Tag Archives: North East England

North East England

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.

Sentencing:
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

Benwell, Newcastle upon Tyne: Natalie Dendri

UPDATED FOR SENTENCING
#TheList Natalie Dendri, aged 39, of Colston Street, Benwell, Newcastle upon Tyne NE4 – threw a pet ferret named Posh Spice into the air and repeatedly punched her

Natalie Dendry from Newcastle threw pet ferret named Posh Spice into the air and repeatedly punched her

Dendri was found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to the animal and being drunk and disorderly after the incident in May 2018.

She was seen throwing the animal into the air and repeatedly punching her. The ferret tried to escape but Dendri caught her and attacked her again.

The details were revealed at a trial at Newcastle Magistrates’ Court after Dendri was charged with two offences – causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal and being drunk and disorderly.

She denied both charges but failed to attend court and the trial went ahead in her absence.

Prosecutor Stephen Davies said the offences took place just before 2pm on May 31.

It was said a driver who was travelling along Armstrong Road saw a woman at the side of road with a furry object. She then threw it in the air and started punching it “really severely”.

Natalie Dendry from Newcastle threw pet ferret named Posh Spice into the air and repeatedly punched her

The animal squirmed away but Dendri grabbed her and punched her again with a clenched fist, the court heard.

The police were called and PC Lewis Calboutin attended the scene.

The officer told the court : “I was asked to attend in relation to an intoxicated female who may have a pet that she was treating badly.

“I saw a female sitting on the grass verge on the side of Armstrong Road.

“She immediately appeared to me to be intoxicated. She had a ferret called Posh Spice. It was lying in the sun and it appeared dehydrated. It was hot, it was panting and seemed lethargic.”

Dendri was asked to get into a police vehicle so she could be taken home to attend to the animal’s welfare.

In the vehicle, she was shouting and swearing and, as they reached her address, she vomited in the van.

“We asked her to step out of the vehicle,” said PC Calboutin. “She started shouting and swearing at me and my colleague.

“She then dropped her ferret from a standard height to the floor.”

Dendri was arrested and the ferret was taken to a vet. The animal later recovered and was placed in a shelter.

On being interviewed, the defendant denied being drunk or that she ill treated the ferret. She pleaded not guilty to the offences at an earlier hearing.

However magistrates found her guilty of both charges on the day of the trial.

It was also revealed that Dendri had previously admitted to an offence of assaulting an officer at a police station after she was arrested on May 31, 2018.

North Tyneside Magistrates’ Court heard that Dendri had kept ferrets for a number of years but after Posh Spice was removed she no longer had any pets.

Janice Hall, defending, said that Dendry was previously sectioned as a result of her ill mental health and now has carers.

Ms Hall said: “They ensure that she is taking her medication. They also help with her money and provide her with general assistance.

“She struggles looking after herself, she’s not in a position to give appropriate care for an animal.”

District Judge Kate Meek said: “You caused unnecessary suffering to a ferret whether you meant to or not. More to the point you carried on  doing so.

“I accept there are a range of issues and a custodial sentence would simply delay that work being undertaken.”

She added: “Ms Dendri this is really your last chance. Let’s hope it works.”

Sentencing (02/11/18)
12-month community order to work with probation on her drug and alcohol issues; fined £50 and ordered to pay £250 costs.  Unlimited ban on keeping animals which lasts for at least two years, after which Dendri would need to apply to a court to  have the ban lifted. 

ChronicleLive

St Helen Auckland, Co Durham: Frankie Williams

#TheList Frankie Williams, aged 26, of Melrose Drive, St Helen Auckland was  found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to a lurcher named Rocky after an RSPCA investigation

Vile dog abuser Frankie Williams from St Helen Auckland, Co Durham, and victim Rocky, who was in an appalling condition when rescued.
Vile dog abuser Frankie Williams from St Helen Auckland, Co Durham, and victim Rocky, who was in an appalling condition when rescued.

Williams was convicted of failing to provide Rocky – a male white and tan lurcher – with adequate nutrition for his needs contrary to the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

Williams had placed an online advertisement offering Rocky free to a good home. Concerned by the picture of an underweight dog, a member of the public collected Rocky and contacted the RSPCA, before taking him to Happier Days for Strays in Sunderland.

RSPCA inspector Stephanie Baines said: “Rocky was in a shocking state. He was extremely thin with his bones visible through his skin. He had very little muscle and had pressure sores on all four legs and his shoulder blades. Rocky was weak, lethargic, shook when standing up and was unsteady on his feet when walking.”

Rocky was found to weigh just 14.15kg; a dog of his type is expected to weigh between 25kg and 28kg.

Blood test results revealed it was unlikely he was underweight due to any underlying medical conditions.

Rocky has since found a new home.

Sentencing:
12-month conditional discharge,  £700 costs and a £20 victim surcharge. NO BAN.

Northern Echo

Sunderland: Bryan Mills

#TheList sexual deviant Bryan Mills, aged 46 at date of offence, of 28 Argyle Square, Sunderland SR2 7BS – caught with 71 images showing humans engaged in sexual activity with snakes, pigs, dogs and horses

Deviant with a taste for bestiality - Bryan Mills from Sunderland outside court

Animal sex images which “defy belief” were found on computer equipment belonging to Bryan Mills.

