Tag Archives: Shropshire

Shrewsbury, Shropshire: Steven To and Charlotte Plimmer

#TheList Steven Sai Chong To, born 21/03/1992, and wife Charlotte Plimmer, born 15/11/1996, both of 13 Theatre Royal Apartments, 15 Shoplatch, Shrewsbury SY1 1HR – for cruelty offences relating to four kittens

Cat killers Steven To and wife Charlotte Plimmer
Cat killers Steven To and wife Charlotte Plimmer. Sadist To is banned from keeping animals for life while Plimmer received a seven-year ban

Takeaway worker Steven To killed two kittens and inflicted months of abuse on two others while his wife, Charlotte To (née Plimmer) failed to react to the ongoing cruelty.

Between August 2018 and March 2019, the Tos inflicted abuse which RSPCA veterinarian Dr David Martin said was the worst he had seen in his 22 years of practice.

The court heard how eight-week-old kittens Jin and Sun, and two-month-old pets Moon and Mew, suffered seizures, broken bones, infections, hair and skin loss, multiple amputations and tail lacerations which left one “hanging on by a thread”.

Steven To pleaded guilty to three animal cruelty charges relating to harming the cats, and Charlotte To pleaded guilty to four charges of failing to provide a safe environment and veterinary care.

Prosecuting on behalf of the RSPCA, Sara Pratt, said: “The defendants lived together with their kittens in a flat in Shrewsbury.

“Over the period of August 2018 and March 2019, they acquired a total of four kittens, two of which were killed while in the care of the defendants, as a result of the actions of Steven To – Jin was almost 12 weeks old and Mew was just five months old at the time of their deaths.”

Cat killers Steven To and wife Charlotte Plimmer.

The court heard Jin and Sun were registered at Animal Trusts Vets and deemed healthy in August 2018, before Moon and Mew were registered at a different practice, Copthorne Veterinary Clinic, in November 2018.

Ms Pratt added: “On September 14, 2018, a phone call was made to Animal Trust Vets reporting that Jin had been playing, knocked over some recycling, started having a seizure and died.

“On September 21, Sun was anaesthetised and X-rays revealed a fresh fracture to her right tibia.”

The court heard in October 2018, Sun was taken to the vets with two “kinks” in her tail, before returning three days later with it “hanging off”.

The defendants bought Moon and Mew in November 2018, before Sun was taken to the vets again with hair and skin loss.

Mew then suffered an injury to her chin where the skin had become detached from her jaw bone and required surgery, the court heard.

Ms Pratt said: “Just seven days after surgery to her avulsed chin, Mew was returned to Copthorne Vets with an extreme fracture dislocation midway down the tail – all tendons had been ripped.”

Mew was found dead on the kitchen floor days after returning from the vets following a tail amputation.

The court heard that an RSPCA post mortem found evidence of blunt trauma to the right side of the cat’s thorax and neck, as well as evidence that the cat had lost blood externally through the nose.

The court then heard how in February 2019, Moon was taken to Abbey Veterinary Centre starved, and again with a leg fracture in March.

Following concerns raised by the veterinary practices and the RSPCA, later that month Moon and Sun were seized by police and a full investigation was launched.

A report by Dr Martin stated that it was “clear” all four cats sustained “serious injuries” and that two died from “traumatic incidents”.

He added: “It is exceptionally unusual to have such a significant incidence of serious trauma in four cats over such a short period of time, to the extent that in 22 years of veterinary practice, I have never seen or heard of such a high incidence of serious injury.”

2011 photo of Charlotte Plimmer
2011 photo of Charlotte Plimmer

District Judge Kevin Grego said there was “no doubt” a lifetime ban was necessary for Mr To, and that Mrs To should not have “covered her eyes” to the ongoing abuse.

He said: “The penny must have dropped after a short period of time. She [Mrs To] either should have got those animals out of the house or at the very least ensured it wasn’t going to happen again.”

Judge Grego added: “Animal cruelty is incisive of a mindset that’s corrosive and damaging – that’s what makes this so serious.

“There should be no doubt the animals that died and suffered did so as a result of deliberate cruelty from you, Steven.

“That cruelty and death could have been avoided if you, Charlotte, didn’t frankly cover your eyes and accept what your husband told you when you knew what you were being told was unsustainable

Sentencing: Steven To was sentenced to 22 weeks in prison, suspended for 18 months, with 200 hours of unpaid work, 25 days of rehabilitation, a lifetime ban on keeping animals and was ordered to pay £5,000 court costs, more than £3,500 in vets’ fees and a £122 surcharge.

