#TheList Scott Bradley Doran, born c. 1988, most recently of Greyhound Farm Road, Speke, Liverpool L24 but with links to Runcorn, Cheshire – assaulted a terrified Staffy and dangled him off the edge of a bridge
Scott Doran was convicted of causing unnecessary cruelty after denying a charge of inflicting “blunt force trauma and physical violence” to the brindle Staffy, named Coban.
Habitual criminal Doran was filmed on CCTV assaulting the dog outside Costcutter on Northwich Road in Brookvale, Runcorn , on March 17, 2016.
North Cheshire Magistrates’ Court heard how Doran had been seen attacking Coban, resulting in an investigation led by RSPCA inspector Naomi Norris.
Local authority CCTV showing a “sustained and violent attack” on the dog.
In the clip, Doran can be seen outside the shop with the dog off the lead and no control over him.
As Doran walks away from shop the dog runs up to a family wagging his tail and it is then when Doran unleashes his attack.
The dog cowers on the floor as Doran picks him up and punches him.
He holds Coban up by the scruff of the neck with his feet off the floor and walks along violently shaking him.
The brutal attack then continues away from the view of the CCTV but a witness told how Doran continued to abuse the terrified pet, who was so frightened he defecated.
He then held the petrified dog over the railings of a footbridge.
Inspector Naomi Norris said: “This was a vicious and nasty attack on Coban who was clearly so terrified he can be seen cowering and the poor dog even defecated during the beating.
“Off camera the witness told how he continued to beat and kick the dog before holding him by the neck over the railings of a footbridge.”
Coban was seized the day after the attack and has since been re-homed by the RSPCA.
Doran, formerly of Cedar Avenue, Sutton Weaver, and Camelot Way, Runcorn, went on the run for two years and was arrested soon after a police car chase.
Sentencing: 12-month community order; fine and costs totalling £525; anger management course; rehabilitation requirement. Banned from keeping dogs for a mere five years.
#TheList Nicholas John Wilburn (aka Nick Maddock), born 19/10/1990, of 8 Bank Lane, Little Hulton, Manchester M38 9UF – carried out DIY medical treatment on a wounded cat; set up a rescue for reptiles while still being subject of a three-year banning order
Wilburn self-diagnosed and self-treated Jasper using a substance made of alcohol which he applied to an open wound.
He later advised another person to use the same treatment when he passed over care of the cat.
But RSPCA officers say the treatment administered by Wilburn would actually have caused Jasper additional pain and suffering.
At the time Wilburn was involved with Bolton-based exotic pet rescue MagnaRep, later renamed Nick’s Ark – which was shut down in April 2017 following an RSPCA raid.
A trial followed during which five people, including Wilburn’s mother, Sue Maddock, were cleared.
Nicholas and Ryan Wilburn, who have since separated, have now been convicted.
Wilburn was found guilty of breaching his disqualification from owning animals; and for owning a bush viper without a licence.
Nick Wilburn’s ex-husband Ryan Anthony Wilburn, born 29/07/1991, of Epping Drive, Sale, Trafford M33 5LN was found guilty of aiding and abetting the breach of a disqualification; and for owning a bush viper without a licence.
Anna McDonald, prosecuting on behalf of the RSPCA, said charity workers are still looking after 70 seized animals. Some died following the raid.
Sara-Lise Howe, defence lawyer for Nicholas Wilburn, pushed for a lenient sentence for her client, highlighting that he is a carer for his mother and another disabled woman.
“He has anxiety and depression,” she added.
“It was his involvement with animals which made him not have to take medication. His own health is affected by a continued disqualification.”
The judge banned Nicholas from owning animals for a further five years.
Judge John Temperley told him: “I am concerned that you do post a risk in relation to animals.
“I find you made a serious and persistent breach which took place over a matter of months. You showed an almost complete disregard [for the order] the court made.
“There was a risk of suffering or harm to a large number of animals kept at Nick’s Ark.”
Ryan Wilburn was said by the judge to have had a ‘misguided sense of loyalty’ to his husband when he got involved.
