#TheList James ‘Jimboy’ Price, born 25/04/1983, of the Caravan Park, Sherdley Road, St Helens WA9 5DH – dragged a French bulldog behind a trailer for 13 miles after supposedly “failing to realise” she was trapped
Price claimed in court that he had not realised his dog’s lead was attached to his vehicle’s trailer as he set off from his home at the travellers’ site in Sherdley Road, St Helens. He then drove for 13 miles before the lead snapped leaving the dog’s mangled body lying on Brasenose Road in Bootle.
Inspectors tracked down Price via the dog’s microchip.
Price pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal on the basis he “ought to have known the animal was not entangled in a vehicle.”
The court heard that Price had “never intended” to harm the dog, named Pepper, whom he and his partner Lisa Walker had used for producing multiple litters of puppies, which they then sold on Facebook for around £1,300 each.
Daniel Kenyon, representing Price, told the court the loss of a family pet had been “punishment enough.”
Presiding magistrate Frank Dainty, passing sentence, said: “I do not believe you intended to harm the animal, but in future you need to check every corner of your vehicle before you set off.”
Sentencing: ordered to pay £1,238 in fines and costs. Banned from keeping animals for 12 months.
#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’
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
#TheList Robert Jason High, born 20/12/1996, and Damien Robert Beales, born 16/04/1998, both currently of 17 James Street, Barrow-in-Furness LA14 1EH – neglected and starved a large number of cats; desperate animals resorted to cannibalism.
Robert High and his partner Damien Beales left cats to starve at a property in Northgate Road, Stoneycroft, Liverpool L13
RSPCA officers discovered starving cats eating the decomposing remains of others when they visited the house on 25 April 2019.
They found up to ten cats who were so desperate and hungry that they had shockingly resorted to cannibalism.
Five dead cats were in the process of being eaten.
The grim remains were discovered by the property’s landlord who was so disturbed that he contacted the police who next alerted the RSPCA.
Beales and High both pleaded guilty to one charge of cruelty.
The prosecution has been previously adjourned after both men, Beales and High repeatedly failed to turn up.
Sentencing: 16-week prison sentence suspended for 12 months. Each ordered to pay £500 costs and a £115 victim surcharge. Banned from keeping animals for life.
High and Beales move around frequently. They only lived in Stoneycroft for five months. Prior to living there, they lived in Kirkdale, Liverpool. Neighbours of the Kirkdale property allege they overheard the couple accusing each other of raping cats.
High is said to have serious mental health issues, including self-harming. He has a YouTube channel called My Borderline LIfe on which he discusses his borderline personality disorder and also ‘sings’.
#TheList Roma gypsies from Hungary Norbert Farkas, born 25/09/1989, and Leila Katalin Horvath, born c. 18/02/1991, previously of Parkside Road, Birkenhead CH42 – struck a mother dog with a metal bar, fed her sausages laced with anti-freeze, left her to suffer for three days in agony and finally stabbed her to death.
Wirral Magistrates’ Court heard how on April 5, 2019 RSPCA inspector Anthony Joynes was contacted by environmental health officers to attend an alleyway off Parkside Road in Birkenhead.
Chris Murphy, prosecuting, told the court how Inspector Joynes found a dead American bulldog wrapped in bin bags and a paddling pool.
Mr Murphy said that the dog’s body was covered with live maggots.
The court heard how Inspector Joynes then went to question Norbert Farkas about the dead dog as his home overlooked the alleyway.
Farkas initially said that that the dog was not his, but then admitted ownership.
He said that the dog, an American bulldog named Luna, who had recently given birth to 12 puppies, had attacked him. He said he hit the dog with a metal bar in self-defence and to protect his partner Leila Horvath.
When Inspector Joynes later questioned Horvath, she admitted that she fed the dog anti-freeze and then stabbed her.
Farkas pleaded guilty to two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal.
Horvath pleaded guilty to two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal, one count of poisoning and failing to see that the dog received proper medical attention.
Mr Murphy later provided graphic details of the events that led up to the dog’s death.
He explained how Farkas struck the dog with a weights bar.
After going online to research how to kill a dog, Horvath fed the animal chicken land sausages aced with anti-freeze.
The court heard that Horvath thought the dog would die quickly but the animal lay in the alleyway lingering to life.