Charlotte To was given a 12-month community order, with 25 days of rehabilitation, 40 hours of unpaid work, a seven-year ban on owning animals and was ordered to pay £390 costs.

Shropshire Star

Hinderwell, Saltburn-By-The-Sea, North Yorkshire: Jamie Cole

#TheList Jamie Chapman Cole, born 27/09/1996, of 4 Pond Farm Close, Saltburn-by-the-Sea TS13 5HJ – for the starvation and neglect of his cocker spaniel dog

Convicted dog abuser Jamie Cole from Saltburn by the Sea, and his "shockingly thin" cocker spaniel, Blue
Jamie Cole’s dog Blue was described as shockingly thin, but the gamekeeper was not banned from keeping animals.

Vets estimated that gamekeeper Jamie Cole had neglected and starved his 10-month-old dog, known as Blue, for three to four weeks.

On 4 February 2019 Cole, who at the time was based at a farm near Minsterley in Shropshire, took Blue to the Malthouse Veterinary Group in Shrewsbury complaining of diarrhoea.

Vets there found her to have sunken eyes, a low body temperature, weighing only 6kgs and unable to stand on her own for long.

RSPCA prosecutor Roger Price told the court that a healthy body temperature for dogs would be between 38 and 39.2 degrees and the vet who assessed Blue used a thermometer that would only go as low as 32, which indicated that her temperature was at or below that threshold.

Blue was taken in and placed on a bed with a heat lamp to try and raise her body temperature, and ate “ravenously” when fed, Mr Price said.

Blue’s condition improved and she was seen on February 6 by another vet at Taylor & Marshall.

That vet described Blue as “shockingly thin” and said she was likely to have been in her condition for three to four weeks.

She had been suffering with a “large amount” of roundworms as well, Mr Price said.

Her condition continued to improve in the vets’ care and she gained weight.

The court heard that Cole was an experienced handler of dogs, and that several other dogs he had responsibility for at the time were healthy and happy.

Cole’s representative Georgia Griffiths told the magistrates: “This is a man who’s incredibly upset with what’s happened. He feels terrible in himself for letting it happen, and letting the dog down and himself down.”

Being a gamekeeper was a “lifelong dream” and he had always had a good relationship with dogs, she said, but after his failure to care for Blue he has given up his other dogs and his job voluntarily and moved to be with his family in Yorkshire.

“His dream has been squashed by his own actions but he wasn’t malicious, and he didn’t do it on purpose.”

Chair of the bench Lesley Thirlwell said: “You were proactive in giving up your job, your animals and changing your lifestyle completely.

“We feel that that was punishment over and above the punishment the courts were going to make.

“You have shown remorse and already changed your lifestyle, and that has convinced us you will not be acquiring any dog in the near future.”

Sentencing: community order including 80 hours of unpaid work; ordered to pay £485. Deprivation order on Blue but no ban on keeping animals was imposed by the court.

Shropshire Star

Telford, Shropshire: Harry Palin

#TheList Harry Palin, born c. 1993, of Gower Street in Telford – kicked a dog during a domestic violence incident

Harry Palin, a warehouse worker and part-time musician, started an argument with his then-partner while they were watching television on the night of February 20, 2019.

Palin apparently became angry when her dog jumped on their bed at about 9pm.

Prosecuting, Sati Ruck told the court that when he began shouting at her, Palin’s partner took the dog downstairs but he followed.

She entered the lounge and sat against the door to stop him entering, but he eventually pushed the door open, knocking her aside. Palin then took a set of door keys back upstairs so she couldn’t leave, and also took her mobile phone.When she went to retrieve them he kicked out at her, Miss Ruck said.

In the course of the assault Palin also pushed her into a wall, causing her nose to bleed, and kicked her dog.

The victim was eventually able to escape into the back garden, call her sister and call the police.

Palin told police that he couldn’t recall the assault and blamed anger issues and a ‘red mist’.

Palin was convicted of assault causing actual bodily harm.

24-month community order including 29 better relationships sessions, 20 rehabilitation requirement days, and 180 hours of unpaid work.

Shropshire Star

Bicton Heath, Shrewsbury: Christopher Bound

#TheList Christopher Edward Bound, born 17/12/1993, of Rothley Drive, Bicton Heath, Shrewsbury SY3 5BB – subjected a two-year-old pug to a prolonged violent beating, eventually killing her

Dog killer Christopher Bound from Shrewsbury, Shropshire
Face of evil: While Christopher Bound’s lawyer told the court that he was troubled and in need of help, locals have described him as violent and dangerous.

