Tag Archives: North East England

North East England

Redcar, North Yorkshire: Andrew Feeney

#TheList taxi driver Andrew Feeney born c. 1971, of 4 Haweswater Road, Redcar TS10 1LP – hit a little dog with his taxi, dragged him along for 40 yards then drove away, leaving him dying in the road

Taxi driver Andrew Feeney from Redcar collided with a little dog named Bear but failed to stop and drove along with Bear pinned to the front of his cab for 40 yards.
Puppy Bear would have likely survived if callous taxi driver Andrew Feeney had had the decency to stop immediately after hitting him

Feeney, who works for Redcar firm Elite Taxis, collided with 12-month-old Bedlington terrier/spaniel cross Bear on Sandsend Road in Redcar.

Upsetting CCTV footage showed the little black and white dog “pinned” to the front of Feeney’s taxi.

After the pup drops to the floor, Feeney then makes off in his vehicle. The stricken animal can then be seen lying on his back kicking his legs as people rushed to help.

Bear was taken to a vet but his injuries were so severe he had to be put to sleep. The vet said he would have likely survived if the taxi had stopped immediately after hitting him.

Prosecutor Ann Mitchell told the court how Bear’s owner had been mowing the lawn shortly after 11am on Tuesday 25 September 2018 when the dog clambered over the front garden wall.

The owner watched Bear disappear down Runswick Avenue on to Sandsend Road but as he went to retrieve him, he saw the pup pinned to the front of the taxi.

A Royal Mail postal worker on the street at the time said she had heard “a loud bang” then saw the taxi which “seemed to speed up”.

“About 40 yards on I saw the animal laid in the road with his legs in the air,” she said.

“The taxi had not slowed at all, in fact I thought it had sped up.

“The driver must have known he had hit something as the sound was loud in the post van which had the windows up and doors shut”.

Bear’s owner said their ordeal had a “massive” emotional impact on the family.

His partner had struggled to come to terms with the loss of their pet and criticised him for allowing the dog to be in the garden. They had ended up separating over their differences, he said.

In a statement he said: “I not only lost my beloved dog but my partner and mother of my six children.”

Feeney denied failing to stop after a road accident and failing to report it but was found guilty of the offences after a trial.

When interviewed by police, Feeney agreed he had driven along the road but said he did not hit the dog and was only aware of the incident as he had been accused on Facebook.

Hours after hitting Bear, he had taken the Skoda Octavia to be repaired and told the mechanic the damage to the front had been caused after hitting a cat.

However, the mechanic, with 18 years’ experience in professional bodywork restoration, said it was unlikely that such damage could have been caused by a cat.

Defending, Sarah Lish had suggested the officer investigating should have inspected other cars as there were other taxis of a similar description.

But the court heard Feeney’s taxi had five “distinctive” stickers on the side which could be seen clearly on the footage.

The magistrates said it was “inconceivable” that any other person could have been responsible for the accident.

Sentencing: fined £962 and ordered to pay costs and charges of £489. Eight penalty points were added to Feeney’s licence.

Gazette Live

Southwick, Sunderland: Arron Crighton

#TheList poacher Arron Crighton, born c. 1997, of Kismet Street, Sunderland SR5 2LG – made shocking videos of his dogs brutally killing foxes; posted graphic photos and videos online showing horrific injuries suffered by both dogs and foxes

Arron Crighton from Sunderland set his whippet on wild foxes 'for sport'
Arron Crighton from Sunderland set his whippet on wild foxes ‘for sport’ and bragged on social media about it

Arron Crighton admitted offences under the 2001 Animal Welfare Act and 2004 Hunting Act after using his black whippet, Jet, to attack and kill foxes.

Whippet Jet suffered a catalogue of painful injuries after being forced to fight foxes by his sadistic owner Arron Crighton
Whippet Jet suffered a catalogue of painful injuries after being forced to fight foxes by his sadistic owner Arron Crighton

Police were alerted to a number of videos made by Crighton, which included footage of a dog fighting with a fox and a person appearing to hold the fox down with their foot.

A second video showed two dogs with their jaws locked around the fox’s neck and body, while a picture was also taken showing Crighton and others holding a dog which had a bloodied fox in his mouth.

