Tag Archives: Northumberland

Byrness, Northumberland: Lynn Stoker

#TheList breeder/hoarder Lynn Stoker, born c. 1957, of Raw Farm House, Byrness Village, Newcastle upon Tyne NE19 1TR – jailed for cruelty to more than 100 dogs and puppies

Breeder/hoarder Lynn Stoker of Northumberland, UK, left 100 dogs to suffer in her squalid home
Breeder/hoarder Lynn Stoker left 100 dogs to suffer in her squalid home

Stoker was found guilty of 11 charges of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal and four counts of failing to ensure an animal’s welfare needs were met. Her conviction came after 107 dogs and six puppies were found living in cramped cages and with no fresh drinking water.

She had denied all charges but was found guilty after a four-day trial.

Shocking and distressing footage released by the RSPCA shows dozens of dogs cramped and locked up in cages.

Stoker was breeding dogs but struggled to sell them on and ended up with a house full of animals. She initially asked for help re-homing the pets but began behaving ‘evasively’ and ‘aggressively’ so a search warrant was issued in May 2018.

The RSPCA told the court that “not a single dog was in a healthy condition” when they were discovered locked up in cramped cages at Stoker’s home in May 2018.

The animals were suffering from a range of untreated health problems including chronic dental disease, eye infections and hip injuries. Stoker also failed to provide them with sufficient water.

Breeder/hoarder Lynn Stoker of Northumberland, UK, left 100 dogs to suffer in her squalid home
Many of the dogs hadn’t had veterinary treatment in years in some cases and were at an advanced stage of suffering.

Three dogs had a level of dental disease so high it resulted in a fractured jaw, and one of them only had three teeth as all the rest had fallen out because of severe disease.

Some animals were in such a bad state they needed to be put down.

The dog breeder claimed that her pets were never neglected and she had been doing the job for 25 years.

Breeder/hoarder Lynn Stoker of Northumberland, UK, left 100 dogs to suffer in her squalid home

The pets at her home also included two cats and a tortoise.

Sentencing Stoker, district judge Bernard Begley said: “This is a particularly serious type of offence. Significant costs have been incurred.

“I really can’t find any redeeming features. This was a high level of suffering – some animals were euthanised.

“You have not shown a shred of remorse or contrition.”

Sentencing: jailed for 21 weeks; ordered to pay £50,000. Disqualified from keeping or breeding animals for at least 15 years.

Metro
ChronicleLive

Ashington, Northumberland: Samantha Ord

#TheList Samantha J Ord, born c. 1983, of Pont Street, Ashington NE63 0PZ – left her three dogs to suffer with painful skin disorders and poor body condition

Samantha Ord from Ashington, UK, left her three dogs to suffer with painful skin disorders and poor body condition

Ord was charged with two offences after RSPCA officers found the pets at her home in 2018.

The dogs – a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Labrador Staffordshire bulldog and American bulldog – had problems with their skin and poor body conditions.

RSPCA prosecutor Stewart Haywood said the three dogs were taken to a vet and examined.

Samantha Ord from Ashington, UK, left her three dogs to suffer with painful skin disorders and poor body condition

One pet’s skin was crusty, she had hair loss and there was an unpleasant yeasty smell, while another was also in a poor body condition and had fleas on her coat. There were similar problems with the third.

“All were suffering,” said Mr Haywood. “And this had happened over a period of many weeks.”

Samantha Ord from Ashington, UK, left her three dogs to suffer with painful skin disorders and poor body condition

The animals were taken into the care of the RSPCA and were nursed back to health. They are now said to be making good progress.

The court was told that Ord, of previous good character, was suffering from depression and experiencing difficulties in her personal life. Her husband died in 2017 and she had struggled to cope.

A probation officer said she had no previous convictions and was at low risk of re-offending.

And Alan Brown, defending, told the court that Ord felt a “sense of shame and regret” over her failure to look after the dogs.

Sentencing: four-month curfew; 18-month community order with rehabilitation activities. Total of £485 costs and charges. Disqualified from keeping animals for five years.

ChronicleLive

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

Blyth, Northumberland: Alisa Brown and Stewart Herd

#TheList Alisa Brown, born c. 1981, and Stewart Herd, born c. 1961, both of 167 Disraeli Street, Blyth NE24 1HZ – failed to seek vet treatment for their pets’ flea infestations; three cats and two dogs described as bald, scabby and red raw.

