#TheList Lindsey Sim, born c. 1986, of Shearford Close, Barnstaple EX31 1AG – failed to care for three horses
Lindsey Sim, who was involved with shambolic horse welfare charity North Devon Equine Rescue alongside relative Ann Sim, has been banned from keeping horses for five years after vets found three of her animals had not been cared for properly.
Sim admitted charges relating to horses Kelly, Malibu and Blaze, following a prosecution by the RSPCA.
Vets found Kelly to be in an emaciated state as a result of insufficient nutrition and an untreated parasite infection.
Sim also admitted to failing to meet the needs of Blaze, a foal, and Malibu, a grey pony.
Sentencing: six rehabilitation days; total of £240 in fines, costs and charges. Banned from keeping horses for five years, but can appeal after three (expires August 2025).
Wildlife persecutors Broderick, Cartwright, Thompson and Walpole were all given suspended prison sentences for cruelty towards badgers and deer. Mobile phone footage was handed to the RSPCA by police, who were investigating Walpole for an unrelated crime [in April 2019 he alongside Broderick and Thompson were jailed for their part in an organised crime gang targeting ATM machines]. This showed the four men badger digging and baiting.
Dillon Broderick pleaded guilty to wilfully killing a badger on February 18, 2018; killing a deer during the close season on March 11, 2018; killing a deer at night on the same date; killing a deer during the close season on March 13, 2018; wilfully killing a badger on April 15, 2018; and interfering with a badger sett on April 15, 2018 by causing a dog to enter it with intent or being reckless as to whether his actions would have that consequence.
Scott Walpole pleaded guilty to the same offences as Broderick, as well as admitting to intentionally killing two mallards on April 4, 2018.
Kai Cartwright and John Thompson both admitted to wilfully killing a badger on April 15, 2018 and interfering with a badger sett on April 15, 2018 by causing a dog to enter it with intent or being reckless as to whether their actions would have that consequence.
Investigating officer Jason Bowles said: “On the phone we found multiple images and videos showing the men out with their dogs, digging into badger setts and setting their dogs on badgers.
“This ‘sport’ is cruel and barbaric, and I’m sure this footage would be incredibly upsetting for the public to see.”
PC Samantha O’Key, Cumbria Police wildlife, rural and environmental crime coordinator, said: “We are very pleased with the outcome of this investigation and the subsequent convictions that have been brought against these individuals, as Cumbria Police takes animal cruelty very seriously. We worked diligently with our RSPCA colleagues and this is a good example of partnership working at its most effective.”
Broderick and Walpole each received a two-month jail sentence, suspended for 18 months, for the crimes against the deer, as well as a four-month jail sentence suspended for 18 months, for the other offences. The court also ordered them to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work.
Cartwright and Thompson were each given a four-month jail term, suspended for 18 months, and were ordered to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work.
All defendants were banned from having custody of a dog for life, or until a further order is made.
#TheList Andrew William McPherson, born c. 1982, of 20 Harris Place, Airdrie ML6 8FN – for starving and neglecting his two dogs over a prolonged period
Andrew McPherson admitted he failed to provide a nutritionally adequate diet or veterinary treatment for seven-year-old German shepherd Zara, and Bobo, a 16-year-old male crossbreed, resulting in the dogs’ welfare being seriously impacted and causing unnecessary suffering.
McPherson pleaded guilty under Section 19 of the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006 for causing unnecessary suffering and for failing to provide veterinary treatment for the dogs.
He was fined and given a five-year ban on keeping dogs.
Scottish SPCA inspector Emma Sergeant said, “We are pleased McPherson has been handed a ban for this level of neglect.
“McPherson has been known to the Scottish SPCA since 2018. We have tried on several occasions to provide him with guidance and advice on how to care for his animals.
“After some improvement in the condition of Zara and Bobo following our initial intervention, we were frustrated and disappointed to see the deterioration in the dogs when we attended the address in September last year.
“The living conditions were dirty and cluttered, with piles of litter on the floor and household items stacked in other rooms, making them inaccessible.
“The dogs were severely underweight with both their hip bones and ribs visible. Their nails were also very overgrown, which would have caused the animals a lot of discomfort.
“During our visit, some dog food was accidentally spilled on the floor and the dogs were so hungry they began to fight each other for the food.”
Emma added: “On veterinary examination, it was established that the dogs had no underlying medical conditions and they easily put on weight while in our care.
“It would have taken months for the dogs to get into the condition they did. This did not happen overnight.
