Tag Archives: mental health or learning difficulties defence

Trimsaran, Carmarthenshire: Daniel Williams

#TheList Daniel Ashleigh Williams, born c. 1989, of Garden Suburbs, Trimsaran, Wales SA17 – threw a pet dog 30 feet out of a window, causing him to suffer serious leg and hip injuries.

Smirking dog abuser Daniel Ashleigh Williams of Trimsaran in Wales

Williams threw four-year-old chihuahua/Jack Russell crossbreed Dobbie out of a two-storey high window after breaking into his owner’s flat. The tiny dog fell 30 feet onto the ground below and suffered injuries to his legs and hip.

Smirking dog abuser Daniel Ashleigh Williams of Trimsaran in Wales and victim Dobbie
Evil Daniel Williams and his victim, little Dobbie who is still recovering from serious leg and hip injuries

Williams pleaded guilty to causing criminal damage and a further count of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal.

A victim impact statement was read out in court on behalf of Dobbie’s owner Jordanna Davies, which revealed that since the incident, Dobbie had been taken to the vets for an operation on his leg and hip.

Ms Davies had paid immediate emergency vet fees amassing £2,222.21, and was told if she could not raise the funds required, Dobbie would have to be put to sleep.

Dobbie is still to undergo further leg surgery which will cost £3,000, and a hip operation. Until then, he is currently in plaster.

“It caused me great stress and anxiety,” the statement read.

“I don’t feel safe living there anymore after knowing he was able to smash the window and get in. I was settled before the incident took place. I had to live with my window boarded up for a while.

“Dobbie is a small, defenceless pup who would not hurt anyone.”

Williams’ lawyer, Rebecca Carter told the court that her client had “substantial mental health difficulties and suffers from borderline personality disorder, depression and anxiety.”

Sentencing: Jailed for 18 weeks and ordered to pay £1,587.61 compensation to Dobbie’s owner. Banned from keeping animals for two years 

thewave.co.uk

Stanley, County Durham: Natasha Brown

#TheList Natasha J Brown, born 03/11/1993, of 6 Lumsden Terrace, Stanley DH9 8EQ – killed a dog by punching her four times to the head

Dog killer Natasha Brown from Stanley, Co Durham, UK

The court heard how Brown, accompanied by her female terrier dog, had met up with her ex-partner to discuss the return of some items and the pair had gone to the home of her great uncle in Washington.

Oriana Frame, prosecuting, said everything was fine at first, but after Brown had consumed lager and a bottle of wine, she tried to kiss and cuddle her ex, who said no and asked her to leave.

However, she wouldn’t and the situation escalated with Brown becoming aggressive.

Reading from a statement by Brown’s former partner, Ms Frame said they were in the sitting room trying to calm her down and Brown was threatening to smash the great uncle’s phone if he called the police.

The statement went on: “Her dog was sitting on the sofa, she picked up her dog and punched it four times to the head with force. It was screaming. It went limp and lifeless.”

She said Brown then grabbed her ex by the throat and hit her head against the wall. She also bit her finger.

The statement said: “I was trying to comfort the dog and [my great uncle] was telling her to get out and she clenched her fist and told said ‘shut up or I will hit you as well’. Natasha pushed him in the chest causing him to fall back.”

Dog killer Natasha Brown from Stanley, Co Durham, UK

Ms Frame said Brown’s former partner managed to phone the police and when they arrived the dog appeared to be having a fit and was shaking uncontrollably. She was taken to the PDSA where vets said she had a bleed on her brain and an injured leg and they couldn’t save her.

Ms Frame said Brown told police: “I punched the dog because I couldn’t punch my ex – I’m sorry I didn’t mean to hurt her.”

In his statement, the elderly man said at 82-years-old he couldn’t stop the defendant and was frightened at what she would do next, during the incident on October 1, 2019.

Brown, who has a history of violence and previous convictions for robbery and harassment, said: “I hate myself more than anybody else could.”

Angus Westgarth, defending, said: “I have no doubts at all that there is very, very deep regret. She is still torturing herself about what she did.”