Alisa Brown and Stewart Herd of Blyth, Northumberland, have been banned for life from keeping animals after neglecting their dogs and cats
Alisa Brown and Stewart Herd of Blyth, Northumberland, have been banned for life from keeping animals after neglecting their dogs and cats.

Alisa Brown and Stewart Herd pleaded guilty to two counts each of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal after their two dogs and three cats became so infested with fleas they lost most of their fur from itching and had skin infections.

Alisa Brown and Stewart Herd of Blyth, Northumberland, have been banned for life from keeping animals after neglecting their dogs and cats
Lurcher Tyler had lost most of his fur

All five animals lived, along with four other pets, at the couple’s “cluttered” and “ammonia-smelling” home in Blyth and had suffered “prolonged neglect”, RSPCA inspectors claimed.

Alisa Brown and Stewart Herd of Blyth, Northumberland, have been banned for life from keeping animals after neglecting their dogs and cats
Mistreated Gem’s skin was suffering from alopecia and a mange infection.

For at least three months, Brown and Herd hadn’t sought vet treatment for their flea infestations, prosecutors said. Both dogs, called Tyler and Gem, and the three cats were eventually seized by the RSPCA officers and police after concerns were raised about their welfare by the local authority.

John Ellwood, prosecuting for the RSPCA, said the charity’s inspectors and the police visited the couple’s home on March 22, 2018 after concerns were raised regarding animal welfare by Northumberland County Council.

“The door was opened by Stewart Herd,” Mr Ellwood told South East Northumberland Magistrates’ Court. “He told the officers to f**k off and slammed the door.

“Alisa Brown then came to the door and invited the officers in. The living room was cluttered and unkempt and smelled of ammonia.”

The court heard that, initially, the inspectors saw four cats, who were in “reasonable” condition and do not form part of the charges.

However, a further cat was seen in the kitchen, which had fur loss and red skin and was covered in scabs and dirt, Mr Ellwood said.

The prosecutor added: “A lurcher dog was then brought downstairs. His condition was very sad – he was almost completely bald.

“You could see a large amount of fleas all over his body and he was covered in scabs.”

As well as the lurcher, called Tyler, two other cats in a similar condition were discovered and the animals were seized and taken to the vets.

The dog and three cats were all found to have painful skin conditions, which were the result of “at least three-months” of untreated flea infestations.

They were given antibiotics and have since recovered, magistrates were told.

However, just four days later, RSPCA inspectors were called again to Brown and Herd’s home after concerns were raised for another animal, a dog called Gem.

Mr Ellwood said: “The defendant Brown was asked why she didn’t mention Gem at the previous visit and she said the dog was under a duvet and she had forgotten about it.

“The dog was almost hairless. This type of dog is relatively hairless normally but she was also covered in scabs, her ears were red and thickened, she smelled of yeast and her nails were long. She was seized by the police.”

Gem was also taken to the vets and found to be suffering from alopecia and a mange infection.

Mr Ellwood added: “The suffering here was unnecessary, prolonged, preventable and treatable. However, the defendant’s did nothing.”

The court was told that both Brown and Herd had been under considerable personal pressure and were usually “animal-loving people”.

Sentencing: 12-month community orders including 50 hours each of unpaid work. Banned from keeping pets for life.

ChronicleLive

Ashington, Northumberland: Rebecca Wall

#TheList Rebecca Chantel Wall, born 01/07/1994, formerly of Canterbury Close, Ashington, but now living in Byron Close, Choppington, Northumberland NE62 5DF – abandoned her rented home leaving behind a young puppy and kitten to die

Cruel Rebecca Chantel Wall now of Choppington, Northumberland
Shameful Rebecca Wall left a puppy and kitten behind to die from starvation when she fled her property due to rent arrears.

Rebecca Wall pleaded guilty to five offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

Wall had clocked up rent arrears when she decided to flee her property in Ashington, Northumberland, in 2017.

But she left behind a 10-week-old kitten, called Titus, and a 12-week-old black retriever puppy, named Athena.

Members of Northumberland County Council’s animal welfare team were called to the property on July 27, 2017, by a distressed housing officer who had entered the abandoned property and discovered the animals’ bodies.

Athena was found in a bedroom with the door closed and kitten Titus was found dead in the living room, also with the door closed. Neither had food or water.

Inspectors discovered pet food packaging which the starving kitten had chewed in desperation.

