Tag Archives: Sentencing to follow

West Wales: Sean Burns, Kenneth Evans and John Clayton

#TheList Sean Ronald Burns, born 15/08/1970, of Rosehill Lodge, Ferry Lane, Pembroke SA71 4RG, Kenneth Darren Evans, born 09/10/1975, of 28 Llys Caermedi, Carmarthen SA31 1GX, and John A Clayton (dob tbc) of 17 Rhos Las, Carmarthen SA31 2DY – convicted on charges relating to cruelty to animals at Bramble Hall Farm in Pembroke Dock and operation of an illegal slaughterhouse

Sean Burns (left) pictured outside court with his solicitor
Sean Burns (left) pictured outside court with his solicitor

Sean Burns was convicted of multiple cruelty charges in relation to 215 animals at Bramble Hall Farm, Ferry Lane, Pembroke Dock SA71 4RG.

The charges included the unlicensed breeding of dogs, welfare and animal-keeping regulation charges relating to sheep, horses, dogs, pigs, and goats.

A total of 53 pigs, 80 sheep, three goats, 58 dogs, 20 horses and one donkey were removed from the smallholding after being found living in squalor and without adequate space, food or water.

Sean Burns pictured outside court

District Judge Christopher James told Burns he had “deliberately” inflicted suffering over a “significant period of time”.

He told Burns the condition of the animals was “extremely poor”, and that some dogs and puppies had “died due to the neglect suffered at your hands”.

Atrocious conditions for the animals on Sean Burns' smallholding in Pembroke Dock

One horse was found with a pipe stuck in its hoof and two horses were found with no access to food or water.

They also found 10 newborn puppies in a plastic food bowl, two of which were dead.

Prosecutor Alexander Greenwood said the dogs were kept in a “hazardous environment”, with no bedding, and the floor wet with urine and faeces.

Atrocious conditions for the animals on Sean Burns' smallholding in Pembroke Dock

The court was told the animals displayed signs of “bullying behaviour” as food was so scarce and the bigger animals were keeping the smaller animals away from food.

The prosecution said this case of animal neglect was “one of the worst examples of its kind.”

The court heard Burns failed to provide documentation for any of the animals.

Defending, Aled Owen told the court Burns “has not got the skills to manage this farm efficiently”.

“Quite frankly, my client is illiterate,” he said.

The prosecution followed an investigation by public protection officers from Pembrokeshire Council, supported by Dyfed-Powys Police’s rural crime team.

Sean Burns is pictured alongside his mother Pamela Burns.
Sean Burns is pictured alongside his mother Pamela Burns. Although she initially faced similar charges to her son, the case against her was dropped because of her apparent ill health

Sean Burns’ mother Pamela Burns (born 12/08/1945) had faced 24 charges but the case against her ultimately did not proceed because she is said to be suffering from dementia.

Sean Burns was also convicted alongside associates John Clayton and Kenneth Evans on a string of charges relating to food hygiene, operating an illegal slaughterhouse and being involved in the illegal slaughter of sheep to produce ‘smokies’ – a West African delicacy where meat is cooked using a blow torch.

The illegal slaughterhouse operated in one of the agricultural outbuildings, with Clayton and Evans caught in the act by horrified inspectors.

The unit had been set up as a makeshift slaughter hall with six slaughtered sheep at various stages of preparation and further penned sheep awaiting the same fate.

Conditions inside the illegal slaughterhouse being operated on Sean Burns' smallholding in Pembroke Dock, Wales

The court was told that conditions in the slaughter hall were insanitary and the floor awash with blood from the slaughtered animals as well as by-products from the slaughter process.

A herd of pigs was seen wandering among suspended sheep carcasses, feeding on the remains of the slaughtered animals.

Approximately six further carcasses of smoked sheep were found bagged in the boot of Evans’ car, ready for onward supply.

Evidence was gathered by officers and the carcasses were seized for condemnation.

A number of sheep were subsequently euthanized for humane reasons and restrictions were placed on the herd of pigs, preventing their movement off-site to address the potential disease risk and to protect the human food chain.

Conditions inside the illegal slaughterhouse being operated on Sean Burns' smallholding in Pembroke Dock, Wales

Clayton was convicted in 2002 for the same offence alongside David Jones of Moelfre Farm in Llanwnnen, John Beddows of Tregaron, Ceredigion, Trefor Williams of Llandysul, Ceredigion, Alun Evans and his brother Richard Evans both of Abernewrig, Lampeter, Malcolm Taylor of Oldbury, in the West Midlands, and Alun Lloyd of Llanfrynach, Pembrokeshire

Sentencing for these offences is to follow.

Magistrates in Court in Llanelli formalised that order for the removal of the animals owned by Pamela and Sean Burns of Bramble Hall.

