Tag Archives: Merseyside

Wirral, Merseyside: Lee Michael

#TheList former soldier Lee Michael (aka Lee Khair and as at 2019 using the name Neo Lee Allen), born 27/01/1981, of 1 Lower Thingwall Lane, Wirral CH61 1AZ – a convicted child killer who went on to kill a cat and to break a puppy’s jaw

In September 2015 Lee Michael was jailed over violent attacks on two animals: a black and tan female pug puppy called Babs and a grey male cat called Larry.

The RSPCA found Babs huddled in the corner of a kennel withdrawn and shaking, her eye and face extremely swollen.

X-rays revealed that a piece of jaw the size of a five-pence piece was missing and there was a suspected fracture to her skull.

Police took the pup and placed her into the RSPCA’s care. She underwent surgery to screw her jaw back together, even though it was feared at first that she would never be able to eat again.

Michael had claimed the dog had been injured after he swiped her from the bed in his sleep. But a vet’s report said the injuries were far more serious than would have been caused by falling from a bed.

The court heard the former soldier and personal trainer had pulled the cat, Larry, from his hiding place behind the fridge by his tail, causing him to soil himself.

He then turned the shower on the cat, who died two days later. Larry’s body was never found.

Sentencing Michael, the district judge told him that he was “one of the most dangerous men in relation to animals I’ve ever come across.”

Babs, renamed Ruby, made a full recovery with her only remaining physical scar a slightly off-centre jaw.

RSPCA Inspector Anthony Joynes said the case involved “stomach-churning” cruelty.

“I feel we have only revealed the tip of the iceberg of events and we will never know exactly what poor Larry the cat went through in its ordeal and final moments,” he said.

“However, I am proud that we have managed to save the puppy – now called Ruby, who is now getting the love, care and attention she deserves in a new home.

Following his animal cruelty conviction, it was revealed that Michael, then known as Lee Khair, had been sentenced to seven years in prison for killing his two-year-old son, Ryan Franklin-Khair, in 2002.

Winchester Crown Court heard the child had a brain injury and bruises all over his body while under the care of Michael at his then girlfriend Catherine Franklin’s house in Dorset.

He told police he awoke at 5.30am to find Ryan at the bottom of a flight of stairs, and put him in the recovery position and tried to revive him.

The youngster was taken to Southampton General Hospital but never regained consciousness and died days later.

The trial heard Michael, who was stationed at Worthy Down Barracks in Winchester, told paramedics and hospital staff his son had fallen down a flight of stairs.

But he was jailed after a jury found him guilty at trial, and served three years of his sentence.

Sentencing: jailed for 24 weeks. 12 months’ probation after his release from prison. £2,424 costs. Lifetime ban on keeping animals.

The Argus
The Mirror

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Ryan’s Law FB group: campaign group set up by the bereaved family of little Ryan Franklin-Khair.

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2019 update: we believe that Lee Michael is working as a self-employed pilates instructor somewhere in London. He trades under the name ‘Matrix Fitness’. More info to follow as soon as we get it.

Wirral, Merseyside: Sean Lawton

#TheList Sean Lawton, born c. 1985, of Big Meadow Road, Upton, Wirral CH49 – left his Staffy in an empty property without food or water and surrounded by mouldy faeces for at least four days

Sean Lawton of the Wirral abandoned Staffy Sam without food or water in an empty property.
Sean Lawton of the Wirral abandoned Staffy Sam without food or water in an empty property.

The court found that Lawton had failed to provide an adequate supply of food and water, appropriate care and supervision, maintain the dog’s body condition and provide a suitable environment.

Chris Murphy, prosecuting on behalf of the RSPCA, told magistrates the animal welfare charity received a call from a concerned member of the public on October 24, 2014, after the dog, known as Sam, was spotted sitting on the inside window ledge of the property. In desperation Sam had had chewed through the brickwork of the wall and door in order to get to the window ledge to be seen.

The RSPCA placed paper seals on the front door and rear gate of the property. They were checked each day for the next four days but were unbroken, showing that no one had returned to the property.

Conditions inside the property where Sam had been abandoned by his owner Sean Lawton of The Wirral
Conditions inside the property where Sam had been abandoned by his owner

RSPCA Inspector Anthony Joynes – who had been feeding Sam through the letterbox during this time – entered the property with police and a vet on October 28, 2014, finding it to be in a state of “absolute squalor”.