Defence lawyer, Sheila Whitehead, said: “[Ryan] is not a danger to any animal.
“His part in the charity was only to clean and feed the animals and follow the instructions of Nick.”
Judge Temperley said: “Nick was the more dominant one in the relationship.
“I accept that Nick was the driving force and that yours was a smaller role.”
Ryan escaped a disqualification order.
Sentencing: Nick Wilburn – 12-week suspended prison sentence; 200 hours of unpaid work; £500 costs. Banned from keeping animals for a further five years. Ryan Wilburn – 200 hours of unpaid work; £500 costs; no ban.
#TheList Tomas Gabriel Couceiro Ferreira, born 02/04/1996, of 15 Edmund Street, Shaw, Oldham OL2 8EY – beat his Bichon Frise dog with a metal pole in a series of violent attacks, causing her to suffer multiple broken bones and to lose an eye
Tomas Ferreira’s Bichon Frise Skye was discovered with a broken jaw, broken ribs, a broken bone in her back leg and 10 broken teeth.
She also suffered a ruptured eyeball which had to be removed, completely robbing her of her sight because she was already blind in her other eye.
Tameside Magistrates’ Court heard that Ferreira was violent and regularly abused the dog.
When the RSPCA visited Ferreira’s then home in Gamesley, which is near Glossop, Derbyshire, they discovered blood splatters around the house and a number of metal poles with blood on them, including one with white hair on it.
Skye was rescued by a member of the public who saw her in a distressed state and took her to Victoria Veterinary centre in Glossop where she was given pain relief and the RSPCA were alerted.
Inspector Nichola Waterworth went to collect Skye and she was taken to the RSPCA’s Greater Manchester Animal Hospital where the extent of her injuries were discovered.
Veterinary staff were worried that the fractured jaw may have been beyond repair as it was an older injury but Skye was able to recover by wearing a special muzzle for a month which held the broken bones in place while they healed.
Ferreira was found guilty causing unnecessary suffering to a dog by the infliction of a blunt force trauma and physical violence.
Ferreira has a history of violence and in November 2017, when he was living in Taunton, Somerset, faced charges of assault against two women and a man. The outcome of his trial is unknown.
Skye has since been rehomed and is said to still be an affectionate and confident dog, despite her ordeal.
Inspector Waterworth said: “The member of the public who rescued the dog said she looked broken and was really concerned for her well-being.
“How she survived such horrific attacks is unbelievable really but she had so many injuries and broken bones there was a real concern she wouldn’t pull through.
“But she is a brave little character and despite having her ruptured eye removed, making her completely blind, she also had to wear a special muzzle for 24 hours a day, seven days a week and eat with it on – she went through all this and has made an amazing recovery.
“The jail sentence shows violence against animals, like Skye, will not be tolerated. I am delighted to say she has now been re-homed into a loving environment where she is being given the life she deserves.
“Despite her blindness she is confident and still likes to get out and about and explore and she is so affectionate.”
Sentence: Jailed for 18 weeks; ordered to pay £150 victim surcharge. Banned for life from keeping animals.
#TheList Jodie Wardil, born c. 1991, of Sherlock Lane, Wallasey, Wirral CH44 – abandoned pet dog in an empty property; left a rabbit to starve to death in her hutch
Single mother-of-four Jodie Wardil left rabbit Annie to starve to death before callously dumping her emaciated body in a wheelie bin.
It was only thanks to eagle-eyed neighbours that the case of appalling neglect came to light, along with that of a Staffordshire bull terrier named Buster.
Wardil pleaded guilty at Wirral magistrates’ court to two charges of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal, and a further charge of failing to ensure animal welfare.
Chris Murphy, prosecuting, said the RSPCA were first alerted by a worried neighbour who reported a dog had been left alone in a house.
The neighbour said he had been feeding the dog by pushing food through the letterbox for several days.
When the RSPCA inspector arrived and looked through the letterbox, he could see the dog had a severe skin infection.
The inspector later received a call from Wardil, during which she agreed to sign Buster over to the RSPCA.
