Then in September 2018 Stezaker attacked Sarah’s pet dog, Tilly, strangling her before stamping her to death and dumping her lifeless body in a bin.
Stezaker admitting causing unnecessary suffering to an animal, assault and coercive and controlling behaviour.
Prosecutor Giles Nelson said Stezaker already had a common assault conviction and was under a community order when he killed Tilly.
He said: ‘Considerable force was used to strangle the dog, causing severe suffering.
‘This was a gratuitous piece of violence against the dog.
‘It was not an accident.’
Judge James Tindal told Stezaker he was considered a ‘high risk’ by the probation service.
Sentencing: 12 months in jail for controlling and coercive behaviour, with two sentences of four months for causing unnecessary suffering to an animal and actual bodily harm, plus 28 days for cannabis possession – all to run concurrently.
#TheList Joshua Coles, born c. 1991, of Ennerleigh Farm, Washfield near Tiverton, Devon EX16 9RF – filmed swallowing a live goldfish he had just won at Bridgwater Fair
A 14 second long video posted on Snapchat showed Coles holding the fish in his right hand before putting into his mouth.
He then drinks half a pint of beer to swallow it before opening his mouth to show his pals that he had gulped it down.
Coles admitted causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal during the incident which took place during September 2018.
RSPCA prosecutor Lindi Meyer showed Exeter magistrates court the video that was made by Coles’ girlfriend who posted it on social media.
Miss Meyer said:”This case relates to the defendant swallowing a live goldfish and washing it down with half a pint of alcohol.”
His girlfriend posted the video entitled ‘he ate my fish’ and Coles told RSPCA investigators it was ‘just a stunt for social media’.
The court heard Coles was ‘amused and bemused’ by the investigation saying it was ‘only a goldfish‘.
Vet expert David Martin said the goldfish was still alive when it was swallowed and took a swig of alcohol to wash it down.
Mr Martin said goldfish can feel pain and would have died from a deprivation of oxygen.
Miss Meyer said tree surgeon Coles was egged on by two other people who laughed as he carried out the act.
She said:”He caused the death of the animal. There was never any other outcome from his actions.”
She said he had been drinking alcohol and showed no remorse and had been amused and bemused by the RSPCA inquiry and he valued the fish in a ‘trivial nature’.
A probation officer said Coles was ‘a class clown’ who showed off in front of people.
She said he was ’embarrassed and ashamed’ by what he had done.
She said:”It is a very unpleasant offence.”
Solicitor Jeremy Tricks, defending, said Coles suffers with ADHD and depression and anxiety.
He said:”He has very poor decision making skills. It was an idiotic and stupid mistake but there is no malice in him.”
He said people watch him ‘do something amusing’.
After the case RSPCA Inspector John Pollock said:”We are asked why prosecute for a goldfish but they feel pain and have a spine.
“We will deal with it whether it is a large or small creature that has suffered.
“This is the first time in my 30 year career that I have had a prosecution like this but there have been ones in the past when there was the Neknominate craze.
“The expert veterinary evidence is that the goldfish would have drowned in beer content and his stomach acids. If a goldfish was put in a glass of acid then people would be jumping up and down about it and ringing us up.
” This goldfish would have suffered a great deal. It would have dissolved alive in the stomach acids.
“This goldfish was a prize at a fair. We are very much against live animal prizes and some councils have outlawed them.
“At the end of this fair we got lots of calls about being goldfish being dumped on the ground. They get easily stressed, even with the acoustics of being thrown about in a plastic bag that they come in.”
Sentencing: 12-month community order with 200 hours of unpaid work and five rehab days. Costs and charges totalling £385. Five-year ban on owning fish.
#TheList poacher Arron Crighton, born c. 1997, of Kismet Street, Sunderland SR5 2LG – made shocking videos of his dogs brutally killing foxes; posted graphic photos and videos online showing horrific injuries suffered by both dogs and foxes
Arron Crighton admitted offences under the 2001 Animal Welfare Act and 2004 Hunting Act after using his black whippet, Jet, to attack and kill foxes.