On the third day Horvath took a large knife and later stabbed the animal in the throat.
Mr Murphy made it clear that the couple would have been able to see the dog as it lay whimpering in the alleyway over a three day period.
District Judge Nicholas Sanders told the court that the case was one of “unimaginable cruelty”.
Horvath told probation officers that Luna’s behavior began to deteriorate after she gave birth to puppies.
She said that she bought anti-freeze from a nearby garage and laced it on sausages, which were fed to the dog.
Horvath said that she thought the dog would die quickly but she did not.
She said that the dog was making “strange noises” and she was concerned that neighbours might call the police. She then decided to grab a large kitchen knife and stab the dog to death.
She told probation officers that they had been reviled by the local community after the incident and had to move to a new address.
Farkas said he had been advised by health professionals to buy a large dog to help treat his mental health problems and stress.
Farkas also claimed that Luna became aggressive toward them after she gave birth to puppies. He claimed that this aggressive behaviour led up to the attack on him.
He claimed to have suffered a panic attack after the dog attacked him and said that was why his partner decided to kill her.
Thomas Hanlon, defending, said that Horvath took full responsibility for her actions.
He said that the couple arrived in the UK from Hungary in 2010 and had both worked full time since arriving, contributing to society.
Mr Hanlon said that the couple had been targeted after their animals were seized by the RSPCA, and that a petrol bomb was thrown at their home.
He said the couple were forced to leave their home in the night after the attack.
Mr Murphy said that a vets report found that if the dog had attacked Farkas in the way he claimed he would have suffered serious injuries which he did not have.
District Judge Sanders told the couple: “You struck the dog with a metal bar, and then you poisoned it with anti-freeze before stabbing it.
“It is hard to imagine a more cruel way of dealing with an animal.”
Speaking after the case, RSPCA inspector Joynes told the ECHO: “Farkas said that Luna had ‘gone for’ his foot and that although there was no injury, it hurt and he felt fear for his and his partner’s life. He described using a metal weightlifting bar to forcefully strike Luna two to three times on the head.
“Farkas stated that Luna had been alive in the garden for around an hour. Horvarth admitted that she had then gone outside and given Luna antifreeze in sausages.”
“Horvath said she had researched the cost of getting a dog euthanised and had also researched poisoning dogs and what chemical to use. Over the next few days, Luna was in the garden slowly dying from poisoning until she was stabbed to death three days later.
“It is absolutely horrific to think what Luna went through. Luna was caused suffering on multiple levels over several days, which was unnecessary and cruel.
“Horvath and Farkas knew Luna could have been put to sleep humanely by a vet but evidence shows that she was killed in her own way over a period of several days, leaving her to suffer greatly.”
A male American bulldog and 12 puppies were seized from Horvath’s and Farkas’ address by police while an investigation was carried out.
Vet examinations of the puppies showed that they were suffering from respiratory illnesses.
All 12 puppies have now been rehomed. The male dog is now in RSPCA care and will be re-homed.
Sentencing: jailed for 10 weeks. Banned from keeping animals for life with minimum of 10 years.
#TheList donkey ride operator Ronald ‘Ronnie’ Wheeler, born c. 1977, of Haydn Road, Liverpool L14 – let his horse die slowly and painfully from poisoning
Ronnie Wheeler admitted three charges of animal neglect at Liverpool Magistrates Court.
Wheeler left his horse Oscar grazing in a field in Fazakerley which contained the poisonous weed ragwort – which is deadly to horses – despite being warned by Liverpool council to remove it.
The RSPCA were called to the field on August 6, 2018, after receiving reports from members of the public who were concerned about the horse’s welfare.
When inspector Joanne MacDonald arrived at the scene with a veterinary surgeon they could see the horse was staggering around and collapsing.
They realised he was blind, was struggling to stand and was unable to swallow.
The vet decided Oscar needed to be put to sleep to end his suffering and a post-mortem examination confirmed he had been poisoned by ragwort after being exposed to it for many weeks or even months.
The vet also described Oscar as having a low body score for his physical condition, and also revealed a significant worm burden.
The court heard two months before, on June 15, the council had sent a letter to Wheeler urging him to remove the weed which in some places had grown to three feet tall.
