Tag Archives: multiple victims

Aston, Birmingham: Robert Iordan, Florin Nutu and Viorel Manu

#TheList Robert Iordan, born 28/05/1996, Florin Nutu, born 11/01/1984, and Viorel Manu, born c. 1980, all of 41 Dunsink Road, Birmingham B6 6PL – killed and butchered around 350 sheep in Northamptonshire over four months.

Police mugshots of Robert Iordan and Florin Nutu

Between June 22 and October 7, 2019, the three Romanian nationals travelled across rural areas in the county, killing and butchering sheep in order to steal the meat and profit from it.

The trio’s attacks on sheep and lambs, which all took place in the dead of night, had the county’s livestock farming community gripped in fear.

But they were hunted down by Northamptonshire Police’s rural crime team, acting on key information from NFU members and farmers, and arrested.

All three eventually pleaded guilty and were sentenced at Northampton crown court.

In a hearing in October 2019, the court heard the gruesome details of how the alleged operation was carried out.

The prosecution lawyer said: “The conspiracy involved the slaughter of about 350 sheep, all that have been slaughtered inhumanely.

“Vehicles and weapons have been taken to the location on local farmers’ fields, the sheep are captured and a knife is taken to their throats and they suffer a slow and painful death.

“A pipe is then inserted into the throat of the sheep which are blown up, they are skinned and their remains are left at the scene.”

NFU county adviser for Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Rutland, Harriet Ranson, who was involved in the case from the beginning and liaised with police throughout, said she was delighted with the outcome.

“These crimes were horrific, barbaric and unprecedented and had the whole livestock farming community in Northamptonshire and neighbouring counties living in fear that they would be next for months,” she said.

“It is fantastic to see the courts treating these appalling crimes with the seriousness they deserve and handing down suitably lengthy prison terms to these dangerous men.

“This case really highlights how important local information from farmers, the NFU and the public is in helping to bring offenders before the courts.

“We’d like to thank Northamptonshire Police, their rural crime team and the police and crime commissioner for their relentless pursuit of these criminals and we hope this case sends out a clear message to anyone planning to do something similar – you will get caught and you will get punished.”

Sentencing: Iordan and Nutu were both handed jail terms of four years and four months and Manu was ordered to serve two years and 11 months inside.

Warwickshire Rural Crime Team (Facebook post)

Portreath, Cornwall: Nicholas Holley

#TheList Nick Holley, born 23/07/1968, of Tramside Farm, Nancekuke, Portreath, near Redruth TR16 5UF – banned from keeping farm animals after sheep were found starved and mutilated at his smallholding

Animal abuser Nick Holley from Cornwall

Holley pleaded guilty to the following charges:

• Failing to provide adequate food to his flock of sheep

• Allowing sheep to have access to collapsed fencing and broken machinery that could have injured them

• Mutilating a sheep by docking its tail so short that the tail did not cover its vulva

• Failing to shear or provide shade to sheep in August 2019

• On 10 September 2019 caused unnecessary suffering to a sheep by failing to notice it was trapped or to release it from being trapped

Kevin Hill, prosecuting, told the court that Holley had gone on holiday and left a friend caring for 50 sheep at the smallholding, despite the friend having no previous experience of sheep husbandry.

This sheep had been trapped in fencing for at least 24 hours and once released was hungry and thirsty
This sheep had been trapped in fencing for at least 24 hours and once released was hungry and thirsty

Many of the sheep were emaciated yet had no supplementary feed, and the sheep had access to scrap and collapsed fencing. On a revisit, council officers found a sheep trapped in a fence; it had been trapped for at least 24 hours and once released was hungry and thirsty.

In January 2020 the sheep were not being fed hay and had strayed onto neighbouring land and roadside verges to forage. Holley had been cautioned for similar offences in 2018.

The magistrates gave credit for the early guilty plea and genuine remorse.

Sentencing: two-year conditional discharge; £5,000 costs. Banned from keeping farm animals for five years.

Falmouth Packet

Harrogate, North Yorkshire: Brash Bullows

#TheList Brash Bullows, born c. 1994, no fixed abode, near Harrogate, North Yorkshire – hurled a box of ferrets at passing cars after downing ten pints of beer

Police mugshot of Brash Bullows

Social outcast Brash Bullows jumped on car bonnets, smashed windscreens and punched one shocked driver in a frenzied boozed-up rampage.