Mr Murphy told magistrates the property smelled so strongly of ammonia that it “stung the eyes” of those who entered.

No food or water was to be found anywhere in the property.

Sam was taken to a vet, who gave him a body score of just 2 – one being emaciated and five being obese. He weighed 15.3kg when he should have been at least 18.5kg.

Mr Murphy said: “The vet anticipated the dog had been in this condition for four days but due to the amount of faeces, which had gone mouldy, believed the dog had been left alone for longer, at least a week to 10 days.”

The man who left Sam to starve to death was identified as Sean Lawton. Lawton had tried to sell the dog on social media but in the end apparently chose to abandon him in an empty property to starve to death.

Dog abuser Sean Lawton of the Wirral pictured outside court
Dog abuser Sean Lawton pictured outside court

Lawton was convicted in his absence of animal cruelty.

Mr Murphy told the court that Lawton “said his child’s mother had left him and he was left with the dog.

“He said he had lived there since February 2011 and moved out about two weeks before the dog had been taken by the RSPCA. He said he had no money and no way of getting there.

“He said he had left some food and water. He said it was a hungry dog. He accepted it was not acceptable to leave the dog and he knew it was wrong.”

He told police he was working ten hours a day and said he did not want to have the dog put down “because he was a good dog”.

Lawton, who was not represented by a solicitor, told the court: “I just did something stupid”.

Sam’s story was featured in Channel 5’s The Dog Rescuers. He programme showed him settling in to his new forever home.

Sentencing: 12-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months. Ordered to complete 160 hours of unpaid work and pay £1,000 in costs. 10-year ban on keeping animals with right of appeal after five years.

Liverpool Echo

Birkenhead, Merseyside: Stefan T MCCormick

#TheList Stefan T McCormick (aka Stefan Dixon), born 22/04/1991, from Birkenhead, Wirral, Merseyside –  swung a four-month-old Staffy by his front legs into a solid object. Puppy’s legs were snapped and he was in so much pain he had to be put to sleep.

Mugshot of evil dog killer Stefan McCormick from Birkenhead alongside a photo of him outside court

Stefan McCormick, whose most recent known address is Devonshire Road in Birkenhead CH43, was on bail for the brutal attack on his Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Ty, when he breached a non-molestation order and beat up his former partner.

He was jailed for 20 months at Liverpool crown court on October 9, 2014, for the alcohol-fuelled assault on the 17-year-old in Hoylake, in which he punched, kicked and dragged her along the street.

A week later, he appeared via video link at Wirral magistrates’ court, having earlier pleaded guilty to a charge of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal.

A recent photo (2018) of Stefan McCormick, who uses the surname Dixon on social media. McCormick. McCormick, who works in his father’s tattoo shop in Birkenhead Market, claims to have cancer but members of his own family say this is an attention-seeking lie. 

The court heard the Staffy’s injuries, sustained in December 2013, were so bad he “screamed” when examined by a vet, who was left with no option but to put him down.

Chris Murphy, prosecuting, told the court how RSPCA officers were called to McCormick’s home after a report a dog had been hit by a car.

But the court was told the officer who attended quickly concluded something more sinister had happened.

On examination, the officer said “the dog was clearly in pain – it was unable to get on to its forelimbs. Its paws were bent over and it tried to bunny hop but screamed.”

Vets said the injuries suggested the dog had its legs ripped apart, with one reporting: “The injuries were consistent with a person pulling a puppy by its forelimbs using undue force.”

When an expert was called in to further assess the puppy, he said Ty had suffered “severe blunt force trauma” to his front legs – adding the injuries were consistent with “the dog being picked up by the front legs and swung against a solid object”.

After the hearing RSPCA Inspector Anthony Joynes described himself as “relieved” McCormick had pleaded guilty, saying the injuries Ty had sustained were “appalling”.

He said: “This has been a long drawn out investigation, probably one of the most brutal and violent I have ever dealt with as well as my colleagues and the police and the vets involved have all been upset by this case… I’m just hoping now that we can get some closure on the case in a few weeks’ time and hopefully the magistrates do the right thing and sentence Mr McCormick accordingly.”

Sentencing: originally jailed for 24 weeks for the animal cruelty offence, to be served consecutively with the 20-month sentence he was already serving for assaulting his ex-partner.  This was later reduced to 20 weeks on appeal after the court heard how McCormick had suffered from mental health problems. 

