually blind, emaciated with protruding bones, had little fur and an infected tumour that was hidden underneath a ‘foul-smelling mess’.

The dog was found curled up on a pile of dirty nappies and had to be carried out of the house as she couldn’t walk.

The couple also had:

  • another dog, Mocha the French bulldog
  • a cat called Gizzy, who both had skin and flea problems;
  • a barn owl caged up in a bedroom
  • a fox living in a cage in another room;
  • a racoon dog
  • a rat
  • a bearded dragon
  • five snakes
  • eight degus;
  • and an African grey parrot called Charlie.

David Knight and Natalie Keenan of Meir, Stoke kept 23 pets - including owl, fox and raccoon dog - inside 'smelly and flea-ridden' house of horrors
Lexi was in such poor condition she had to be put to sleep

RSPCA Inspector Charlotte Melvin said: “When I arrived at the property the couple wouldn’t let me inside so I waited outside for over two hours until police arrived.

“During that time the family carried bin bag after bin bag of rubbish out of the house.

“When I finally went inside it wasn’t what I was expecting at all. Even though they’d been clearing out for two hours it was still absolutely filthy and the animals were being kept in horrifying conditions.

“There was cage after cage and animal after animal. The rooms were strewn with rubbish, all of the animals’ accommodation was filthy and their welfare needs were clearly not being met.

“It was disgusting and it was mass-scale neglect.”

The other animals remain in RSPCA care and can now be rehomed or moved to suitable keepers.

“Many of these animals simply shouldn’t be kept as pets let alone kept like this,” Inspector Melvin added.

“To see these poor animals living in such squalor was heartbreaking. I’m just glad they can all now have a second chance at find loving new homes where their needs will be properly catered to.”

Sentencing: 12-month community order including a 30-hour rehabilitation requirement. Total of £235 each in costs and charges.  Both were disqualified from keeping animals for three years.

Stoke Sentinel
Signal1

Benwell, Newcastle upon Tyne: Natalie Dendri

UPDATED FOR SENTENCING
#TheList Natalie Dendri, aged 39, of Colston Street, Benwell, Newcastle upon Tyne NE4 – threw a pet ferret named Posh Spice into the air and repeatedly punched her

Natalie Dendry from Newcastle threw pet ferret named Posh Spice into the air and repeatedly punched her

Dendri was found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to the animal and being drunk and disorderly after the incident in May 2018.

She was seen throwing the animal into the air and repeatedly punching her. The ferret tried to escape but Dendri caught her and attacked her again.

The details were revealed at a trial at Newcastle Magistrates’ Court after Dendri was charged with two offences – causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal and being drunk and disorderly.

She denied both charges but failed to attend court and the trial went ahead in her absence.

Prosecutor Stephen Davies said the offences took place just before 2pm on May 31.

It was said a driver who was travelling along Armstrong Road saw a woman at the side of road with a furry object. She then threw it in the air and started punching it “really severely”.

Natalie Dendry from Newcastle threw pet ferret named Posh Spice into the air and repeatedly punched her

The animal squirmed away but Dendri grabbed her and punched her again with a clenched fist, the court heard.

The police were called and PC Lewis Calboutin attended the scene.

The officer told the court : “I was asked to attend in relation to an intoxicated female who may have a pet that she was treating badly.

“I saw a female sitting on the grass verge on the side of Armstrong Road.

“She immediately appeared to me to be intoxicated. She had a ferret called Posh Spice. It was lying in the sun and it appeared dehydrated. It was hot, it was panting and seemed lethargic.”

Dendri was asked to get into a police vehicle so she could be taken home to attend to the animal’s welfare.

In the vehicle, she was shouting and swearing and, as they reached her address, she vomited in the van.

“We asked her to step out of the vehicle,” said PC Calboutin. “She started shouting and swearing at me and my colleague.

“She then dropped her ferret from a standard height to the floor.”

Dendri was arrested and the ferret was taken to a vet. The animal later recovered and was placed in a shelter.

On being interviewed, the defendant denied being drunk or that she ill treated the ferret. She pleaded not guilty to the offences at an earlier hearing.

However magistrates found her guilty of both charges on the day of the trial.

It was also revealed that Dendri had previously admitted to an offence of assaulting an officer at a police station after she was arrested on May 31, 2018.

North Tyneside Magistrates’ Court heard that Dendri had kept ferrets for a number of years but after Posh Spice was removed she no longer had any pets.

