#TheList farmer Dylan E Williams, born c. 1972, of Neuaddlwyd Isaf, Ciliau Aeron, Lampeter SA48 7RE – pleaded guilty to animal cruelty after 47 rotting sheep were found on his land.
Williams, who also owns a tree surgery business, pleaded guilty to four animal welfare and animal by-products offences after an investigation carried out by Ceredigion Council.
When animal welfare officers visited the farm in April 2018, they found 47 sheep carcasses in various states of decomposition. These carcasses were accessible by other sheep and young lambs that were still alive.
The council said the majority of sheep seen on the land were suffering from severe wool loss and irritated skin, signs of a debilitating condition known as sheep scab.
Two of the charges brought against Williams under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 concerned the causing of unnecessary suffering to two ewes – one of which was found unconscious with her intestines protruding from her body.
Another offence related to Williams not meeting the welfare needs of his sheep due to the fact that he failed to properly inspect the flock. He also failed to manage and treat the sheep scab effectively.
In total, there were three separate offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and one under the Animal By-Products Regulations.
Sentencing: 250 hours of unpaid work; ordered to pay £1,648 costs. Not banned from keeping animals.
#TheList minors aged 16 and 17 years from Milford Haven – stole a tame pet chicken from her owner and tortured her to death.
Chicken Daisy was subjected to a prolonged and brutal attack at the hands of two sadistic savages and others, during which she was chased, set alight and had her neck hacked at with garden shears. She was finally killed with a pitchfork. The pet’s agonising ordeal was filmed for Snapchat and shared with other feral yobs in the group for their sick entertainment.
Daisy’s ordeal took place at the home of a third youth who was investigated but not charged.
In court a veterinary surgeon described the youths’ actions as “gratuitous torture”.
Daisy’s owner Michelle Owen wrote a victim impact statement which was read to the court.
“When I discovered Daisy was gone I blamed myself, I thought I hadn’t secured the coop. My youngest two children were devastated when Daisy had gone, they were crying over her,” she said.
“Daisy was very tame and friendly, it’s not the same going to the coop. I always thought my garden was safe and secure, now I don’t leave my dogs out in case they disappear.
“When I think about what happened that night and the way Daisy suffered, it goes beyond cruelty.
“She was a part of the family, more than just a chicken.”
Defending the youths in court, Mike Kelleher said that the pair were facing the consequence of their “reprehensible” actions.
He said: “This was a cruel and nasty horrible incident. However it started it went horribly, horribly wrong. They are here today to face the consequences.”
RSPCA Cymru has described the incident as “horrifying” and expressed concern at the age of those responsible.
“This poor chicken was subject to the most horrendous treatment – taken, beaten, stabbed and set alight,” said RSPCA inspector Keith Hogben.
“I shudder to think what the poor animal went through.
“The offences were horrifying, and it is always deeply worrying when young people commit such crimes. They will now be subject to our Breaking the Chain programme – which highlights the impact acts like this have on animals and their welfare standards.
“RSPCA Cymru wants to inspire a future generation of animal ambassadors – who share our compassion and empathy for our fellow living creatures. Hopefully, this prosecution sets a clear statement that behaviours like this are totally unacceptable and will not be tolerated.”
David Allen, head of education at RSPCA , said: “Clearly, these were disgusting offences and it is particularly worrying that young people are committing such acts. Fortunately, we know most young people will be horrified by what happened in Milford Haven.
“Our new Generation Kind scheme brings together a series of initiatives – including those in the classroom, support for teachers, programmes to support vulnerable looked-after and disadvantaged young people, and those targeted at youth offenders.
“It is hoped that Generation Kind will help create a generation of individuals who are kind, compassionate and caring towards animals.”
The youths pleaded guilty to an Animal Welfare Act offence, namely causing the chicken to suffer unnecessarily.
Sentencing: 12-month referral order, which includes the RSPCA intervention initiative mentioned above. The older youth was ordered to pay £380 in compensation, costs and charges and the younger one was ordered to pay courts and charges totalling £400. They were both banned from keeping any animal for a period of 12 months.
#TheList Stan Strelley and wife Heather Strelley, both born c. 1978, of 34 Bron, Gwendraeth, Kidwelly SA17 4HT – failed to meet the needs of 35 ponies and caused them to suffer
RSPCA Cymru were shocked to find the ponies with overgrown hooves, cuts and scrapes to their bodies and surrounded by broken glass, brick, metal and old machinery on their land.
Banging noises could be heard at the site – and rescuers soon found a collapsed shed with ponies trying to push their way through the fallen metal roof.
Three distressed ponies inside did not have room to stand up without hitting themselves and they were forced to crouch causing their legs to buckle.
Conditions at the shed were so bad that the building was bursting at the seams with soiled faeces and had nails protruding from the walls.
Shockingly, the bones of a deceased pony were found on a muck heap nearby.
A further 20 ponies were discovered in a separate building – almost all of which were living in horrific conditions.
Part of the building’s roof was collapsing, and the ponies were living on many feet of faeces.
Some three ponies were found to be underweight, six were lame, and a further three were trapped in a collapsed shed.
An investigating RSPCA inspector has said the case amounted to ‘shocking neglect of a large number of animals’.
RSPCA inspector Keith Hogben said: ‘I will never forget the sound of hearing a pony trying to bang his way out of a collapsed shed.