The aggressor, who lives in the North Yorkshire woods, flew into a rage when he was refused ‘a lift’ from several motorists who were queuing in traffic.

A court heard the defendant screamed and swore at one driver as their petrified eight-year-old granddaughter sat in the backseat.

Burrows was chased down by members of the public and detained until the police arrived.

Nine vehicles were damaged in total, causing thousands of pounds worth of damage during the incident.

Burrows admitted nine counts of criminal damage and was jailed for 21 months.

The court heard that Bullows had 27 previous convictions for 49 offences including serious violence.

In March 2019, he was given a 17-month suspended prison sentence after charging at a man with a knife and aiming the weapon at his head.

It is understood there were no injuries to the ferrets, who were taken in by the RSPCA following the incident.

Daily Mail

Rotherham, South Yorkshire: Robert Evans

#TheList Robert ‘Bobby’ Evans, born c. 1984, of 9 Thompson Close, Rawmarsh, Rotherham S62 7LY – illegally kept 10 unringed goldfinches and neglected their needs

Wild bird trapper Bobby Evans from Rotherham
Wild bird trapper Bobby Evans

Gypsy traveller Bobby Evans, whose numerous previous convictions include cannabis farming and making threats of violence towards a female, admitted one offence under the Wildlife and Countryside Act and one offence under the Animal Welfare Act relating to 10 unringed goldfinches in his possession. He also admitted a further offence under the Wildlife and Countryside Act of possessing a wild bird trap.

The RSPCA, which brought the case, revealed that one of its inspectors visited Evans’ home with the local police wildlife crime officer in October 2019 following reports of bird trapping in local hedgerows.

Wild-caught goldfinches were kept in filthy conditions by cruel Bobby Evans
Wild-caught goldfinches were kept in inhumane conditions by cruel Bobby Evans

RSPCA inspector and wildlife officer Sandra Dransfield said: “Evans had a legally ringed male bullfinch, two canaries and 10 unringed goldfinches in a small, dirty cage in a shed. The ten goldfinches, a cage trap – which wasn’t set – and other bird trapping paraphernalia were seized.

“The expert’s opinion was that the 10 goldfinches were wild-caught. Some of the birds had injuries from flying at the bars trying to get out, so after a short rehabilitation the birds were successfully released back to the wild, where they belong.”

Goldfinch in the possession of Bobby Evans

In mitigation, the court heard that Evans had pleaded guilty and was a long-time breeder of birds.

Ms Dransfield added: “It is illegal under the Wildlife and Countryside Act to trap or attempt to trap wild birds and this type of trapping causes immense distress and suffering to them.

“The illegal trapping and trading in wild birds has long been a problem. Taking a wild bird from its natural habitat and shutting it in a tiny cage is cruel.

“These birds can suffer immeasurably, not only physically but also mentally, and they often die shortly after being captured.”

Sentencing: community order with a two-month curfew; ordered to pay £292. Disqualified from keeping birds for three years,

The Star

Lurgan, County Armagh: Marie McGahan

#TheList Sarah ‘Marie’ McGahan, born 11/11/1967 of 2 Belvedere Manor, Lurgan, Craigavon BT67 9NW – failed to ensure the welfare of a Staffordshire Bull Terrier and her puppies.

Dog abuser Marie McGahan from Lurgan, Northern Ireland
Marie McGahan

In a case brought by Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Council, Marie McGahan pleaded guilty to animal welfare offences relating to a Staffordshire Bull Terrier and her pups.

This followed an investigation in 2018 as a result of information from the public.

McGahan had failed to make the necessary improvements to the cleanliness of the area in which dogs were kept and a litter of pups were found in squalid conditions at her home.

Conditions in which Marie McGahan kept a mother dog and her puppies
McGahan kept puppies and their mother in foul conditions

McGahan was deemed to be in breach of a notice requiring her to maintain a clean environment for the animals in her care.

A council spokesperson said: “The judge in this case saw fit to impose a five-year ban from keeping animals because the defendant persistently neglected the needs of her dogs and flagrantly disregarded animal welfare legislation.

“This case serves as a reminder that the council will investigate complaints and bring forward legal proceedings against those who do not take reasonable steps to ensure the welfare of their animals.”