Sentencing: Sean Burns was given 20 weeks in prison for illegal dog breeding, animal welfare charges and other summary matters. Although Pembrokeshire Council have incurred thousands of pounds in costs, Burns was only ordered to pay a £115 victim surcharge at this stage. He was handed an indefinite ban from keeping animals, including having any involvement or influence over the care or welfare of animals.

Milford Mercury
BBC News
Western Telegraph

Dundee: James McDonell

#TheList James McDonell, born 1997, of Robertson Street, Dundee DD4 6EL – left two cats to starve to death

Cat killer James McDonell from Dundee

The bodies of cats Mia and Babe were found under a duvet. They were suffering from weight loss and had died of suspected dehydration.

Their owner, James McDonell, pleaded guilty to causing the pets unnecessary suffering by failing to provide adequate care and treatment.

The 22-year-old failed to obtain veterinary advice or treatment for their conditions between July 12 and August 2, 2019, for one of the cats, and between July 24 and August 2, 2019, for the other.

The court heard that McDonell was neglecting himself due to difficulties in his personal life.

Authorities were alerted to the suffering of the cats and visited McDonell’s home, where they found the animals already dead under a duvet.

McDonnell is now said to be on medication and “stable”.

His family are said to be supporting him after being concerned for his wellbeing.

Sheriff Jillian Martin-Brown deferred sentencing until August 6, 2020, for McDonnell to be of good behaviour and to turn his life around.

She told him: “I’ve taken into account what’s been said on your behalf and the terms of the criminal justice and social work report.

“It’s clear in the report that you’ve had no previous involvement in the court system and you have shown considerable remorse.

“I’m going to defer sentencing to give you a chance to continue to make considerable changes to your lifestyle.

“You will need to be of good behaviour.”

Sentencing: to follow at Dundee Sheriff Court on 6 August 2020.

The Courier

Glenrothes, Fife: Heather Jones

#TheList Heather Jones, born 28/05/1970, of 42 King Edward Street, Glenrothes KY7 6AW – left three horses to starve in a field

Heather Jones of Glenrothes, Fife, left horses to starve in a field
Heather Jones of Glenrothes, Fife, left horses to starve in a field

A horse named Zante was in an emaciated state after Heather Jones failed to provide enough food for him. He and two other horses kept by Jones in a field in Coaltown of Balgonie, were handed over to the Scottish SPCA. The animals have since been rehomed.

Jones was said to have been a keen horsewoman, having kept horses for years and competed in shows around the country.

At Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court she was reprimanded by Sheriff Grant McCulloch for failing to care properly for Zante.

Sheriff McCulloch also expressed concern for three dogs she keeps and requested further information from the animal charity which investigated the case before he decides how to deal with her.

Heather Jones of Glenrothes, Fife, left horses to starve in a field

Jones admitted causing Zante unnecessary suffering between December 10, 2018, and January 10, 2019, by failing to provide adequate nutrition leading to him becoming emaciated.

Her denial of causing unnecessary suffering to two other horses, Toruk and Smith, was accepted by the Crown.

Sheriff McCulloch told Jones: “It’s clear that for whatever reason for a period you did not properly care for one of your horses.

“You did, through inaction or improper action, cause Zante to suffer unnecessarily.”

He said that fortunately Zante’s body condition had improved since being taken from Jones’ care and he was now thriving.

Solicitor Alistair Burleigh said Jones had suffered from mental health issues and had been “completely and utterly isolated” when the offence occurred.

He said: “She knows her failures were quite serious. She is deeply ashamed of how this came about.”

Mr Burleigh said Jones had been highly dedicated to her horses, taking them to events all over. He said: “All that has gone by the wayside.

“She took the appropriate steps to sign these horses over to the SSPCA and all three of them have been rehomed.

“It’s obvious she has a huge void in her life as a result of not having any horses.”

Sentencing: 12-week structured deferred sentence to allow Jones to engage with psychiatry services and for a further report from the Scottish SPCA.

The Courier

Londonderry: Kerri Ogilby

#TheList Kerri Leanne Ogilby, born c. 1984, most recently of Great James Street, Londonderry BT48 7DB – left a Shih-Tzu dog in an empty flat for several days without food or water

Kerri Ogilby, who has longstanding drug and alcohol addiction issues, can now add animal abuse to her long list of criminal convictions
Kerri Ogilby, who has longstanding drug and alcohol addiction issues, can now add animal abuse to her long list of criminal convictions

Ogilby, who has 96 previous criminal convictions including burglary, disorderly behaviour and assaulting police officers, was convicted in her absence of causing unnecessary suffering to the dog.

An order was made banning her from owning a pet for life.

The court was told that a report was received on December 22, 2017 that the defendant had not been seen for several days and there was concern for a dog she kept in her basement flat.

Attempts were made to contact Ogilby but were unsuccessful.

An officer called out to the basement flat and there was no reply and tape was placed over the lock.

A dog could be heard barking on the premises. A subsequent visit revealed that the tape was intact signifying the defendant had not entered the flat.