“McPherson clearly did not learn from past advice and intervention. Ultimately his two dogs were caused unnecessary suffering as a result.
“Providing an animal with a basic level of nutrition to stay healthy should not be a difficult task.
“We hope this sentence makes McPherson consider his ability to be able to look after any animal in the future.
“Thankfully, both Zara and Bobo went from strength to strength in our care and were successfully rehomed. They will now receive the love and attention they deserve for the rest of their lives.”
#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
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.
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.
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.
#TheList traveller Joe Orchard, born c. 1980, of Apondarose Minorca Lane, Bugle, St Austell Cornwall PL26 8QN – mistreated two Labradors and a terrier
Orchard, who is from a notorious family of travellers based in Cornwall, pleaded guilty to failing to provide a suitable environment for three dogs and two charges of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal.
The first charge related to December 16, 2019, when Orchard failed to ensure that the needs of black and white terrier Candis and Labradors Roxy and Lady were met.
Between December 1 and 17, 2019, Orchard caused unnecessary suffering to Candis by failing to investigate and address her poor body condition and weight loss.
Prior to December 16, Orchard caused Candis unnecessary suffering by failing to provide a suitable environment whilst she was of a poor body condition resulting in hypothermia.
The three dogs were removed from his care by the RSPCA and Orchard was banned from keeping dogs for two years.
Sentencing: a total of £580 in fines, costs and charges. Banned from keeping dogs for just two years (expires July 2022).
#TheList Naomi Rachel Knapp, born April 1960, of Wingfield Road, Knowle, Bristol BS3 5EQ, but with links to the Somerset village of Congresbury – for cruelty to a Shetland pony
Knapp, who’s a founder/director of a Bristol-based Christian homeless charity, admitted causing unnecessary suffering to a Shetland pony gelding at Moor View Farm, Congresbury, between January 22 and February 14, 2020.
The fate of the pony is unknown.
Sentencing: community order. Disqualified from keeping equines for five years.
#TheList Latoyah Donna Stones (aka Lottie Devine), born 24/02/1992, of Hillcrest Road, Yeovil BA21 – neglected and starved a dog
Mother-of-three Stones caused unnecessary suffering to the female dog, known as Boston, by failing to explore or address her poor condition between March and September 2019.
The Dogue de Bordeaux had been taken to Vets4Pets in Yeovil on September 22, 2019 by Stones, who claimed the severely malnourished dog was a stray she had found.
Boston, who weighed just 30kg at the time, was taken to St Giles Animal Rescue by the local authority dog warden and social media appeals for information regarding the dog were made.
Stones’ name was put forward by members of the public who identified her as being Boston’s owner, which she later admitted when interviewed.
RSPCA inspector Jo Daniel, who investigated for the animal welfare charity, said: “The vet who examined Boston found her to be very thin, weighing just 30kg when a similar dog in healthy condition could be expected to weigh between 40 to 45kg, and said the dog’s condition was because of a failure to provide adequate food to maintain a normal bodily condition.
“In conclusion, the vet found no underlying causes that would have led to her being in the state she was, adding that she would have suffered for a number of months and have suffered hunger and fatigue during that time.
“This picture, which was taken ten days after she went into the care of the rescue centre, shows what an awful condition she was in.
“Thankfully, she’s now recovered thanks to simply being given an appropriate diet and the care she needs.”
Boston has since been rehomed.
Sentencing: 20 days of rehabilitation activity requirement; total of £365 costs and charges. Banned from keeping dogs for five years.
#TheList Nick Holley, born 23/07/1968, of Tramside Farm, Nancekuke, Portreath, near Redruth TR16 5UF – banned from keeping farm animals after sheep were found starved and mutilated at his smallholding
Holley pleaded guilty to the following charges:
• Failing to provide adequate food to his flock of sheep
• Allowing sheep to have access to collapsed fencing and broken machinery that could have injured them
• Mutilating a sheep by docking its tail so short that the tail did not cover its vulva
• Failing to shear or provide shade to sheep in August 2019
• On 10 September 2019 caused unnecessary suffering to a sheep by failing to notice it was trapped or to release it from being trapped
Kevin Hill, prosecuting, told the court that Holley had gone on holiday and left a friend caring for 50 sheep at the smallholding, despite the friend having no previous experience of sheep husbandry.
Many of the sheep were emaciated yet had no supplementary feed, and the sheep had access to scrap and collapsed fencing. On a revisit, council officers found a sheep trapped in a fence; it had been trapped for at least 24 hours and once released was hungry and thirsty.
