Tag Archives: suspended prison sentence

Windy Nook, Gateshead, Tyne and Wear: Amy Rutherford

#TheList Amy Rutherford of Coltsfoot Gardens, Gateshead NE10 – locked her two cats in her squalid home while she went to live with her boyfriend

Amy Rutherford, who was banned from keeping animals indefinitely after abandoning two cats in a freezing property for six weeks
Amy Rutherford was banned from keeping animals indefinitely after abandoning two cats in a freezing property for six weeks

Cats Lucy and Lola almost starved to death after their owner, Amy Rutherford, abandoned them in a dark and freezing property for six weeks.

In court, she pleaded guilty to one count of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal and two of failing to ensure the welfare of an animal.

Abandoned cat Lucy was so thin her collar had slipped from her neck onto her hips
Abandoned cat Lucy was so thin her collar had slipped from her neck onto her hips

The court heard that the RSPCA were contacted in early September 2019 after members of the public reported seeing the “distressed” cats jumping up at the windows of Rutherford’s home.

An officer attended and left an RSPCA card, as well as putting sellotape around the hinges of the front door.

The investigator returned a number of times over the following days and saw that the tape was still intact, meaning nobody had entered or left the property.

Eventually, the police gained access on September 20.

Stewart Haywood, prosecuting for the RSPCA, said: “The conditions inside were appalling. There was a strong smell of urine and faeces and it was dark and cold.

“The light switches were not working and the rooms were covered in rubbish.”

The court heard that bin bags had been scratched at by the cats and there was no food or water in their bowls.

The prosecutor added: “The officer found Lucy. She was opening her mouth repeatedly but no sound was coming out. Her pink collar was wrapped around her hips rather than her neck.

“Her bones could be felt and her eyes were sunk.”

Lucy collapsed when she was put in a basket to the point officers thought she had died.

Lola, who was abandoned by her heartless owner Amy Rutherford
Lola, who was abandoned by her heartless owner Amy Rutherford

Lola, who was in a slightly better condition, was also seized and taken to a vets, where both were discovered to be emaciated and Lucy to be suffering from hypothermia.

When interviewed, Rutherford claimed she’d only ever left the pets for a couple of days and hadn’t replied to the RSPCA card because she’d been too busy with work.

John Williams, defending, said Rutherford was drinking too much at the time and suffered from secondary bipolar disorder and depression.

He added: “There’s no excuse and she accepts that. She abandoned the cats for about six weeks. She went to stay with her boyfriend as her mental health was deteriorating. She was a manager in a shop but she had to give that up as she could no longer carry on.”

District Judge Kate Meek said: “You had to move out of the house because it was uncomfortable for you because it was cold and dark, but, it’s alright for them [the cats] to suffer and not you?

“They, like any other pet animal, rely completely on you for their care and attention. When you take ownership of them, it’s effectively an agreement that you’re going to look after them.

“They’re technically no more able to do so themselves than a small, young child.”

The judge added: “I have looked at the pictures and they are quite distressing, as it is distressing to hear the particulars.

“It’s absolutely clear that this was over a prolonged period of time and both cats suffered a high degree of harm because of your lack of care and attention that you must be expected to provide any animal in your care.

“There is no justification or explanation for it.”

Sentencing: 18-week prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, with 250 hours of unpaid work. Banned from keeping pets indefinitely.

Chronicle Live

Rumsam, Barnstaple, Devon: Ann Sim

#TheList equine sanctuary owner Ann Michelle Sim, born 26/08/1984, of Shearford Close, Barnstaple EX31 1AG – neglected and starved multiple horses in her care

Equine rescue boss Ann Sim was prosecuted for animal cruelty
Ann Sim with a rescued pony

Mother-of-three Ann Sim, who ran North Devon Equine Rescue in Rumsam, near Barnstaple, was given a 10-week suspended jail sentence and banned from keeping horses for 10 years after admitting three cruelty charges.

The RSPCA visited Sim’s so-called sanctuary and found horses so thin their spines and ribs could be seen through the skin.

Conditions were described as ‘chaotic’ with animals living in foul conditions among rubbish and with sparse and inadequate bedding.

Some of the neglected horses at North Devon Rescue Centre
Tiggy, Punchy and Bumble at North Devon Rescue Centre

Ponies and horses had overgrown feet and one had to have his eye removed because an infection had not been treated by a vet.

The court heard Sim had set up the centre with the best of intentions five years earlier but had struggled to cope when her personal life fell apart.

