Tag Archives: mental health or learning difficulties defence

Plymouth, Devon: Michael Rose

#TheList Michael ‘Mikey’ Rose (aka Michael Garner), born c. 1997, previously of Hill Park Crescent, Greenbank, Plymouth PL4 but most recently no fixed abode – punched and kicked a police dog after constables found him living in a tent in woods

Michael Rose aka Michael Garner and PD Ollie
Michael Rose aka Michael Garner and PD Ollie

Rose, who is originally from Basildon, Essex, punched and kicked PD Ollie as constables tried to restrain him. But the dog managed to grab hold of his ankle as he’d been trained to do.

The thug also rained blows on three police officers who found him in a tent and tried to headbutt another back at the police station.

Rose then assaulted two custody officers who were taking him to court the next day. One of the officers later said it was the most aggressive he had seen someone in 17 years of policing.

Jailing him for 18 months in total, Judge William Mousley said all six officers had been “just doing their job”.

Police mugshot of Michael Rose aka Michael Garner

He added that Rose had significant mental health difficulties, including paranoia, though he had refused to co-operate with psychiatric staff in the past.

Rose pleaded guilty to six counts of assaulting an emergency worker and one of causing unnecessary suffering to a dog on December 23 and December 24, 2019.

He changed his pleas minutes ahead of his trial.

Police Dog Ollie’s Twitter account said after the attack that there were no serious injuries and that he “recovered quickly”.

Rose was jailed in December 2017 for 29 months for two offences of blackmail. The latest offences were committed on licence after his release.

Rose, representing himself, mumbled from the dock through the prosecution opening of the case.

Hartlepool, County Durham: Thomas Wade

#TheList Thomas Andrew Wade, born 02/03/1993, previously of Mellor Street, Stockton-on-Tees, but as of September 2020 living in an NHS care facility in Park Avenue, Hartlepool TS26 0DZ – subjected his pet cat to prolonged torture which included putting her into a hot oven and flushing her down the toilet

Thomas Wade pictured outside court
Thomas Wade aka ‘Evil Tom’

Wade claimed in court he heard voices from a WWE wrestler named Kane before launching the attack on the cat, known as Sweetie. During her ordeal, which came after she apparently “disobeyed” her twisted owner, Sweetie was put in a hot oven, flushed in a toilet, strangled with a TV cord and thrown against walls.

Wade then made disturbing voice recordings of himself where he spoke in detail about carrying out the horrific abuse and proclaimed: “No one can be more evil than myself.”

Despite the sickening cruelty, Sweetie miraculously survived the ordeal, but was hospitalised with severe third degree burns.

Wade pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to an animal during his appearance at Teesside Magistrates’ Court.

Stuart Haywood, prosecuting, said loner Wade, who has learning difficulties and autism, received Sweetie as a gift from his sister as she thought it would be “good for him”.

The tabby was then given to Wade for a three week trial before possible adoption.

But on October 8, 2019, Wade went to his sister’s home and told her the cat “was not wanted anymore”.

Thomas Wade pictured outside court

Mr Haywood said his sister then went to Wade’s home where she “smelled a strong smell of burning”.

“The defendant was sitting on a settee and the cat was wet and breathing rapidly, he refused to say why,” he said.

He added that fur was then found in Wade’s oven. After more questions, Wade finally admitted what he had done, saying that it “felt good”.

His sister immediately notified the RSPCA and Sweetie was taken to a vet where she was found to be in a “terrible condition”.

She had sustained skin damage and “significant” third degree burns before being hospitalised.

The police soon became involved and Wade was arrested.

Rambling voice recordings were later discovered of Wade speaking about the abuse.

In the recordings, one of which was eight minutes long, he spoke in detail about attacking Sweetie.

In one sinister recording he said, “No one can be more evil than myself” and said he wanted to “rip out its tongue” after seeing her struggle while being “choke slammed”.

In another he referred to himself as “evil Tom”.

In police interview, Wade said he “threw her against four walls” and said he carried out the violence in part because he claimed he heard voice in his head from the WWE wrestling character, Kane, in his head.

