#TheList Michael Edward Levy, born 08/05/1988, formerly of 22 The Drive, West End, Southampton SO30 3AN, but gave his address in court as 35 Metherell Avenue, Brixham, Devon TQ5 9QB – left horses in a field without clean water and shelter
The father-of-five was also found guilty of transporting a pony in a way that was likely to cause injury.
The court heard that RSPCA inspectors were called by the police after Levy allowed his ponies to fly-graze on land at Botley Road, West End, Southampton.
The land, which was littered with several hazards, did not have clean water, shade or shelter.
The fencing was also deemed inappropriate fencing for horses, which resulted in one horse getting trapped and losing a shoe.
RSPCA Inspector Tina Ward described the scene.
“A metal gate between two paddocks was hanging off its hinges,” said Inspector Ward. “The paddock also had a hidden dangerous hazard; a cesspit covered by grass and rubble.
“There was rusting metal and car parts as well as partly buried plastic blue piping. All of these had the potential to cause serious harm and injury.”
Police body-camera footage recorded a Shetland pony being unloaded by Levy from a white van.
Inspector Ward said the pony “had been travelling with a rope headcollar on that was loose. There were no windows giving light or ventilation, no partition to support the pony’s body, which is particularly important.”
She said: “If the pony was to lose its balance when the vehicle went round a corner or stopped suddenly, he could have injured himself significantly.”
Inspector Ward added where the pony had been standing was a number of items including a tin of paint and metal ladders.
“These also had the potential to cause the pony serious injury had he had fallen over. The method of transporting the pony was highly dangerous and would have also caused significant distress,” she said.
Inspector Ward concluded: “There were no windows giving light or ventilation, no partition to support the pony’s body. The method of transporting the pony was highly dangerous and would have also caused significant distress.”
Sentencing: Levy was ordered to pay a total of £1,233. He was banned from keeping equines for six months.
#TheList John Benjamin Cook, born 13/11/1993, and his brother William Cook, born 11/07/1989, both of Little Acres, Longfield Avenue, New Barn, Longfield, Dartford DA3 7LA – ran a puppy farm and a cock-fighting ring
Gypsy travellers John and William Cook were convicted of a number of animal welfare offences.
In July 2018 RSPCA officers executed a warrant at the sprawling property in New Barn the brothers share with their extended family, including wives, children and parents, after a member of the public who had bought puppies from them raised concerns.
In total, 18 dogs, including spaniels and beagles were removed along with two cockerels.
Officers also seized a number of mobile phones from the site and a suspecting cock-fighting pit was uncovered. Analysis of the mobiles showed the brothers were involved with fighting and later forensics tests found the blood of at least four cockerels on the pit.
During the four-day trial the court heard how John Cook was accused of causing suffering to a number of dogs, failing to provide them with vet care for stomach and teeth problems and keeping them in unsuitable conditions.
William Cook was accused of a number of offences relating to cockerel fighting.
John Cook pleaded guilty to the offences, while William Cook was convicted of the offences under the Animal Welfare Act.
RSPCA inspector Carroll Lamport, from the charity’s special operations unit, said: “Many of the dogs being kept at the site had health and welfare problems, including untreated gastrointestinal and dental issues.
“We also had serious concerns over the conditions they were being kept in. The dogs and puppies were being kept in dirty, wet conditions with no bedding.”
Sentencing: William Cook – 120-day prison term – suspended for two years. Ordered to complete 200 hours of unpaid work. Disqualified from keeping any animals for three years.
John Cook – 90 days in prison – also suspended for two years; 160 hours of unpaid work. He was disqualified from keeping dogs for three years.
Both men were ordered to pay £1,000 in costs plus a £115 victim surcharge.
#TheList Tracy Jane Middleton, born November 1968, of Little Oakhurst Brissenden Farm, Ashford Road, Bethersden, Ashford, Kent TN26 3BQ – jailed and banned from owning animals for 10 years after carcasses of sheep, lambs and cattle were found on her land.
Tracy Middleton admitted 41 charges relating to animals on her farm, which covers 340 acres with 135 cows and 150 sheep. These included causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal and failing to provide adequate food and water.
