Tag Archives: South East England

South East England

Hampton Park, Southampton: Ernest Kujawski

#TheList Ernest Piotr Kujawski, born c. 1978, of Mayfield Road, Southampton SO17 – repeatedly slammed a police dog in a door

Ernest Piotr Kujawski and victim Ernie
Ernest Piotr Kujawski and victim Ernie

Polish career criminal Kujawski slammed the dog, Ernie, between a door leaving him whimpering and yelping in pain.

PC Mark Farley and Mechelse herder Ernie rushed to Shirley High Street to attend reports of a car theft at around 12.47am on Wednesday, February 5, 2020.

Kujawski was spotted and suspected of having a weapon.

When the police arrived he fled the scene but Ernie was deployed to stop him.

Kujawski ran into his house and trapped the dog between a door injuring his paw.

PC Farley called for backup and with the help of a member of the public was able to free the dog.

A police spokesperson said: “Luckily Ernie has recovered well and is still a valuable member of our force.”

The duo received a Chief Constable Commendation for “showing courage, resilience, bravery and professionalism in detaining two suspects in a fast-moving, high threat environment”.

PC Mark Farley said: “Ernie did a fantastic job, and he would do so again without hesitation.

“It was by far the most difficult moment as a dog handler for me, putting him in harm’s way is never taken lightly, but we are here to protect the public.

“I am honoured to have received the award, but even more proud to see Ernie getting the recognition he deserves.”

Kujawski was found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal.

Sentencing: unpaid work requirement of 100 hours; £123 compensation.

Daily Echo

North End, Portsmouth: Derek Jennings

#TheList football hooligan Derek Jennings, born c. 1967, of Laburnum Grove, Portsmouth PO2 0EU – punched a police horse on the nose then swung at her two more times

Derek Jennings outside court

Jennings pleaded guilty to a charge of violent disorder after attacking police horse Luna before a local derby football match on 24 September 2019.

The court heard a police commander had noticed Jennings becoming aggressive towards officers and rival fans during the build-up to the match.

The officer riding Luna headed towards Jennings, who clenched his first and punched the horse on the nose. The mare shied away from the attack, but Jennings swung at Luna twice more before he attempted to run away. He was quickly arrested, however, and taken into custody

Luna was uninjured in the attack and able to remain on duty.

Derek Jennings police mugshot

DCI John McGonigle of Hampshire Constabulary said: “For a grown man to act in this way was deplorable, especially against an animal, who was simply there to help protect people who wanted to enjoy the game and get home safely. We hope this sentence sends a clear message that we will not tolerate this type of behaviour or any disorder at any public event. Action will be taken and those responsible will be investigated.”

“We’d like to thank the public for the outpouring of support we received for Luna, it was very much appreciated,” he said.

Sentencing: 20 months in prison. Six-year football banning order.

Horse & Hound

Chichester / Littlehampton, West Sussex: Asha Jackson and Karl McLean

#TheList animal ‘collector’ Asha Jackson, born c. 1987, of Eastland Road, Chichester PO19 8AZ and partner Karl McLean, born c. 1985, of New Road, Littlehampton – for neglect of several dogs and a gecko in their care

Convicted animal abusers Asha Jackson and Karl McLean

The pair admitted the following charges all relating to a period in September 2019:

  • caused unnecessary suffering to a Jack Russell terrier-type dog and two crossbreeds, by failing to explore and address their poor bodily condition;
  • caused unnecessary suffering to a crossbreed dog, by failing to seek appropriate professional veterinary care to address an infected wound;
  • caused unnecessary suffering to a terrier-type dog, a collie-type dog and a crossbreed, by subjecting the animals to an environment that was detrimental to their well-being
  • caused unnecessary suffering to a gecko, by failing to explore and address his poor bodily condition.

Sentencing: Community order with Rehabilitation Activity Requirement; McLean must also carry out 80 hours of unpaid work; £90 victim surcharge, £150 costs each. No mention of a ban or deprivation order.

Bognor Regis Observer

Didcot, Oxfordshire: James and Brynne Backhouse

#TheList James Peter Backhouse, born 11/03/1980, and Brynne Sean Backhouse, born 06/12/1965 of Ashdown Farm, Upper Hill Barn, Aston Tirrold, Didcot OX11 9DR – left sheep on their farm to suffer with maggot-infested feet and horrific injuries caused by chronic neglect

James Backhouse
Former sheep farmer James Backhouse

When local authority inspectors visited the farm of brothers James and Brynne Backhouse they found sheep with maggot-infested feet and animal carcasses improperly disposed of. One sheep was found to have had her eyes pecked out because she was left unable to move.