Prosecutor Kevin Withy said Sim had been on the radar of the RSPCA for some time before the offences were committed between June and September 2019.

Neglected pony Punchy at North Devon Equine Rescue in Barnstaple
Punchy at North Devon Equine Rescue in Barnstaple

In one of the foul stables inspectors discovered a mare and foal whose ribs and spine were visible due to lack of food. Conditions were filthy with little clean bedding and only ‘a limited amount of water’.

The animals had been suffering for a number of months and there was no control of parasites.

The chestnut mare, Bumble, also had severely overgrown feet and Sim had not called a vet. A Welsh gelding called Tiggy had an infected eye that needed to be removed and a pony, Punchy, was emaciated, anaemic and had overgrown feet.

Equine rescue boss Ann Sim was prosecuted for neglecting horses and ponies in her care
“Well-intentioned” Sim ignored an RSPCA warning and continued to neglect horses and ponies in her care

Defence barrister Herc Ashworth said the 35-year-old set up the rescue centre to “help abandoned horses back to health” and had “no intention of causing suffering”.

“I accept it was not a deliberate act on your behalf,” the judge added.

All the animals have since been rehomed.

Sentencing: 10-week custodial sentence, suspended for 12 months. Ordered to pay £322 costs. Banned from keeping equines for 10 years.

DevonLive
BBC News

Brixham, Torbay, Devon: Craig Dolling

#TheList Craig Anthony Dolling, born 21/04/1993, of 24A Briseham Road, Brixham, Torbay, Devon TQ5 9NS – subjected his pet dog to a savage beating, causing him to lose a leg

Violent dog abuser Craig Dolling from Devon

Rocco, a young Staffordshire bull terrier, suffered a catalogue of horrific injuries at the hands of his owner Craig Dolling.

The pet was left bloodied with cuts, a broken leg, fractured ribs, cheek bone and skull. Dolling and his girlfriend, Natasha Hilson, 25, then let the animal suffer by not taking him to a vet.

Abused dog Rocco suffered an appalling catalogue of injuries

When asked to explain the injuries Dolling told his partner: “I just went mad on him earlier. You know what I get.”

The RSPCA said Dolling’s behaviour was ‘tantamount to torture’.

Father-of-one Dolling, who has previous convictions for violence, admitted two charges of causing unnecessary suffering to Rocco when he appeared in court.

Lindi Meyer, prosecuting, said the defendant lived with Rocco and his partner Hilson. Both accepted responsibility for the pet.

The RSPCA and police went to the house on September 2, 2019, after reports of an injured dog. Initially the pair did not answer but Hilson let them in just as police were about to force entry.

The dog had obvious leg and head injuries, said the prosecutor.

Hilson said Rocco had hurt his leg trying to get over a gate almost a month before. She confirmed he had not seen a vet.

“There was a strong smell of ammonia and faeces on the floor,” added Ms Meyer.

A police officer said the injured state of the dog was ‘heartbreaking’ and he had never seen such a badly injured animal before.

Rocco had multiple cuts, dislocated femur, swelling, two large head wounds that were so severe vets were unable to examine his right eye, a fractured tooth, cheek, three fractured ribs, and a fracture to the right hock which was several weeks old and so severe the leg had to be amputated.

Abused dog Rocco suffered an appalling catalogue of injuries

There were stains on the carpets which Hilson said Rocco had left after he injured his head trying to escape from his cage.

Dolling said the injury to Rocco’s leg happened about one and a half months before when he tried to jump over a door. Both denied mistreating him and Dolling said he didn’t take him for treatment because he thought the vet might think he had beaten him. He couldn’t explain the fracture to the dog’s eye and denied beating him. He said he thought the animal would die without vet attention.

Texts between the two revealed more of what really happened to the dog.

Hilson demanded to know what had happened to Rocco’s face. Dolling replied: “I just went mad on him earlier. I’m sorry, I didn’t mean it. I’m f****d.”

Hilson said the dog was ‘only a baby’ and hadn’t done anything to deserve such treatment.

Dolling answered: “You know what I get. I get what you’re saying. I’m sorry, I’m a nasty c**t.”

Hilson said there was a history of domestic violence in the relationship. Dolling now accepted responsibility for what he had done.