After being made aware of the social media posts, police executed a warrant at an address on Kismet Street, Sunderland, and seized a mobile phone belonging to Crighton.

Arron Crighton from Sunderland set his whippet on wild foxes 'for sport'
Arron Crighton

Investigators discovered hundreds of shocking photos and videos showing the attacks and subsequent injuries of the animals saved on the phone.

Asked why he’d initiated the illegal activity in interview, Crighton responded “for sport”. He also claimed that if one dog was injured by the fox, he would “put another dog on”.

PC Peter Baker, of Northumbria Police, said: “The photographs and videos that Arron Crighton made are incredibly distressing and showed a total disregard for the welfare of these animals.

“Crighton took a great deal of satisfaction out of filming this barbaric and criminal activity and then posted the trophy pictures online.

“It is blatantly clear that he cannot be trusted to own an animal and ensure it is adequately protected from pain, suffering, injury and disease. On this occasion, both Crighton’s own dog and the foxes suffered horrific injuries.

“This investigation was launched following information provided to police by a member of the public who saw the videos online and were rightly disgusted by them. I would urge anyone who sees poaching offences and cruelty of this type online to get in touch.

“This case should act as a reminder to all pet owners that anybody who fails to ensure an animal’s welfare is met could face criminal action. We would always ask anybody who witnesses cruelty or an animal in distress to contact the RSPCA direct or call 101.”

Jet– who was frightened but gentle in nature when officers located him– will also be re-homed.

Sentencing: to follow at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court on 24 April 2019.

The Northern Echo

Redcar, North Yorkshire: John Pybus

#TheList John Pybus, born 06/02/1963, of Grewgrass Farm, Grewgrass Lane, Marske-by-the-Sea, Redcar TS11 8EB: left four horses to suffer with maggot-infested wounds and serious fractures; two horses had to be euthanised to end their suffering

Suffering horses were discovered at John Pybus's farm in Marske-By-The-Sea. Two of them - Dimitri and Jango - had to be put to sleep
John Pybus of Grewgrass Farm, Marske-By-The-Sea caused unnecessary suffering to horses Cliff, Dimitri, Jango and Tizer, who were all underfed and in need of urgent veterinary care. Sadly, Dimitri and Jango could not be saved

Pybus pleaded guilty to five counts of causing unnecessary suffering to Cliff, Dimitri, Jango and Tizer, between July 30 and December 27, 2018.

The RSPCA and the World Horse Welfare organisation attended Pybus’s address in August 2018 after receiving a call from a member of the public worried about two horses.

RSPCA Chief Inspector Mark Gent said: “The grey horse, Dimitri, had a wound to his right shoulder that was maggot-infested. The area he was in had very limited grazing, no hay or supplementary food and the water available to him was green.

“Cliff, a bay, appeared to be very thin, with his ribs, hips and spine all visible and he appeared to be lethargic with his head hanging low.”

The two horses were seized by police and taken into the care of World Horse Welfare. It was discovered that Dimitri had fractured withers and was put to sleep on vet advice. Cliff remains with the charity.

World Horse Welfare field officer Sarah Tucker said: “Wherever possible we will always try to work with horse owners to resolve problems in situ, but unfortunately Pybus ignored the advice and guidance given to him.

“Dimitri was clearly in need of urgent medical attention for his painful wound and both horses were in very poor condition – even though there was a barn full of hay at the premises.

“Thankfully, we were able to remove both Dimitri and Cliff to safety and give them both the dedicated care and veterinary treatment they needed.

“Dimitri was found to be suffering fractured withers which could not be treated so the difficult decision was made to put him to sleep but thankfully Cliff is flourishing in our care and will be looking for a new home soon.”

There was a barnful of hay at the stables, but Pybus neglected to feed his animals and in December 2018, RSPCA inspectors returned to find a horse collapsed.

Chief Inspector Gent said: “A chestnut gelding called Jango was found down and gasping for breath when the inspector arrived.

“He was very thin and his ribs, hips and spine were all visible.

