#TheList serial domestic abuser Samuel Thomas Johnson, born 04/06/1985, of Ashwell Drive, Shirley, Solihull B90 3LR – kicked a dog repeatedly during a drunken and drug-fuelled attack on his girlfriend; traumatised dog put to sleep weeks later
Former soldier Johnson, who was previously cautioned for domestic violence against another woman, threw his girlfriend to the floor and strangled her before kicking Staffy Rosie as she desperately tried to protect her owner
The woman’s young son was upstairs while Johnson battered her and Rosie. The brave and loyal dog was left so traumatised by the vicious attack, she had to be put down by the vets just months later.
In passing sentence, the judge said Johnson had the power to inflict serious damage with his fists along with an issue with his temper.
He touched upon his ‘worrying’ history of two other actual bodily harm (ABH) offences, one inflicted upon a previous partner, and said future girlfriends needed ‘protecting’.
Despite this the judge concluded by wishing Johnson “all the best” as he passed a suspended sentence.
The court heard Johnson is now seeing a psychiatrist in relation to his time in the army, though his defence solicitor said the most recent assault could not entirely be attributed to his traumas.
Sentencing: four-month prison sentence suspended for 18 months. 30 days of rehabilitation activity and a structured intervention for domestic abuse course. 10-year restraining order. No ban on keeping animals was imposed.
#TheList Ian Gordon McGrath, born 03/01/1975, of The Paddocks, Sandy Lane, Cranage, near Holmes Chapel, Crewe CW6 8HR – left 35 cow carcasses to decay at his dairy farm, left six other cows in such poor condition they had to be put down
McGrath admitted causing unnecessary suffering after a 2018 inspection of Grange Farm, Over Peover, Knutsford, by Cheshire East Council found some animals had no access to food or water.
Attempts had also been made to cover some of the 35 dead carcasses at the farm, which is now run by people who have no connection to this case.
The court heard the dairy farmer McGrath had suffered mental health problems since his father died in 2014.
Rachel Cooper, prosecuting, said that an experienced dairy farmer like McGrath must have known his actions were causing suffering to his animals.
But Adrian Roberts, defending, said McGrath had suffered with mental health problems since his father died in 2014.
He was also under financial pressure because of bovine tuberculosis in his herd and the falling price of milk.
District Judge Nicholas Sanders described the case as “appalling” and sentenced McGrath, who also admitted failing to dispose of dead cattle properly, to 18 weeks in jail which was suspended for 18 months.
He also banned McGrath from owning or keeping livestock for life but this can be reviewed in five years.
McGrath must also pay more than £17,000 in fines and costs, and carry out 300 hours of unpaid work.
#TheList Amy Rutherford, born 12/01/1997, of Coltsfoot Gardens, Gateshead NE10 9RE – locked her two cats in her squalid home while she went to live with her boyfriend
Cats Lucy and Lola almost starved to death after their owner, Amy Rutherford, abandoned them in a dark and freezing property for six weeks.
In court, she pleaded guilty to one count of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal and two of failing to ensure the welfare of an animal.
The court heard that the RSPCA were contacted in early September 2019 after members of the public reported seeing the “distressed” cats jumping up at the windows of Rutherford’s home.
An officer attended and left an RSPCA card, as well as putting sellotape around the hinges of the front door.
The investigator returned a number of times over the following days and saw that the tape was still intact, meaning nobody had entered or left the property.
Eventually, the police gained access on September 20.
Stewart Haywood, prosecuting for the RSPCA, said: “The conditions inside were appalling. There was a strong smell of urine and faeces and it was dark and cold.
“The light switches were not working and the rooms were covered in rubbish.”
The court heard that bin bags had been scratched at by the cats and there was no food or water in their bowls.
The prosecutor added: “The officer found Lucy. She was opening her mouth repeatedly but no sound was coming out. Her pink collar was wrapped around her hips rather than her neck.
“Her bones could be felt and her eyes were sunk.”
Lucy collapsed when she was put in a basket to the point officers thought she had died.
Lola, who was in a slightly better condition, was also seized and taken to a vets, where both were discovered to be emaciated and Lucy to be suffering from hypothermia.
When interviewed, Rutherford claimed she’d only ever left the pets for a couple of days and hadn’t replied to the RSPCA card because she’d been too busy with work.
John Williams, defending, said Rutherford was drinking too much at the time and suffered from secondary bipolar disorder and depression.
He added: “There’s no excuse and she accepts that. She abandoned the cats for about six weeks. She went to stay with her boyfriend as her mental health was deteriorating. She was a manager in a shop but she had to give that up as she could no longer carry on.”
District Judge Kate Meek said: “You had to move out of the house because it was uncomfortable for you because it was cold and dark, but, it’s alright for them [the cats] to suffer and not you?
