Tag Archives: North East England

North East England

Stanley, County Durham: Lauren Eliot

#TheList Lauren Jane Eliot (aka Lauren Purvis), born 02/08/1997, of 5 Thomas Street, Annfield Plain, Stanley, Co Durham DH9 7SN – left a poorly British bulldog puppy to live in a yard full of rubbish and a mouldy sofa.

Dog abuser Lauren Jane Eliot and neglected British bulldog Royston

Eighteen-month-old British bulldog Royston was underweight, had skin and ear conditions and was living in a cluttered yard full of hazards when the RSPCA rescued him from his heartless owner, Lauren Jane Eliot.

Dog abuser Lauren Jane Eliot

The single mother-of-one was banned from keeping animals for five years after she was convicted of one offence under the Animal Welfare Act.

She failed to appear before Newton Aycliffe Magistrates’ Court but was convicted in her absence of not taking reasonable steps to ensure the dog’s needs for a suitable environment were met and not seeking veterinary attention for his various ailments.

Lauren Eliot with (ex?) partner David Anthony Barker with whom she co-owned Royston
Lauren Eliot with (ex?) partner David Anthony Barker with whom she co-owned Royston

RSPCA inspector Cathy Maddison said: “I had been to this property in April and given advice to the couple living there to clean up the yard where they said Royston – an 18-month-old British bulldog – was living in the daytime.

“I got another call about him in August and when I went the situation had deteriorated.

“Royston was lying on a mouldy sofa in the yard, which was full of hazards.

“He had lost weight, had red skin and his nails were long.

“Eliot said she was taking him to the vets so I advised that needed to happen and the yard needed to be tidied up but unfortunately when I went back over a week later neither had.

“The yard was even worse, with faeces everywhere, and the shed Royston was using for shelter had been filled with chairs so his only resting place was the now very wet sofa.

“Eliot agreed I could take Royston to the vets to be checked over where he was found to be underweight.

“The skin under his chin and neck appeared red raw, his ears were very dirty and he smelled bad.

“He was taken into possession by police on vet advice and placed in our care pending the outcome of our investigation.”

Dog abuser Lauren Jane Eliot

The court heard that the defendant had been left with the dog when she broke up with her partner and was not in a position to care for him.

Inspector Maddison said: “Royston is now fully recovered and doing great.

“He’s a fantastic dog, and I’m really happy that we’ll now be able to find a fantastic new forever home for him.”

Sentencing: ordered to pay a total of £400. Five-year ban on keeping animals.

Northern Echo

Houghton-le-Spring, City of Sunderland: Anthony Bittlestone

#TheList Anthony Bittlestone, born 28/12/1970, of Lilywhite Terrace, Easington Lane, Houghton-le-Spring, Sunderland DH5 – banned from keeping animals after his dog was found starving.

Dog abuser Anthony Bittlestone from Houghton le Spring

Jack Russell Riley was described as “emaciated” and weighed just 3kg when found, which was less than half of the recommended weight for his breed. His nails were overgrown and he was also shedding fur. The floor of the kitchen where he was kept was littered faeces.

His owner Anthony Bittlestone pleaded guilty to two offences of causing unnecessary suffering and failing to ensure the dog’s welfare.

RSPCA prosecutor Stewart Haywood told the court that an inspector first visited Bittlestone’s house on September 30, 2019, but was not allowed in. He did, however, see Riley and noticed that his hips, ribs and spine were clearly visible. Inspector Haywood gave Bittlestone advice on improving the dog’s body condition.

The RSPCA paid further visits to Bittlestone’s home in October 2019 but there was no answer at the door.

After receiving no contact from Bittlestone, the RSPCA gained access to the property and found Riley in a “shocking condition”.

Mr Haywood said: “Riley was extremely thin and very lethargic. The kitchen floor was littered with faeces and the smell was described as disgusting.”

The pet was taken to a vet and examined. Blood tests were also carried out.

“Riley had a weight of 3.09kg, an emaciated body condition,” said Mr Haywood. “A dog of that type should weigh about 7kg.