He said she takes medication for mental health problems.

Brown admitted two charges of assault and one of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal.

Sentencing: 24-week jail sentence, suspended for 24 months; two-year restraining order. She was ordered to pay costs and charges totalling £207.

Sunderland Echo
Metro
Daily Mail

Warrington, Cheshire: Yvonne Mairs

#TheList Yvonne Mairs, born 04/12/1967, of Sinclair Avenue, Orford, Warrington WA2 9QY – failed to take her desperately ill dog to the vet for treatment

Dog abuser Yvonne Mairs from Warrington, UK
Yvonne Mairs is banned from keeping animals for life

Mairs’ dog, known as Sasha, was found with discharge and blood dripping from her ears and many missing and loose teeth.

Anna McDonald, prosecuting, said on June 4, 2019, Mairs rang the RSPCA saying her dog was ill.

Inspectors arrived at her home and were shown Sasha who was quiet, lethargic, underweight and had infections.

Ms McDonald explained that as well as a chronic ear infection and dental disease, Sasha’s skin was scabbed over and there was a strong smell coming from her infection sites.

The court was told that upon inspection by a vet, Sasha was clearly in pain and would yelp when the vet tried to touch her face.

Sasha was euthanised, as the vet deemed surgery would have been too much for her and carried too many risks.

Ms McDonald said the dog would have been suffering for a minimum of six weeks but possibly many months, although Mairs said she only noticed the extent of Sasha’s illnesses the week before calling the RSPCA.

The court heard how, due to suffering from anxiety, Mairs struggled leaving the house and did not have a way to transport the dog to a vet, but she had been trying to clean Sasha’s head with a cloth.

Mairs’ lawyer told the court her client had owned the dog for her whole life and there was no suggestion to say that she had been neglected before.

Sentencing: 12-week prison sentence suspended for 12 months. Banned from keeping all animals for life.

Warrington Guardian

Dronfield, North-East Derbyshire: Sansha and Peter Lamb

#TheList puppy farmers Sansha Niomi Lamb, born 08/05/1980, of 1 Draycott Place, Dronfield Woodhouse, Dronfield S18 8RY, and her father Peter Lamb, born 26/10/1949, of 72 Ashford Road, Dronfield Woodhouse, Dronfield S18 8RT

Sansha Lamb (pictured) and her father Peter Lamb kept 24 starving dogs in filthy conditions on their puppy farm.

Sansha Lamb admitted 12 offences and her father Peter Lamb admitted 11 offences relating to the dogs at Unstone House, on Whittington Lane, at Unstone, near Dronfield S18 4DQ.

Conditions inside the puppy farm owned by Sansha and Peter Lamb from Dronfield, UK

Prosecuting solicitor Deborah Cartwright said the puppy farm was raided by animal health officers from NE Derbyshire District Council on January 9, 2019, with RSPCA officers and a vet after complaints had been received about concerns for the animals and officers had visited the site.

District Judge Jonathan Taaffe said: “It’s frankly – in the 30 years I have been involved in criminal law – one of the worst cases I have come across in terms of systematic neglect, selfish behaviour and the abuse of animals for commercial gain.

“It is clear to me that the problems in the period of January 2 to 9 covered by the charges were not isolated to that period of time.

“It’s also clear to me that Miss Lamb and to a lesser extent Peter Lamb should not have had anything to do with the breeding or keeping of animals.”

He added: “The fact that what was revealed on January 9 when the council, a vet and others went into the premises of Unstone House was frankly a horror story.”

Conditions inside the puppy farm owned by Sansha and Peter Lamb from Dronfield, UK

Ms Cartwright, prosecuting for the council, added that officers found kennel floors and walls covered in excrement and a yard was filthy with faecal contamination and dogs were found with faeces matted into their fur. She told the court the final kennel in one block had the worst conditions.

Ms Cartwright said: “The final one represents the worst conditions and consisted of an enclosed room with doors and windows shut with no ventilation and the heating was left on and as officers entered they were hit by an overwhelming smell of ammonia along with dog faeces covering the whole floor.