“He had a bandage on his front foreleg, and when the bandage was removed there was a wound which was very smelly, soft to touch and was oozing with puss. He also had numerous patches of rain scald that were red in colour. Pybus said the horse had become ill quickly and he was planning to get a vet out to him.

“Jango was seen by a vet at the scene and they advised that he should be put to sleep to prevent him suffering any further.”

A five-year-old chestnut gelding horse called Tizer was in another stable at the site. He was also thin with his spine and hips visible. He and two other horses were signed over to the RSPCA and removed. They remain in RSPCA care whilst they are being prepared for rehoming. A further horse was signed over at sentencing and is being assessed.

Sentencing: 18-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months; 12-month community order’ £915 in costs. Banned from keeping all animals except dogs for ten years.

Northern Echo

North Shields, Tyne and Weir: Lee Kiernan and Ruth Lane

#TheList Lee Kiernan and Ruth Lane most recently of Newlyn Crescent, North Shields NE25 for severe neglect and food deprivation of a husky puppy and a cat

Animal abusers Lee Kiernan and Ruth Lane from North Shields neglected and starved a husky puppy named Missy and a white tabby cat named Cuddles
Animal abusers Lee Kiernan and Ruth Lane from North Shields neglected and starved a husky puppy named Missy and a white tabby cat named Cuddles

Ten-month-old husky Missy and white tabby cat Cuddles were found in the couple’s family home.

Old food was piled up on the floor and it was so high, RSPCA officer’s struggled to open the door to rescue the pets.

When they did, the puppy was so hungry she “rushed ” from her cage to eat some of the leftovers.

Husky Missy was skin and bone when the RSPCA rescued her from her callous owners Lee Kiernan and  Ruth Lane of North Shields
Husky Missy was skin and bone when the RSPCA rescued her from her callous owners Lee Kiernan and Ruth Lane of North Shields

The court heard how Kiernan told one RSPCA officer to “fuck offbefore calling them a “cocky shit” for trying to check on the pets’ welfare.

But they were finally saved amid chaotic scenes at their home.

Inside there was “an overpowering smell of urine and faeces”.

“There were at least 20 flies swarming around the room,” said prosecutor Stewart Haywood.

“The smell was described by RSPCA officers as putrid.”

Eventually they found the pets, with emaciated Missy – who was skin and bone – the worse off.

“Missy had been forced to lie in faeces,” said the prosecutor, adding her coat was stained.

“She was not only starving, but was dehydrated.”

But over the next few months, both Lane and Kiernan gave the RSPCA the “run around”.

Rather than take responsibility, they denied owning them. Kiernan even claimed he was just a dog walker.

Eventually they admitted three charges each – but only after racking up £1,200 costs bill for the charity.

And while they may have to pay some of that, the court heard the duo – now of no fixed abode – would struggle to even pay for a bus to Bedlington due to their “strained financial circumstances”.

Lane already has a conviction for neglecting another dog.

But mitigating, Nigel Body claimed they were “the very last people” who should be jailed due to “the things they would learn”.

“They are an impressionable pair who were unable to cope,” he said, explaining the conditions.

“A period of custody, I don’t see how that would help them in any way.

“It is a regrettable incident, it is an awful incident.

“But these people need help.

“They are clearly a couple needing the intervention of the authorities.

“They are two people unsuitable for custody.”

The duo both admitted failing to ensure Cuddles’ and Missy’s welfare, as well as causing unnecessary suffering to the dog.

Both jailed for 24 weeks. No mention of a ban.

Daily Mail

Sunderland: Glenn A Foot

#TheList Glenn Foot, born 05/11/1987, of 42 Marley Crescent, Sunderland SR5 5BL – left his horse to suffer with a maggot infested wound

Failing boxer Glenn Foot left his defenceless horse tethered and suffering an infected wound

The RSPCA found skewbald stallion Raspy tethered on land near Wembley Road in Sunderland. Owner Glenn Foot was called to the scene, but refused to answer questions.

Police were called to supervise Raspy’s removal, but before a trailer could be loaded, Foot put his 12-year-old nephew on Raspy’s back and fled the scene.

Stewart Haywood, prosecuting on behalf of the RSPCA, said tethering Raspy was against welfare guidelines.