“The dog was shedding fur and its nails were too long. Blood test results showed that Riley had simply been starved.”

Neglected Jack Russell Riley before and after her recovery
Neglected Jack Russell Riley before and after her recovery

Jason Smith, representing Bittlestone, said this happened at a time when the defendant, who worked as a milkman, was experiencing difficulties.

His partner had left him and his father had been diagnosed with a terminal illness. Bittlestone found himself struggling to look after his parents and the dog as well as keeping up with his work, it was said.

Mr Smith added: “While Riley was clearly underweight, there was actually no long-term deficit at all. There was no internal damage, no veterinary or medical condition to show that Riley will be adversely affected.

“Mr Bittlestone was feeding Riley. The reality is that Riley was clearly not getting the nutritional value from the food that has been given to him.”

Sentencing: 18-month community order, 25 days of rehabilitation activities and 150 hours of unpaid work; £490 in costs. Banned from keeping animals for 10 years.

ChronicleLive

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

Windy Nook, Gateshead, Tyne and Wear: Amy Rutherford

#TheList Amy Rutherford, born 12/01/1997, of Coltsfoot Gardens, Gateshead NE10 9RE – locked her two cats in her squalid home while she went to live with her boyfriend

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

Cats Lucy and Lola almost starved to death after their owner, Amy Rutherford, abandoned them in a dark and freezing property for six weeks.

In court, she pleaded guilty to one count of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal and two of failing to ensure the welfare of an animal.

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

The court heard that the RSPCA were contacted in early September 2019 after members of the public reported seeing the “distressed” cats jumping up at the windows of Rutherford’s home.

An officer attended and left an RSPCA card, as well as putting sellotape around the hinges of the front door.

The investigator returned a number of times over the following days and saw that the tape was still intact, meaning nobody had entered or left the property.

Eventually, the police gained access on September 20.

Stewart Haywood, prosecuting for the RSPCA, said: “The conditions inside were appalling. There was a strong smell of urine and faeces and it was dark and cold.

“The light switches were not working and the rooms were covered in rubbish.”

The court heard that bin bags had been scratched at by the cats and there was no food or water in their bowls.

The prosecutor added: “The officer found Lucy. She was opening her mouth repeatedly but no sound was coming out. Her pink collar was wrapped around her hips rather than her neck.

“Her bones could be felt and her eyes were sunk.”

Lucy collapsed when she was put in a basket to the point officers thought she had died.

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

Lola, who was in a slightly better condition, was also seized and taken to a vets, where both were discovered to be emaciated and Lucy to be suffering from hypothermia.

When interviewed, Rutherford claimed she’d only ever left the pets for a couple of days and hadn’t replied to the RSPCA card because she’d been too busy with work.

John Williams, defending, said Rutherford was drinking too much at the time and suffered from secondary bipolar disorder and depression.

He added: “There’s no excuse and she accepts that. She abandoned the cats for about six weeks. She went to stay with her boyfriend as her mental health was deteriorating. She was a manager in a shop but she had to give that up as she could no longer carry on.”

District Judge Kate Meek said: “You had to move out of the house because it was uncomfortable for you because it was cold and dark, but, it’s alright for them [the cats] to suffer and not you?

“They, like any other pet animal, rely completely on you for their care and attention. When you take ownership of them, it’s effectively an agreement that you’re going to look after them.

“They’re technically no more able to do so themselves than a small, young child.”

The judge added: “I have looked at the pictures and they are quite distressing, as it is distressing to hear the particulars.

“It’s absolutely clear that this was over a prolonged period of time and both cats suffered a high degree of harm because of your lack of care and attention that you must be expected to provide any animal in your care.

“There is no justification or explanation for it.”

Sentencing: 18-week prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, with 250 hours of unpaid work. Banned from keeping pets indefinitely.

Chronicle Live

Middlesbrough: Steven Harrison

#TheList Steven Anthony Harrison, born 12/08/1985, of Brereton Road, Middlesbrough TS4 3HS – starved and neglected his pet dog and let him stray

Habitual house burglar Steven Harrison can now add animal cruelty to his long list of convictions
Habitual house burglar Steven Harrison can now add animal cruelty to his long list of convictions

Steven Harrison’s dog, known as Benson, was found “skinny, lethargic and retching’ with a potato stuck in his throat. He had also swallowed a dishcloth which was lodged in his stomach.