“The concentration was such it made the vet gag and it made her eyes burn and she was unable to remain in the room at all until the windows and the doors were open for minutes.”

Ms Cartwright added: “One of the officers was observed outside the room retching badly and he was unable to go in. The dogs inside that room would have experienced the same reaction to the ammonia.”
Investigators also found a whelping box in the house, where both defendants lived at the time, with a pug bitch and two puppies and their pen was covered in faeces and there was no food or water, according to Ms Cartwright.

She added that a further deformed dog approached officers in the hall which was covered in faeces and stank of ammonia.

Ms Cartwright said that officers also found a decomposing pug-type bitch in a dog basket covered in newspaper which had been dead for some time.

Officers discovered 25 mistreated dogs including the deceased pug, German Shepherds, a Dalmatian, Bulldogs, pugs, a Cockapoo, a Cocker Spaniels and puppies.

Many were emaciated or lean, according to Ms Cartwright, covered in faeces and urine, riddled with lice, skin lesions, infections and parasites and some were lame and injured and traumatised by their mistreatment.

Ms Cartwright said Sansha Lamb had been the holder of a licence to breed puppies and she had ignored warnings after visits to the site and she was sent a letter stating her licence had expired.

She told investigators she had mental health issues and she was not aware of the suffering or conditions the animals were experiencing.

Peter Lamb admitted responsibility for the care of the animals.

Ms Cartwright said: “Miss Lamb ignored previous advice and warnings regarding the treatment of the animals and she allowed a person with insufficient experience or training to have care of the animals.”

Sansha Lamb and Peter Lamb both pleaded guilty to nine counts of failing to ensure the welfare needs of dogs and to a further two counts each of causing unnecessary suffering to dogs between January 2 and January 9, 2019.

Sansha Lamb also pleaded guilty to breeding dogs without a licence between July, 2018, and January, 2019.

Defence solicitor David Gittins mother-of-seven Sansha Lamb is of previous good character and has been a dog breeder for several years without any previous problems but she had suffered from the breakdown of a difficult relationship and she started using cocaine.

He added that while she had recently been pregnant she struggled with her mental health and she had asked others to assist with the dogs.

Defence solicitor Martin Pizzey said retired parks authority worker Peter Lamb had no commercial interest and he became involved as problems emerged and he was trying to help his daughter.

Sentencing:
Sansha Lamb was given 16 weeks of custody suspended for two years with a 16-week curfew. She was ordered to pay £1,000 costs and a £115 victim surcharge.
Peter Lamb was sentenced to a 12-month community order with a 12-week curfew and Rehabilitation Activity Requirement. He was also ordered to pay £1,000 costs and an £85 victim surcharge.

Sansha Lamb was also banned from keeping animals for life and Peter Lamb was banned from keeping dogs for five years.

The Star

Newbold, Chesterfield: James Drury

#TheList James Drury, born 31/07/1994 of 5 Coniston Way, Chesterfield S41 8JF – for allowing his pet dog to starve almost to death

Animal abuser James Drury of Chesterfield, UK

Nine-year-old Staffordshire bull terrier Dibbley was said to be just one day from death when he was discovered in a bedroom in James Drury’s stinking property. The dog was so thin that every bone in his body was visible through his fur.

James Drury of Chesterfield left his pet dog Dibbley to starve

The RSPCA attended the property after being alerted by police concerned for the dog’s welfare.

As RSPCA Inspector Dave McAdam entered the property he was confronted with the smell of faeces and urine.

In the bedroom of the property, he found Dibbley in a severely emaciated state. Inspector McAdam said: This was amongst the most emaciated dogs I have ever seen that was still alive.

“The dog was so weak he had trouble walking due to the loss of muscle mass, with experience of nearly thirty years as an RSPCA inspector I knew this dog was close to death.

“There was again a large amount of faeces on the bedroom floor where the dog was being kept. Within the bedroom I did see a small amount of water in a steel bowl provided for the dog, but no food.”

Inspector McAdam had to carry the dog, estimated to be around nine years old, from the property and took him to a vet for treatment.