She also admitted to breaches concerning ear tags, and for not sufficiently dealing with the carcasses of nine dead ewes and 15 dead lambs.
In February 2019, Kent Animal Defenders complained to the RSPCA after finding a dismal scene at the farm, despite the RSPCA raising concerns in 2018.
Andrew Price, prosecuting for Kent Trading Standards, said officials carried out a series of visits from 2018 to 2019 after being contacted by animal welfare activists.
The cattle sheds had no dry area for the cows to lie down, the water troughs were almost empty and the mud was so deep that cows found it hard to move around.
Animals had bald patches of skin. There was a dead calf in the mud and one calf was seen in the yard with bailing twine in its mouth.
Middleton’s lawyer, Gordon Crow, said his client accepted the farm was chaotic and badly-managed but that she had been overwhelmed at the time and going through a traumatic time in her life. He urged District Judge Justin Barron not to jail Middleton because of the “untold damage” this would cause her family.
However, Judge Barron said the level of suffering was so serious that the only appropriate punishment was a custodial sentence.
Addressing Middleton he said: “No one could look at those pictures and say your animals didn’t experience a high level of suffering.”
Many of the remaining animals have now been moved or sold, and a local farmer has now leased the farm.
Sentencing: 120 days in jail. Ordered to pay £8,500 costs. Banned from owning or keeping any animals for 10 years with the exception of a cat and two dogs she owns.
#TheList Samuel Haylett, born 30/09/1989, of Barnes Road, Frimley, Camberley GU16 – for hare coursing
Sam Haylett was made subject of a Criminal Behaviour Order (CBO) for hare coursing after Essex Police responded to reports near Blind Lane, West Hanningfield, south Essex.
Haylett admitted trespass in pursuit of game.
The CBO prohibits him from being in possession of a catapult, shot or an air weapon in a public place, bans him from being in the possession, control and company of any dog within Essex unless travelling to a pre-arranged emergency vet’s appointment, stops him from having a dog off a lead unless on private land or with the land owner’s consent and bans him from associating with three men in a public place.
At around 2pm on Sunday 13 October 2019, Essex Police received reports about hare coursing off Blind Lane.
An off-duty police officer was in the area and spotted Haylett, who was in possession of dogs who were in pursuit of a hare. This lasted around 30 seconds.
She then told Haylett to stop and put herself on duty before other officers arrived and arrested him.
The police took photographs of Haylett covered in mud before they seized a car, mobile phones, catapults and stones.
Haylett was interviewed under caution before being reported for the offence.
Chief Inspector Terry Balding, head of Rural Engagement Team, said: “The quick-actions by members of the community and an off-duty officer, who has an extensive knowledge of wildlife and countryside pursuits, has resulted in a man receiving a conviction for hare coursing.
“The order, which is the first we have ever secured for hare coursing, will restrict his activities, his movements and his associates and will help protect rural communities countrywide.
“Hare coursing isn’t just an illegal and cruel activity, it causes disruption and damage to private land and crops, it can have a financial impact on businesses and it endangers the safety of people living and working in the area.
“We remain dedicated, along with our policing colleagues, in the combat of hare coursing and we will continue to track down and deal with offenders such as Haylett.”
Roger Hirst, Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex, said: “Tackling rural crime is an important priority in my Police and Crime Plan and it is great to see the Essex Police Rural Engagement Team taking such a proactive approach to protecting our rural communities.
“Hare coursing is a dangerous and frightening crime committed in isolated areas of our county.
“It can make our rural communities feel vulnerable in their own homes and this is totally unacceptable.
“Securing this order sends a clear message that rural crime is not acceptable, it will be tackled and those committing offences will be caught.”
Sentencing: in addition to the Criminal Behaviour Order, Haylett was ordered to pay a total of £569 in fines, costs and charges.
#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
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.
#TheList lifelong loser Niall Martin, born c. 1990, previously of Speedwell Road, Colchester and now the Strand in Ipswich – threw a police dog against a car, tried to choke her and wrenched her jaw open
Police were called after a row broke out between Niall Martin and his partner in Colchester and officers attended along with police dog, Ivy.