Liverpool Echo 28/08/2014
Liverpool Echo 09/10/2014
Liverpool Echo 06/02/2015

Birkenhead, Wirral: Ronald and Lee Guy

#TheList serial animal baiters Ronald Guy, born c. 1950, of 52 Harrowby Road, Birkenhead CH42 7HU and son Lee Guy, born 1971, previously of 58 Harrowby Road – filmed wild animals being torn apart by dogs in arranged fights

Twisted Lee Guy (left) and father Ronald Guy enjoyed watching helpless animals being ripped apart by dogs
Twisted Lee Guy (left) and father Ronald Guy enjoyed watching helpless animals being ripped apart by dogs

Ronald and Lee Guy pleaded guilty to a total of seven charges of causing unnecessary suffering to chickens, rats, pigeons and a fox.

A joint operation between the RSPCA and Merseyside Police discovered DVDs and films of the offences at the defendants’ homes after a search was carried out at a nearby allotment.

The footage showed animal cruelty taking place and both father and son were arrested.

Ronald Guy pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to three chickens by inhumanely slaughtering them.

Lee Guy admitted the inhumane slaughter of chickens, as well as causing 12 wild rats to be attacked by dogs in locations across Birkenhead, and feeding feral pigeons to ferrets.

He also admitted putting a fox in a cage and setting dogs on it until they tore the animal apart and killed it.

The offences – which took place in front of a gathered crowd at two separate Harrowby Road addresses and a Birkenhead allotment between November 1, 2011 and June 6, 2013 – were captured on video.

Referring to the offences committed by Lee Guy, Chris Murphy, prosecuting on behalf of the RSPCA, said: “The charges involve the slaughter of chicken, they involve the causing of wild rats to be attacked by dogs.

“There are three offences relating to the rats and there’s also an offence which the RSPCA says is perhaps the most serious, of causing the animal fight to take place between a fox and three dogs.

“The fox was in a caged box and the three dogs were put in that box and set upon it, tearing it apart and killing it.”

John Ballam, defending, said both Ronald and Lee Guy were deeply “ashamed” of their actions.

He told the court that the prospect of being banned from owning animals would be a considerable punishment for both men but especially for Ronald given his history and success in dog shows.

District Judge Michael Abelson said: “This was shocking, absolutely inhumane behaviour.

“Most people would not be able to comprehend how you could treat animals with such cruelty.”

The pair’s four dogs – one of which has recently given birth to six puppies – were seized and rehomed.

The dogs had evidence of facial scarring likely caused during fights with other animals.

Following sentencing, RSPCA Inspector Anthony Joynes said: “The maximum sentence would be inadequate with regards to the suffering the animals have gone through.

“This sort of offence is barbaric – it is abhorrent cruelty that belongs in the history books.

“There has been a rise in this sort of behaviour in Wirral and the Northwest and if people are going to take the decision to get involved in that sort of cruelty, then they can expect to spend time in prison.”

Sentencing:
Lee Guy – 22-week custodial sentence; £300 costs.
Ronald Guy – 12-week custodial sentence; £300 costs.
Both were banned from keeping animals for life.

Wirral Globe

Kirkby, Knowsley, Merseyside: Christy Draper and Peter Finnegan

#TheList Christy James Draper, born 14/11/1985, of 6 Dulas Road, Kirkby, Liverpool L32 8TL and Peter James Finnegan, born 06/05/1986, formerly of Mintor Road, Kirkby and as at November 2019 of 36 Browning Street, Bootle, Liverpool L20 4HH – caught on CCTV goading their dogs into ripping apart a tame feral cat; walked free after Crown Prosecution Service offered no case

Prosecution against cat killers Christy Draper and Peter Finnegan collapsed.
Cat killers Christy Draper of Kirkby and Peter Finnegan now of Bootle laughed as the prosecution case against them collapsed

Animal lover Alf White used to look after Tooch, a feral tabby which lived near his workplace in Kirkby for five years and was treated by staff as a pet.

But in January 2011 the tile showroom manager arrived at Knowsley Industrial Park to find the cat’s body on the ground.

After searching through CCTV footage covering the yard, the 54-year-old discovered shocking images showing Tooch being ripped apart by dogs before being kicked by a thug who was watching on.

The local newspaper, the Liverpool Echo, published the pictures in an effort to find those responsible and was flooded with callers offering information.

Merseyside police later charged Christy Draper and Peter Finnegan with causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal.