‘It was an horrific discovery – with three ponies trapped beneath fallen metal roofing sheets, in conditions so horrendous I was left cold. They were desperate to get out, but had no way out before we arrived.
It was confirmed in court that both individuals kept showing showing ponies – and, indeed, some were found at the site groomed and in far better condition that other ponies.
The judge labelled the overall conditions at the site ‘disgraceful’ and ‘disgusting’.
Twenty-two of the ponies were signed into the care of the RSPCA – with the other 13 remaining at the property, but moved away from the poor environment in which they had been forced to live.
The pair now have 28 days to make arrangements for the ponies still in their care.
Mr Hogben said: ‘This complex investigation found shocking neglect of a large number of animals – with ponies kept in hugely inappropriate conditions; and many left to suffer with serious weight loss or lameness.
‘Remarkably, both individuals were showing ponies – and continued to do so during our investigations.
‘There was a clear priorities problem – with some animals groomed and treated far better; while others were left in appalling conditions. It was one rule for some – and another rule for the others.
‘It is so hard to understand how anyone lets conditions get so bad for their animals.’
Sentencing: Stan Strelley – 16 weeks in jail, suspended for a year; a total of £415 costs and charges; 190 hours of unpaid community work and 25 rehabilitation activity requirement days
Heather Strelley – 12 weeks, suspended for a year; a total of £415 costs and charges. 25 rehabilitation activity requirement days.
Both were banned from keeping ponies and horses for five years – and cannot appeal this ban for a period of one year.
#TheList Michelle Lewis, born c. 1968, and Michael Rowland Sampson, born c. 1981, of Coronation Avenue, Haverfordwest SA61 – kept seven neglected cats and dogs in their filthy, rubbish-strewn home
Michelle Lewis and Michael Rowland Sampson pleaded guilty to jointly causing unnecessary suffering to their animals by failing to provide a suitable living environment.
The pair also admitted two charges of not ensuring that the needs of the cats and dogs were met, by failing to address flea infestations and chronic skin conditions were treated adequately.
A local vet called in to assist in the operation said the whole house resembled a ‘death trap’, with a mat of ‘rotting excrement’ almost covering the floor, giving him the impression that the house was totally unsuitable for animal habitation, let alone humans.
An RSPCA inspector told the court how he retched on encountering the overpowering stench of faeces and urine on 6 July 2017.
Mike Kelleher, defending, said Lewis had suffered from depression and that she and Sampson – both unemployed – had suffered various problems at the house, including burst pipes and an overflowing toilet.
He added that, while the property was in ‘a terrible state’, the animals themselves were fed and exercised, while the couple tried to treat the dogs’ skin conditions and hair loss through a change in diet and shampoo.
“This was not a deliberate action of cruelty,” he said.
Sentencing: 12-month conditional discharge with a 15-day rehabilitation activity requirement. £315 each in costs and charges. Banned from keeping animals for five years (expires January 2023).
#TheList Brenda Bateman, born 25/11/1973, of Charles Street, Milford Haven SA73 2AE – subjected an elderly collie-cross dog called Jess to horrendous levels of neglect; Jess sadly put to sleep
Bateman admitted two animal welfare offences at Haverfordwest Magistrates’ Court.
Magistrates heard she failed to seek veterinary care for the collie-cross dog called Jess, who had a severe chronic skin condition and arthritis, causing the animal to suffer unnecessarily.
Bateman also admitted failing to trim the dog’s overgrown nails, which led to problems with the way she walked.
Jess was later put to sleep due to her health problems.
Speaking after the case RSPCA Cymru inspector Keith Hogben said: “The level of neglect experienced by this poor dog was horrendous.
“Jess had a severe chronic skin condition and overgrown nails, which impacted how she walked. It’s so sad that the neglect she endured sadly meant she lost her life.
It is critical that people remember they have very clear legal responsibilities towards their animals. RSPCA Cymru will continue to fight for justice for dogs like this poor collie-cross, in all corners of Wales”.
Sentence: £300 in costs, £220 fine and £30 victim surcharge; banned from keeping animals for seven years (expires March 2024).
#TheList serial pet abuser Rio Daryle Hall, born 29/07/1987, formerly of Milford Haven, and more recently of Heywood Court, Tenby, Pembrokeshire SA70 8BP – tortured an eight-week-old kitten to death
Hall was banned from keeping animals for life after subjecting an eight-week-old kitten named Angel to a sadistic ordeal. He began by wetting her and placing her on a hot radiator, causing her skin to blister. He then kicked Angel so hard that she fractured her skull. Finally he mutilated the tiny kitten’s ears with scissors.
Hall’s partner and mother of his two children, Caroline Thies, took the stricken cat to the vet who discovered she had fractures to her skull and legs. Angel had to be euthanised to end her appalling suffering.
The vet said the only way the kitten could have received the injuries was by human action, either kicking, stomping or throwing her.
Hall had previously been banned from keeping dogs and cats in 2006, after kicking his dog Benji and breaking his back legs.
Thies, who as at 2018 is still with Hall, received a six-month conditional discharge and was banned from keeping cats or dogs for ten years after pleading guilty to failing to prevent unnecessary suffering to an animal.
As at September 2018 Hall is believed to be living in homeless accommodation in Pembroke. It seems his dopey wife has finally seen the light and chucked the evil get out.
Sentence: Jailed for six months. For his earlier attack on Benji, Hall had been given a 10-year ban on keeping animals. Following his conviction for cruelty towards Angel the ban was extended to life.