When the inspector returned to collect Buster, a neighbour approached him to tell him the defendant had dumped a dead rabbit into a wheelie bin.
Initially Wardil claimed Annie the rabbit had been collected by her ex-partner.
The inspector recovered the emaciated rabbit from a black bin bag in the wheelie bin.
Wardil said both animals had been neglected because she had not been living at the property and her “mind was elsewhere”.
On examination, Buster was found to have inflamed skin and to be “alive with fleas.” Following treatment, he made a full recovery and has since been re-homed.
The rabbit was found to be totally emaciated as a result of chronic starvation, lasting several weeks, with every part of the skeleton visible, and an untreated eye condition which had attracted maggots.
Chairman of the bench, Peter Sanders, told Wardil: “Animals rely for their well-being on human beings. The only thing that takes away from a custodial sentence is your mental state.”
Speaking after the case, RSPCA Inspector Anthony Joynes said: “This was a serious case of prolonged neglect which had devastating effects for poor Annie the rabbit.
“Annie, who was already suffering with an untreated eye condition, was then left to starve to death before being callously dumped in the bin.
“Rabbit neglect is so incredibly sad as it often goes undetected until it’s too late.
“They’re far too easy to acquire and to neglect often without anyone ever knowing.
“Thankfully I’m able to report that Buster, who is a typical lovely and boisterous Staffie has made a full recovery and has been rehomed.
“I’m grateful to the members of the public who were clearly on the ball and ensured that the situation was reported to us.”
Sentencing: 18-month community order. Fined £585. Banned from keeping animals for life with the right of appeal after five years.
#TheList Justin Jervis, born c. 1976, of Gorst Street, Anfield, Liverpool L4 0SB – refused to take his ailing elderly dog for free veterinary treatment, leaving her to suffer in agony for almost a year
Justin Jervis’s Shar-pei Bubbles was put to sleep by vets at the PDSA in Kirkdale on September 3, 2018 – after she was presented in a horrifying skeletal state.
The golden Shar-pei was also infected with mature maggots which had nested in her ear canal and began migrating throughout her head, as well as having a back leg which was hugely swollen from cancerous growths.
Jervis pleaded guilty to three charges of causing suffering to an animal, after leaving his dog to suffer in pain for nearly a year.
Prosecuting on behalf of the RSPCA, Peter Mitchell told the court that Bubbles had first been presented to vets at the PDSA in October 2017.
At that point, she was already in such a poor condition that vets suggested euthanasia to prevent any further suffering. Bubbles weighed just 18kg and was categorised as underweight by the RSPCA body weight scoring system.
The system scores animals between one and nine – one representing total emaciation and nine being obese. At the time of her death, Bubbles scored one.
When vets saw Bubbles on October 25, 2017, Jervis asked to be given pain killers for his pet. He was given the medication on the condition that he returned one week later for a follow-up appointment.
He did not return to the PDSA for nearly a year, by which point his dog was at death’s door.
Mr Mitchell said: “Mr Jervis was interviewed under caution and had to be arrested in relation to the matter. He minimised the situation the dog was in and when asked specific questions he made no comment.
“When asked if the dog was caused to suffer or was distressed, he said no comment.
“Sean Taylor [a vet who saw Bubbles] said the dog was in an emaciated condition. The right ear canal was thick with maggots, there were masses on the legs and in the lungs. The dog was clearly in distress back in October 2017 and not then represented until September 2018.
“After that pain medication, it would have continued to suffer and got worse in that 11 months. He says the dog was suffering due to weight loss and due to the condition around the ear with maggots.
“For all these reasons, he says the dog was suffering for 11 months.”
The inspector who handled this upsetting and distressing case described it as among the worst she had seen in her 16 year career with the RSPCA – and burst into tears when the sentence was read out.
Looking at the photos of the neglect, Judge Shaw said: “They are terrible photos aren’t they? I don’t think I have ever seen a dog in that condition.”
Sentencing Jervis, Judge Shaw said: “On November 25, 2017 you were aware that your dog was so poorly that the vet wanted you to consider euthanasia on that occasion. You were asked to take the dog back after seven days.