But at a trial which was due to begin on 2 November 2011, prosecutors offered no evidence and the case against the two men was dismissed by District Judge Ian Lomax

He said: “As always it is for the prosecution to prove you are guilty rather than for you to prove you are innocent.

“I do not know what the flaws in the prosecution’s case are but clearly they were spotted and it was decided no evidence is to be offered.

“The case against you is dismissed.”

The two men, wearing tracksuit bottoms and T-shirts, raced from the dock laughing, with one shouting: “You have wasted everyone’s time.”

Mr White, who was waiting to give evidence in the trial, told the ECHO: “I am absolutely fuming. I am shaking with rage. I cannot get my head straight.

“The man from the Crown Prosecution Service told me although they had the CCTV, it was not of the front of the building, only the side, so they could not prove our Tooch was alive when the dogs got hold of her.

“Would you be alive after four dogs got hold of you? I told him she was alive 29 minutes before the attack because I visited her to bring her a blanket and say goodnight.

“But he said that was not in the evidence.”

Mr White, who paid £360 for a vet to fix Tooch’s teeth, said: “You can see another cat, Sylvie, on the video.

“She was lucky to survive.

“She has been moved now to Liverpool Cat Sanctuary so at least now she will be safe.”

The ECHO asked the CPS why the trial collapsed and why it took until the trial date to decide it had no evidence but it failed to respond.

Liverpool Echo
Daily Mail

Colwyn Bay, North Wales: James Nicholson

#TheList James David Nicholson, born 22/04/1984, at the time of conviction of Station Road, Colwyn Bay, but as at March 2020 living at 67 Pocket Nook Street, St Helens WA9 1NQ – repeatedly beat his dog and hung him from a lamp-post

Dog abuser James David Nicholson

Nicholson, who works as a part-time DJ under the name N-Tyce, was caught on camera hanging Jack Russell terrier Sweep from a lamp-post as he waited for a takeaway.

Magistrates watched CCTV footage showing Sweep cowering as his owner repeatedly beat him. Nicholson then hung the terrified dog from a lamp-post, before flinging him across a pavement.

Nicholson, who sobbed as he watched the footage in court, was told the attack had caused Sweep “physiological trauma”.

He admitted causing unnecessary suffering to an animal.

Chris Dawson, prosecuting for the RSPCA, said: “He left the dog hanging off the windowsill. When asked why he had done that, he said ‘He kept barking.’

“He said he’d had a bad night, but he hadn’t meant to take it out on the dog.”

Nicholson cried heavily while the footage was played to magistrates, and often shielded his eyes away from the screen.

Magistrates’ chairman Howie Roberts told Nicholson: “Quite frankly, we were disgusted by what we saw on the video.

“We hope you show a lot more respect for the animals in your care.”

Nicholson, a part-time DJ from Station Road, was caught on film outside the Bay Grill takeaway on Seaview Road, Colwyn Bay, just after midnight on 4 September 2005.

He was told he could not take the dog into the shop, but became increasingly angry at the pet barking while he was waiting outside.
It was then the brown and white dog’s ordeal started.

The CCTV footage shows the pet being whipped with the handle of the lead several times, flinching at every sudden blow.

Sweep tried to flee the attack, but was stopped from running away because of his lead.

Nicholson then lifted up the dog by the lead, with the Jack Russell hanging in mid-air. His owner tied the top of the lead to a lamppost, and hung the pet there for a few seconds.

But Nicholson seemed to realise the upset he caused Sweep, and took him into his arms. He held the dog close, and peppered him with kisses.

On the walk home, with a petrified Sweep dragging behind on the lead, Nicholson violently yanked the lead, flinging his pet over several feet.

He then kicked Sweep in the side of his body.

An RSPCA report said: “The persistent nature of the behaviour has caused the dog unnecessary suffering, primarily physiological trauma.”

It adds: “The body language of the dog clearly showed that the dog was afraid and repeatedly tried to get away, but was restricted by the lead.”

Gwyndaf Pari, defending, said: “It was a one-off offence, one at the lower end of the scale, perhaps one that was impulsive and one after which he has shown genuine remorse.

“Since then, he has looked after the dog well.

“It is an animal clearly loved by Mr Nicholson.

“He has certainly learned his lesson since, and was dealing with the stress a relatively new job brought. It is something that worried him.”

Sentencing: fined £250 with £262 court costs. He was not banned from keeping animals and was allowed to keep Sweep.

Daily Post