Wade was also remorseless, telling officers “she had not suffered enough”.

He said he put the terrified cat in the oven “on high for five minutes” after throwing her against a wall and said he became infuriated at Sweetie for “disobeying” his orders for her not to go under his bed. The court heard that Wade had “no mental health” issues, but did have learning difficulties.

Matthew Agar, defending, said the incident was “shocking”, and said he “did not want to minimise” the offence.

He said it was his view Wade’s learning disability was a “contributing factor” and that he had serious concerns for him.

Mr Agar added that Wade was now aware of the severity of the offence and that he felt Wade had something like a “split-personality”.

He said that Wade had moved to Teesside from Grimsby and would “go weeks” without any other contact with people.

Sentencing Wade, district judge, Helen Cousins called him an “extremely dangerous man” and that she would liked to have “put him in prison for as long as I could”.

Sentencing: 18-week prison sentence, suspended for two years. Six months of mental health treatment. 30 rehabilitation activity days and 18-week hospital curfew. £440 costs. Banned from keeping pets for 10 years (expires 2030).

GazetteLive

Ribbleton, Preston: Steven Klein, Melanie Harding, Kelly Oldham

#TheList Steven Klein, born c. 1969, his partner Melanie Harding, born 20/01/1972, and their lodger Kelly Marie Oldham, born c. 1999, all of Rowan Avenue, Ribbleton, Preston PR2 6QE – charges relating to the physical and mental abuse of four dogs

Steven Klein social media photo
Steven Klein

Staffies Trinity, Harley, Quinn and Petrol were heard yelping by a neighbour as Steven Klein hit, kicked and threw things at them.

Preston Magistrates’ Court heard a witness’s flat overlooks a communal area where Klein, who owns Harley, his girlfriend Melanie Harding – owner of Trinity and Quinn – and their lodger Kelly Oldham, Petrol’s owner, keep their dogs.

The neighbour reported she had seen and filmed Klein losing his temper, shouting and swearing at the dogs and being physically abusive on an “almost daily basis” and reported it to Gateway Housing, which in turn reported it to the RSPCA.

Mel Harding and Kelly Oldham
Mel Harding and Kelly Oldham

RSPCA prosecutor Paul Ridehalgh said: “The case involves potentially painful and frightening handling and control methods employed by Stephen Klein which were known and observed by Melanie Harding and Kelly Oldham and they failed to protect their dogs from Stephen Klein.

“She has observed the dogs cry out after being hurt and they appear scared of Mr Klein. She has provided CCTV video of the communal area showing various incidents that have occurred and this video corroborates her written description of the incidents.”

One of the four dogs physically abused by Steven Klein
One of the four dogs physically abused by Steven Klein

Videos show Klein kicking a lighter coloured dog, who ran away lame in the right hind leg, holding another dog down and forcibly slapping her, and swiping at a dog with the broom, hitting his head.

Further video evidence shows Klein pick up a ball and throw it forcefully at a dog, into his side, as he tries to run past.

In May 2019 the dogs were seized and the three defendants interviewed.

One of the four dogs physically abused by Steven Klein

In interview Klein claimed that he would use a stick to “control” the dogs and after being shown the video clips he claimed that he was “just playing” with the dogs.

He denied failing to ensure their needs were met by failing to protect them from suffering but was found guilty after a trial.

Sentencing:
Klein: ordered to pay a total of £570 in fines, costs and charges. Banned from keeping animals for six years (expires August 2026).
Harding and Oldham, who were described in court as ‘vulnerable’ were ordered to pay £300 costs. They were banned from keeping animals for four years (expires August 2024).

Lancashire Post

Shirley, Solihull: Samuel Johnson

#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

Violent thug Samuel Johnson booted Staffy Rosie repeatedly as she desperately tried to protect her owner from a vicious drug and alcohol-fuelled attack
Violent thug Samuel Johnson booted Staffy Rosie repeatedly as she desperately tried to protect her owner from a vicious drug and alcohol-fuelled attack

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.

