Tag Archives: not prosecuted for animal cruelty

Ilkeston, Derbyshire: Mark Slonecki

#TheList Mark Slonecki, born c. 1984, of Station Road, Ilkeston – attacked his partner with a golf club when she tried to stop him hitting her dog

Domestic abuser and animal abuser Mark Slonecki from Ilkeston
A danger to women and animals alike: Mark Slonecki

Slonecki, who has a history of violent offending, attacked a helpless dog and then his partner after struggling to contain his anger.

Prosecutor Jonathon Dee said the attack happened at Slonecki’s home in Station Road on October 28, 2019.

He said an argument developed between the defendant and his partner and during it he started to hit the victim’s dog before picking up the golf club and striking her with it.

Mr Dee said: “He started to hit the dog, he had done that in the past to get a reaction from her and she tried to stop him.

“She describes him whacking her (with the golf club) and then punching her several times.

“She was left with a cut above her eye, bruising to her left arm and bruising to her leg.

“The defendant attended the police station the following day and said she had taken his house keys.

“He was arrested, bailed and was due to attend the police station again on December 30, when he was going to be charged, but failed to show up.”

Slonecki denied the offence, taking it to trial at Southern Derbyshire Magistrates’ Court where he was found guilty of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

He admitted the lesser charge of failing to surrender to custody.

Sending Slonecki to prison for two years, Judge Robert Egbuna said: “The offence you have been convicted of is a very serious offence.

“You have to understand that just as men need to be protected from women who attack them, women also need to be protected from men who do the same.

“You picked up a golf club, it was a wedge to be precise and you used that weapon to cause significant injuries to her.

“You used it with some force on her and you are fortunate that the injuries were not more severe than the ABH for which you were charged.

“This was domestic violence, you picked up a weapon and attacked her in the way that you did.

“And although I bear in mind you have not served a custodial sentence before, this is so serious it can’t be suspended.”

Jo Harvey, mitigating, said his client has a child from a former relationship and on the day of the assault “struggled to contain his anger”.

He said: “She tried to stop him hitting the dog and he reacted. As far as the relationship is concerned he does not want to be in it any more.”

Slonecki did not face charges in relation to the dog and was not therefore banned from keeping animals.

Nottingham Post

Sandyford, Stoke-on-Trent: Jason Price

#TheList traveller Jason Price, born c. 1997, of Burnaby Road, Stoke on Trent ST6 – shot and killed eight pheasants with an air rifle on private land

Poacher Jason Price, a traveller from Sandyford. Stoke on Trent

Jason Price, a traveller whose previous convictions include sexual activity with a child, has apologised to the owners of the Whitmore Shooting Estate – after shooting and stealing his pheasants.

The owner was alerted to the crime after hearing gunshots and then spotting Price loading something into the back of his van.

North Staffordshire Justice Centre heard police later found the 22-year-old with eight dead pheasants in his vehicle.

Poacher Jason Price, a traveller from Sandyford. Stoke on Trent, poses with the pheasants he shot and killed

Prosecutor Sue Hayers said: “The injured party was at home at 9pm on January 14 when he heard what he thought sounded like silenced rifle shots. He saw a light shine in the trees and formed the opinion someone was outside.

“He saw a van parked up the road and saw someone throw something into the rear of the van. The person was holding a rifle. The vehicle pulled away.

“Police later located the van and the defendant. They recovered an air rifle, pellets and eight pheasants from the vehicle.”

When he was arrested, Price claimed he did not know the Whitmore land was private and said he intended to eat the birds.

The court heard the landowner, the Cavanagh-Mainwairing family, rears pheasants to be used in licensed shoots held on the estate, and the theft left them £320 out of pocket.

Poacher Jason Price, a traveller from Sandyford. Stoke on Trent

Price pleaded guilty to theft and a charge of trespassing at night with an air rifle to destroy game.

The offences put him in breach of a conditional discharge he received for another theft, when he was collecting scrap metal and took property that the owner had not agreed he could have.

Mohammed Fiaz, mitigating, said: “He has written a letter of apology for his behaviour. The reason Mr Price took the pheasants was for his own consumption. He wasn’t going to sell them on. He purchased the rifle legitimately.

“He was working as a labourer but unfortunately he lost that job a couple of weeks ago.”

Sentencing: 12-month community order with 80 hours of unpaid work; ordered to pay £320 to the victim. He must also pay a £120 fine for breaching the conditional discharge.