In a witness statement the vet who assessed Dibbley described him as “a walking skeleton”.

He said: “Every major bone in this dog’s body was clearly prominent and evident, he was literally a walking skeleton. This was amongst the worst cases of emaciation I have ever seen, this dog was no more than a day or so away from death. “

At the time of his rescue Dibbley weighed 8.9kgs but was put on a specialist diet and within six weeks he weighed 20.35 kgs.

Animal abuser James Drury of Chesterfield, UK

In mitigation the court was told that Drury was suffering from stress at the time and financial hardship.

Dibbley is currently in RSPCA care and he will be re-homed soon.

Sentencing: 18-month community order with 19-day “thinking skills” programme and a 12-day rehabilitation requirement. Ordered to pay a total of £685 fine, costs and charges. Banned from keeping animals for 10 years.

Derbyshire Times

Wishaw, North Lanarkshire: Gale Maitland

#TheList Gale Elizabeth Maitland, born 15/02/1967 of Carbarns West, Wishaw ML2 0DE – kept cats and a dog in fly- and faeces-infested conditions

Convicted animal abuser Gale Maitland kept animals in horrific conditions in her filthy home
Maitland is now banned from keeping dogs for life

Following a tip-off from a concerned postal worker, Scottish SPCA inspectors attended Gale Maitland’s home and were confronted with a scene of horror, with five cats and a dog living in the foulest of conditions.

Maitland admitted two charges of failing to admit the needs of the animals.

Depute fiscal Abby Seal said: “In March police received an anonymous call from a Royal Mail worker who had attended at the locus during her shift and noticed the door lying ajar.

“The caller believed the house had been trashed and wanted to make a report because the house was in a state of disarray and she could see a dog in a cage in a distressed state.

“The house was in an extremely unsanitary state and in complete disarray and there was an overpowering, pungent smell of urine being intensified by the central heating.

“Inspectors from the SPCA found the hall and stairway full of clothing, bin bags, rubbish and half-eaten takeaway boxes.

“Several cats were seen eating mouldy food from takeaway boxes.

“Throughout the property there was animal faeces and urine on the furniture.

“In the kitchen there was a tan crossbreed dog in a crate on the floor which was in a distressed state and the crate was described as being in a horrendous state and totally unsuitable for a dog to caged within it.

“The crate had a deep build-up of faeces and food which was several inches high.

“A downstairs toilet was being used as a large waste area with bin bags stacked on top of each other 6ft high.

“There was an overpowering smell of ammonia coming from three cat litter trays and it was described by inspectors as the worst litter trays they had seen.

“The master bedroom was in a similar state to the rest of the house and a small cat was observed eating from a partially eaten pizza box.

“Photographs were taken of each animal and they were taken to the Lanarkshire rehoming centre.”

Kauser Iqbal, defending, said: “There was no deliberate intent on her part relating to these offences.

“She was under an extreme amount of stress with the health of her father and long hours that she was working.

“The wake up call for her was when the animals were taken away by officers from the SPCA.

“She has taken significant steps in the property and has replaced every item of furniture and carpet inside.

“This wasn’t a deliberate or planned course of action and she has been extremely stressed over these proceedings.”

Two of the cats known as ‘Chance’ and ‘Loki’ will be returned to Maitland but the other three will be re-homed along with the dog.

Sentencing: 240 hours of unpaid work. Banned from keeping dogs for life.

The Sun

Kenilworth, Warwickshire: Tiffany Guest

#TheList Tiffany Guest, born 25/12/1989, previously of Winn Close in Kenilworth, Warwickshire and with links to Washbourne Road, Leamington Spa CV31 2LD – left her pets to starve to death after she moved out of her flat and locked them inside.

Tiffany Guest from Kenilworth left two cats and a dog to starve to death in an empty flat. Only the dog survived.
Tiffany Guest from Kenilworth left two cats and a dog to starve to death in an empty flat. Only the dog survived.

Guest cruelly abandoned her cats Reggie and Ronnie and dog Kray in a property before concerned neighbours alerted police 10 days later.