Mills had downloaded the sick bestiality stash featuring humans engaged in sexual activity with snakes, pigs, dogs and horses.

A court heard he was caught with 71 still and moving images of extreme pornography when police went to his home in Sunderland.

The 46-year-old has been spared prison but was warned about the damage such offences cause.

Judge Tim Gittins, at Newcastle Crown Court, told him: “What you must appreciate, and you don’t appear at this stage to appreciate, is although this involved adults and appears to be adults, on occasions, volunteering in this activity, the items are illegal and do untold damage, not just to the animals but to those you erroneously believe are volunteering.

“Very often adults are coerced into doing what they are doing and the images themselves give no indication of the dreadful situation they find themselves in or the damage of them knowing the images are available for viewing.

“It perpetuates the damage that people like you download and retain them.”

Mills pleaded guilty to possessing extreme pornography and was sentenced to a two year community order.

ChronicleLive

Seaham, County Durham: Brenda Cooper

#TheList Brenda Cooper, aged 58, of XX Stanley Street, Seaham SR7 0AH – failed to take cancer-stricken pet cat Ava to vet

Pets abused by Brenda Cooper of Seaham, Co Durham
Cat Ava had to be euthanised but Alfie and four other cats were saved and are available for rehoming.

RSPCA inspectors visited Cooper’s home and found Ava with a large infected tumour in her stomach. She had never been seen by a vet The animal was also severely underweight and sadly had to be put to sleep.

Speaking about the case RSPCA Inspector Cathy Maddison said: “When I visited the property in April this year, I found a dog and five cats.

“One cat – Ava – was in an absolutely shocking condition. [She] had a very large infected tumour on her stomach which was open and filled with pus.

“She was also extremely underweight – just skin and bone. With the owner’s consent, I rushed her to the vet.

“Sadly, due to the inoperable and cancerous tumour, Ava’s condition was so severe that to prevent her suffering any further the vet decided the kindest option was to put the poor cat to sleep, also with the consent of the owner.

“This was an awful case as there was nothing that could be done for Ava by the time the RSPCA was made aware of the situation.

“But I’m just thankful that Alfie the dog and the other cats are in our care and they too are no longer at risk of suffering.”

Sentencing:
Total of £430 in fines, costs and charges. Three-year ban on keeping animals (expires August 2021).

Sunderland Echo

Stockton-on-Tees, County Durham: Courtney Layton and Ian Tait

#TheList Courtney Layton, aged 19, of no fixed abode, and partner Ian Tait, 45, of Dover Road, Stockton – left horses starving in deplorable conditions

“Vulnerable” Courtney Layton and some images showing horrific suffering she caused to her horses

Layton , whom her lawyer described as “vulnerable”, and Tait both pleaded guilty to animal neglect charges between March 11 and April 1, 2018.

Their horses had been kept in shocking conditions at an allotments in Port Clarence, with one horse laying in thick mud and another so skinny an RSPCA inspector could feel his spine, ribs, pelvic bones and shoulder blades through his thick coat.

John Ellwood, prosecuting on behalf of the RSPCA,  outlined the squalid conditions inspectors saw when they visited the allotment where the animals were found.

He said: “In the gaps and at the entrance to the make-shift stable there were exposed nails and wire which would present a hazard to the horses.

“While the inspector was on site Harley got his feet caught in a pallet and had to be released. There were no dry areas, no grass, no hay, no adequate shelter and no bedding.”

He added: “The entire allotment was thick with wet mud and faeces. There was lots of rubble, broken glass, wire and a long piece of barbed wire on the floor.”

All the animals were later seen by a vet who confirmed that the conditions the animals had been kept in were totally unsuitable for horses.

“The vet’s opinion is that Blaze and Little Man had been starved to the point of emaciation and were clearly suffering,” Mr Ellwood added.

Blaze and Little Man belonged to Layton, while Dinky and Harley were Tait’s horses.

Ian Tait and Courtney Layton leave Teesside Magistrates' Court after an appearance in connection with animal cruelty charges
Tait and Layton outside court

The court heard how attention was first drawn to the allotment when the pony Blaze was seen to be collapsed on the floor.

Members of the public had been feeding him and alerted the RSPCA.

An inspector later found the pony lying in thick wet mud on his right side, making no effort to lift his head or stand up.

The court was told in mitigation that Layton had been heavily pregnant when the offence occurred and had struggled to go up to look after the horses each day.

Danielle Hewitt, defending, said Layton, a mother-of-two, is a “vulnerable person” and “remorseful” for her actions.

The court was told she had been dealing with “a number of issues in her personal life” and that she has suffered with depression for as long as she can remember.

She added that the horses had only been kept at the allotments “temporarily”.

Discussing Tait, Ms Hewitt said he had only kept his horses at the allotment for one night.

After care from the RSPCA, the horses have made a full recovery and are now free from parasites. The two starved horses – Blaze and Little Man – have now reached a normal weight.