“Over the next 10 months your dog lost weight to the point where she was obviously emaciated and it’s perfectly clear to any sensible onlooker that the dog was in appalling physical condition.
“The vets choose to use a body scoring condition of one to nine and they chose one for your dog. Her physical condition was appalling and pathetic. You were responsible for her care. Your neglect could equally be considered as cruelty.”
Defending Jervis in court, Emma Smith said: “This is not a case where he has deliberately harmed the dog and he found that very difficult to accept. For 12 years there were no medical issues in relation to the dog that he failed to seek medical assistance for.”
She added: “You might find it difficult to believe but he clearly did have very strong feelings towards the dog. He was upset with himself and upset that the dog had to be put to sleep. It wasn’t done through any type of malice or hatred of animals.”
Sentencing: 16-week custodial sentence, of which he will serve eight weeks in prison and spend 12 months on licence. Banned from keeping animals for 20 years and forbidden from appealing the conditions of this ban for at least 10 years.
#TheList Rebecca ‘Becky’ Wilkin, born 24/09/1977 of Burnley Road, Crawshawboth, Rossendale BB4, her partner Jade English (aka Jade Hughes), born c. 1989, of Manchester Road, Burnley BB11, and Carl Jason Watson, born c. 1971, of Cog Lane, Burnley BB11 – convicted of cruelty offences relating to horses and a dog
Becky Wilkin, Jade English and Carl Jason Watson admitted a number of offences under the Animal Welfare Act relating to animals being kept at an allotment off Moseley Road, Burnley.
English and Wilkin pleaded guilty to five offences relating to horses and a dog, while Watson pleaded guilty to one offence relating to a horse.
The trio of animal abusers appeared before Burnley Magistrates’ Court for sentencing on Thursday January 17, 2019.
The RSPCA attended the allotment on December 12, 2017, following reports of a collapsed horse.
RSPCA inspector Lynsey Taylor said: “What we found when we got there was shocking.
“The collapsed horse we’d been called about, Domino, was laid at the entrance to the allotment, a few feet away from his stable which had been bolted shut top and bottom but Domino had kicked the lower stable door open in his distress.
“Very sadly there was nothing vets could do for him but end his suffering and he was put to sleep at the scene.
“A second horse, a colt called Koda, was also down but we managed to get him back on his feet and he was taken to HAPPA – the Horses and Ponies Protection Association – who had also had a call and arrived at the location when we did.
“There were a number of horses at the allotments living in awful conditions – they were underweight, had overgrown feet, lameness, lice and mites to different degrees.
“A dog, called Cyprus, who had recently had puppies was also living in disgusting conditions and, along with the horses, was taken into possession by police on veterinary advice. She was underweight and suffering from mastitis and diarrhoea.”
A horse called Gypsy Boy and Cyprus the dog were signed over to the RSPCA straight away, along with Koda who was then signed over to HAPPA and is still at their centre where he continues his recovery (pictured left).
In April 2018, the RSPCA attended the allotment again after a police officer – attending for something else – raised concerns about a horse he’d seen. Deano – a colt – was in a poor body condition and taken into possession by police on the advice of a vet and placed in RSPCA care.
In mitigation the court heard that it was not deliberate cruelty and that the horses were rescued from elsewhere and the defendants did their best but didn’t have the money to feed or house them properly.
In respect of Watson, the court heard that he hadn’t had Deano the horse very long. RSPCA Inspector Taylor said: “These animals were failed by these people and they suffered – and in Domino’s case died – as a result.”
Sentencing: Jade English – six-month community order with an eight-week curfew and 10 rehabilitation activity days. Total of £1,285 costs and charges. Disqualified from keeping equines for four years and a deprivation order was placed on three horses not previously signed over to the RSPCA.
Becky Wilkin – 12-month community order including 20 rehabilitation activity days. Total of £1,285 costs and charges. Disqualified from keeping equines for four years.