Tiffany Guest from Kenilworth left two cats and a dog to starve to death in an empty flat. Only the dog survived.
The dog, Kray, survived by eating the remains of a cat that had starved to death

Officers forced entry into the flat in Kenilworth, Warwickshire, and discovered the emaciated Staffordshire bull terrier-type dog and the body of a starved cat on May 30, 2017.

Shockingly, a court heard how Kray had only survived by eating Ronnie after running out of contents scavenged from the bin.

The RSPCA were alerted and took Kray into care for treatment while an investigation was launched.

Tiffany Guest from Kenilworth left two cats and a dog to starve to death in an empty flat. Only the dog survived.

Guest was traced to near her work, which was only a mile away from the flat where she abandoned the pets.

But she left the country in a bid to evade justice after being told she faced animal welfare offences and was later traced to Malta.

Guest returned to the UK 13 months ago and was arrested by border control for the outstanding warrant.

She was brought before magistrates in relation to the animal cruelty charges and was bailed to re-appear at another date – but again fled to Malta.

Tiffany Guest from Kenilworth left two cats and a dog to starve to death in an empty flat. Only the dog survived.
Horrific conditions inside the flat where Tiffany Guest left her pets to starve to death

On October 10, 2019, Guest was again arrested after she re-entered the country and was remanded in custody until her case at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court.

Pictures released by the RSPCA show the emaciated body of poor pooch Kray and the remains of Reggie strewn across the untidy flat.

Other heartbreaking images show how the animals had trawled leftover food from the bin in a desperate bid to survive.

Tiffany Guest from Kenilworth left two cats and a dog to starve to death in an empty flat. Only the dog survived.
The dog, who is now known as Bobby, has recovered in the RSPCA’s care

RSPCA Inspector Boris Lasserre said after the case: “It is incomprehensible to think the suffering these pets must have endured and how terrified they must have been for such a long period of time before the cats died of starvation.

“It must have been terrible for Kray to watch as the cats died in front of him.

“There was evidence the pets had scavenged to try and feed themselves as the bin contents were all over the kitchen floor.

“Just 14 days later, by being fed properly in RSPCA care he made an amazing recovery with a significant increase in weight.

“Warwickshire Police officers did an amazing job in finding Kray, who they renamed Bobby, just in time as he would not have survived much longer.

“He is a lovely gentle dog and made a remarkable recovery in RSPCA care and has now been re-homed.”

In mitigation, the court was told she suffered from depression at the time of the incident.

Sentencing: 18 weeks in jail. Ordered to pay £372 costs and charges. Banned from keeping all animals for 15 years.

Mirror

St Helens, Merseyside: Sean Wisbey

#TheList Sean D Wisbey, born 25/05/1968, of no fixed address but with links to St Helens and Prenton in Birkenhead – attacked and killed partner’s dogs ‘to get back at her’

Dog killer Sean Wisbey from Merseyside, UK

Sean Wisbey callously killed his partner’s Yorkshire Terrier and injured another so badly she had to be put to sleep.

His cruelty came to light when his on-off partner, with whom he had had a row, returned home and was horrified to find what he had done to her beloved pets.

One of the two dogs attacked by Sean Wisbey of Merseyside, UK
One of the two dogs attacked and killed by Sean Wisbey

After finding seven-year-old Rosie dead, the heart-broken victim, Brenda Prescott, eventually found the other dog, Tricker, hiding under a pile of laundry.

She desperately tried to keep her alive but the animal later had to be euthanised by a vet.

Wisbey pleaded guilty to two offences of destroying property, namely the dogs.

Dog killer Sean Wisbey from Merseyside, UK

Judge Rachel Smith said that he had done it to get back at Ms Prescott, and had carried out two acts of extreme violence intended to shock and hurt her.

Ember Wong, prosecuting, told the court that the couple had had an on-off relationship over the years.

A few days before the offences they rowed and he threatened to cut her dogs’ throats, a threat he had also made previously. She left and when she returned he had gone.

He called at her St Helens home on April 11, 2019, and she allowed him in to have a shower and change his clothes and she went out shortly before 6 pm.