Stoke Sentinel

Upham, Hampshire: Lucinda and Victoria Rolph

#TheList puppy farmers Lucinda S Rolph, born 14/06/1966 and daughter Victoria J Rolph, born 22/03/1989, both of Woodward Farm, Alma Lane, Upham, near Southampton SO32 1HE

Puppy farmers Lucinda and Victoria Rolph from Upham, Hampshire
Puppy farmers Victoria and Lucinda Rolph pictured outside court

Lucinda Rolph has been ordered to pay £600,000 through a court confiscation order after pleading guilty to running an unlicensed dog breeding farm. Her daughter Victoria Rolph also pleaded guilty to same offence, with a lesser role, and has been ordered to pay almost £15,000.

Licensing officers from the local authority caught wind of the pair’s operation in May 2015 and carried out a warrant at their £600,000 farm in the village of Upham, near Southampton. There they found litters of puppies as well as adult dogs.

Despite being warned that they needed a licence for commercial breeding, the Rolphs continued to advertise dogs and puppies for sale, sometimes under different names, without one.

The pair came to the attention of licensing officers again after a miniature Dachshund they sold died weeks later of canine parvovirus.

Prosecutor Ethu Crorie told the court how the pair would advertise puppies and adult dogs for sale online via Pets4Homes and Preloved. They advertised 38 different breeds, with prices ranging from £500 to £1,500 per animal.

Mr Crorie added there was no record of sales or receipts and the pair did not have any tax records.

The pair had several accounts in their own names and 18 with other people’s names – some of whom they knew and were unaware that their name was being used.

Mr Crorie said that if every dog had sold as advertised and none of the adverts were duplicated, the pair could have been paid as much as £1.5 million pounds.

In sentencing the pair, Judge Henry, inset, said: “Lucinda Rolph was warned of the need for having a licence in 2015.

“She said at that stage she was thinking about giving everything up.

“She was well aware a licence was required.

“She kept no records of this lucrative business and they used fake names to hide the fact they were still selling adult and puppies during this period.”

Sentencing: Lucinda Rolph was ordered to pay £601,700 within a three-month period or face a five-year prison sentence in default. She was also told to pay costs of £20,000 and to complete 60 hours of unpaid work.

Victoria Rolph was ordered to pay £14,950 within a three-month period or face six months in prison in default. She was also told to complete 60 hours of unpaid work.

Both Rolphs were also given a dog breeding banning order for six years.

Daily Echo

Wallacetown, Ayr: Carol Willis

#TheList puppy dealer Carol Louise Willis, born 10/07/1970, currently of 3G Kings Court, Ayr KA8 0AD – kept ‘production-line’ puppies in stacked cages at her squalid farmhouse; sold diseased and genetically damaged dogs online to unsuspecting buyers

In July 2018, 17 puppies were taken on welfare grounds from unlicensed dealer Carol Willis by the Scottish SPCA’s Special Investigations Unit (SIU). Their visit to Lochend Farm, Barrhill, Girvan, followed reports by whistleblowers of puppies being bred and kept in atrocious conditions.

It was said that Willis had handed the dogs over voluntarily and to date, no prosecution has followed.

An SIU spokesman said at the time that Willis was ” keeping dogs in poor conditions and we believe their welfare was seriously compromised.”

He added that the Scottish SPCA had received reports of “animals suffering from illnesses and tiny pups being attacked by other dogs because they were made to live on top of each other.”

Willis handed over the dogs voluntarily and, more than 18 months later, has not been prosecuted by the authorities.

Earlier in 2018 Scottish newspaper the Daily Record reported how Willis had sold a one-eyed, seriously ill pug to a mother-of-three from Cairnryan, Wigtownshire, despite the animal urgently needing veterinary treatment.

Willis then tried to persuade Lisa Lochhead to sell on pups for her, making them look like they came from a loving family home – a favourite tactic of puppy farmers to mask the fact that they are churning out pups from a production line.

Lisa fell in love with the poorly pup, Buddy, after seeing an advert online and felt she had to rescue him from hellish living conditions. She was so desperate to save him that she borrowed cash to pay for him.

But Buddy was so over-run with mites that all his fur had fallen off. A vet confirmed he was suffering from demodectic mange as well as giardia, an intestinal problem associated with dirty, cramped conditions. This made his stool bloody and full of worms.

Buddy later lost his second eye after it burst in front of Lisa’s horrified children.

Lisa managed to talk the price down from £550 to £100 after Willis asked her to sell on dogs from her house.

Lisa has since spent hundreds of pounds on vet bills. She has also been contacted by the buyer of Buddy’s sister, who also suffered from dire skin problems.