Crossbreed Benson had a whole potato stuck in his throat and dish cloth in stomach
Benson had a whole potato stuck in his throat and dish cloth in stomach

Career criminal Harrison, who has racked up dozens of convictions for house burglary, was convicted of two offences under the Animal Welfare Act: one of causing unnecessary suffering and one of failing to meet Benson’s needs.

A member of the public had alerted the RSPCA after the dog was found straying on February 4, 2019.

Habitual house burglar Steven Harrison can now add animal cruelty to his long list of convictions
Father-of-three Harrison has the nickname Wayno

Inspector Clare Wilson said: “When I first saw Benson he was skinny, lethargic and kept retching and coughing constantly. I could feel and see all of his ribs and his spine.

“It was late at night so I took him to a nearby vet surgery where staff were concerned that he had an obstruction.

“He was put onto a drip and given pain relief and medication to help with the sickness. Vets did lots of tests and x-rays showed a large obstruction in his chest cavity, behind the heart. He needed a special operation to remove it – and that’s when vets found a whole potato and dishcloth inside him.

“It was touch and go whether he’d survive the complex operation but, luckily, he pulled through.”

Inspector Wilson traced Harrison and was told that Benson had been vomiting for a number of days but no veterinary treatment was sought and he was allowed to stray around the area.

She continued: “He was extremely poorly by the time we were able to get him the vet. He was lucky to survive.”

Habitual house burglar Steven Harrison can now add animal cruelty to his long list of convictions
Police mugshot of Steven Anthony Harrison

Benson was signed over to the RSPCA after court.

The inspector continued: “Poor Benson has a stricture in his oesophagus which means he will probably always need to be fed small amounts of food regularly so this incident has had a life-changing effect on him.

“He’s doing well otherwise though and is such a lovely dog that the animal centre staff who are caring for him are hopeful they will be able to find him the special home he needs and deserves when he’s ready.”

Sentencing: six weeks’ custody suspended for 12 months; ordered to do 80 hours of unpaid work and to pay a victim surcharge of £115. Disqualified from keeping all animals for seven years.

Gazette Live

Previous convictions:
https://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/news/8875338.south-bank-burglar-jailed-raid-pensioners-home/

https://www.gazettelive.co.uk/news/teesside-news/career-burglar-jailed-six-years-10038121

Ingleby Barwick, Stockton on Tees: Kelly Henry

#TheList Kelly Henry, born 10/01/1984 of Hatchlands Park, Ingleby Barwick TS17 5GT – for the prolonged ill-treatment of her elderly Labrador

Pictured is convicted animal abuser Kelly Henry from Ingleby Barwick, Stockton on Tees
Personal trainer Kelly Henry is banned from keeping animals for just five years

Self-employed fitness instructor Kelly Henry, who trades under the name Kelly Henry Signature Personal Training, pleaded guilty to cruelty towards her emaciated black Labrador, known as Shadow.

The ten-year-old dog, whom Henry had owned since she was a puppy, was found by the RSPCA in a “dreadful condition”, weighing just 16kg and having no body fat.

Police were called to Henry’s previous address in Eaglescliffe, Stockton, after an RSPCA inspector saw Shadow looking starved in the garden through slots in the fence. The inspector found two empty dog bowls.

Stuart Bennett, prosecuting, told the court the dog would have been “in pain and suffering weakness” due to malnutrition.

Mr Bennett estimated that this suffering would have lasted around four weeks but “only occurred due to neglect which had obviously been far longer”.

Henry claimed she had fed Shadow but admitted it “probably wasn’t enough”.

Shadow was also found to have cataracts, which Henry had dismissed as “glazed eyes” due to her age. Henry agreed that she should have taken the dog to the vet and said she hadn’t done so as she “didn’t want to look like a bad person”.