Dog killer Sean Wisbey from Merseyside, UK

When she returned about three hours later she saw the curtains were shut and the dogs were not barking.

Miss Wong said: “She got in and shouted their names but there was no answer. She looked around but could not find them and asked a neighbour to help her look for them.

“In the lounge she lifted up some curtains and a blanket on the floor and found Rosie lying lifeless and covered in blood.

“One of her back legs was facing the wrong way and she knew she was dead.”

Ms Prescott eventually found Tricker hiding under some laundry upstairs and for the next few days looked after her by feeding her by hand and giving her water from a spoon.

She eventually took her to the RSPCA where she was examined and found to have a broken pelvis. The distraught owner agreed she should be put to sleep to end her suffering.

Post-mortem examinations revealed that Rosie’s injuries included multiple skull fractures caused by blunt force trauma and a lacerated liver. Her skull injuries are believed to have been caused by pressure being applied on both sides of her head.

Two-year-old Tricker was also found to have suffered blunt force trauma and had various bruises and abrasions to her body and legs and a number of fractures to her pelvis.

Career criminal Sean Wisbey has some distinctive tattoos

Wisbey was arrested on the night of the incident after Ms Prescott called the police after finding Rosie. He was found near the house and said, “What are you on about?”.

Miss Wong said that he was handcuffed and taken to a police car but tried to smash a window in the vehicle with the cuffs, having to be taken to the floor and restrained until back-up arrived. When interviewed he made no comment.

Dog killer Sean Wisbey from Merseyside, UK

Claire Jones, defending, said Wisbey, who has committed 78 previous offences, mainly for dishonesty, had taken a cocktail of drink and drugs and had not taken his prescribed medication for his mental health problems at the time of the offences.

Sentencing: jailed for two years; five-year restraining order

BBC News
Liverpool Echo

Draycott, Derby: Laura Butt and Timothy Wood

#TheList Laura Emily Butt (aka Laura Welch), born 23/03/1986 and Timothy Wood, born 27/05/1966 both of Derby Road, Draycott, Derby DE72 3NJ – left their dogs to starve for months and refused to take them to the vet

Convicted dog abusers Laura Butt and Timothy Wood from Draycott in Derby
Convicted dog abusers Laura Butt and Timothy Wood from Draycott in Derby

Butt and Wood fed their four dogs scraps from takeaway meals and left them to fight at their home in Draycott, Derby.

Dogs neglected by Laura Butt and Timothy Wood from Draycott in Derby

The charges related to a six-year-old Akita-type dog named Bear, and 14-year-old German Shepherd Molly. Another of the dogs, Roxy, seven, was underweight.

Dogs neglected by Laura Butt and Timothy Wood from Draycott in Derby

RSPCA inspectors found the animals with protruding bones and ‘deep scratches’ but the couple refused to take them to the vets, claiming they were ‘too busy’.

Butt and Wood pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal at Southern Derbyshire Magistrates’ Court.

Butt, who is said to have bipolar disorder, adult ADHD and nervous anxiety, sobbed throughout the hearing.

RSPCA officer Helen Mead visited the property numerous times between December 2018 and May 2019.

Dogs neglected by Laura Butt and Timothy Wood from Draycott in Derby

Prosecutor Richard Purchase said: ‘There was a worry at that time that two dogs were underweight. Molly, 14, was thin and Roxy, seven, was underweight. Advice was given that the dogs needed cooked pasta into their dog food and should be taken to the vets.’

By March the dogs had not been taken to the vets because Wood said they were ‘very busy’.

Dogs neglected by Laura Butt and Timothy Wood from Draycott in Derby
Image shows Rio in the condition he was in when rescued (left) and following his recovery

The RSPCA inspector attended their home twice that month but could not gain access.

In May 2019, a police officer attended the property with Ms Mead who had ‘concerns regarding the state of two dogs’. Bear was found lethargic with protruding hip bones and another dog in the home was ‘grumbling’ and ‘had scabs’.