Cocaine user Bound punched, kicked and threw the black pug named Shelby against a wall as she screeched in pain, before police arrived and found him with his T-shirt covered in blood.

Black pug Shelby: victim of dog killer Christopher Bound from Shrewsbury, Shropshire
Victim Shelby (right)

Neighbours alerted police immediately after hearing and witnessing the beating on February 24, 2019.

Bound, who is originally from Newtown in Shropshire, admitted causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal.

Kate Price, prosecuting, told Telford Magistrates Court: “At around 10.30pm to 10.45pm the neighbour heard a loud screeching sound and the defendant shout ‘get back in your bed’.

“They looked out of the window and saw him kicking something. Every time he kicked there was a screeching sound.

“The neighbour went back into their house and the defendant carried on hurting the dog. They continued to watch and he saw him throw the dog at the patio door.

“Then he picked it up and threw it against a wall. Bound kicked it a few more times before washing his hands. The neighbour was too distressed to carry on watching and called police.”

Bound was then seen taking his top off and continued to kick and punch the dog. “The screeching was getting quieter and quieter each time,” added Mrs Price. “Officers arrived and saw the blood on his T-shirt and found the dog in its bed. They established it had severe injuries.”

Shelby was taken to a vet for an emergency appointment, but could not be saved and died from internal bleeding.

Defence agent Adrian Roberts said: “He had a normal life until his brother died of cancer in 2013. Before that happened he was a reasonably successful sportsman, playing for local rugby and cricket teams in Newport, and he had a good job with Laura Ashley.

“He turned to cocaine to numb his feelings.”

Mr Roberts described Bound’s girlfriend, who was in court with his father, as a “stable influence”, and added that Bound had suffered with depression and anxiety.

“Clearly he’s a man who needs help,” he said.

After the case, Simon Paulo from the Crown Prosecution Service said: “As a nation of dog lovers this was a sad case to prosecute.

“Domestic animals are protected in England and Wales. Owners have a responsibility towards the welfare of their pets.

“I would like to commend the neighbours for calling the police when they witnessed this brutality taking place. I urge anyone who may witness any form of animal cruelty to report it as a criminal offence so that justice can be served.”

Sentencing: 12 weeks’ imprisonment, suspended for 12 months; 35 rehabilitation days. Costs and charges totalling £1,200. Banned from owning animals for life.

Shropshire Star
BBC News

Hinstock/Newport, Shropshire: Ashley Longhurst and Jessica Smith

#TheList Ashley Longhurst born c. 1995, of Roman Way, Hinstock, near Market Drayton TF9 2SL and Jessica Smith, born c. 1995, of Greenacres Way, Newport TF10 – banned from keeping animals after their pet cat suffered unexplained injuries on three occasions and was eventually put to sleep.

Convicted animal abusers Jessica Smith and Ashley Longhurst are banned from keeping animals after their pet cat suffered a series of unexplained injuries
Convicted animal abusers Jessica Smith and Ashley Longhurst are banned from keeping animals after their pet cat suffered a series of unexplained injuries

Ashley Longhurst and Jessica Smith both admitted causing unnecessary suffering to one-year-old cat Belle (pictured).

Belle suffered unexplained injuries on three occasions in under a year and the pair were told by magistrates that they could have faced jail.

However, the court heard that there was not enough evidence to say that the injuries were “non-accidental” after experts were unable to agree on the possible causes

At her last trip to Tern Vets in Newport on September 4, ,2018, Belle had large swelling on the back of her head, two bruise-like marks on her ear and a swollen nose. Metalwork installed to treat a previous leg injury had also been displaced.

She was taken into RSPCA care and initially improved, but her health deteriorated and she was euthanised in October 2018.

Smith had previously taken Belle to the vet with a fractured hip in April 2018, and again that July with a broken leg. The couple blamed Belle’s hip injury after she fell off a lizard tank, and her head injuries on getting caught in a cage.

However, for the broken leg they had no explanation. After the third trip in September, police opened an investigation.

Judge Kevin Grego said: “Between April and September last year this cat suffered, at separate times, three serious injuries. It does look suspiciously like these were non-accidental injuries but we haven’t heard evidence of that and that is not what they are in court for.”

He said that if prosecutors had been able to prove either or both of the pair were responsible for the “more serious matters” of deliberately causing the cat’s injuries, they would have faced prison.