“In cases that a horse can be tethered, a broad leather collar should be used with a 360 degree swivel,” said Mr Haywood.

“The horse should also not be tethered near rights of way – there was a public path nearby – and the horse should be inspected at least once every six hours.

“Raspy had two nylon collars, one of which had caused the wound which became infected.

“A vet estimated the wound to be between two and five days old, “There were maggots and fly larvae in the wound.

“The RSPCA say the horse was subject to a prolonged period of neglect.”

The court heard Raspy and Foot were traced for a second time following a press appeal. Raspy’s injuries had healed by then, and Foot was allowed to keep him.

One of life’s failures: Convicted horse abuser Glenn Foot isn’t much cop as a boxer either

Foot was convicted of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal, and f obstructing an RSPCA inspector in the execution of her duty, both on August 29, 2018.

Both convictions were in his absence after he failed to turn up for his trial.

Geoffrey Forrester, defending, said: “Mr Foot has dedicated much of his life to boxing.

“At the time of this offending he was preparing for a very important fight which would, had be won, led to great exposure and a remunerative contract with a promoter.

“He had been to a press conference to promote the fight on the day he was called to deal with Raspy.

“Unfortunately, the fight was lost, as were the associated opportunities.

“On the day he fled with the horse, he just panicked.

“The vet says the injuries to Raspy may have been only two days old. That is unpleasant, but it’s not a prolonged period of time.

“This is not a case of a man who leaves a horse to fend for itself for weeks or months at a time.”

Sentencing: 18-month community order; 300 hours of unpaid work; £455 costs. Banned from keeping equine animals for five years. The bench gave the RSPCA the power to seize Raspy if Foot still has him.

Sunderland Echo

Coxhoe, Co Durham: Christopher Paul Adam

#TheList Christopher Paul Adam, born 04/10/92, of The Avenue, Coxhoe, Co Durham DH6 4AD – kept dogs Charlie and Lola in horrific conditions and deprived them of food and water

Convicted animal abuser Chris Adam now of Coxhoe, Co Durham, kept his dogs in shocking conditions and deprived them of food and water
Convicted animal abuser Chris Adam now of Coxhoe, Co Durham, kept his dogs in shocking conditions and deprived them of food and water

RSPCA inspectors turned up at father-of-two Adam’s former home on Heathway, Seaham, in August 2018 where Lola was found in a dog crate in his backyard and Charlie was found in a brick outhouse.

The dogs were noticeably thirsty and starving and had nowhere comfortable to sleep.

RSPCA inspector, Rowena Proctor, said: “I was shocked to see how Lola and Charlie were living, particularly after being shown through what was an immaculately clean house.

Convicted animal abuser Chris Adam now of Coxhoe, Co Durham, kept his dogs in shocking conditions and deprived them of food and water
Charlie has recovered from her ordeal at the hands of her negligent owner Chris Adam of Coxhoe, Co Durham

“Lola was in a dog crate that was entirely empty aside from her, curled up in a ball. There was no bedding, food or water. Adam let her out then went to an outhouse from where he let out Charlie.

“It was immediately obvious that both dogs were very thirsty and that Lola in particular was hungry. They quickly started to drink dirty puddle water and what appeared to be rainwater that had filled a dirty kitchen bowl. Charlie toileted and Lola immediately ate it.

“Lola was obviously very, very thin and her white coat was dirty and smelly, her feet and legs were stained brown and yellow.

“Adam allowed me to look inside the outhouse which had very little natural light and was piled high with tools and other belongings leaving Charlie – who is a large dog – with very little space to move.

“There was no comfortable place for Charlie to rest. There was a piece of old carpet on the floor but, as she couldn’t escape from the tiny space she was in to toilet, it was heavily soiled with her own urine and faeces.

“The smell was overpowering. It must have been an absolutely awful place to be confined.

“There was a water bowl inside the outhouse but it was empty and dry.”

Convicted animal abuser Chris Adam now of Coxhoe, Co Durham, kept his dogs in shocking conditions and deprived them of food and water
Springer spaniel Lola will always be of small stature after being starved by her cruel owner Chris Adam of Coxhoe

Both dogs were removed with the owner’s permission and taken to a vets for examination before being taken into possession by police on vet advice.