Serial domestic abuser Sam Johnson also attacked a dog, who later had to be put down
Serial domestic abuser Sam Johnson also attacked a dog, who later had to be put down

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.

Birmingham Mail

Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire: Paul Whitehead

#TheList Paul Whitehead, born c. 1972, of Ravendale Street South, Scunthorpe – failed to get veterinary attention for his desperately ill dog

Paul Whitehead

Eight-year-old Yorkie/poodle cross Tootsie was so poorly that vets felt they would need to put her to sleep as soon as RSPCA officers brought her to them in March 2019.

Her owner, Paul Whitehead, admitted causing pain or suffering to the animal by not ensuring veterinary attention.

Rachel Taylor, prosecuting, told the court that Whitehead’s former partner alerted the RSPCA when she saw Tootsie.

Neglected dog Tootsie

RSPCA inspector Kate Burris took the dog to a vet, where it was found that her weight had gone from 7.6kg to 3.9kg.

The vet recommended the dog should be put down because she was so unwell. She had been suffering for months from a disease which prevented enzymes from digesting food.

Tootsie was excreting blood but Whitehead had not got proper treatment for the animal, even though he had tried feeding her.

Tootsie died three days after being taken to a vet and had suffered significant pain.

Paul Whitehead

The RSPCA began an investigation and interviewed Whitehead. Vets who had previously cared for Tootsie said they remembered her being a “chunky” dog.

Inspectors also checked the owner’s two other dogs but they were found to be in reasonable health.

It was revealed in court the owner suffered from multiple sclerosis and had bi-polar disorder.

A report by a probation officer revealed he had been targeted by vandals who branded him a “paedo” and smashed his windows.

The report said: “He admits he did not give enough attention to the dog and he is sorry. Dogs are his life.”

For Whitehead, Peter Cruickshank said: “Mr Whitehead loves his dogs. He had loved his dog for six years. It suffered from a pancreatic disease.

“This is not a case of deliberate neglect or suffering. He accepts he did not do enough. He wishes he had done more.

“He is sorry and misses Tootsie.”

He added that Whitehead had broken up with his partner and his life was in “emotional turmoil.”

Whitehead had owned dogs for 20 years previously.

Mr Cruickshank said: “He gave well-intentioned but incompetent treatment. It is an isolated incident. He is at a low risk of harm and has a long history of happy dog ownership.

“It is a sad case. He was overwhelmed by his condition.”

Whitehead was allowed to keep his other dogs Chester and Ziggy because there was no evidence that they were being neglected.

Magistrates also said there was insufficient evidence to prevent Whitehead from looking after dogs in the future.

Sentencing: 12-month community supervision order with a 12-week curfew. Ordered to pay costs of £500.

GrimsbyLive

Cranage, Cheshire: Ian McGrath

#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

Cheshire dairy farmer Ian McGrath neglected cattle and left the bodies of those that died to rot
Dairy farmer Ian McGrath neglected cattle and left the bodies of those that died to rot

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.

Dairy farmer Ian McGrath neglected cattle and left the bodies of those that died to rot

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.

BBC News

Additional info: until June 2018 Ian McGrath was a director of badger cull company Environment Clear Ltd.

Dairy farmer Ian McGrath neglected cattle and left the bodies of those that died to rot.
McGrath is caught on camera by badger welfare campaigners setting a cage trap near an active badger sett

In 2017 McGrath, who is also said to be a keen bloodsports enthusiast and supporter of the Cheshire Hunt, was caught on camera setting a cage trap near an active badger sett.

McGrath is said to be an expert on the spread of bovine tuberculosis and was a member of DEFRA’s ‘eradication’ team.

In 2015 he featured on a video released by the National Farmers Union on the subject of bovine TB.

Gateshead, Tyne and Wear: Amy Rutherford

#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

Amy Rutherford, who was banned from keeping animals indefinitely after abandoning two cats in a freezing property for six weeks
Amy Rutherford was banned from keeping animals indefinitely after abandoning two cats in a freezing property for six weeks

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.