Representing Longhurst, Jemma Gordon said that he had been unemployed for more than a year in part due to depression and anxiety, and that he “essentially lives off his mother”.

For Smith, Alex Barber said his client had been “traumatised” by her experience with Belle and did not want to keep animals again.

Longhurst – 150 hours of unpaid work; £900 towards the RSPCA’s costs. Banned from owning or looking after animals for 10 years
Smith – £300 in costs. Five-year ban on owning or looking after animals.

Shropshire Star

Sleap, nr Shrewsbury, Shropshire: Marcia Jones

#TheList notorious puppy farmer and serial animal abuser Marcia J Jones, born 16/04/1944, of The Old Crem, Sleap, Shrewsbury SY4 3HE – for appalling neglect of breeding dogs and puppies

Puppy farmer Marcia Jones of Sleap, near Shrewsbury
Cruel and dishonest puppy farmer Marcia Jones from Sleap, near Shrewsbury

Marcia Jones (also known as Marcia Hollins-Jones) was said to have shown “no remorse” after mistreating the animals at her puppy-selling business at the Old Crematorium in Sleap, around nine miles north of Shrewsbury.

Puppy farmer Marcia Jones treated Jack Russell-Terrier cross Pippa's exposed bone and infected leg with Calpol

Puppy farmer Marcia Jones treated Jack Russell-Terrier cross Pippa’s exposed bone and infected leg with Calpol

Jones pleaded guilty to four animal welfare offences after the RSPCA visited the farm and found dogs with severe bite wounds, cold concrete kennels with urine-soaked carpets and a Jack Russell-Terrier cross with an injury that left her leg bone exposed.

Inspectors found more than 70 dogs at the site when they visited.

Pippa was put to sleep when she was eventually seen by a vet

Pippa, the dog with the exposed bone, was treated with children’s medicine Calpol instead of being taken to a vet. Once she was eventually seen by a vet she was suffering so much she had to be put down.

Dachshund puppies at Marcia Jones’ filthy puppy farm

The court was told that Jones lived in a static caravan on the site and had a licence from Shropshire Council to breed dogs.

A nursing mother and her puppies at Marcia Jones’ filthy puppy farm

The RSPCA investigated her business after concerns were raised by her vet, who had examined three dogs ones presented between August 2017 and May 2018.

The vet believed some of the animals had been injured in fights and had been left to suffer for days.

The RSPCA investigator found 38 adult dogs and 35 puppies at risk.

Inspector Kate Parker said: “The puppies in what Hollins-Jones described to me as ‘the maternity wing’ were particularly at risk in such a cold and damp environment with no heat lamps as required by law.

“There was a prolific failure by her towards animal welfare. She was breeding the dogs for money and that was her key motivation – she has also shown no remorse for her actions.

“In the sad case of Pippa, she was left for at least two days without veterinary treatment. Instead Hollins-Jones decided to give her Calpol.

“She would have clearly suffered from such an awful injury.”

As well as Pippa, Jones was convicted of mistreating two miniature dachshunds named Dexter and Fat Pud’s Pup who both had “severe” bite wounds, including to the latter dog’s eye.

Both dogs have since recovered.

The court was also told Jones has been prosecuted in the past by the RSPCA and in 2001 received a 10-year disqualification order for all animals. Her earlier conviction was in relation to dying and emaciated horses as well as a Jack Russell with an untreated broken leg, which had to be amputated.

In 2005 the BBC’s Inside Out current affairs series showed Jones was still dealing in puppies in a flagrant breach of her ban.

Ordered to pay £1,600 costs, fined £1,400 and ordered to pay a £40 victim surcharge. Banned from keeping animals for three years, but the ban has been suspended for 28 days while she re-homes the animals she already owns. She was also banned from applying for a breeding licence for 10 years.

Whitchurch Herald
Whitchurch Herald

Update 30/08/2018: Shropshire Live reports that Marcia Hollins-Jones has breached her ban for a second time.

The court heard that Hollins-Jones breached the ban on 7 February 2019 by selling a Doberman dog called Missy – two weeks after she was given the ban on dealing in dogs on 21 January, for four animal welfare offences. Magistrates gave Hollins-Jones an eight-week curfew order with the condition that she must remain at home between 9pm and 7am. She was also ordered to pay £400 costs and a £85 victim surcharge. The 10-year disqualification order on dealing dogs will remain in place.