Heartbreaking pictures taken by the inspectors inside the property showed packets of pet food, which the kitten had desperately tried to rip open, prosecutors said.

A post-mortem revealed both animals had died from starvation and dehydration, while pieces of plastic pet food wrapper were also found inside the cat’s stomach.

Both animals had been microchipped to Wall, who was at the time banned from keeping pets after a previous animal cruelty conviction from 2013, and she was traced.

Attempts were made to interview her but she failed to attend appointments, magistrates were told.

Wall also failed to turn up at her first court appearance to face two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal, two of failing to ensure the welfare of an animal and one of keeping an animal while disqualified.

A warrant was issued for her arrest and, when she next appeared in the dock, she pleaded guilty to all the offences.

One of Northumberland County Council animal welfare officers involved in the case said: “This is the worst case I have been involved with. The animals had clearly been left to die of starvation and dehydration. It was a mindless act of animal cruelty.”

Sentencing: 14 week custodial sentence for each of the five charges, to run concurrently, suspended for 12 months; 15 days of rehabilitation activity with the probation service. Total of £2,222 costs and charges. Disqualified from owning and keeping animals for 10 years.

ChronicleLive

Blyth, Northumberland: Lindsay Tweddle

#Lindsay Kate Tweddle, born c. 1979, previously of Delaval Crescent, Blyth, and now of Holystone Avenue, Blyth, – left two Shih-Tzu dogs in an abandoned house covered in faeces and urine and with only a bucket containing foul brown water for drinking

Cruel Lindsay Kate Tweddle from Blyth, Northumberland, and Shih-Tzus Mishka and Lexi whom she abandoned
Cruel Lindsay Kate Tweddle from Blyth, Northumberland, and Shih-Tzus Mishka and Lexi whom she abandoned

Tweddle caused suffering to her two Shih-Tzu dogs who were found abandoned, extremely malnourished, riddled with fleas and living in appalling conditions.

The dogs were in an appalling condition when discovered at Tweddle’s abandoned property in Delaval Crescent, Blyth.
Close up shows dog infested with fleas
Both dogs were infested with fleas.

She was prosecuted by Northumberland County Council after their animal welfare officers discovered the dogs, Mishka and Lexi, in a property covered in faeces, urine, rubbish and clutter and which hadn’t been lived in by humans for weeks.

Their only source of a drink was a bucket containing “foul, brown water”, while their only food was “stale” cat biscuits, prosecutors said.

Lindsay Tweddle pictured outside court.

The Northumberland County Council animal welfare officer that rescued the dogs said:

“When I first saw the dogs I was appalled at the condition they were in and the conditions they were living in. The dogs were terrified and extremely underweight with their spines, ribs and hip bones clearly visible. One weighed 6.14kg and the other 4.4kg. Their coats were heavily matted and a thick muggy brown colour and they were soaking wet from lying in their own urine.

“They had no food or water and were locked in a hallway between the kitchen and living room with only access to the bathroom. The smell of urine and faeces in the property was overpowering. ”

Convicted dog abuser Lindsay Kate Tweddle
Unremorseful: Lindsay Tweddle has been banned from keeping dogs for just five years despite having a callous disregard for their welfare.

Both dogs were taken away for a health check at St Clair Veterinary Care, Croft Road, Blyth where they were given a bath and had the heavy matting shaved out of them.

The vet report, presented in court said that both dogs were riddled with fleas and had excessive worms.

Mishka and Lexi were taken to Berwick Animal Rescue Kennels where they were cared for and nursed back to full health. They have now been rehomed and are loving life again.

Sentencing: eight-week custodial sentence suspended for 12 months; curfew order; total of £667 in costs. Banned from owning, or participating in the keeping of dogs for five years.

ChronicleLive

Cramlington, Northumberland: Melanie Elizabeth Raymond

#TheList Melanie Elizabeth Raymond, born c. 1963, of Collingwood Close, Cramlington NE23 1HW – failed to seek medical attention for her dog, who had a large tumour tied together with string

Lilly was neglected by her owner Melanie Elizabeth Raymond from Cramlington but has recovered and been rehomed

Melanie Raymond admitted causing unnecessary suffering to her Labrador-cross, named Lilly, under s9(1) of the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

The case was brought to court by Northumberland County Council. When one of the authority’s animal welfare officers found the dog last year, her skin was red raw and she had little fur left on it.