Carl Jason Watson – nine-week curfew. Total costs and charges of £685. Disqualified from keeping equines for two years and a deprivation order was placed on Deano.
#TheList Kyle Evans, born c. 1989, and partner Abigail Hanrahan, born c. 1988, both of Conway Street, Birkenhead CH41 – failed to seek treatment for their kitten’s horrific injuries likely caused by a physical attack
Wirral Magistrates Court heard that eight-month-old Felix was left with his jaw detached from his chin for SIX weeks until a concerned member of the public alerted the RSPCA.
The kitten was blind and unable to walk properly when eventually seen by a vet – and suffered a brain injury which means he now wobbles when he walks.
Owners Kyle Evans and his partner Abigail Hanrahan claimed the injury was caused by the kitten running into a litter tray.
But the court heard from an expert veterinary witness who suggested the injury was more likely due to a physical attack.
The couple pleaded guilty to a charge of causing unnecessary suffering to a cat by failing to provide prompt and appropriate veterinary attention and magistrates banned them from keeping animals for ten years.
RSPCA inspector Anthony Joynes, who investigated the case, said: “He really was in state and obviously the injury to his jaw – which had been left untreated – was causing a lot of suffering.
“The vet also found a swelling to his head which caused blindness but with treatment his sight has been restored.
“It seems he has a brain injury which means he can be wobbly when he walks but he is doing so well considering and is such a lovely cat.
“He was so timid at first but now he has been in the care of the RSPCA he likes nothing more than to be stroked.
“He has come on leaps and bounds.
“There is never any excuse not to seek veterinary treatment if a pet is in need and Felix must have suffered terribly over this long period.”
The court heard Felix was injured on or around June 1 2018 but he was left without treatment until the RSPCA was called in on July 16.
He was taken to an animal hospital where he was treated for three weeks for a swelling on his head, enabling him to regain his sight.
The animal charity says he has made a remarkable recovery and hopes he will be re-homed soon.
Sentencing: Kyle Evans – 12-month Community Order including 140 hours of unpaid work and a 20-day rehabilitation activity requirement. Ordered to pay £240 costs with an £84 victim surcharge.
Abigail Hanrahan – £100 fine, £100 costs and a £35 victim surcharge.
Both were banned from keeping animals for ten years.
#TheList Michael Esmond Bennett, born 10/12/1955, and Susan Jones, born c. 1959, of Beechwood Avenue, Wallasey, Wirral CH45 8NX – let their elderly shih-tzu’s fur become so matted she was unable to walk properly
Bennett and Jones pleaded guilty to two charges of causing unnecessary suffering to a 12-year-old shih-tzu called Molly.
The dog was rescued by the RSPCA after an anonymous report was received concerning the dog’s welfare.
Inspector Anthony Joynes was then sent to investigate on October 2, 2018 and said that he was ‘shocked’ by the terrible state she had been left in.
Insp Joynes said: “We received a report about the dog’s condition following a fire in the street, which meant the house where she lived was evacuated, and a concerned member of the public spotted her poor condition.
“When I went to the property I was so shocked – I honestly could not tell where her mouth was and where her back end was.
“Then I picked her up and could see weeks of faeces stuck in her matted fur at the back.
“The matting was so bad round her paws it meant she struggled to walk and there was a chin strap matt around her mouth which meant she was unable to open it properly which would have made eating and drinking very difficult.
“The fur growth had also caused a chronic eye condition which was also causing the dog a lot of discomfort.
“She also had a bad case of fleas which she was unable to scratch
“It was the worst case of matting I have seen in my nine years as an inspector.”
The couple signed to dog over into the care of the RSPCA and Molly was taken to Upton Veterinary Surgery for emergency treatment.
On assessment, staff could see Molly was unable to walk properly because her fur had grown around her front paw pad – making it grow the wrong way.
The team got through three sets of clipper blades to cut off two kilograms of her matted coat.
After five hours of shaving, Molly was found to have a deformed front paw but an x-ray revealed her back legs were in a good condition.
Insp Joynes added: “We were really worried that under all the matted fur we may find more serious concerns.