Oswestry, Shropshire: Lisa Crossley

#TheList Lisa Stephanie Crossley (aka Lisa Jones), born 1973, of 56 Cherry Tree Drive, Oswestry SY11 2QG – failed to get treatment for her black Labrador’s horrific skin and eye condition

Lisa Crossley failed to take her dog Abbie to the vet despite her suffering an agonising skin and eye condition.

Four-year-old Labrador Abbie had an untreated skin condition that thickened around her face, and caused eyelids and eye lashes to fold inwards and caused her constant irritation.

Her owner, Lisa Stephanie Crossley, failed to get treatment for her and after an inspection by the RSPCA in 2018, officers decided to put the dog down.

Crossley pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to a dog between April 18 and July 14, 2018.

Inspector Kate Parker, who was one of those who investigated the incident, described it as one of the most upsetting cases she had ever had to deal with.

The court heard how the animal charity was called to investigate the condition of the dog after a report from a concerned member of the public.

Officers rushed Abbie to a vet, where it was found that the skin condition had thickened to the point of being grey and solid, which is known as elephantine skin.

This condition had also caused an extremely uncomfortable condition called entropion, which was affecting the dog’s eyes.

Convicted animal abuser Lisa Stephanie Crossley, also known as Lisa Jones, now has to rehome her two other dogs and seven cats.

Inspectors said the dog was left in that state between April and July 2018, and they felt that the kindest option was to put the dog to sleep.

Inspector Parker said: “Imagine how it feels when you have an eyelash in your eye – this dog had all hers in her eye and couldn’t relieve her own suffering for months – she would have endured constant pain and would have been unable to see. It must have been terrifying for her.

“The vet believes she suffered like this for at least three months however records show she had a skin condition dating back to when she was eight weeks old.

“During interview I asked Crossley how she could just sit at home and watch her dog suffer like that and she told me it was difficult – yet she still didn’t seek veterinary treatment.

“There is never any excuse to not seek veterinary treatment when a pet is clearly in need.”

Fined £298 and ordered to pay £380 costs. Five year ban on keeping animals. Ordered to give up her two other dogs and seven cats within 10 days.

Shropshire Live

Telford, Shropshire: Samantha Jane Paisley

#TheList Samantha Jane Paisley, born 22/09/1986, of 3 Stonedale, Sutton Hill, Telford TF7 4AH  –  failed to take her dog to the vets after it had part of its face ripped off

Mother-of-three Paisley pleaded guilty to three animal welfare offences at Telford Magistrates Court.

The court heard how she left Mitzi in a cage with her other pet dog, Skye, knowing that they had fought before, while she left the house on March 11, 2018.

She said she only noticed the degloved injury – which is when the skin and surrounding tissue comes away from the bone – the following evening.

Paisley contacted the local vets who told her to take the dog straight to them. But she did not take the injured animal in until the Wednesday, leaving Mitzi in agonising pain for days.

The vet had to put Mitzi to sleep to end her suffering. Her mouth was completely degloved to the point where three of her lower front teeth had also become detached and she also had other bite wounds on her body.

Inspector Nayman Dunderdale investigated the case and said it was one of the worst he had come across in over 20 years of working for the RSPCA.

He said: “It was truly a horrific injury and the dog must have suffered immeasurably during those four days. It is a very callous person who would leave their pet with such a state without seeking medical attention. It is sickening.”

12-month community order; total fine and costs of £250. Banned from having any animal for 15 years (expires October 2033). 

Shropshire Star

Walford Heath, Shrewsbury: Daryl Stock

#TheList Daryl Stock, born 23/10/1990, of Walford Heath, Shrewsbury, Shropshire SY4 – starved 11 dogs in his care

Daryl Stock and one of the eleven rescued Newfoundlands, all of whom were starving and emaciated.
Daryl Stock and one of the eleven rescued Newfoundlands, all of whom were starving and emaciated.

Daryl Stock pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to eleven Newfoundland dogs between 13 September 2017 and 11 October 2017 at Woodside Farm, Shrawardine, Shrewsbury.

RSPCA Inspector Nayman Dunderdale said: “This was a shocking case. What I discovered when I visited the address following a call from a concerned member of the public was very upsetting.

Emaciated Newfoundland dog rescued from neglectful Daryl Stock

“There were eleven Newfoundland dogs who were so thin their ribs were showing. When I found them they were being held in three pens that had been constructed within in a stable. They had no food or water and only minimal bedding. I noticed that there was only a very minimal quantity of faeces within the pens, suggesting that the dogs had not been fed for some time.