Sentencing: fined £150 and ordered to pay council costs of £226. Five-year Disqualification Order in respect of all animals.

Lurgan Mail

Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire: Julie Ward

#TheList puppy dealer Julie Michelle Ward, born 11/04/1983, previously of 26 Douglas Road, Leigh, Greater Manchester WN7 5HG and currently of Greenacres travellers site on Slapton Road, Little Billington, Leighton Buzzard LU7 9BP

One of the dogs abused by puppy dealer Julie Ward and her accomplices

Julie Ward was convicted of animal cruelty offences in September 2016 alongside husband Martin Ward and brother-in-law Patrick Oliver Ward after a dead pet was found at a home they were using as a puppy farm. None of the gang showed up for sentencing and warrants were issued for their arrest

In May 2018 Patrick Ward was jailed for 22 weeks and banned from keeping animals for 10 years.

The Wards sold the puppies from addresses on Douglas Road and Windermere Road, in Leigh, Wigan.

The RSPCA launched an investigation into the trio after eight people complained they received sick puppies.

Customers said the animals soon became ill after they arrived home.

Four of the pets died suddenly or were so poorly vets decided to put them down to end their suffering.

Back in April 2015 Ward sold a puppy when she was too young to leave her mother.

She also failed to provide a malti-poo with treatment for an ear mite infestation in November 2015, while in February 2016 she failed to provide a black and white puppy with treatment for parvovirus.

Inspector Pippa Boyd, who led the case, said: “We believe Ward, and two other people who were part of the operation and have been dealt with by the courts previously, were importing puppies and then selling them on from two addresses in Leigh.

“When we joined police to execute two warrants at the properties in February 2016 we found a number of dogs and other evidence.

“At one address – in Windermere Road – we found a number of phones labelled with different dog breeds.

“At the other – in Douglas Road – we found three dogs, one with an untreated broken pelvis, and the body of a dead Jack Russell terrier left in a kennel.”

Sentencing: 18 weeks in jail, £150 victim surcharge. Disqualified from keeping all animals for 10 years.

Manchester Evening News

Shrewsbury, Shropshire: Steven To and Charlotte Plimmer

#TheList Steven Sai Chong To, born 21/03/1992, and wife Charlotte Plimmer, born 15/11/1996, both of 13 Theatre Royal Apartments, 15 Shoplatch, Shrewsbury SY1 1HR – for cruelty offences relating to four kittens

Cat killers Steven To and wife Charlotte Plimmer
Cat killers Steven To and wife Charlotte Plimmer. Sadist To is banned from keeping animals for life while Plimmer received a seven-year ban

Takeaway worker Steven To killed two kittens and inflicted months of abuse on two others while his wife, Charlotte To (née Plimmer) failed to react to the ongoing cruelty.

Between August 2018 and March 2019, the Tos inflicted abuse which RSPCA veterinarian Dr David Martin said was the worst he had seen in his 22 years of practice.

The court heard how eight-week-old kittens Jin and Sun, and two-month-old pets Moon and Mew, suffered seizures, broken bones, infections, hair and skin loss, multiple amputations and tail lacerations which left one “hanging on by a thread”.

Steven To pleaded guilty to three animal cruelty charges relating to harming the cats, and Charlotte To pleaded guilty to four charges of failing to provide a safe environment and veterinary care.

Prosecuting on behalf of the RSPCA, Sara Pratt, said: “The defendants lived together with their kittens in a flat in Shrewsbury.

“Over the period of August 2018 and March 2019, they acquired a total of four kittens, two of which were killed while in the care of the defendants, as a result of the actions of Steven To – Jin was almost 12 weeks old and Mew was just five months old at the time of their deaths.”

Cat killers Steven To and wife Charlotte Plimmer.

The court heard Jin and Sun were registered at Animal Trusts Vets and deemed healthy in August 2018, before Moon and Mew were registered at a different practice, Copthorne Veterinary Clinic, in November 2018.

Ms Pratt added: “On September 14, 2018, a phone call was made to Animal Trust Vets reporting that Jin had been playing, knocked over some recycling, started having a seizure and died.

“On September 21, Sun was anaesthetised and X-rays revealed a fresh fracture to her right tibia.”

The court heard in October 2018, Sun was taken to the vets with two “kinks” in her tail, before returning three days later with it “hanging off”.