Lisa said: “I would say that the moment I saw Buddy, I felt I had to save him from this woman. He is such a loveable wee character and the fact he lost an eye hasn’t stopped him have a big personality.

“Carol Willis told me that Buddy lost an eye after being attacked by a French bulldog she was selling, then almost lost the other eye after being scratched by his sister.

“That’s what happens when all these dogs are bred in cramped conditions. She shouldn’t be doing it.”

Lisa had hoped to see the pup with his mother before taking him but Willis repeatedly insisted on meeting at Asda car park in Girvan, Ayrshire, where she turned up with a van full of dogs in cages.

She said: “She didn’t want me anywhere near her home. I couldn’t believe that she was wanting £550 for a dog in that shape but I was determined to rescue him. Willis was really keen for me to take dogs from her and sell them as though I had bred them from my home.

“When she found out I was from Cairnryan, she started asking if I knew anyone who did ferry trips to Ireland, so I presumed she was thinking about bringing in pups that way too.”

A few days after the SIU’s raid, Willis offered to sell a Daily Record reporter a pug pup for £850, claiming she could get the dog microchipped the same day.

Willis denied her dogs were being kept in poor conditions. and told the reporter: “The SSPCA said there were too many dogs, they didn’t say they were being badly looked after.”

Willis has since moved from Lochend Farm in Barrhill, Girvan, to a flat near the Wallacetown area of Ayr

While the Daily Record said that their expose had made it impossible for Willis to continue trading, we have been sent screenshots of two recent Gumtree adverts that are believed to have been placed by Willis:

Sadly, the public have short memories and we have also heard that Willis does not operate alone. She almost certainly has a network of people around her that will allow her to continue to ply her barbaric trade.

Llangefni, Anglesey, North Wales: Leonard Evans and Emma Roberts

#TheList Leonard Edward Evans, born c. 1981, and partner Emma Louise Roberts, born c. 1985, both of Fron Heulog, Llangefni LL77 – stole a French bulldog from a garden and tried to sell him on

Dog thieves Leonard Evans and Emma Roberts, from Llangefni, Anglesey
Dog thieves Leonard ‘Len’ Evans and Emma Roberts, from Llangefni, Anglesey

Evans and Roberts were found guilty of theft after a trial. The pair had denied stealing Bruce, a black French bulldog belonging to Catrin Tudor, at Pwllheli in August 2019. Both maintained their innocence and showed no remorse, said a probation officer.

Dog thief Leonard Evans of Llangefni, North Wales

Diane Williams, prosecuting, said Bruce was in the garden of his owner’s home in Pwllheli at about 2.30pm on August 25, 2019. She was in the house with the front door open and Bruce was running in and out. The court heard that she found the garden gate slightly open and said Bruce could not have opened it.

Realising the dog was missing, she began a search and later reported the matter to police.

Dog thief Emma Louise Roberts of Llangefni, North Wales

Family members posted messages about the dog’s disappearance on social media and there were sightings of Bruce in the company of two men and a woman in the street and on a beach. The following morning, Roberts was seen waiting for a bus with the dog and was arrested in Porthmadog .

Stolen French bulldog Bruce was found in a distressed state and was very thirsty
Stolen French bulldog Bruce was found in a distressed state and was very thirsty

Evans was arrested at his brother’s home the same morning.

A police officer said the two-year-old dog, who was valued at £1,500, was in a distressed state and very thirsty.

When Ms Tudor arrived at the police station, Bruce’s demeanour changed completely and he greeted her excitedly, said Ms Williams.

Dog thieves Leonard Evans and Emma Roberts, from Llangefni, Anglesey
Thieving Evans and Roberts pictured outside court

During the trial, Evans said he had been for a walk in the Abersoch area with Roberts and his brother Ben.

Passing Ms Tudor’s house, they had seen a dog which began following them, he said.

Evans said he had ignored the dog at first but had asked an elderly couple if they knew who owned him.

He said they had also knocked on several doors in the area but got no reply. They had taken the dog with them to his brother’s flat and later went to the beach with the animal, he said.

Ben Evans told the court he had recognised the animal and told the others who owned it and to return it.

Both Evans and Roberts denied intending to sell the dog for £1,000

Sentencing
Evans – 26-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months; 180 hours of unpaid work; ordered to pay Bruce’s owner £50 compensation and £712 costs; 35-day probation service course. The court heard the offence took place just days after Evans was made the subject of a community order.

Roberts – 12-month community order; 150 hours of unpaid work; 10-day rehabilitation activity requirement. Ordered to pay £50 compensation and £680 costs.