“In addition, when I investigated more closely, I could see that the pens were screwed shut suggesting the doors were not opened very often in order to regularly feed and water the animals.

“To test whether anyone unscrewed and opened the doors to feed the dogs overnight, I balanced a calling card on one of the pen doors in clear sight. The next morning, I returned to the address. The stable doors were screwed shut and the card was where I had left it.

” At that point, I asked local vet David Martin to join me at the site to look at the dogs. Having seen the condition of them, the vet advised me that the dogs were likely to suffer if their circumstances did not change.

“When I called the West Mercia police to the address, they approved the removal of the dogs from the property so the they could be cared for by the RSPCA.”

The eleven animals were then taken to Brownlow Vet Centre where David Martin examined and collected blood samples from each of them. He described them all as ‘emaciated’.

In addition, he found that the dogs’ gastro-intestinal tracts were completely empty and most were suffering from conjunctivitis.

After being treated, the dogs went to live temporarily with foster carers.

Daryl Stock
Daryl Stock

In early November, after the rescued dogs had spent around three weeks in foster care, the vet re-weighed them. All eleven had gained weight rapidly, which he said supported the view that the dogs had considerably restricted access to both food and water for a significant period of time while being kept by Stock.

Since their rescue, all eleven dogs have now reached healthy weights. They have now been adopted by dog-lovers and are living happy lives in their forever homes.

Inspector Dunderdale concluded: “We are pleased that justice has been done. The condition of the dogs was terrible. Some of them weighed around half of what a normal, healthy Newfoundland should weigh”.

Sentencing: four-month suspended prison sentence; total of £615 costs and charges. Banned from keeping animals for five years.


Condover, Shrewsbury, Shropshire: Ben and Alexandra Evans

#TheList Ben and Alexandra Evans from the Pigeon Door travellers site, Condover, near Shrewbury – for leaving a badly injured dog in the boot of a car

Gypsies Ben and Alexandra Evans of Shrewsbury left lurcher Chico in agony with a broken leg in the boot of a car
Gypsies Ben and Alexandra Evans of Shrewsbury left lurcher Chico in agony with a broken leg in the boot of a car

Gypsy travellers Ben and Alexandra Evans, who are both around 18 years old, failed to turn up at Telford Magistrates Court and the case was proved in their absence.

Mr Roger Price, prosecuting, said the RSPCA received calls from members of the public who said they suspected an injured dog was at the Evans’ address.

An inspector visited the property on November 26, 2016, and the lurcher dog, Chico, was found in the boot of a car.

Mr Price said the dog was ‘trembling’, appeared to be in pain and had wounds to his leg.

He said faeces and urine were also found in the boot along with some dog food and a washing-up bowl with water inside.

Alexandra Evans told the inspector that the dog belonged to her and her husband and they had only owned the animal since the previous day.

However, Mr Price said Alexandra Evans had reported a dog missing on November 12 2016 and the RSPCA believed it was the same animal.

After the report was made, the dog warden received numerous calls from people who believed they had seen the animal and noticed it looked thin and was limping.

Ben and Alexandra Evans left their dog Chico with a broken leg in the boot of a car

Mr Price said Alexandra Evans allowed the inspector to take the dog to see a vet and signed the animal over to the RSPCA on November 30, 2016, despite initially refusing to do so.

When the vet saw Chico, he said the animal was in poor body condition.

Mr Price said: “The dog yelped, cried and moved away during the examination.”

He said X-rays showed the dog had a broken elbow and a tension pin had to be fitted in surgery.

Chico also had a deep laceration to his leg.

Dog abusing traveller Alexandra Evans from Shropshire
Alexandra Evans

Mr Price told the court: “This is a charge that relates to a lurcher type dog.

“It is a case of unnecessary suffering being caused to the dog.

“The dog plainly should have been taken to a vet because it had a broken leg and infected wounds.

“The vet indicated in his report that the animal was clearly suffering.”

He said an inspector from the RSPCA had called the couple in December 2016 to request that they come in for an interview, but the pair refused.

Despite their non-attendance at court, magistrates found the defendants had each caused unnecessary suffering to the dog by failing to provide veterinary treatment for a broken leg.

They issued a warrant for the couple, who will have to come to Telford Magistrates Court on a future date to be sentenced.

Shropshire Star

Update June 2017: Ben and Alexandra Evans has their convictions quashed and were to face a retrial in November 2017. No further updates found.