Martin was hiding and when the highly trained German Shepherd bit him. He reacted by hurling her against the car, choking her and pulling apart her jaws.
In a statement read out in court, Ivy’s dog handler said she genuinely feared for the animal’s life.
She said: “She bit him on the arm and then Martin threw Ivy against a parked car.
“I heard Ivy yelp with pain, he was trying to choke her.
“I punched him to the back of the head with all my force to try to get her free.
“I have never heard her make a noise like that before.
“I genuinely believe he was trying to kill or seriously injure her.”
Martin was convicted of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal following a trial. He admitted a charge of possessing cannabis.
Katie Armstrong-Mason, mitigating said: “On this particular day he had consumed alcohol and had an argument with his partner.
“The dog runs after him and bites him on the leg.
“The only reason he grabs the dog’s mouth is because he had been bitten and was in a lot of pain.
“He didn’t want to be arrested – the last time he was he got a four-week prison sentence.
“He has a borderline personality disorder and alcohol exacerbates his mental health problems – he gets in trouble when he drinks.”
Police dog Ivy retired from active duty earlier in January 2020. She was not badly hurt in the incident with Martin.
Chairman of the bench Don Wicks said: “This is a crossroads for you.
“It is a last chance scenario to change your life for the better.”
Sentencing: ten-week prison term suspended for a year. He must attend an accredited programme and 30 rehabilitation activity requirement days. Ordered to pay £300 costs, and £50 to the dog handler who suffered back pain during the incident.
Prosecution: Stephen R Bouquet, born 05/01/1967, of 31B Rose Hill Terrace, Brighton BN1 4JJ – accused of killing and injuring 16 cats
Steve Bouquet, who is originally from Chelmsford in Essex, has denied killing and injuring cats in Brighton.
He faces 16 counts of criminal damage, relating to the deaths of nine cats, and injuries to seven others.
The 53-year-old was brought into court as the first case before District Judge Tessa Szagun at Brighton Magistrates’ Court today.
He wore a black leather jacket, white polo shirt, and black trousers as he appeared in the dock.
Bouquet spoke to confirm his name, address and nationality. He was represented by Kirsty Craghill, while David Holman prosecuted.
Mr Holman said the total cost of the criminal damage in the charges was £32,000.
Judge Szagun said the offences are either way offences and released Bouquet on bail.
He was ordered not to enter York Road at the junction with Queen’s Road and North Gardens, not to enter Church Street at the junction of Queen’s Road and Dyke Road, and not to enter Crown Gardens at the junction with Kew Street.
Bouquet will next appear before the Crown Court at either Lewes, Hove, or Brighton on February 20, 2020.
#TheList Maidstone gypsies and serial animal abusers Jimmy Price, born c. 1994, of Forstal Farm, Well Street, Loose ME15 0QE, Samuel ‘Johnny’ Powell, born c. 1985, of Wheat Gratten Stableyards, Forstal Road, Lenham ME17 2BF, Danny Price, born c. 1990, of Victoria Stables, Victoria Court, East Farleigh ME15 0BW
Jimmy Price and Samuel Powell were sent to prison after the former was filmed repeatedly stabbing a deer and the latter had put an eight-month-old foal to work. Price was also found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to a horse and two dogs.
Jimmy Price’s brother, Danny Price – a qualified jockey – admitted letting a horse starve to death and received a community order.
A video played to the court showed Jimmy Price’s dogs, Scout and Tramp, untethered and unfed at the father-of-two’s home address in Forstal Farm, Loose.
A voice in the video was heard to say: “If they run away good luck to them, I tell you what you’re the wickedest fella I’ve ever seen in my life.”
Jimmy Price, who has a history of violence, was previously convicted in December 2019 after repeatedly stabbing a deer. He was also caught hare coursing.
Rowan Morton, prosecuting for the RSPCA, said today: “It’s very difficult to even explain the gravity of what the video shows.
“There are a group of four males that can be seen with a deer. Jimmy Price is seen stabbing the deer multiple times in the throat while others shout at him to stab it.
“It’s very graphic and upsetting, there was no doubt that animal was caused significant pain and suffering.”