Lola weighed 6.4kg and was emaciated with her ribs, pelvis and spine all able to be seen through her coat and a vet said her size has been stunted and she will always be of small stature as a result of being starved at a young age.

Charlie weighed 25.2kg and was very underweight. The vet stated that a dog of Charlie’s size should weigh in excess of 30kg.

In mitigation, the court heard that Adam, who runs a home improvement firm named P.L. Maintenance, had been going through a difficult time and was of previous good character.

18 weeks in jail – suspended for 12 months – and 15 rehabilitation activity days. Ordered to pay £300 costs and £115 victim surcharge. Banned for life from keeping animals.

Sunderland Echo

Ferryhill, County Durham: Matthew Dennis Parker

#TheList Matthew Dennis Parker, born c. 1993, of Newton Street, Ferryhill, Co Durham DL17 8PW – abandoned three kittens in an empty property. One kitten found dead, the others were skin and bone.

Officers were called to Parker’s home after the RSPCA had established that he had not been back to his house to attend to the kittens for at least three days.

RSPCA inspector Clare Wilson said: “We had seen two kittens – Thor and Belle – on the windowsill of what we assumed was a bedroom upstairs, and they didn’t seem to have access to the rest of the house.

“When officers went in they found the kittens shut in.

“Tragically, a third kitten, Tigger, was found dead on the bed.

“All three of them were literally skin and bones but fortunately, with a lot of TLC, Thor and Belle have gone on to make a full recovery and have been rehomed.”

In mitigation the court heard that Parker was working a lot of hours at the time and thought he had left enough food for the kittens. They were told the last thing he wanted was to cause them suffering and regretted what had happened.

Inspector Wilson said: “We are seeing more and more people leaving their pets unattended for long periods. Not only is this unacceptable, it is against the law. If you must leave your pet unattended for more than 24 hours you must make arrangements for a responsible person to care for them in your absence.

“As this very sad case demonstrates, the consequences can be heartbreaking.”

Sentencing: 26 weeks in prison suspended for 12 months; 200 hours of unpaid work, 20 rehabilitation days; total of £415 costs and charges. Disqualified from keeping animals for 20 years.

Northern Echo

Stockton-on-Tees, County Durham: Thomas John Black

#TheList Thomas John Black, born 13/01/1995, of Laurel Road, Eaglescliffe, Stockton-on-Tees TS16 0BD – moved out of his house, leaving his pet cat behind

Heartless Thomas John Black from Stockton-on-Tees has been banned from keeping animals for 10 years after abandoning his pet cat, Cass.
Heartless Thomas John Black from Stockton-on-Tees has been banned from keeping animals for 10 years after abandoning his pet cat, Cass.

Black pleaded guilty to three offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 in a prosecution case brought by the RSPCA.

Heartless Thomas John Black from Stockton-on-Tees has been banned from keeping animals for 10 years after abandoning his pet cat, Cass.
Face only a mother could love: convicted animal abuser Thomas John Black from Stockton-on-Tees.

RSPCA inspector Clare Wilson said: “The house was filthy, with faeces and urine everywhere and rubbish strewn across every room.

“Cass had no access to food or water and, on top of both of these things, Cass had serious veterinary needs.

“Cass had previously suffered with seizures, which Black was aware of and was told needed treatment, but he moved out and left him behind in the property.”

Heartless Thomas John Black from Stockton-on-Tees has been banned from keeping animals for 10 years after abandoning his pet cat, Cass.
Thomas John Black abandoned Cass in an empty property, leaving her to starve to death.

In mitigation the court heard Black had been going through a difficult time and had moved back in with family.

Cass has now been signed over to the RSPCA and hopefully will now be able to be rehomed.

Inspector Wilson said: “I’m dealing with more and more abandonment cases like this one.

“Abandoning an animal in this way is completely unacceptable.

“If you cannot attend to your pet for whatever reason, you must make arrangements for a responsible person to care for them in your absence.”

12-month community order, 25 rehabilitation days, ordered to pay £300 costs and an £85 victim surcharge. Disqualified from keeping animals for ten years.