In January 2020 the sheep were not being fed hay and had strayed onto neighbouring land and roadside verges to forage. Holley had been cautioned for similar offences in 2018.
The magistrates gave credit for the early guilty plea and genuine remorse.
Sentencing: two-year conditional discharge; £5,000 costs. Banned from keeping farm animals for five years.
#TheList Owen Anthony Gillespie, born 09/02/1979, of 17 Westwood Gardens, Paisley PA3 1NA – left a desperately ill dog in agony and locked in a cage
Gillespie failed to take his pet Staffy, Stella, to the vet to treat a chronic ear condition and an injured foot.
The nine-year-old dog was also suffering from a severe oesophageal condition which left her vomiting violently and in pain.
This resulted in her having to be euthanised by the Scottish SPCA as her condition was too severe to be treated.
The SSPCA attended at Gillespie’s home on April 25, 2019, after they received a call to say a dog could be heard screaming in pain at the property.
When they arrived around 10.45am they found the bull terrier vomiting in a cage in the living room and Gillespie told the officers she had been sick for a few days.
The court heard that Gillespie had not taken the dog to the vet as he couldn’t afford it.
Procurator fiscal depute Laura Wilcox said: “The SSPCA officer explained to Gillespie the reason for her visit and asked if she could view the dog.
“He agreed and invited her into the property where she saw the dog in a cage in the living room.
“The dog was in a good bodily condition and seemed bright but she was concerned because the flooring of the cage was covered in watery vomit and the dog was retching as if it was going to be sick.
“He informed the officer that she had eaten the outer covering of a tennis ball a few days prior.
“He let her out of the cage and the officer saw that the dog was lame on her right leg.”
Gillespie was told that the dog would have to receive treatment and that he would qualify for financial help from PDSA as he was unemployed.
It was once the dog was treated by the animal charity’s vet that the full extent of her condition was discovered.
Ms Wilcox added: “Her right front foot was inflamed and there was a nail that was loose. Both ear canals were inflamed, thickened, narrowed and were infected by bacteria and yeast. There was a smell coming from both ears.
“Her abdomen was tense and uncomfortable and it was found that her stomach wall was thickened and that her oesophagus was inflamed and flaccid.
“This meant it was ineffective at propelling food to her stomach.
“Her condition continued to worsen and she continued to vomit and at this point it was decided the best course of action was to euthanise her.”
The court heard the vet had concluded that if Gillespie had sought vet treatment for his dog within an appropriate time, he would have lessened the suffering.
However, prosecutors could not say whether the dog would have survived due to the severity of the stomach condition.
Gillespie pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to his dog between February and April 2019 by failing to seek adequate care to treat an injured foot, persistent vomiting and an ear condition.
His lawyer, Amy Spencer said: “He has already paid a penalty in regards to this as he has lost his much-loved dog.
“This is a heartbreaking case for him. He is still completely traumatised.
“He is embarrassed by his actions and he knows he ought to have sought treatment for Stella. He has worked his whole adult life and recently lost his job.
“He really was hoping she would have made a recovery.”
Sentencing: ordered to pay a £500 fine. Banned from keeping dogs for just one year.
#TheList Ian Mark Reidy, born 10/01/1989, of 32 Springfield Avenue, Hereford HR2 7JH – left his horse to suffer with a broken leg for two months
The court heard Reidy failed to act on veterinary advice in relation to his 11-year-old horse, Brownie’s, broken leg between July 26 and September 19, 2019.
RSPCA Inspector Suzi Smith investigated after the animal welfare charity received a call about a horse with a severe untreated leg injury.
Ms Smith said: “Initially it appeared Brownie had collapsed. He seemed unable to get up. The foot was worn at the toe from the continued dragging of it over the weeks. He was wearing a thick rug in warm weather.
“Once we did get him up, he was non-weight bearing on the front leg. Upon removal of the rug it showed he was underweight with muscle atrophy to the broken leg where the muscle had wasted away over the weeks from his inability to use the leg. He had a pressure sore on his hock from the excessive time he had been spending laid down due to the pain.
“An x-ray showed his elbow to be in three pieces and vets found it was too late to perform any surgery to help.
“Reidy had initially called a vet when the injury occurred but refused to follow their advice before putting them off when they called to request a check-up of Brownie on eleven occasions, instead telling them he was getting better, rather than seeking the help Brownie desperately needed.”
Sentencing: 12-week custodial sentence. Ordered to pay a £122 victim surcharge. Banned from keeping any equine for life.
The court also made a seizure order for the remaining horses Reidy owned, but he told the court he had given them away.