Janice Hall, defending, said that Dendry was previously sectioned as a result of her ill mental health and now has carers.

Ms Hall said: “They ensure that she is taking her medication. They also help with her money and provide her with general assistance.

“She struggles looking after herself, she’s not in a position to give appropriate care for an animal.”

District Judge Kate Meek said: “You caused unnecessary suffering to a ferret whether you meant to or not. More to the point you carried on  doing so.

“I accept there are a range of issues and a custodial sentence would simply delay that work being undertaken.”

She added: “Ms Dendri this is really your last chance. Let’s hope it works.”

Sentencing (02/11/18)
12-month community order to work with probation on her drug and alcohol issues; fined £50 and ordered to pay £250 costs.  Unlimited ban on keeping animals which lasts for at least two years, after which Dendri would need to apply to a court to  have the ban lifted. 

ChronicleLive

Chesterfield, Derbyshire: Abbi Mann

#TheList Abbi Mann, born 24/01/1982, of Romford Way, Barrow Hill, Chesterfield S43 2PU – drowned two of her three pet cats in a toilet

Cat killer Abbi Mann from Chesterfield, Derbyshire
Cat killer Abbi Mann from Chesterfield, Derbyshire

Single mother Abbi Mann, who has a previous conviction for drink driving, was found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to two domestic cats, called Max and Bob, by killing them in an inhumane manner.  A third cat, Pebbles, was rescued and taken into the care of the RSPCA.

Andy Cash, for the RSPCA, told the court that on the evening of the incident a police officer and paramedics had attended Mann’s home in response to a report of a person with suicidal thoughts and noted the defendant seemed under the influence of alcohol.

Mann told the emergency services that one of her cats was struggling to breathe and that she had pushed him down into the water, adding that she had probably killed him. She claimed that the cats had been poisoned by neighbours, who had been bullying her.

A post-mortem examination revealed evidence  that Max and Bob had been drowned with an expert concluding they had been forcibly restrained. One cat had bruising to his neck consistent with being held around the back of the head and pushed under water.

Mr Cash said: “This is a lady, who, for whatever reason, in moments of stress has responded entirely inappropriately and we have to be concerned for the welfare of animals in the future and that would be the overriding concern of the society.”

He added: “Two animals have died at the hands of this defendant and they must have suffered considerably.”

Mann denied causing unnecessary suffering to the two cats by killing them after the incident in July, 2017, but she was later found guilty at a trial.

The court heard she had also committed the offence while she was subject to a suspended prison sentence imposed for a motoring offence.

Defence solicitor Shirley Fitton said her client has suffered with depression, mental health and alcohol issues and she had been as upset as everybody else because she dearly loved the cats.

District Judge Andrew Davison told Mann: “It was a dreadful offence on two poor innocent, little cats. It is a sickening and cruel offence and they were drowned not by being tied in a sack and thrown in a river but they have died in your hands which is most sinister.”

Sentencing:
26 weeks in prison suspended for 12 months with a Rehabilitation Activity Requirement. Total of £1,365 in costs and charges. Disqualified from keeping animals for life but can apply to have the ban lifted after eight years. 

Derbyshire Times

Holywell, Flintshire: Joy and Phillipa Edwards

#TheList Joy Veronica Edwards, aged 61, and daughter Phillipa Edwards, aged 26, both of Cherrywood,  Gwespyr, Holywell CH8 9LT – kept dogs, cats and horses in ‘eighteenth century conditions’ on their smallholding

Joy and Phillipa Edwards said animals were their lives, but failed to properly look after them

Joy and Phillipa Edwards were banned from keeping dogs, cats and horses after the discovery of appalling animal neglect at their smallholding.

The RSPCA seized ten horses, three dogs and 15 cats from the property having been alerted to the conditions by a  council pest controller.

One horse named Binka and a dog named Ben had to be put down and two cats were also later put down.

The animals were said to have been found in “18th or 19th century conditions”.

Horses in poor bodily condition were in a paddock which was wet and muddy and more like a pond. Outbuildings were dirty and had clearly not been cleaned for some time.

Cats were kept in cages in cluttered rooms.

Joy Edwards admitted causing unnecessary suffering to a Palamino mare known as Binka by failing to provide adequate veterinary care for a problem to her mouth, and for a problem with her fetlocks.

She also admitted causing unnecessary suffering to a collie dog known as Ben by failing to provide adequate veterinary care for his poor body condition and ulcerated skin.