Northern Echo

Ashington, Northumberland: Connor McMillan

#TheList Connor McMillan, born c. 1996, of Aln Street, Ashington NE63 – stabbed his family’s dog in the neck after flying into a rage

Connor McMillan from Ashington stabbed a dog in the neck
Connor McMillan plunged a neck into family pet Bella’s neck after she became protective

McMillan stabbed the dog, named Bella, in the neck after flying into a rage when his girlfriend accused him of seeing someone else.

Bella was left with a three-inch wound and needed a £500 operation.

Prosecutor Claire Anderson told Newcastle Crown Court McMillan had smashed property inside the house and waved a knife around after losing his temper.

Police mugshot of violent thug Connor McMillan
Police mugshot of violent thug Connor McMillan

Miss Anderson said McMillan’s father suffered a slash to his forearm during the violence and had to restrain his son.

The prosecutor told the court: “The family dog Bella became protective. The dog was barking and jumping up.

“The defendant reacted by stabbing the dog in the neck, leaving a three inch wound.”

Miss Anderson said the animal was left with a “serious injury” and endured a “high level of suffering”.

Social media image of convicted animal abuser Connor McMillan, who stabbed a dog in the neck

McMillan admitted causing unnecessary suffering to an animal, assault, and criminal damage.

Judge Jeremy Freedman said it was a “terrifying incident” and that the father could have suffered serious injury when the blade was waved around.

Judge Freedman told McMillan: “What you did do was use that knife to stab the family dog.

“That is a particularly aggravating feature in this offending.

“I trust you are thoroughly ashamed of your actions.

“You could easily have killed the dog. As it was, you caused a serious laceration and the dog had to have surgery.

“I am told, thankfully, the dog fully recovered.”

Judge Freedman said McMillan is in need of help to “contain and control” his anger.

Sentencing: 28 weeks’ imprisonment, suspended for two years, with rehabilitation requirements.

Chronicle Live

Rowan West travellers site, Darlington: William Henry Welch and William Chates

#TheList William (‘Billy’) Henry Welch, born c. 1989, and William Chates, born c. 1965, both of Rowan West caravan site, Levisham Lane, Darlington DL2 1QZ – for “horrific and abhorrent” cockfighting offences

Travellers Billy Welsh (top left) and William Chates organised and participated in cruel cockfights
Travellers Billy Welsh (top left) and William Chates organised and participated in cruel cockfights

North Yorkshire Police officers described footage of the cockfights, recorded on a mobile phone, as one of the worst examples of animal cruelty they had ever seen – and hailed the “landmark” custodial sentence.

On 13 January 2018, acting on an anonymous call to the police control room, officers from North Yorkshire Police’s Rural Taskforce and the RSPCA attended premises at Skutterskelf, near Stokesley, North Yorkshire.

A number of men were located there. Officers searched buildings and vehicles, and seized a total of 27 live birds, some of which were bleeding from fresh cuts to the body and head. Inside a stable block, officers located bird feathers, and dried and fresh bloodstains on the floor and carpet.

During the enquiry, an examination was carried out on a mobile phone recovered from Welch, which revealed he was present at a number of other cockfights, on 19 December 2017 and 4 January 2018.

Investigators described the extremely graphic video footage on the phone as “sickening”.

The RSPCA provided expert evidence about the condition of the birds, and arranged for their safe storage and ongoing care.

Billy Welch pleaded guilty to charges of causing an animal fight to take place, keeping animals for fighting, and being present at an animal fight on three occasions in December 2017 and January 2018.

Travellers Billy Welsh (top left) and William Chates organised and participated in cruel cockfights
William Henry Welch

Jailing Welch, magistrates told him: “You put your own recreational needs before the welfare of your animals, in the most horrific and abhorrent circumstances.”

William Chates pleaded guilty to being present at an animal fight.

Two further defendants were found not guilty.

Billy Welch was sentenced to 20 weeks in jail, disqualified from keeping all animals for 20 years, and ordered to pay a total of £2,000 costs.

William Chates was sentenced to 120 hours of unpaid work, disqualified from keeping all animals for 10 years, and ordered to pay £170 costs.

North Yorkshire Police
Northern Echo