Police were alerted to a number of videos made by Crighton, which included footage of a dog fighting with a fox and a person appearing to hold the fox down with their foot.
A second video showed two dogs with their jaws locked around the fox’s neck and body, while a picture was also taken showing Crighton and others holding a dog which had a bloodied fox in his mouth.
After being made aware of the social media posts, police executed a warrant at an address on Kismet Street, Sunderland, and seized a mobile phone belonging to Crighton.
Investigators discovered hundreds of shocking photos and videos showing the attacks and subsequent injuries of the animals saved on the phone.
Asked why he’d initiated the illegal activity in interview, Crighton responded “for sport”. He also claimed that if one dog was injured by the fox, he would “put another dog on”.
PC Peter Baker, of Northumbria Police, said: “The photographs and videos that Arron Crighton made are incredibly distressing and showed a total disregard for the welfare of these animals.
“Crighton took a great deal of satisfaction out of filming this barbaric and criminal activity and then posted the trophy pictures online.
“It is blatantly clear that he cannot be trusted to own an animal and ensure it is adequately protected from pain, suffering, injury and disease. On this occasion, both Crighton’s own dog and the foxes suffered horrific injuries.
“This investigation was launched following information provided to police by a member of the public who saw the videos online and were rightly disgusted by them. I would urge anyone who sees poaching offences and cruelty of this type online to get in touch.
“This case should act as a reminder to all pet owners that anybody who fails to ensure an animal’s welfare is met could face criminal action. We would always ask anybody who witnesses cruelty or an animal in distress to contact the RSPCA direct or call 101.”
Jet– who was frightened but gentle in nature when officers located him– will also be re-homed.
Sentencing: to follow at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court on 24 April 2019.
#TheList: gypsy traveller James ‘Jimmy’ Goddard, born 06/06/1991, of 1 Mayles Close, Fareham PO17 5NF – beat a cockerel to death with a metal skewer as others filmed him
In a horrendous attack against a defenceless animal, Goddard chased the cockerel around a fenced area with a metal kebab skewer. As the cockerel attempts to run away, Goddard lunges at him, picks him up and beats him to death. As the bird dies Goddard celebrates with his arms in the air.
Police uncovered the video while carrying out a separate investigation.
RSPCA Chief Inspector Will Mitchell described the violent footage: ‘Mr Goddard chases the bird around taking swipes with the 3ft-long metal skewer like a baseball bat.
‘He then grabs hold of the cockerel, holds him upside down by his feet and, while the bird frantically flaps around and tries to escape his clutches, he beats his head with the pole.
‘He swings at the poor bird again and again, hitting him in the head like a pinata.
‘He then throws the bird’s body onto the ground and celebrates the vicious kill.
‘It’s absolutely shocking to watch. His violent behaviour and the savage cruelty he shows towards this bird is difficult to comprehend.”
Sergeant Andy Williams from Hampshire Constabulary’s Country Watch team said: ‘We are pleased that Goddard has finally been punished for what really was a shocking and cowardly act against the animal.
‘We work closely with our partners from the RSPCA on a variety of rural and animal welfare matters.
‘Offences such as this have no place in modern society. When information is received about such offences, the Country Watch team is only too pleased to assist in investigating them and bringing offenders to justice.’
Sentencing: 18-week custodial sentence; total of £865 costs and charges. Banned from keeping any animal for five years.
#TheList Frankie Jane Kane, born 03/07/99 of Printfield Walk, Woodside, Aberdeen AB24, and Yasmin Doherty (aka Yasmin Walker), born circa 2000, of Marischal Court, Castlehill, Aberdeen AB11 – filmed themselves abusing an escaped boa constrictor in the street
Vile Frankie Kane and Yasmin Doherty shared twisted videos of themselves mistreating the snake, named Esmerelda, on social media site Snapchat.
Kane hurled the escape animal 10ft across an Aberdeen street and Doherty swung her above her head.
The disturbing footage which they captured in the early hours of July 4, 2018, showed Esmerelda “writhing in pain” and sparked widespread outrage on social media.