She also failed to protect four cats by not providing veterinary care for ear mites and failing to provide adequate diet, especially ready access to fresh water.

Phillipa Edwards admitted failing to provide a Jack Russell terrier type dog known as Raven with a suitable environment and causing unnecessary suffering to one horse named Duckie

The court heard that the environment in which the animals were kept was not suitable and there was concern the defendants did not have the financial means or the physical ability to care for their animals.

Bob Vickery, defending, said that Joy Edwards was in a state of distress that one of her horses had been shot and the carcass left for her to dispose of. That had caused a huge amount of hurt, he said.

She accepted she should have had the horse put down earlier.

Binka had a genetic problem with her fetlocks and had a problem walking but she had bred the horse and had her a long time which coloured her judgement over when she should be destroyed.

She had been reluctant to have Ben the dog put down and had been away and had not been fully aware of his worsening condition.

Mr Vickery said “The animals are their life. They live in an isolated rural location.”

Their difficulties had been made worse by one of the worst winters on record and they were unable to move them to other sites because there were none available.

He said they had indicated a huge degree of remorse and were anxious to co-operate with the RSPCA.

A probation officer said that Joy Edwards completely disputed the RSPCA case against her despite her guilty pleas and said that as a result of bad press following the previous appearance they had lost a lot of friends and respect in the community.

She did not drink or smoke and animals were her “main passion.”

Phillipa Edwards was said to live an isolated life. She had been bullied in school and suffered significant mental health problems.

The judge said that society demanded that people who had animals looked after them properly.

They had been kept in conditions more akin to the 18th or 19th century, he said.

The inescapable conclusion was that there had been prolonged neglect, he said.

Sentencing:
Joy Edwards – 12-week prison sentence suspended for a year with rehabilitation and 120 hours unpaid work. £150 costs and a £115 surcharge.  Banned from owning horses, dogs and cats for eight years.

Phillipa Edwards – fined £300 with £150 costs and a £30 surcharge. Banned from keeping animals for three years.

Daily Post

Sparkhill, Birmingham: Robert Fitzgerald

#TheList Robert Fitzgerald, aged 38, of Sparkhill, Birmingham, and with links to Staines upon Thames – threw a Yorkshire terrier against a wall and strangled her to death

Tiny Yorkie Titch was subjected to a violent death at the hands of Robert Fitzgerald
Tiny Yorkie Titch was subjected to a violent death at the hands of Robert Fitzgerald

Fitzgerald killed the tiny dog named Titch after he flew into a rage when he tripped over her. He had been looking after the Yorkie for friends Paul and Donna James at their home in Birmingham while they went on holiday to Spain.

But a court heard Fitzgerald became stressed following an angry phone call with his employers on April 21, 2018 and viciously attacked the defenceless animal.

A neighbour, Jade Leech, who had been asked to keep an eye on Titch by her owners, found the dead pet wrapped in bedding the day after the attack.

West Midlands Police and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) were called in to investigate.

A post mortem found Titch died of blunt force trauma to the head, causing a brain haemorrhage and fracture to the skull on the left side of the head behind the eye.

The vet also found dislocation of the tail bones 2.5cm away from the tip of the tail.

In a police interview, Fitzgerald, who, it was claimed in court, has learning difficulties, admitted killing the animal.

Rafe Turner, prosecuting on behalf of the RSPCA, said: ‘He has admitted causing the dog’s death.

‘Perhaps the clue to the size of the dog is in the name – Titch. The dog was owned by Mr and Mrs James who had gone on holiday to Spain.

‘Mr Fitzgerald had been given a spare room in the premises.

‘Ms Leech found the dog wrapped in bedding. The police and the RSPCA were notified. The lady said she hadn’t seen the dog since the night before.

‘A veterinary surgeon who carried out a post mortem examination said there was a fracture to the skull behind the left eye socket.

‘The dog would have died within four hours of the injury.’

Kate Scully, defending, said: ‘This happened as a result of stress. He was undergoing significant stress at this time.

‘He had recently moved from his address in Staines-upon-Thames. He was off work and was under pressure to return to work.

‘He did trip over the dog and things spiralled from there. His learning disability would have limited his ability to adapt to stress.’

Sentencing: jailed for 16 weeks (reduced from 20 weeks due to his guilty plea). Financial penalty of £115. Disqualified from owning animals for life.

Metro