Inspector MacDonald said: “It was an awful case to deal with as poor Oscar was clearly suffering. He was collapsing and the ragwort had caused his blindness which meant he was walking into things and was clearly in a distressed state.
“To make matters worse Wheeler had been told previously to remove the ragwort by the council but he had failed to do this.
“Responsible horse owners should know ragwort is damaging to the horse’s liver when eaten. The toxic effect builds up over time, causing irreparable damage.”
Sentencing: jailed for 12 weeks; ordered to pay £786 costs and a £115 victim surcharge. Banned from keeping equines for 10 years.
#TheList Daniel O’Sullivan, born c. 1990, of Bowland Drive, Liverpool L21: stabbed a police dog twice in head and attacked officers while high on monkey dust
Daniel O’Sullivan was jailed for 21 months after he admitted causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal, five counts of assault and two counts of possessing an offensive weapon in a public place.
Police were called to deal with the thug following reports of a man wielding a knife and broken bottle in a street in Hanley, near Stoke, on July 1, 2019.
When O’Sullivan refused to drop the weapons a police dog named Audi was sent into the incident.
O’Sullivan stabbed PD Audi twice in the head before throwing a bottle at an officer and kicking him in the face. He spat at four other officers.
Following his arrest O’Sullivan was taken to hospital for assessment and was aggressive towards medical staff.
Audi needed emergency treatment but survived the attack and has since returned to duty.
The prosecution for the attack against Audi is the first under the new Animal Welfare (Emergency Services) Act.
Known as Finn’s Law, it now recognises police dogs as public servants and not simply police property. The maximum sentence is currently six months.
Detective Inspector Stephen Ward, from Staffordshire Police, said: “O’Sullivan presented a significant danger to anyone who was nearby and we cannot allow the public to be put at risk.
“He assaulted five officers, spitting at four of them, which is a degrading experience for the officers concerned and can present a health risk.
“O’Sullivan was out to seriously hurt PD Audi and it was lucky that he wasn’t blinded or killed as a result of his injuries.
“Aside from the sheer cruelty of his actions, it takes a great deal of time, energy and expense to train a police dog and an experience like that could have ended his career. Fortunately, Audi has recovered well and is back at work.”
Sentencing: jailed for 21 months of which three months was for injuring a police dog.
#TheList Christina Carney, born c. 1981, of Ottley Street, Liverpool L6 3AL – starved and neglected a young puppy who had to be put to sleep
A six-month-old British bulldog named Tank had to be put down after horrific neglect by his owner, Christina Carney, left him with “every bone in his body” sticking out.
Shocking pictures show the dog also suffered bite wounds to his right leg which was swollen and had scarring over his face and neck. Behind his left ear were visible wounds but behind his right ear was a severe wound which had ripped through the ear flap
Sadly, Tank was unable to recover and three separate vets decided he should be put to sleep to end his suffering.
Another of Carney’s pets – 18-month-old pug Bear – died while in her care and was said to be in a “very thin” state when she brought his body to experts to be disposed of.
Vets got in touch with the RSPCA with worries about the welfare of Carney’s other animals.
Inspector Claire Fisher was sent to investigate and went to see Tank at the vets where she found “every bone in his body” was protruding.
Claire said: “Tank was in a very sorry state when I saw him, he was so thin with every bone visible he did not resemble a British bulldog at all – he was like a walking skeleton.
“He had numerous injuries of various ages caused by being attacked by other dogs in Carney’s care and he appeared depressed, not like I would expect a puppy to act.
“The vet felt that returning Tank to his home would put him in danger of attack again.
“The body of Bear was also analysed and it was clear the dog was also very thin and had numerous ulcers in her eyes. Carney offered no explanation how or when the dog had died but for her young age she seemed in poor condition
“It was known that Carney also had two more dogs at her home and we were concerned there was also a risk of injury of life to those so Merseyside Police were contacted and were able to seize the dogs and place them into the care of the RSPCA.”
The police took two British bulldogs called Teddy and Roxy from Carney’s home and they are now in the care of the RSPCA where they have been rehabilitated and will be available for adoption soon.
Carney pleaded guilty to four animal welfare offences .
In mitigation the court was told Carney had “difficult personal circumstances”.
Sentencing: 12-month community order; ordered to pay £300 costs, a £100 fine and a £85 victim surcharge. Banned from keeping dogs and cats for just five years.