Violent dog abuser Craig Dolling from Devon

Nobody was present at the time Dolling injured the dog and the court was not told what triggered his violence. A vet found the injuries had been sustained by blunt force trauma on at least two occasions. They would have caused considerable pain for Rocco for at least six weeks. The skull fracture was caused by being struck with a ‘heavy linear object’ not consistent with Dolling’s explanation about the door. Injuries to the ribs were caused by kicks, stamps, or throwing against an object, said the vet.

Violent dog abuser Craig Dolling from Devon

Ms Meyer said Dolling’s actions had been ‘deliberate, gratuitous and caused suffering and pain on a number of occasions’. There had been prolonged neglect over months and no vet treatment despite both being aware of the injuries.

The court was played a video of Rocco in the care of the RSPCA, running and chasing a ball. “He’s doing really well,” after learning to walk again, said the prosecutor.

Hilson has yet to sign him over to the RSPCA’s care and has stated she wants him back.

Ben Darby, defending, said Dolling accepted full responsibility for the injuries and was ‘tearful’ and sorry for what he had done. He wanted help for his anger management issues and was motivated to change.

“These are pretty horrendous offences,” said Mr Darby. But he said Dolling had held his hands up and admitted his crime, even though nobody saw him cause the injuries and for that he should be given credit.

Hilson, who did not cause injuries to Rocco, admits a lesser charge under the Animal Welfare Act. She will be sentenced at a later date.

Sentencing: suspended four-month jail sentence. He was told to do up to 10 days anger management with probation and 60 hours of unpaid work. He was banned from keeping all animals for life but can appeal after just five years.

DevonLive

Moyraverty, Craigavon: Sheena McCartney

#TheList Sheena McCartney, born 15/11/1971, of 15 Drumellan Walk, Moyraverty, Craigavon BT65 5NH – persistently neglected her dogs

Dog abuser Sheena McCartney

Sheena McCartney was banned from keeping animals for five years after failing to ensure the welfare of two dogs in her care.

She was convicted on three counts of causing unnecessary suffering to a Rottweiler with an eye condition, failing to comply with an improvement notice requiring her to bring the dog to a vet for treatment, and wilfully neglecting the needs of both the Rottweiler and a lurcher.

Rottweiler neglected by  Sheena McCartney

Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council pursued the prosecution under the provisions of the Welfare of Animals Act (Northern Ireland) 2011 after completing an investigation, which was initiated by a report from a member of the public who was concerned about the dogs’ welfare.

McCartney initially did not respond to contact from the Council, and when she did, an improvement notice was issued to her requiring her to seek treatment for the Rottweiler’s eye condition.

This was not complied with and due to her lack of co-operation, a warrant to enter her property was secured.

The Animal Welfare Officer subsequently visited McCartney’s property with a vet, who assessed the Rottweiler as suffering and the lurcher as being likely to suffer given the conditions in which he was being kept.

Both dogs were immediately taken into Council care and later rehomed.

A Council spokesperson commented: “The judge in this case saw fit to give a custodial sentence in addition to a disqualification from keeping animals because the defendant persistently neglected the needs of her dogs’ and flagrantly disregarded animal welfare legislation.

Sentencing: custodial sentence suspended for 18 months. Ordered to pay £84 in costs. Banned from keeping animals for five years.

ArmaghI.com

Middlesbrough: Steven Harrison

#TheList Steven Anthony Harrison, born 12/08/1985, of Brereton Road, Middlesbrough TS4 3HS – starved and neglected his pet dog and let him stray

Habitual house burglar Steven Harrison can now add animal cruelty to his long list of convictions
Habitual house burglar Steven Harrison can now add animal cruelty to his long list of convictions

Steven Harrison’s dog, known as Benson, was found “skinny, lethargic and retching’ with a potato stuck in his throat. He had also swallowed a dishcloth which was lodged in his stomach.

Crossbreed Benson had a whole potato stuck in his throat and dish cloth in stomach
Benson had a whole potato stuck in his throat and dish cloth in stomach

Career criminal Harrison, who has racked up dozens of convictions for house burglary, was convicted of two offences under the Animal Welfare Act: one of causing unnecessary suffering and one of failing to meet Benson’s needs.

A member of the public had alerted the RSPCA after the dog was found straying on February 4, 2019.

Habitual house burglar Steven Harrison can now add animal cruelty to his long list of convictions
Father-of-three Harrison has the nickname Wayno

Inspector Clare Wilson said: “When I first saw Benson he was skinny, lethargic and kept retching and coughing constantly. I could feel and see all of his ribs and his spine.

“It was late at night so I took him to a nearby vet surgery where staff were concerned that he had an obstruction.