Mr Purchase said: ‘The fear was that it had a fight with one of the other dogs. The scratches were deep and the dog had not had any treatment.

‘Mr Wood said the dogs were fed a lot of food. Ms Mead asked there was any dog food but Mr Wood said no.

‘The concern was that the dogs were not being fed on dog food but scrap food from the local takeaway. It would appear the dogs were so thin because of their diet. All four dogs were seized.’

Wood owned three of the dogs while Butt owned Bear. All four dogs are still with the RSPCA.

Defending Wood, Mark Moore said the couple have become ‘village pariahs’ in Draycott and even the local shop won’t serve them.

The Chair of the Bench said: ‘These cases are always difficult. That said, whilst we fully respect how the RSPCA brought this case, we and they will have seen much worse cases.

‘That is not to minimise the distress you have caused these four dogs. You were incompetent in the care you provided. We also impose a deprivation order for the four dogs.’

Sentencing: total fines, costs and charges of £1,300. Disqualified from keeping any dogs for the next three years (expires October 2022).

Derby Telegraph
Daily Mail

Uttoxeter, Staffordshire: Stephen Croxall

#TheList farmer Stephen J Croxall, born 03/12/1968, of 2 Whitehall Close, Kingstone, Uttoxeter ST14 8RN – left livestock to die in a frozen field

Cruel Stephen Croxall left cows and sheep to starve in miserable conditions on his Uttoxeter farm
Cruel Stephen Croxall left cows and sheep to starve in miserable conditions on his Uttoxeter farm

In a case brought by Staffordshire County Council, Stephen Croxall pleaded guilty to 14 charges of breaching the Animal Welfare Act.

The offences happened in Croxall’s field, in Blithbury Road, Hamstall Ridware, Rugeley.

Charges ranged from causing unnecessary suffering to sheep, lambs and cattle to failing to record the administration of medicines.

When animal health officers visited the farm on January 31, 2018, they found the animals starving and freezing to death.

Cruel Stephen Croxall left cows and sheep to starve in miserable conditions on his Uttoxeter farm

One lamb was hypothermic and another dead under a fallen gate. A young calf was also found very vocal and thin, indicating it had not been fed or watered. Several other animals had to be put down.

Croxall told the court he was tired from his full-time job as a wood cutter and that vets were too expensive.

Lucy Daniels, prosecuting for the council, said: “It was -3C at 11am. The land was described as white and frozen.

“Officers saw 20 bales of silage, which were black and mouldy.

“When the officers entered the field, the animals were hungry as they were running towards the officers for food.

“There were buckets of water but these were frozen. The grass was frozen and there was no hay or straw.

“A wall of metal in the shed had been broken and sharp edges were sticking into the shed.

“There was also an emaciated calf, which must have been there for days. Officers could see its spine.”

The animal had to be put down, but the vet was unable to find a vein in which to inject the calf because of its dehydrated state, the court heard.

Cruel Stephen Croxall left cows and sheep to starve in miserable conditions on his Uttoxeter farm

A pre-sentence report on Croxall said: “There was no intention or malice behind the offences.

“He has worked on farms for 35 years and he has entrenched methods of looking after animals and it appears this is outdated with regards to Defra’s code of practice.

“His aunt, who died some years ago, was the record keeper.”

The report also said there was a financial strain on the farming industry and Croxall was spending fewer hours on the farm due to his other work.

It said: “He simply was not there to look after the animals.”

The court heard Croxall’s wife died in 2010 and he subsequently had psychiatric treatment.

Lucy Taylor-Grimes, defending, added: “He is a man who is not good with reading and writing and has found this whole situation difficult to follow.”

Sentencing Croxall, magistrates told him: “There was neglect for at least a week and a number of animals had to be put down.

“We would jail you. However, due to your early guilty plea, your personal circumstances, your education difficulties and the loss of your wife, we will suspend your sentence.”

Sentencing: 16-week jail sentence, suspended for 12 months; ordered to pay £1,000 in costs. Lifetime ban on keeping animals with review after five years.

DerbyshireLive 28/09/2019
DerbyshireLive 11/09/2019