“They, like any other pet animal, rely completely on you for their care and attention. When you take ownership of them, it’s effectively an agreement that you’re going to look after them.
“They’re technically no more able to do so themselves than a small, young child.”
The judge added: “I have looked at the pictures and they are quite distressing, as it is distressing to hear the particulars.
“It’s absolutely clear that this was over a prolonged period of time and both cats suffered a high degree of harm because of your lack of care and attention that you must be expected to provide any animal in your care.
“There is no justification or explanation for it.”
Sentencing: 18-week prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, with 250 hours of unpaid work. Banned from keeping pets indefinitely.
#TheList lifelong loser Niall Martin, born c. 1990, previously of Speedwell Road, Colchester and now the Strand in Ipswich – threw a police dog against a car, tried to choke her and wrenched her jaw open
Police were called after a row broke out between Niall Martin and his partner in Colchester and officers attended along with police dog, Ivy.
Martin was hiding and when the highly trained German Shepherd bit him. He reacted by hurling her against the car, choking her and pulling apart her jaws.
In a statement read out in court, Ivy’s dog handler said she genuinely feared for the animal’s life.
She said: “She bit him on the arm and then Martin threw Ivy against a parked car.
“I heard Ivy yelp with pain, he was trying to choke her.
“I punched him to the back of the head with all my force to try to get her free.
“I have never heard her make a noise like that before.
“I genuinely believe he was trying to kill or seriously injure her.”
Martin was convicted of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal following a trial. He admitted a charge of possessing cannabis.
Katie Armstrong-Mason, mitigating said: “On this particular day he had consumed alcohol and had an argument with his partner.
“The dog runs after him and bites him on the leg.
“The only reason he grabs the dog’s mouth is because he had been bitten and was in a lot of pain.
“He didn’t want to be arrested – the last time he was he got a four-week prison sentence.
“He has a borderline personality disorder and alcohol exacerbates his mental health problems – he gets in trouble when he drinks.”
Police dog Ivy retired from active duty earlier in January 2020. She was not badly hurt in the incident with Martin.
Chairman of the bench Don Wicks said: “This is a crossroads for you.
“It is a last chance scenario to change your life for the better.”
Sentencing: ten-week prison term suspended for a year. He must attend an accredited programme and 30 rehabilitation activity requirement days. Ordered to pay £300 costs, and £50 to the dog handler who suffered back pain during the incident.
#TheList Hayley Langton, born 18/12/1996, and Derek Yeomans, born c. 1950, both of Willowcroft Road, Spondon, Derby DE21 7FR – left their Akita to suffer in “unimaginable pain” over several months
Hayley Langton and Derek Yeomans pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to the dog, known as Keeta, between August and September 2019.
Keeta was found with no fur and her eyes were covered in a green discharge.
The dog was rescued by RSPCA workers and immediately rushed to a veterinary centre.
Southern Derbyshire Magistrate’s Court heard how the vet said they had never seen a dog with dry eyes so severe, causing her extreme pain and distress.
Andrew Cash, prosecuting, said the last time Keeta was seen by a vet was in September 2013.
The dog was owned by single mother Langton, but was kept at the house of Yeomans.
When testing the dryness on her eyes, both readings came back as zero – something the vet said they had never seen before.
Mr Cash said Langton believed Keeta had a cold which had lasted around a month. However she failed to notice how serious her condition had become as she was out a lot and described her life as “chaotic”.
The dog has recovered, despite still showing signs of hair loss.
She has since been fostered by a veterinary nurse.
John Haye, mitigating, said Yeomans had not been fully aware of the severity of the situation the dog was in.
He said it was “fair to say” they had both taken their eye off the ball in terms of caring for the animal.
He revealed how Yeomans has ill health, suffers from high blood pressure and cares for his wife full-time.
He said Langton also suffers a range of mental health problems and struggles to care for herself, “never mind a dog”.
He said: “They both express remorse and sorrow for what happened.”
District Judge Jonathan Taaffe said: “Keeta is now properly looked after and responding to love and care that any domestic animal needs.
“This is not a matter that Keeta suddenly became ill, developed skin conditions and eye problems.
“It’s a situation where Keeta has clearly been in great distress over a significant period of time.
“The pain and distress that the dog must have been in could not be imagined.
“When people have pets, they have responsibilities to look after them.
“I accept this is not a case of sadistic ill treatment of Keeta. This is more a case of neglect based on issues in your life.”
Sentencing: three-month curfew of 7pm to 7am; 12-month community order; ordered to pay £490 each in costs. Both were disqualified from keeping dogs for a period without limit.
#TheList Matthew David Benjamin, born 18 May 1982, previously of Earlswood, Chepstow but currently (June 2020) of no fixed abode – kicked his pet dog repeatedly until he died in extreme pain and distress
The Staffordshire bull terrier, known as Diesel and estimated to be aged between one and two years old, was killed in the early hours of December 4, 2019 at the home builder Shepherd shared with housemate Phillip Moseley.