“He was put onto a drip and given pain relief and medication to help with the sickness. Vets did lots of tests and x-rays showed a large obstruction in his chest cavity, behind the heart. He needed a special operation to remove it – and that’s when vets found a whole potato and dishcloth inside him.

“It was touch and go whether he’d survive the complex operation but, luckily, he pulled through.”

Inspector Wilson traced Harrison and was told that Benson had been vomiting for a number of days but no veterinary treatment was sought and he was allowed to stray around the area.

She continued: “He was extremely poorly by the time we were able to get him the vet. He was lucky to survive.”

Habitual house burglar Steven Harrison can now add animal cruelty to his long list of convictions
Police mugshot of Steven Anthony Harrison

Benson was signed over to the RSPCA after court.

The inspector continued: “Poor Benson has a stricture in his oesophagus which means he will probably always need to be fed small amounts of food regularly so this incident has had a life-changing effect on him.

“He’s doing well otherwise though and is such a lovely dog that the animal centre staff who are caring for him are hopeful they will be able to find him the special home he needs and deserves when he’s ready.”

Sentencing: six weeks’ custody suspended for 12 months; ordered to do 80 hours of unpaid work and to pay a victim surcharge of £115. Disqualified from keeping all animals for seven years.

Gazette Live

Previous convictions:
https://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/news/8875338.south-bank-burglar-jailed-raid-pensioners-home/

https://www.gazettelive.co.uk/news/teesside-news/career-burglar-jailed-six-years-10038121

Taunton, Somerset: Michael Holland

#TheList Michael Lee Wayne Holland, born 05/10/1989, of 43 Outer Circle, Taunton TA1 2BS – left dog to suffer with ulcerated and infected tumours

Staffordshire bull terrier Sky's horrific untreated tumour
‘Michael Holland failed to take his tumour-ridden pet dog to the vet for treatment

Holland pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to his female Staffordshire bull terrier Sky.

A concerned member of the public had contacted the RSPCA to report Holland, who was prosecuted by the animal charity under the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

RSPCA inspector Marie Griffiths visited Holland’s home to investigate the complaint relating to the offence between June 8 and September 10, 2019.

She said: “This was the serious neglect of a dog who was clearly in urgent need of veterinary attention.

“The pictures of the tumour are very graphic and show the condition of Sky when I arrived.

“She had two large infected necrotic masses on her right shoulder extending to her neck area, including one which was 12cm in diameter.

“The masses were seeping pus and fresh blood and the area was starting to split due to the pressure and the smell was positively overwhelming.

“Sadly, Sky was put to sleep on veterinary advice that day to prevent any further suffering.”

Sentencing: 12-week prison sentence suspended for 12 months; ordered to carry out 80 hours of unpaid work and to pay a total of £415. Banned from keeping dogs for five years.

SomersetLive

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

Ingleby Barwick, Stockton on Tees: Kelly Henry

#TheList Kelly Henry, born 10/01/1984 of Hatchlands Park, Ingleby Barwick TS17 5GT – for the prolonged ill-treatment of her elderly Labrador

Pictured is convicted animal abuser Kelly Henry from Ingleby Barwick, Stockton on Tees
Personal trainer Kelly Henry is banned from keeping animals for just five years

Self-employed fitness instructor Kelly Henry, who trades under the name Kelly Henry Signature Personal Training, pleaded guilty to cruelty towards her emaciated black Labrador, known as Shadow.

The ten-year-old dog, whom Henry had owned since she was a puppy, was found by the RSPCA in a “dreadful condition”, weighing just 16kg and having no body fat.

Police were called to Henry’s previous address in Eaglescliffe, Stockton, after an RSPCA inspector saw Shadow looking starved in the garden through slots in the fence. The inspector found two empty dog bowls.

Stuart Bennett, prosecuting, told the court the dog would have been “in pain and suffering weakness” due to malnutrition.

Mr Bennett estimated that this suffering would have lasted around four weeks but “only occurred due to neglect which had obviously been far longer”.

Henry claimed she had fed Shadow but admitted it “probably wasn’t enough”.

Shadow was also found to have cataracts, which Henry had dismissed as “glazed eyes” due to her age. Henry agreed that she should have taken the dog to the vet and said she hadn’t done so as she “didn’t want to look like a bad person”.

The prosecution said that Henry had bought two kittens whom she had taken to the vet regularly, adding that this was “difficult to comprehend”.

The court was shown a series of photographs as evidence of Henry’s neglect. These included photos of Shadow with a protruding rib cage and spine.