The Backhouses, who also operate a motocross business called Ashdown Track Limited, were sentenced for 16 animal welfare and farming standards offences.

Following an initial visit to the farm by officers from Oxfordshire County Council Trading Standards Service, the two brothers were advised to seek veterinary help for their neglected sheep, however, when officers returned they discovered an illegal ‘dead pit’ where the men had disposed of dead animals.

James Backhouse with partner Sherrie Benning
James Backhouse with partner Sherrie Benning, who also lives on the farm

Prosecutors said that a number of the animals had experienced ‘unnecessary suffering’ and that minimal care was provided to them.

Detailing some of the neglect Kristiina Reed, prosecuting, said some sheep were found to have maggots in their feet eating at decomposing flesh.

A number of the animals were unable to stand and the court heard that some were in ‘significant pain’ from foot rot.

James Backhouse

During an inspection the men were asked if they had treated the animals’ condition, called ‘fly strike’, and James Backhouse said ‘we never treat the lameness.’

Inspectors also saw five dead sheep visible in the field as well as the illegal ‘dead pit.’

One of the sheep, who was noted as being unable to stand on the first visit, was found to have had her eyes pecked out by the second day because she was unable to get up.

It was later revealed that the brothers had not kept appropriate medical records.

Prosecutor Reed described the neglect as ‘prolonged’ and said: “The injuries were allowed to develop and fester over a long period of time.

“The sheep sustained a high level of suffering from the injuries.”

Sentencing: ordered to pay a total of £13,170 each. Disqualified from owning sheep for two years.

Oxfordshire County Council
Oxford Mail

West End, Southampton: Michael Edward Levy

#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

Pictured is convicted animal abuser Mike Levy from Southampton
Convicted animal abuser Mike Levy is only banned from keeping equines for six months

Gypsy Michael Levy, who runs a company called Forest Falconry and Pest Control Ltd and has a previous conviction for fly-tipping, was found guilty of failing to ensure the needs of animals he was responsible for.

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.”

Pictured is convicted animal abuser Mike Levy from Southampton
Levy runs his own ‘pest control’ company

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.

Horse and Hound
Daily Echo

Longfield, Kent: John and William Cook

#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

William 'Billy' Cook (left) and brother John Cook
Dogs and puppies were kept in deplorable conditions at a puppy farm operated by William Cook (left) and his brother John. The pair also hosted cruel cock-fights for other gypsies.

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.

Deplorable conditions at the puppy farm operated by  gypsy brothers William and John Cook from New Barn, Longfield, Kent
Deplorable conditions at the puppy farm operated by gypsy brothers William and John Cook from New Barn, Longfield, Kent

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.

Deplorable conditions at the puppy farm operated by  gypsy brothers William and John Cook from New Barn, Longfield, Kent

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.

Animal abuser William Cook from Longfield, Kent
William Cook, who is now banned from keeping all animals for three years. His equally twisted brother is only banned from keeping dogs.

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.

Animal abuser William Cook from Longfield, Kent

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.

William Cook is a leading member of a cock-fighting ring. Here, he is pictured with brother-in-law, Owen Lee
William Cook is a leading member of a cock-fighting ring. Here, he is pictured with brother-in-law, Owen Lee

“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.

Kent Online

Ashford, Kent: Tracy Middleton

#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. who was jailed after leaving dozens of animals to starve to death on her farm
Farmer Tracy Middleton was jailed after keeping animals in atrocious conditions and leaving many to starve to death

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.

Decomposing animals on Tracy Middleton's farm
Decomposing animals on Tracy Middleton’s farm

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.

KentOnline
BBC News

Frimley, Surrey: Samuel Haylett

#TheList Samuel Haylett, born 30/09/1989, of Barnes Road, Frimley, Camberley GU16 – for hare coursing

Samuel Haylett, who  was caught hare coursing on private land in Essex
Samuel Haylett, who was caught hare coursing on private land in Essex

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.

Essex Police news

Upham, Hampshire: Lucinda and Victoria Rolph

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“She was well aware a licence was required.

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

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

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

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

Daily Echo

Wherstead, Ipswich: Niall Martin

#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

Pictured is Niall Martin from Ipswich, UK, who attacked a police dog

Police were called after a row broke out between Niall Martin and his partner in Colchester and officers attended along with police dog, Ivy.

Pictured is the police dog attacked by Niall Martin
The police dog, Ivy, has since been retired

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.

Pictured is Niall Martin from Ipswich, UK, who attacked a police dog

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.”

Pictured is Niall Martin from Ipswich, UK, who attacked a police dog

In October 2014, Martin has jailed for nine months for his part in an assault on a deaf-blind man and his brother.

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.

Daily Gazette