The prosecution said that Henry had bought two kittens whom she had taken to the vet regularly, adding that this was “difficult to comprehend”.

The court was shown a series of photographs as evidence of Henry’s neglect. These included photos of Shadow with a protruding rib cage and spine.

Pictured is convicted animal abuser Kelly Henry from Ingleby Barwick, Stockton on Tees

A probation service report described how Henry’s personal circumstances had changed after the collapse of her marriage. They said that her neglect of Shadow was “a result of her burying her head in the sand with everything else going on in her life”.

Henry expressed remorse for her actions and agreed that she could have cared for Shadow “a lot better”.

Danielle Hewitt, defending, said that Henry’s two children would “suffer if a custodial sentence were to be imposed”.

Sentencing: 12 weeks in custody suspended for 12 months. 25 days of rehabilitation activity. Ordered to pay £522 costs. Banned from keeping animals for five years. Deprivation order on Shadow and her two kittens.

TeessideLive

Stanley, County Durham: David Morton

#TheList David Morton, born c. 1992, of Jane Street, Stanley DH9 7BH – left his husky dog to suffer with a broken leg for more than four weeks.

David Morton, who is no stranger to the courts, told magistrates he didn't "give a monkeys'after being convicted for leaving his pet dog to suffer in agony with a broken leg
Morton, who is no stranger to the courts, told magistrates he didn’t “give a monkeys’after being convicted for leaving his pet dog to suffer in agony with a broken leg

Serial headcase David Morton was found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal for failing to get veterinary treatment for his pet husky’s broken leg. The cause of the dog’s injury was unexplained.

Morton, who was recently given community service after sending human faeces to a police officer, told magistrates that he “didn’t give a monkey’s” what they said and would have two dogs by the weekend.

Husky Sendi who was mistreated and neglected by her uncaring owner David Morton
Husky Sendi who was mistreated and neglected by her uncaring owner David Morton

Kevin Campbell, prosecuting on behalf of RSPCA, said the charity became involved after a veterinary surgeon contacted them to raise concerns about Morton’s dog, a female husky named Sendi.

He said: “On the 22nd July [2019] the dog was seen by a vet who conceded that the dog had a fracture to her leg and the injury was four to six weeks old. The dog had either been untreated or treated inadequately.

“She concluded that the dog was clearly suffering as a result of the failure to give it any proper treatment.”

The dog had a broken femur and was unable to walk when she was seen by a vet.

Mr Campbell added: “When inspectors attended the address they could see the dog was unable to stand on its hind leg.

“A male answered the door and said he was the defendant, the inspector asked him about the dog in question and he was uncooperative – referring to him as a donkey.

“The defendant told him to f*** off, he was not allowed to enter the property and police had to be called to help him.”

PIctured is convicted dog abuser David Morton outside court

Paul Donohue, mitigating, said the 28-year-old had not set out to harm his own dog.

He said: “The actual injury has not been caused on purpose. It was caused accidentally and the complaint is that the dog did not have the proper treatment. He accepts that the dog did not have an operation but that wasn’t for lack of trying.

PIctured is convicted dog abuser David Morton outside court

“Like many people he does not have insurance so if anything happens it would fall to him to pay for it.

“If he had £5,000 there and then he would have spent it on the dog.

“He didn’t want the dog to suffer but he just has not got the money.”

Sendi was treated by the RSPCA and remains in their care.

Sentencing: ordered to pay £480 costs. Banned from keeping animals for five years. Morton is already serving a community order for a previous offence.

Northern Echo

Hartlepool, County Durham: Natasha Corbett

#TheList Natasha K Corbett, born c. 1988, of Meryl Gardens, Stockton Road, Hartlepool TS25 2PL – neglected and starved two dogs kept in pens in an outbuilding.

Convicted animal abuser Natasha Corbett from Hartlepool

Single mother Natasha Corbett pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to a dog called Lucky and of failing to ensure the welfare of a second dog, Otis.

The court heard vets found Lucky had a body condition score of 1 out of 9, along with painful, matted fur and Otis was significantly underweight with a score of 2 out of 9.