Pictured is convicted animal abuser Kelly Henry from Ingleby Barwick, Stockton on Tees

A probation service report described how Henry’s personal circumstances had changed after the collapse of her marriage. They said that her neglect of Shadow was “a result of her burying her head in the sand with everything else going on in her life”.

Henry expressed remorse for her actions and agreed that she could have cared for Shadow “a lot better”.

Danielle Hewitt, defending, said that Henry’s two children would “suffer if a custodial sentence were to be imposed”.

Sentencing: 12 weeks in custody suspended for 12 months. 25 days of rehabilitation activity. Ordered to pay £522 costs. Banned from keeping animals for five years. Deprivation order on Shadow and her two kittens.

TeessideLive

Bedworth, Warwickshire: Simon Davis

#TheList commercial breeder Simon Davis, born c. 1985, of Acacia Crescent, Bedworth CV12 – cropped American bulldog puppies’ ears with razor blades before selling them for thousands of pounds to celebrity clients

Breeder Simon Davis used razor blades to perform painful cosmetic ops on American Bulldogs
Breeder Simon Davis used razor blades to perform painful cosmetic operations on American Bulldogs

Davis, who trades under the name Lions Lair Kennels, admitted to cropping the ears of seven puppies. He was arrested on 30 January 2019, after the RSPCA and Warwickshire Police carried out a joint raid at his home address.

During the raid, they found seven kennels, in a converted garage building in his back garden, containing eight American Bulldogs.

Breeder Simon Davis used razor blades to perform painful cosmetic ops on American Bulldogs

The RSPCA gathered a range of evidence, including before and after photographs and medical appliances such as syringes, razor blades and forceps were seized from both properties.

Breeder Simon Davis used razor blades to perform painful cosmetic ops on American Bulldogs

A further nine American Bulldogs were found at Mr Davis’s mother’s house nearby on Chelsey Road, including two pregnant dogs and six with cropped ears.

The RSPCA urge people to never buy a dog with cropped ears, and have taken seven of the dogs into care to be re-homed.

Sentencing: 18 weeks in jail suspended for 12 months. Ordered to carry out 160 hours of unpaid work and pay £10,973 in costs. A 15-year ban on keeping and dealing in dogs.

ITV News
Daily Mail

Millom, Cumbria: Stephen Carr

#TheList Stephen Carr, born 11/11/1986, of 10 Munroe Avenue, Millom LA18 5AL – failed to get veterinary care when two of his dogs suffered facial injuries consistent with wild animal fighting

Animal abuser Stephen Carr from Millom, Cumbria, UK
Stephen Carr, who has two young sons, brags about his lust for bloodsports on his Facebook page

Married father-of-two Carr pleaded guilty to two charges of causing unnecessary suffering.

The court heard Cumbria Police executed a warrant at Carr’s home on August 14, 2019, accompanied by RSPCA officers.

Three dogs were found in kennels at the bottom of the garden, and two of them were found to have facial injuries

Abused dog Toby

A vet who examined Toby, a bull lurcher, found a lower lip laceration which was about a month old which was still healing and there was no sign of an attempt to repair it.

Boots, a Patterdale Terrier, was found to have an old ‘degloving injury’ on her jaw which was caused by ‘traumatic tearing forces’.

Patterdale terrier Boots suffered a degloving injury to her jaw and had facial scarring\
Patterdale terrier Boots suffered a degloving injury to her jaw and had facial scarring

The vet report said ‘these injuries are incredibly painful,’ and there was no evidence it had been treated and had instead been ‘left to heal’.

RSPCA Inspector Ian Briggs, said: “As a dog owner, it’s your responsibility to make sure your pet gets vet treatment when they need it so they do not suffer.

“We are pleased that Boots, Toby and Blaze, will be looking for loving new homes soon.”

Animal abuser Stephen Carr from Millom, Cumbria, UK

Copeland Neighbourhood Police Officer Marie Carter said: “This is a welcome result which enforces the message that mistreatment or abuse of animals will not be tolerated and will result in robust action being taken. We continue to work with our partners in the RSPCA in order to bring these offenders to justice.

“Anyone with any information in relation to this type of offence is asked to contact Cumbria Constabulary on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”

Sentencing: 12-week suspended prison; ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work and to pay £622. Disqualified from keeping dogs for 10 years. Boots, Toby and a third dog Blaze are in RSPCA care and will be looking for new homes soon.

The Mail