Abandoned cat Lucy was so thin her collar had slipped from her neck onto her hips
Abandoned cat Lucy was so thin her collar had slipped from her neck onto her hips

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 abandoned by her heartless owner Amy Rutherford
Lola, who was abandoned by her heartless owner Amy Rutherford

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.

Chronicle Live

Wherstead, Ipswich: Niall Martin

#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

Pictured is Niall Martin from Ipswich, UK, who attacked a police dog

Police were called after a row broke out between Niall Martin and his partner in Colchester and officers attended along with police dog, Ivy.

Pictured is the police dog attacked by Niall Martin
The police dog, Ivy, has since been retired

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.

Pictured is Niall Martin from Ipswich, UK, who attacked a police dog

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.”

Pictured is Niall Martin from Ipswich, UK, who attacked a police dog

In October 2014, Martin has jailed for nine months for his part in an assault on a deaf-blind man and his brother.

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.

Daily Gazette

Spondon, Derby: Hayley Langton and Derek Yeomans

#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

An Akita suffered 'unimaginable pain' for months at the hands of Hayley Langton and Derek Yeomans of Spondon in Derby - pictured here outside court
Convicted animal abusers Hayley Langton and Derek Yeomans are now banned from keeping dogs indefinitely

Hayley Langton and Derek Yeomans pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to the dog, known as Keeta, between August and September 2019.

An Akita suffered 'unimaginable pain' for months at the hands of Hayley Langton and Derek Yeomans of Spondon in Derby
Keeta had a severe skin condition and ear and eye problems. She hadn’t been taken to the vet for six years.

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.

An Akita suffered 'unimaginable pain' for months at the hands of Hayley Langton and Derek Yeomans of Spondon in Derby. Pictured is Langton

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.

An Akita suffered 'unimaginable pain' for months at the hands of Hayley Langton and Derek Yeomans of Spondon in Derby. Pictured is Langton

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.

Derbyshire Live

Jarrow, Tyne and Wear: Mark Simpson

#TheList Mark William Simpson, born 1968, of Westfield, Jarrow NE32 4QW – left his pet dog to suffer with atrocious skin disease and irreversible eye damage

Mark Simpson from Jarrow failed to  treat his pet dog's health problems and is now banned from keeping animals for 10 years
Mark Simpson from Jarrow failed to treat his pet dog’s health problems and is now banned from keeping animals for 10 years

Simpson was in charge of a King Charles spaniel-type dog named Angel, who was found with a number of health problems.

The RSPCA said the animal was missing fur, was weak and had eye and ear disease when she was discovered at Simpson’s Jarrow home in July 2017.

Simpson pleaded guilty to four offences of causing unnecessary suffering to Angel and failing to ensure the animal’s welfare.

King Charles-type spaniel Angel was suffering from a number of painful conditions
King Charles-type spaniel Angel was suffering from a number of painful conditions

RSPCA prosecutor Stewart Haywood told the court that an inspector visited the defendant’s home and saw the pet covered with a blanket.

“The dog’s eyes were filled with pus, it had missing fur, the skin was reddish and it had very long nails,” said Mr Haywood.

“The defendant said she had been attacked by a Rottweiler some weeks ago and had been taken to a vet.”

After a veterinary examination, it was found Angel was “extremely weak”, had reduced vision and “permanent irreversible damage” to her eyes.

Her ear canals had thick and yellow discharge, and the skin was described as being in “an appalling condition”.

The RSPCA went on to provide treatment and the pet is now doing well, the court heard.

Mr Haywood added: “The suffering had taken place for at least one month.”

Animal abuser Mark Simpson from Jarrow

He said Simpson had made appointments to see a vet in January and March 2019 for Angel’s skin and eye problems but had not turned up.

“There’s high level of suffering in this case,” added Mr Haywood. “There is prolonged neglect here.”

Annalisa Moscardini, defending, told the court her client had learning difficulties.

Sentencing: 12-month community order; ordered to pay £385; banned from owning animals for 10 years.

Chronicle Live
Shields Gazette