The defendants bought Moon and Mew in November 2018, before Sun was taken to the vets again with hair and skin loss.

Mew then suffered an injury to her chin where the skin had become detached from her jaw bone and required surgery, the court heard.

Ms Pratt said: “Just seven days after surgery to her avulsed chin, Mew was returned to Copthorne Vets with an extreme fracture dislocation midway down the tail – all tendons had been ripped.”

Mew was found dead on the kitchen floor days after returning from the vets following a tail amputation.

The court heard that an RSPCA post mortem found evidence of blunt trauma to the right side of the cat’s thorax and neck, as well as evidence that the cat had lost blood externally through the nose.

The court then heard how in February 2019, Moon was taken to Abbey Veterinary Centre starved, and again with a leg fracture in March.

Following concerns raised by the veterinary practices and the RSPCA, later that month Moon and Sun were seized by police and a full investigation was launched.

A report by Dr Martin stated that it was “clear” all four cats sustained “serious injuries” and that two died from “traumatic incidents”.

He added: “It is exceptionally unusual to have such a significant incidence of serious trauma in four cats over such a short period of time, to the extent that in 22 years of veterinary practice, I have never seen or heard of such a high incidence of serious injury.”

2011 photo of Charlotte Plimmer
2011 photo of Charlotte Plimmer

District Judge Kevin Grego said there was “no doubt” a lifetime ban was necessary for Mr To, and that Mrs To should not have “covered her eyes” to the ongoing abuse.

He said: “The penny must have dropped after a short period of time. She [Mrs To] either should have got those animals out of the house or at the very least ensured it wasn’t going to happen again.”

Judge Grego added: “Animal cruelty is incisive of a mindset that’s corrosive and damaging – that’s what makes this so serious.

“There should be no doubt the animals that died and suffered did so as a result of deliberate cruelty from you, Steven.

“That cruelty and death could have been avoided if you, Charlotte, didn’t frankly cover your eyes and accept what your husband told you when you knew what you were being told was unsustainable

Sentencing: Steven To was sentenced to 22 weeks in prison, suspended for 18 months, with 200 hours of unpaid work, 25 days of rehabilitation, a lifetime ban on keeping animals and was ordered to pay £5,000 court costs, more than £3,500 in vets’ fees and a £122 surcharge.

Charlotte To was given a 12-month community order, with 25 days of rehabilitation, 40 hours of unpaid work, a seven-year ban on owning animals and was ordered to pay £390 costs.

Shropshire Star

Malton, North Yorkshire/Hunslet, Leeds: Michael Price and Shannon Hanrahan

#TheList Michael Patrick Price, born 07/05/1991, of 24 Lime Tree Avenue, Malton YO17 7BZ, and partner Shannon Hanrahan (aka Shannon Price) born 04/06/1993, of Kidacre Park travellers site, Kidacre Street, Leeds LS10 1BD – abandoned several animals at Appleby Horse Fair

Animals abandoned and mistreated by gypsies Michael Price and Shannon Hanrahan
Gypsies Michael Price and Shannon Hanrahan mistreated animals and birds in their care

RSPCA inspectors were alerted after a passer-by saw that a pony had been left tethered beside the A685 just outside of Kirkby Stephen while two dogs were running loose near to two empty kennels.

None of the animals were being supervised or looked after, and the pony had no access to drinking water. Another dog – found in a cage without bedding – had no clean drinking water.

RSPCA inspector Claire Little said: “On Friday 31st May, whilst on duty in Kirkby Stephen, Cumbria, my colleague and I received a request from the police to help with some animals.

“As we arrived at the location I saw a brindle lurcher-type dog and what appeared to be a collie-type dog amongst the traffic and the police were trying to catch them.

“We pulled over and I managed to secure the dogs and get them into our van for safekeeping whilst we approached the police officers.

“It was explained to us that the owners of the dogs were believed to be the occupants of a caravan on the side of the road and that they were in Bradford.

“The dogs were wearing collars but there was no tethering equipment of any kind and a small caged area measuring approximately 2 ft x 2 ft x 2 ft with no lid was the only possible living area I could see for them. There was no shelter available for the cage.

“The police were concerned regarding some birds in cages they had seen inside a van next to the caravan so my colleague went to look at those – they turned out to be wild goldfinches.