“Often in these cases the matting can cut off circulation which can result in multiple limb amputation.
“We didn’t know if this would be the case for Molly and fortunately it wasn’t.”
In mitigation, the court was told that the couple had ill health and were struggling to cope with the dog.
They had an appointment booked with the PDSA charity a year before to have Molly groomed but they did not attend as they said they were ‘worried’ the dog would get taken off them.
Sentencing: Three-month curfew; £200 costs each; 15-year ban on keeping animals.
#TheList Gary Sean Chadwick, born 15/01/1999, of Firbeck, Skelmersdale WN8 6PN – battered a 20-week-old kitten and left her to suffer an agonising death
Gary Chadwick pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal at Liverpool Magistrates’ Court.
He killed the grey and white kitten, named Smokey, after he hit her so hard that he caused multiple fractures, kidney damage and significant bruising.
The kitten likely suffered for “many hours” according to the vet who carried out the post-mortem.
A carer for Chadwick, who has autism and had also previously been on medication for schizophrenia , discovered the kitten after she saw her struggling to use her front legs and heard her wailing in pain before she died.
She said Chadwick was acting “shifty”, claiming the cat always made those noises when it used the litter tray.
The carer left the house and called the RSPCA to report Chadwick for animal cruelty.
When interviewed, Chadwick claimed he had only ever slapped Smokey once during her short life but said he never threw or kicked her.
David Lloyd, defending, told Liverpool Magistrates’ Court: “I don’t think he intended to deliberately hurt the kitten.”
Adding: “He has asked me to inform the court, to say he was fond of the kitten.”
Inspector Joanne McDonald said: “We will never know the exact details of how the kitten came to have these injuries but from what the expert witnesses told the court it must have been terrible.
“Smokey was only 20 weeks old and the suffering she must have endured after the attack must have been terrible.”
Sentencing: two-year conditional discharge. Banned from keeping animals for 10 years.
#TheList Yvonne McAllister, born 1963, of 27 Wordsworth Close in Oswaldtwistle, Lancashire BB5 4QP – kept a poorly Westie in a dirty and flea-infested cage under the stairs of her home
Cruel Yvonne McAllister pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to West Highland terrier Bobby.
The dog was spotted by a district nurse during a visit to McAllister’s home.
The court heard how McAllister told the nurse that Bobby had a skin condition for which she had bought shampoo but hadn’t taken him to the vet.
She had also bought clippers but Bobby ‘wouldn’t let anyone near him to cut his nails’.
An RSPCA officer later attended the property and said he was ‘unrecognisable to him as a West Highland Terrier’ with grey skin which was ‘leather-like, thick and dry’.
The officer said Bobby must have had the skin condition for an ‘extended period of time’ and he was ‘subdued, lethargic and reluctant to move’. When he asked to take the dog to a vet McAllister refused and said she wanted an independent assessment.
RSPCA prosecutor Paul Ridehalgh said Bobby’s skin was pink with ears ‘twice the size’ as normal and his paws were ‘overgrown and had begun to twist’.
Police were called to the property and Bobby was taken to the Myerscough Veterinary Group. Mr Ridehalgh said Bobby had to be carried into the consultancy room because he was ‘unable to walk’ and ‘so weak he could not stand up’.
The vet said his nose was ‘dry and cracked’ and she couldn’t examine his ear canal because it was ‘too inflamed’. His eyes were also covered with a ‘thick green discharge’.
The prosecutor said: ‘In the vet’s opinion he was in a very poor condition. She observed that she had never seen an animal in such a condition previously.’
The court was told that Bobby ‘highly likely had an underlying systemic disease’ which led to ‘secondary bacterial infection’.
Mr Ridehalgh said the dog had suffered ‘for a period of at least several months and possibly longer’ and had to be put down after ‘long-term neglect’.
McAllister said she couldn’t afford to take Bobby to the vet and ‘nothing was done on purpose’.
Sentencing: 12-month community order with 50 hours of unpaid work, a three-month curfew, ordered to pay £600 costs. Banned from owning or keeping animals for five years.