North Wales Live

Sandfields, Port Talbot: Kieran Bunce, Leon Solskjaer Rowlands and Marcus thomas

#TheList Port Talbot men Kieran Jason Bunce, born 6 May 2000, of Traethmelyn, Sandfields SA12 7TJ, Leon Solskjaer Rowlands, born 23 October 1999, of Morrison Road, Sandfields and Marcus Lee Thomas, born c. 1989, of Morrison Road, Sandfields – fed a dog glass and beat him during a burglary

Kieran Bunce, Marcus Thomas and Leon Solskjaer also targeted a defenceless dog during a house burglary
Kieran Bunce, Marcus Thomas and Leon Solskjaer also targeted a defenceless dog during a house burglary

Reverend Philip Owen was out celebrating his 70th birthday when “opportunistic” burglars Kieran Bunce, Leon Solskjaer Rowlands and Marcus Thomas targeted his house.

Rev Owen described how the burglars had taken glass from the window they had smashed to get in and put it in meat they had got from the fridge.

They then gave it to Rev Owen’s dog Rusty, as well as beating him on the back legs and ribs.

Luckily, a vet later found Rusty had not ingested any glass and he has now made a full recovery.

Marcus Thomas is a career criminal with multiple previous convictions
Marcus Thomas is a career criminal with multiple previous convictions

The three men were sentenced at Swansea Crown Court for breaking and entering, burglary and theft.

Bunce and Thomas admitted the charges and got two years and eight months and four years and six months.

Rowlands was found guilty after trial and given 18 months.

“It was a big day but it was absolutely ruined,” Rev Owen said, referring to his birthday.

“My grandchildren came down and were traumatised with the mess that was here and the state their grandmother was in.

“The dog was badly beaten. It was terrible.”

Judge Geraint Thomas called Thomas a “career criminal” and said the defendants could show remorse by telling the victim where the stolen jewellery was.

He asked “what Fagin-type character” they had passed it on to, but they refused to answer.

Sentencing: all three were given a custodial sentence for the burglary offence. None of them were prosecuted for animal cruelty so no bans were imposed.

BBC News

Scholar Green, Stoke-on-Trent: Esther Titterton

#TheList fraudulent puppy dealer Esther Rachel Titterton, born 15/03/1993, formerly of Yew Tree Farm, Wheatlow Brooks, Milwich, Stafford, and more recently of Drumber Lane, Scholar Green, Stoke on Trent ST7 3LP

Callous Esther Titterton of Milwich, Staffordshire duped customers into buying puppies that went on to develop serious health problems
Callous Esther Titterton of Milwich, Staffordshire duped customers into buying puppies that soon developed serious health problems.

Esther Titterton was jailed for 18 months after admitting illegally breeding and selling puppies using fake Kennel Club paperwork.

Titterton was also charged with the breeding of dogs without a licence, sales of puppies without a pet shop licence and consumer protection offences.

Up to 39 puppies, many with health problems, were seized from Titterton’s home.

An advert placed on Pets4Homes by dishonest puppy dealer Esther Titterton
Titterton used online classified websites to advertise puppies for sale. This is one of her ads.

Trading Standards officers also found false vaccination certificates, which along with the Kennel Club papers were used to dupe customers.

Callous Esther Titterton of Milwich, Staffordshire duped customers into buying puppies that went on to develop serious health problems
Titterton admitted 13 charges of fraud and was jailed for 18 months. All the puppies have since been re-homed.

Titterton pleaded guilty to 11 charges of dishonestly making false representation to make gain for herself and two others relating to an item used in the committing of fraud and her business being used to commit fraud.

A Facebook post from a customer of Esther Titterton
A Facebook post by someone unlucky enough to be duped by dishonest puppy dealer Esther Titterton. In this case the little puppy, Bailey, did not survive. According to this post, Titterton used an alias (typical puppy dealer behaviour) and also had an accomplice.

Staffordshire County Council’s Trading Standards team said it worked with the Animal, Plant and Health Agency, police and the RSPCA to investigate Titterton after a complaint about her business activities in June 2017.

Callous Esther Titterton of Milwich, Staffordshire duped customers into buying puppies that went on to develop serious health problems
Esther Rachel Titterton

Titterton had been operating from her home, a farm in Milwich, and checks revealed it was not licensed to sell pets or breed dogs. The owner of the farm was not involved with the investigation.

Most of the puppies were cockapoos and health problems with dogs from so-called puppy farms is a common occurrence, trading standards said.

Sentencing:
Jailed for 18 months.