Sentencing: 
Layton was jailed for 18 weeks for causing unnecessary suffering to an animal.  She was also given a 12 week jail sentence for failing to meet the needs of the horses, which will run concurrently.

Taitwas given a 12 week jail term for failing to meet the needs of the horses.

The pair were also disqualified from keeping animals for 10 years (expires August 2028).

Teeside Live

Denton Burn, Newcastle upon Tyne: Richard Curtis and Claire Fradgley

#TheList Richard Curtis and Claire Fradgley, both aged 36, of Loweswater Road, Denton Burn, Newcastle upon Tyne NE5 2SN – starved a boa constrictor snake to death

Claire Fradgley and Richard Curtis from Newcastle starved a boa constrictor to death
An RSPCA inspector found the dead snake in a cold tank at the rented home of Richard Curtis and Claire Fradgley.

A post-mortem revealed starvation was the only possible cause of death.

Speaking about the case RSPCA inspector Kirsty Keogh-Laws said: “Curtis and Fradgley admitted that they knew the snake was thin but they didn’t do anything about it.”

“This snake suffered and died as a result.”

The couple initially denied any wrongdoing, despite the charity claiming they had caused the reptile to suffer needlessly for more than two months last winter.

But just before their trial at Newcastle Magistrates’ Court was due to start, they both entered guilty pleas to four charges.

The pair admitted causing unnecessary suffering to the animal, along with failing to ensure the snake’s welfare.

They were caught when the landlord of their old Newburn Road property in Newcastle found the unnamed snake.

The attending RSPCA officer discovered the vivarium in which the snake was found didn’t even have a heat lamp.

Magistrates have now banned the pair, who are parents to three boys, from keeping reptiles again.

Sentencing: 
Curtis: a total of £865 fines and costs
Fradgley: a total of £700 fines and costs
Both banned for life from keeping reptiles

Chronicle

Lemington, Newcastle upon Tyne: Sue McVay

#TheList hobby breeder Sue McVay, aged 58, of Beanley Avenue, Newcastle upon Tyne NE15 8SP –  neglected multiple cats and guinea pigs and kept them in squalor

Convicted animal abuser Sue McVay from Newcastle upon Tyne
Hobby breeder Sue McVay is banned from keeping animals after starving cats and guinea pigs were found living at her Newcastle home in filthy conditions.

McVay was found guilty of causing suffering to animals after failing to attend court in a case brought by the RSPCA.

An RSPCA inspector visited McVay’s address on 3 April 2017 after a report from a concerned member of the public. The inspector recalled being met with a horrible smell as she entered the property. Floors were covered in animal faeces and rubbish The inspector discovered six cats  all of whom were underweight and covered in faeces. One of them had an untreated burst abscess.

The inspector then discovered 12 neglected guinea pigs living in filthy cages.

The animals were taken to the vet to be examined during which two of the cats were found to be suffering. One named Ruby appeared to have conjunctivitis as well as an ear disease while another named Saki was underweight and suffering from oral diseases.

The animals are currently recovering in foster homes.

Sentence: total of £630 costs and fines and an unspecified ban on keeping animals. 

The Chronicle

Wallsend, Tyne and Wear: Tyler Laverick

#TheList Tyler Charles Laverick (DoB 12/07/1997) of 26 Armstrong Road, Wallsend, Tyne and Wear NE28 6NA – bit 8mo Staffy Diesel while high on cannabis,  causing the dog to suffer horrific injuries including a partially severed nose

Useless stoner and dog abuser Tyler Laverick and his defenceless victim Diesel
Useless stoner and dog abuser Tyler Laverick and his defenceless victim Diesel

Laverick was convicted in absence earlier in 2018 of attacking Diesel, but that conviction was overturned to allow the useless thug to mount “a proper defence”.

Laverick denied one charge of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal but changed his plea to guilty on the day of the trial.

At an earlier hearing he court heard that Diesel was seized by police after members of the public reported seeing  him being assaulted by a male.

Officers attended Laverick’s former home in North Shields and found the pet, who had horrific injuries to his face, eyes and ears, inside.

When asked how Diesel suffered the visible wounds to his head, Laverick responded by saying “I was biting him, I was stoned”.

Diesel was taken to the vets where a catalogue of injuries were noted, which included:

  • Puncture wounds to his tongue
  • Significant trauma to the nose, which was bleeding and had the whole surface of skin removed
  • Multiple scars to his muzzle
  • Multiple wounds to his muzzle
  • Swelling to the left side of the jaw
  • Bleeding in the whites of his eyes
  • Scratches and puncture wounds on his ears, which were bleeding
  • A small wound to the left foreleg
  • Multiple scars to the left foreleg

There was also evidence of previous trauma on Diesel’s body, the cause of which is unknown.

Laverick’s lawyer said his client had substantial mental health difficulties and had previously pleaded not guilty as there were concerns those difficulties meant he didn’t have the intention or knowledge of wrongdoing that constitutes part of a crime.

Sentence: 11-week prison sentence, suspended for 18 months. Ordered to pay £750 costs. Banned from keeping animals for 10 years

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