The stricken dog had a large tumour – 20cm in length – between her back legs, which was tied up with string and almost touched the ground when she walked. Her nails were also severely overgrown.

Lilly was neglected by her owner Melanie Elizabeth Raymond from Cramlington but has recovered and been rehomed

Thankfully, she was plucked from despair by the animal welfare team and handed into the loving arms of Alnwick-based dog sanctuary SHAK.

So bad was her condition, that the charity’s founder, Stephen Wylie, described it as one of the worst cases of neglect/mistreatment he had ever seen.

Lilly  has made a full recovery and has since been re-homed with a man in north Northumberland – and is loving life again.

The animal welfare officer who found Lilly said: “When I first saw the dog I was appalled at the condition she was in and she had obviously been in great discomfort for quite some time.

“We seized the dog and took her to St Clair Veterinary Care, in Blyth, where she was given antibiotics and steroids and where she returned at a later date for surgery on her tumour. ”

Mr Wylie said: “While I am a firm believer that stiffer sentences are desperately needed for those that inflict such terrible suffering to any animal, it is great that a little justice has been served.

“Lilly is such a loving soul that didn’t deserve to face such neglect, but we have found her the perfect companion now, and that’s what really matters.”

Sentence:
120 hours of unpaid community service; fined £626. Banned from keeping animals for 10 years (expires January 2028). 

Northumberland Gazette

Ashington, Northumberland: Wendy Beddow

#TheList Wendy Beddow, born c. 1965, of Maple Street, Ashington NE63 – left pet dog to suffer an ulcerated mass on his abdomen and a chronic eye condition; dog euthanised.

Beddow admitted causing unnecessary suffering to her overweight Bullmastiff by failing to seek medical attention for an ulcerated 20cm mass on his abdomen and a chronic eye condition.

An animal welfare officer from Northumberland County Council’s public health protection unit rescued the dog and took it to a vets in Blyth. The dog’s condition had by then become so bad that the decision was made to euthanise him to end his suffering.

A vet’s report that was presented in court stated that the dog, having been left for more than 48 hours in a condition unable to stand or move prior to seeking medical attention, was an act of neglect.

Sentencing: £386 in compensation and costs. Banned from keeping any animal for five years.

Northumberland Gazette

Ashington, Northumberland: Joseph Bell

#TheList Joseph Bell, born c. 1962, of Tweed Street, Ashington NE63 9HP – failed to seek veterinary treatment for his dog’s severe skin condition and eye problems

English bull terrier Rocky was suffering from multiple ailments for which his owner Joseph Bell failed to seek vet treatment
English bull terrier Rocky was suffering from multiple ailments for which his owner Joseph Bell failed to seek vet treatment

Four-year-old English bull terrier, Rocky, was practically blind with green discharge leaking from both eyes. He also had severe fur loss, skin lesions and inflamed skin and extremely overgrown claws.

An RSPCA inspector had warned Rocky’s owner, Joseph Bell, to take the dog to the vet but he failed to do so.

English bull terrier Rocky was suffering from multiple ailments for which his owner Joseph Bell failed to seek vet treatment

Rocky was immediately seized by the animal charity and taken to a vets, where he needed immediate treatment.

Bell pleaded guilty to one count of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal at South East Northumberland Magistrates’ Court.

Judith Curry, prosecuting on behalf on the RSPCA, said an inspector from the charity had attended Bell’s home on December 9, 2016, as a follow-up call to check if he had got treatment for Rocky after an earlier visit.

She described how the dog had “severe fur loss and its skin was extremely red and inflamed. It was also scabby”, adding that he was “constantly scratching and there was green gunge coming from both of its eyes and its claws were extremely overgrown.”

She concluded: “The defendant admitted he had not been to the vets.”

Rocky was taken to the vets and was given antibiotics for his eye condition, which significantly improved. He will, however, need life-long treatment for his skin problems.

Ms Curry added: “This is a case where the real reason for bringing this matter to court is, as it’s obvious the defendant is not capable of caring for an animal, for a disqualification from keeping animals.”

Graham Crouth, mitigating, said Bell had mental health and cognitive issues after twice suffering a fractured skull when he was a child and a teenager.

Mr Crouth said that Bell had taken Rocky to the PDSA but hadn’t made follow-up appointments, which meant the dog’s health conditions returned or weren’t fully treated.

Sentencing: £300 costs. Lifelong ban on keeping animals.

Chronicle Live