Kane later confessed to causing the animal unnecessary suffering and throwing her, while Doherty admitted the same but also pleaded guilty to “spinning the snake around” and causing her to suffer injury.
Fiscal depute Rebecca Clark said: “The snake’s owner, who had it for three years, kept it in an enclosure in his bedroom and noticed it was missing – but thought it was elsewhere in the property.
“It was 3am when the two accused were outside the Marischal Court block of flats and found it.
“Both were under the influence of alcohol at the time, and Doherty began filming the snake on her mobile phone and posting it on Snapchat.
“Kane then picked it up and threw it several feet across the road.
“The snake appeared to be moving in a distressed state and Doherty said ‘it’s real’ before before picking it up, spinning it around above her head and throwing it.”
A passer-by intervened at that point and handed Esmerelda in to the police, who gave her to the Scottish SPCA.
Ms Clark added that the 4ft snake was “regurgitating blood”, and “appeared to be convulsing in pain”.
She said: “The chief inspector described the animal as writhing about in agony, coughing up blood and clearly dying.
“The decision was made to humanely destroy the snake, which had severe internal injuries.”
Kane’s solicitor maintained that his client did not realise Esmerelda was a live animal at first.
He said: “She though it was a fake snake, but quickly became aware it was real after picking it up and hearing it hiss at her.
“She should have placed it on the ground but she threw the snake through the air.”
Defence agent Tony Burgess said Doherty had lost her job as a result of the incident and is now “struggling to find her way back into employment”.
He added: “She accepts that her behaviour was completely reprehensible.”
Mr Burgess said the snake may have suffered some of her injuries when she escaped from her home and fell “from quite high up” on the multi-storey block.
Sheriff Aitken said he had “limited sympathy” for the teenagers, whose troubles he said were “nobody’s fault but their own”.
He added: “I hope it was drunken stupidity that led to this, rather than an underlying defect in your character. People do not like those who abuse animals.”
The Scottish SPCA welcomed the sentencing of Kane and Doherty but expressed disappointment that no order was imposed preventing them from keeping pets.
Scottish SPCA chief inspector John Carle said: “Although we are pleased to hear this sentence has been passed down we are disappointed a ban was not also imposed.
“Doherty and Kane caused cruel and unnecessary suffering to Esmerelda the snake.
“Treating any animal this way is despicable behaviour and the injuries caused ultimately contributed to the death of the poor snake.”
Sentencing: Kane was ordered to perform 80 hours of unpaid work in the next six months, and Doherty 120 hours. No ban on keeping animals was imposed on either of them.
#TheList Andrew Gildea, born 24/02/1995, from Larne and Darren Kincaid, born c. 1999, from north Befast – kidnapped a seagull and tortured him on social media
Gildea and Kincaid Belfast lured a hungry Black Headed Gull they dubbed ‘Steven Seagull’ towards them using chips before bundling him into the footwell of Gildea’s car.
After driving the panic-stricken bird around Larne and Belfast, parading him before friends and family, the pair took the gull to Gildea’s house and live-streamed several videos of them torturing the bird on Facebook.
The footage caused uproar among animal lovers online and they were reported to police before handing themselves in.
Appearing at Laganside Courthouse in Belfast, both men entered guilty pleas to charges of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal and will return later in March 2019 for sentencing.
Prosecution lawyers told the court several videos were uploaded to Facebook on June 11, 2018, over a two-hour span, detailing the bird’s ordeal.
In the first video, Gildea can be seen grabbing the bird and trailing it into the car, capturing it in the passenger footwell and putting up the windows to prevent its escape.
The court heard the bird was “flapping and clearly very distressed”.
Subsequent videos show the bird standing on a toolbox in Gildea’s garage being poked and teased and again clearly in distress before being trapped in a plastic box.
After surrendering to Larne police station, Gildea admitted enticing the bird with chips and livestreaming the videos, but said he never intended to cause harm to the creature.
Kincaid admitted being a passenger in the car and taking the bird to several addresses, but claimed to have experience handling pigeons and said he was aware of how to handle birds correctly.