“I then saw a small cream Lhasa Apso-type dog that appeared young, inside a metal cage at the side of the road. The cage had a lid that was secured but there was no shelter and the dog was laying on wet grass with no access to water. As the weather was wet I was concerned about the dog as they appeared to be shivering.

“A grey shetland pony tethered with a length of blue nylon rope tied around their neck was nearby. The rope was so tight that I couldn’t get my finger between the rope and the neck and I was concerned that this may start to injure the pony if they remained in this situation. The rope was tied to a nearby branch of a hedge that was quite flimsy. The pony’s hooves appeared overgrown.

“The police took the three dogs and pony into possession and placed them in RSPCA care.”

Michael Patrick Price admitted not ensuring the needs of the pony were met, and the same charge for a lurcher dog and a collie cross.

He also admitted having two goldfinches.

His co-accused Shannon Hanrahan admitted failing to ensure the proper care of the caged dog, and illegally having the two goldfinches.

A deprivation order was placed on the pony and two dogs who will now pass into RSPCA care and be rehomed. The birds were released back into the wild.

Sentencing:
Price was given 60 hours of unpaid work and ordered to pay costs and charges totalling £690. He was banned from owning or keeping any animal for four years.

Hanrahan was given a 14-day curfew at an address in Byker, Newcastle. She must pay also £250 costs and a £32 victim surcharge.

News and Star
RSPCA News

South Moor, County Durham: Claire Hewitt

#TheList Claire Hewitt, born 10/08/1988, of Park Road, South Moor, near Stanley, County Durham DH9

Claire Hewitt

Single mother-of-five Hewitt was given an order banning her from keeping pets and ordered to pay £150 after she was convicted of causing unnecessary suffering after failing to address a dog’s poor condition between September 2019 and October 2019.

She was also in the dock for failing to take steps to ensure that the needs of a dog and three cats were met.

Northern Echo

West End, Southampton: Michael Edward Levy

#TheList Michael Edward Levy, born 08/05/1988, formerly of 22 The Drive, West End, Southampton SO30 3AN, but gave his address in court as 35 Metherell Avenue, Brixham, Devon TQ5 9QB – left horses in a field without clean water and shelter

Pictured is convicted animal abuser Mike Levy from Southampton
Convicted animal abuser Mike Levy is only banned from keeping equines for six months

Gypsy Michael Levy, who runs a company called Forest Falconry and Pest Control Ltd and has a previous conviction for fly-tipping, was found guilty of failing to ensure the needs of animals he was responsible for.

The father-of-five was also found guilty of transporting a pony in a way that was likely to cause injury.

The court heard that RSPCA inspectors were called by the police after Levy allowed his ponies to fly-graze on land at Botley Road, West End, Southampton.

The land, which was littered with several hazards, did not have clean water, shade or shelter.

The fencing was also deemed inappropriate fencing for horses, which resulted in one horse getting trapped and losing a shoe.

RSPCA Inspector Tina Ward described the scene.

“A metal gate between two paddocks was hanging off its hinges,” said Inspector Ward. “The paddock also had a hidden dangerous hazard; a cesspit covered by grass and rubble.

“There was rusting metal and car parts as well as partly buried plastic blue piping. All of these had the potential to cause serious harm and injury.”

Pictured is convicted animal abuser Mike Levy from Southampton
Levy runs his own ‘pest control’ company

Police body-camera footage recorded a Shetland pony being unloaded by Levy from a white van.

Inspector Ward said the pony “had been travelling with a rope headcollar on that was loose. There were no windows giving light or ventilation, no partition to support the pony’s body, which is particularly important.”

She said: “If the pony was to lose its balance when the vehicle went round a corner or stopped suddenly, he could have injured himself significantly.”

Inspector Ward added where the pony had been standing was a number of items including a tin of paint and metal ladders.

“These also had the potential to cause the pony serious injury had he had fallen over. The method of transporting the pony was highly dangerous and would have also caused significant distress,” she said.

Inspector Ward concluded: “There were no windows giving light or ventilation, no partition to support the pony’s body. The method of transporting the pony was highly dangerous and would have also caused significant distress.”

Sentencing: Levy was ordered to pay a total of £1,233. He was banned from keeping equines for six months.

Horse and Hound
Daily Echo