A decision was made to force entry and the dog, a Shih Tzu, was found locked in a small bathroom with no access to food and water.

The dog displayed signs of neglect and was taken to a shelter. Eventually Ogilby agreed to the dog being rehomed.

A warrant has been issued for Ogilby’s arrest.


Elgin, Scotland: Barry Simpson

#TheList Barry Simpson, born c. 1971, of Innes Court, Lhanbryde, Elgin, Moray – caught in possession of numerous videos of extreme bestiality pornography

Pervert Barry Simpson from Elgin was found to have dozens of videos on his computer showing extreme bestiality

Oddball Barry Simpson pleaded guilty to possessing extreme pornographic images depicting adults engaging in sexual activity with animals.

Police applied for a search warrant at his home after receiving reports about an indecent Category A video being uploaded to the internet from his address.

When officers executed that warrant on June 4, 2018, they seized various devices and a hard drive from the house which contained numerous videos of bestiality.

When Simpson was interviewed by police, he admitted having videos on the computer, which was in the living room.

Sentencing was deferred for a month and Simpson was placed on the sex offenders list in the meantime.

Sentencing: to follow in April 2019.

Press and Journal

Northern Ireland: Andrew Gildea and Darren Kincaid

#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

As funny as a turd in a punch bowl: Darren Kincaid (left) and Andrew Gildea subjected a terrified seagull to a two-hour ordeal for laughs 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.”

Andrew Gildea and Darren Kincaid from Northern Ireland filmed themselves torturing a helpless seagull for laughs on social media
Andrew Gildea and Darren Kincaid from Northern Ireland filmed themselves torturing a helpless seagull for laughs on social media

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.

Belfast Telegraph

UPDATED: Dunfermline, Fife: Robert Goodwillie and Levi Bissett

#TheList: Robert Goodwillie, aged 29, and partner Levi Chantelle Bissett (aka Levi Hamilton or Levi Mallett), born 26/05/1994, both of Broomhead Drive, Dunfermline, Fife KY12 9AG – for cruelty to a shih-tsu dog named Suki

Paedophile Robert Goodwillie and partner Levi Bissett of Dunfermline abused a little dog named Suki
Paedophile Robert Goodwillie and partner Levi Bissett of Dunfermline abused a little dog named Suki (pictured).

Goodwillie and partner Bissett admitted that over a three-month period they caused Suki unnecessary suffering.

They failed to provide adequate veterinary treatment causing chronic skin condition, dry eye and overgrown claw issues resulting in complications with her health.

Paedophile Goodwillie, who has a previous conviction for the possession of child pornography, also admitted that at his home on April 10, 2018, he caused Suki unnecessary suffering by dragging and kicking her, launching her in the air, resulting in her landing on the ground with her legs splayed.

Convicted paedophile and dog abuser Robert Goodwillie from Dunfermline

Suki had to be euthanised because of her poor condition.

In court for sentencing neither Goodwillie nor Bissett were represented by a solicitor.

Twisted Robert Goodwillie and his partner Levi Bissett pictured outside court
Twisted Robert Goodwillie and his partner Levi Bissett pictured outside court

Asked by Sheriff Craig McSherry if they had anything to say about the offences, they both shook their heads.

Despite the despicable cruelty the pair had inflicted on a helpless dog, no ban on keeping animals was imposed by the court.

Four-month restriction of liberty orders.

The Sun
Fife Reporter



Rotherham, South Yorkshire: Tara Louise Bridges

#TheList Tara Louise Bridges, born 08/05/1986, of Beaconsfield Road, Rotherham S60 – allowed poodle terrier cross dogs Lila and Moxy to starve to death

Convicted animal abuser Tara Louise Bridges from Rotherham and Moxy, one of the two dogs she allowed to starve to death

RSPCA inspectors found the dead bodies of 3yo Lila and Moxy aged 5 when they visited Bridges’ home on January 30, 2018. Both dogs had died from starvation.
The court heard the dogs had been left dead for so long that Lila was found with maggots in one of her eye sockets.  Inspectors noted a strong smell of decay at the property. 
It is believed that Lila had died some 10-15 days before Moxy, who had been dead for between three and seven days when inspectors found her.
Bridges told the police during an interview that she had lived alone at the address and was responsible for the dogs.
She said she had them both since they were puppies.
Bridges claimed the dogs were fine just a day before they were found by the RSPCA.
Speaking outside court, RSPCA prosecutor Andrew Vickers said: “The dogs clearly suffered prior to their death.
“She (Bridges) tried to explain that the dogs might have eaten some cannabis they found on the carpet.”
Mr Vickers said that a post-mortem examination found the dogs died as a result of having no food or water.
Bridges was convicted of the charges in her absence after she failed to attend the hearing, prompting magistrates to issue a warrant for her arrest.

Sentencing (12/10/18): 18 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months; £300 costs. Banned from keeping pets for 10 years (expires October 2028). 

Rotherham Advertiser