Prosecutor Paul Ricketts read the court a witness statement taken from Moseley in which he described how he had heard Benjamin walk into the property and call the dog “in a soft voice” three or four times.
The dog then ran out of the housemate’s bedroom.
“I heard Matthew and the dog go into the kitchen because I could hear two claws on the kitchen floor,” Moseley said.
“The kitchen door was closed and there was silence for a few minutes. Then suddenly I heard Matthew scream.”
He said he heard Benjamin shout “stop pissing on the f***ing floor” before the dog began to “scream and yelp”.
“I could hear every impact against the dog’s body,” he said.
Moseley said the noise was so distressing “I was sick in the bedroom because of the trauma”.
Mr Ricketts said Moseley went to the kitchen door but he was unable to push it open.
Moseley then said he heard Benjamin say: “This f***ing thing is going to die”.
“The attack felt like it lasted forever,” he said.
“I honestly believe Mathew kicked the dog more than one hundred times.”
Mr Ricketts said the police were called and Benjamin was arrested.
Moseley said: “It is so upsetting to think about the suffering the dog went through.
“It was a lovely dog and it was defenceless.”
Judge David Parsons heard how a vet recorded that Diesel suffered wounds to his head and shoulders and “lacerations to the face”.
The dog had died after sustaining blunt trauma to his abdomen and head.
Mr Ricketts said: “After the defendant was arrested, he told the police he had completely lost his head and that the red mist descended.”
Andrew Twomlow of Twomlows Solicitors, mitigating, said his client entered his guilty plea on the basis Diesel was kicked six or seven times, which was accepted by the court. In his probation report, the defendant said he was stressed at the time of the attack and was “gutted” adding that “the dog didn’t deserve to die”.
The court was told that the case had attracted considerable interest on social media.
Mr Twomlow told the judge: “The public outrage is understandable. The defendant has had his property and car damaged.
“He has been subject to a degree of vilification.”
The court heard Benjamin had only had Diesel for five weeks after being given the dog by a friend and didn’t know to train him. The defendant said his new pet had destroyed his house and his property but added that the dog could be “quite pleasant” and had taken it to work with him.
#TheList Natasha ‘Tasha’ Bell, born 22/08/1982, of Bonsall Court, South Shields NE34 0HT, and son Cameron J Bell, born 09/01/2001, of Bamford Walk, South Shields NE34 0JA – for the neglect of two horses, one of which had to be euthanised
Mother and son Natasha and Cameron Bell admitted causing unnecessary suffering to horses Porky and Chalky and failing to meet their needs.
The animals were discovered tethered to trees in Boldon Colliery in January 2019.
Porky had collapsed and had to be put down because he was unable to recover.
Both ponies had a poor body condition and were found to have heavy worm burdens. It was said they could have been suffering for at least six months.
RSPCA prosecutor Stewart Haywood told the court how the ponies had been inappropriately tethered, were not kept in a suitable environment and had “inadequate dietary provision”.
He said an RSPCA inspector arrived at some open public land in South Tyneside on January 24, 2019, after a report of a collapsed pony.
“This pony turned out to be Porky,” said Mr Haywood. “The inspector made attempts to stand it up. It was in a poor condition and tethered inappropriately to a tree that was on a slope.
“A vet came and further attempts were made for Porky to stand. However the only course was euthanasia.
“The police also attended and euthanasia was carried out.”
The prosecutor told the court that Chalky was found in the same area, also tethered and underweight.
Further examination revealed that Porky was thin and had a worm infestation, and the animal had “lack of muscle and body strength”.
Meanwhile, Chalky’s tether had been too tight and the animal also had a high worm burden.
Mr Haywood added: “The ponies were suffering for several reasons. They had inadequate provision of water and a poor body condition.
“The environment was hazardous and there was a risk of injury. The tight tether of Chalky would have caused discomfort.
“This is a case of horses that were clearly suffering significantly.”
Solicitor Valerie Bell, representing both defendants, said the horses were owned by Cameron and his mum played a smaller role in their care.
She said Natasha Bell had suffered significant mental health problems for many years and was receiving medication. A psychiatric report explaining her background was prepared for the court.
It was said Natasha’s “mental health had deteriorated during the commission of these offences”.
Their lawyer added: “Both are genuinely remorseful and very distressed about the whole background that has led to this.”
Sentencing: Natasha Bell – 12-month community order with rehabilitation activities, £60 fine plus costs. Cameron Bell – 12-week prison sentence suspended for a year; 80 hours of unpaid work plus rehabilitation activity requirement; ordered to pay costs. Both were banned from keeping horses for 10 years.
#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 .