Price, who was already serving a suspended sentence for theft offences, has previously been convicted of causing unnecessary suffering to dogs.
When Tramp and Scout were taken into the RSPCA’s care and fed properly, they gained 25% bodyweight and 45% bodyweight respectively within seven weeks.
Price’s dogs and the horse, which belonged to his late father, were seized during an RSPCA raid on Forstal Farm in March 2019.
Horse trader Samuel Powell had three horses seized during the same raid, having had a mare and her foal seized two months prior.
Four of the horses were found to be emaciated. One was suffering with diarrhoea and the foal had breathing problems, fleas and was described as “very thin”.
A Shetland Pony was found with a cut across the nose.
Powell accepted each of the horses was his own, but said they were in that condition as he was rehabilitating them.
He told the court: “I will buy horses that have not been treated properly. When I get them I feed them, look after them and rehabilitate them. Then I sell them for profit.
“I like to think I sometimes save lives when I buy horses.”
When asked where he buys his horses, Powell said: “I don’t want to go into too much detail as I’m from the gypsy community.”
In 2019 Powell was convicted of causing unnecessary suffering to a foal which was seen walking up and down at Appleby Horse Fair pulling a cart with people in.
On Friday 10/01/2020 Powell was found guilty of four counts of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal and a fifth charge of failing to ensure the welfare of an animal. The five charges relate to the five horses seized from Forstal Farm.
Danny Price admitted causing unnecessary suffering to a bay horse. In return charges of causing suffering to a bay mare, a black mare and a piebald mare, were dropped.
The bay horse was found dead next to a hay bale during the RSPCA raid in March 2019. He had starved to death.
Magistrates heard the 29-year-old had stopped looking after the horse as he was in the process of selling it, and thought it was the new owner’s responsibility.
Sentencing: Jimmy Price – jailed for seven and a half months of which half will be spent in custody. Ordered to pay £5,115 in costs and charges. Five-year order banning him from keeping dogs.
Samuel Powell – jailed for 26 weeks and will serve half of that sentence. Ordered to pay total of £5,115. Banned from owning horses for five years but can appeal after just one year.
Danny Price – 12-month community order; 150 hours of unpaid work; ordered to pay £1,585.
#TheList Joanne ‘JoJo’ Parkhurst, born 28/04/1973, of Berkley Close, High Woods, Colchester CO4 – for prolonged neglect of two Staffordshire bull terriers, one of whom had to be immediately euthanised
Parkhurst was charged with and admitted three counts of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal after failing to take poorly Staffies Fats and Boycie to the vets for treatment.
An RSPCA inspector visiting Parkhurst’s home to check on the welfare of the dogs found rubbish piled high in the garden.
Lauren Bond, prosecuting, said: “The inspector observed Fats to be quite underweight, with hair loss at the rear, scabs and red sores on his skin, long nails, large testicles hanging lower than usual and discharge dripping from his mouth.
“His teeth were rotten and a green gunk discharge was present, while the smell was overpowering.
“She said his testicles had been in that condition for six months.
“She stated she had called the RSPCA and asked for help, stated the RSPCA had asked for £100 and she said she couldn’t afford it.
“Enquiries were made with the RSPCA and it was established they never asked for £100, they would always help any animal in need.
“There was no records of the calls.
“Boycie was in a slim body condition but was alert and responsive. There was fur missing from his rear end, his skin appeared sore, red and scabby. The defendant said he had been like that for six weeks.
“There was a third dog, Sasha, who appeared bright, alert and responsive.”
The vet who examined the two dogs described Fats’ condition as the worst they had ever seen. He had a severe jaw bone infection, skin disease and an untreated tumour on his testicle.
The smell was described as “horrendous” and his body condition was given a score of two out of ten.
Miss Bond said: “He was euthanised on humane grounds with the consent of the defendant.”
Boycie was treated for skin diseases, with the dog’s skin “scabbing badly”. He was given a body condition rating of four out of ten.
He has since made a recovery and remains in the care of the RSPCA.
Parkhurst was ordered to surrender Sasha and three cats to the RSPCA.
Sentencing: 18 weeks in prison, suspended for a year. 100 hours of unpaid work. Banned from owning any animal for ten years.