Pictured is Lucky after she'd been shaved to remove painful matted fur
Lucky had to be shaved to remove painful matted fur

Stewart Heywood, prosecuting, said an RSPCA officer attended Corbett’s house in early October 2019 after concerns were raised about the dogs’ welfare.

He said the dogs were being kept in metal pens inside an outbuilding and the officer could see they needed immediate vet care.

The prosecutor said: “She said she relied on the children to feed both the dogs, but admitted she did not check they were doing so.”

Pictured is neglected dog Otis.
Otis was underweight due to not being fed properly

He said Corbett was given an RSPCA caution in 2018 after she admitted causing unnecessary suffering to a number of puppies.

A spokesman for the probation service said Corbett, a former pupil at Manor College of Technology, is a single mother and works full time as a senior sales assistant for BrightHouse.

He said her two sons, aged nine and 11, were given the responsibility of caring for the dogs.

Convicted animal abuser Natasha Corbett from Hartlepool

He said: “Ms Corbett now recognises that the responsibility to care for the dogs was her own.

“Due to her ignorance and lack of finance the dogs were not cared for as they should have been.

“She feels guilty about what happened.”

Andrew Teate, defending, said the dogs had been brought into the family by Ms Corbett’s former partner who was then sent to prison.

He said Ms Corbett’s cats were well looked after and the RSPCA had no issues with their care.

He said: “The children were caring for the animals, she accepts with the benefit of hindsight that was unsatisfactory.”

Sentencing: 12 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months; four-week curfew. Banned from keeping all animals for ten years. Deprivation order on her cats.

Hartlepool Mail

Additional information:
Natasha Corbett Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tashacorbett88/

Jarrow, Tyne and Wear: Mark Simpson

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Animal abuser Mark Simpson from Jarrow

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

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

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

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

Chronicle Live
Shields Gazette

Gateshead, Tyne and Wear: Janice Clow

#TheList Janice Clow, born 30/08/1967, of Mersey Road, Gateshead NE8 3SR – failed to treat her elderly German Shepherd’s arthritis and painful skin and eye problems

Elderly German Shepherd Rocky was riddled with fleas and suffering multiple ailments, none of which had been treated by his uncaring owner Janice Clow
Elderly German Shepherd Rocky was riddled with fleas and suffering multiple ailments, none of which had been treated by his uncaring owner Janice Clow

Mother-of-four Janice Clow pleaded guilty to one offence under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 to causing unnecessary suffering to her German Shepherd called Rocky.

The 11-year-old dog was in such a bad state when he was taken to the vet by the RSPCA that he had to be put down.

RSPCA inspector Rachael Hurst went to Clow’s home on August 21, 2019, following a complaint about a German Shepherd with a serious skin problem.

Inspector Hurst said: “Rocky was 11 and was in a really bad way. He was shaking and itching and stood in a hunched posture.

“He’d lost almost all of the fur across his body and his skin was thickened and sore.”

Inspector Hurst took Rocky to a vet who discovered he was suffering from a chronic skin condition. Vets said he’d been in this state for at least three to six months, but they suspected he could have been suffering for years.

“Rocky had fleas and open wounds on his body,” Inspector Hurst added.

“He had severe ear infections, an ulcerated bleeding mass on one paw, and two healed corneal ulcers in one eye.

“He was extremely itchy and uncomfortable.”

The vet found he was struggling particularly on his back legs and that he’d likely been suffering from stiffness and pain caused by his arthritis for six months to a year.

Rocky also had severely overgrown nails and a painful eye condition.

“The vet said the extent of his skin condition and severity of his arthritis, which had gone untreated for months, possibly years, had caused ‘irreversible damage’ and sadly Rocky had to be put to sleep,” Inspector Hurst added.

In court, Clow said she’d tried her best to help Rocky and had sought advice from the internet but that it had not been enough to help him. The court heard that she was remorseful.

Sentencing: 16 weeks in custody, suspended for 12 months; 25 rehabilitation activity requirement days; 150 hours of unpaid work; ordered to pay £515 in costs and charges. Disqualified from keeping all animals for 10 years.

ChronicleLive