He also told police he had drilled holes in the plastic box the bird was trapped in, so it would be able to breathe.
The court heard ‘Steven Seagull’ survived the ordeal after being released by Gildea and Kincaid, but district judge William McNallly was unimpressed with their antics.
Adjourning the matter so he could watch the video before sentencing the pair, he said: “I remember seeing a cat playing with a mouse and your behaviour reminds me of that cruelty.
“Playing with this bird is as cruel a thing as I have heard about in a long time. These are horrid videos with many views and I regard it as a very serious matter.”
Despite a backlash over his treatment of the bird on social media, Gildea continued to joke about ‘Steven Seagull’ for months after the incident on his Facebook account, with his friends exchanging jokes, news stories and memes relating to seagulls.
However, he did also post a message on Facebook expressing regret for the incident.
He said: “I’m probably the most kind-hearted person and I would do anything for everyone. Everyone I know would vouch for me being a nice guy. However I’ll only be ever remembered as the man who allegedly stole a seagull.”
Gildea and Kincaid face up to six months in prison for the offence of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal and are due to be sentenced later this month.
#TheList Gavin Hardy , born 29/09/79, of 18 Greengate Lane, Immingham DN40 3EZ, Troy Wagstaff, born 06/03/88, of Willow Close, Ulceby DN39 6UR , and Arturs Grigorjevs, born c. 1986, of Oak Avenue, Goole DN14 – relentlessly abused pigs by kicking them in the face and jabbing them with pitchforks; caught on camera slamming a gate into an animal’s head
Hardy, Wagstaff and Grigorjevs, former employees of Goxhill’s Fir Tree Farm, which is operated by Elsham Linc, all admitted causing unnecessary suffering to pigs.
The case was brought by the RSPCA following an undercover investigation by animal rights group Animal Equality.
Hidden cameras were put inside the farm and these uncovered horrific footage of abuse.
The main culprit was Troy Wagstaff, a supervisor who, ironically, was actually the farm’s designated animal welfare manager responsible for animal welfare practice.
Wagstaff admitted abusing numerous pigs between April 2 and April 27, 2018, by causing unnecessary suffering through inflicting blunt force trauma and physical violence.
He denied a second charge of abusing a pig by spraying paint into its nose. The prosecution offered no evidence on that matter.
Gavin Hardy admitted causing unnecessary suffering to two pigs at the farm through inflicting blunt force trauma, physical violence and the inappropriate use of a pitchfork between April 25 and 27, 2018.
Latvian national Arturs Grigorjevs admitted causing unnecessary suffering to four pigs through inflicting blunt force trauma, physical violence and the inappropriate use of a pitchfork,when knowing that the act was likely to have this effect.
Cameras were planted in Fir Tree Farm after suspicions that pigs were being ill-treated and these revealed pigs being subjected to horrific abuse.
The pigs’ squeals can be heard as they try to escape from the men around the pens.
Gordon Holt, prosecuting for the RSPCA, told Grimsby Magistrates’ Court that there was “repeated abuse and cruelty” to “multiple pigs”.
Wagstaff was the unit’s supervisor for nine months and had worked there since 2006.
He was the designated animal welfare manager and had monthly meetings with others about animal welfare practice.
Hardy was a stockman and had worked at the farm for about 20 years.
Grigorjevs had worked with pigs for about nine years.
Elsham Linc, which is owned by the Godfrey family, sacked the men after an investigation, saying the actions were “abhorrent behaviour that does not represent our business”.
Gavin Hardy had shown “no remorse”, his legal team said. His lawyers claimed he was ”desensitised” to the rearing and slaughtering of pigs after working at the farm for 20 years.
Wagstaff was described by his lawyers as “weak and foolish” but “full of remorse”.
The court heard Artis Grigorjevs recognised that his behaviour was unacceptable.
Sentencing: The three were given an eight-week suspended prison sentence, 100 hours’ unpaid work and were banned from working with or transporting commercial livestock indefinitely. They must each pay £500 costs and a Government-imposed £115 victims’ surcharge.
#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 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.