BBC News

Billingham, County Durham: Richard Ridley

#TheList Richard ‘Richy’ Ridley, born c. 1988, last known address Braid Crescent, Billingham TS23 – subjected a dog to violence during a campaign of abuse against his then partner; ripped the head off a pigeon in a rage

Paranoid drug taker Richard Ridley of Billingham, Co Durham, UK, was jailed in June 2017 for domestic violence-related offences
Paranoid drug taker Richard Ridley was jailed in June 2017 for domestic violence-related offences

In June 2017 paranoid violent drug taker Richard Ridley was sentenced to a total of 13-and-a-half years for domestic abuse, including nine-and-a-half in prison. The jail term was cut to eight years in March 2018.

Ridley’s ex-partner Gemma Willis was subjected to regular attacks by him, during which he punched her, smashed her head through glass windows and dragged her up flights of stairs by her hair.

Gemma’s pet dog, Rottweiler/German Shepherd cross Dusty, was also targeted by Ridley, who once ripped the head off a live pigeon in a fit of rage. Gemma described how the thug “kicked and threw shovels and hammers at [Dusty]. He was choked, hit with planks of wood and shot with BB guns”.

Although Gemma was desperate to escape, she knew she couldn’t leave Dusty behind but was unable to find a refuge able to take pets. In the end, she received support from the Dogs Trust under their Freedom Project. This provides temporary foster care for dogs belonging to families fleeing domestic violence.

The service runs in London and the Home Counties, Yorkshire, the North East, North West and Scotland.

Daily Mail
Teesside Live
Mirror

Seaham, County Durham: Dave Smith

#TheList Dave Smith, born c. 1949, of Adam and Eve Cottage, Northdene Avenue, Seaham SR7 7BH – killed thousands of ex-racing greyhounds with a bolt gun and buried them at his home

Dave Smith from Seaham is said to have killed thousands of former racing greyhounds with a bolt gun
Dave Smith from Seaham is said to have killed thousands of former racing greyhounds with a bolt gun. Despite this, he was never charged with animal cruelty.

The prosecution of Dave Smith was brought by the Environment Agency after police ruled that the ‘Seaham Slaughterer’ as he came to be known would not face criminal charges in relation to the destruction of the dogs.

Dave Smith from Seaham is said to have killed thousands of former racing greyhounds with a bolt gun. Photo shows Smith leading two greyhounds to their deaths.
Smith was photographed by a reporter leading two greyhounds to the kill zone. The dogs were later identified as two-year-olds Clash Nitro and Rent a Flyer, bred and raised in Ireland before being sold off.

It had been claimed that Smith had shot about 10,000 dogs, but magistrates were told the figure was nowhere near that. It was conceded that he had put down two dogs a week for two years at a cost of £10 a time.

Dave Smith from Seaham is said to have killed thousands of former racing greyhounds with a bolt gun. This photo shows Smith returning with the bodies of the same two dogs in a wheelbarrow
The shocking footage shows Smith returning moments later with the bodies of the same two dogs in a wheelbarrow

While Smith was questioned by police, it was confirmed the bolt gun used to kill the retired greyhounds was held legitimately.

There are unconfirmed reports that Smith also disposed of dogs for the police and local authority.

Enquiries by the RSPCA concluded that there was no indication animal cruelty laws had been broken.

A spokeswoman for the charity said if used properly a bolt gun was a humane method of killing dogs and there had been no evidence that Smith had killed the greyhounds inhumanely.

Following a six-month investigation, the Environment Agency prosecuted him under legislation used to restrict the dumping of waste.

Dave Smith from Seaham is said to have killed thousands of former racing greyhounds with a bolt gun

Smith admitted a single charge under the Pollution Prevention and Control (England and Wales) Regulations that, on 12 July 2006 he disposed of waste – the bodies of deceased dogs – on land without a permit.

Greyhound protection group Greyhound Action (now defunct) held a protest outside the court and said it was disgraceful that the dog racing industry itself was not in the dock.

Sentencing: £2,000 fine for environmental breaches

BBC News

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2019 update:
Dave Smith still runs a building supplies business Dave Smith Builders Merchants & DIY based in Lord Street, Seaham SR7 7JH. At the time of his prosecution, many local people came forward to support Smith, claiming that he was only meeting a demand from the greyhound industry.

In June 2019 a documentary on animal cruelty within the greyhound industry by Irish TV channel RTE entitled RTÉ Investigates: Greyhounds Running for Their Lives highlighted the Smith case and made the shocking discovery that many Irish knackeries, including Larry Earle Ltd of Camolin, Co Wexford, and John Styles & Son Ltd, will willingly provide a similar service today.