#TheList Andrew Lee Jones, born 08/03/1981, of Ynscynon Road, Tonypandy CF40 2LN – kicked and killed a seagull
A driver witnessed Jones kicking the bird before finding it dead on 1 May 2019.
An RSPCA appeal resulted in CCTV showing the incident being provided by the council.
Jones pleaded guilty to one offence under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 and was sentenced to 12 weeks in prison.
RSPCA inspector Simon Evans thanked the witness for coming forward, adding: “This horrific incident was also caught on CCTV where the defendant was seen kicking the bird and using his foot to direct it into a corner of the car park.
“The bird had sustained other injuries before this attack – however, a post-mortem examination found that it would have been the blunt trauma injuries from the defendant’s kick that would have been the most likely cause of death.
“There is no excuse for this kind of deliberate cruelty.”
Sentencing: Jailed for 12 weeks. Ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £115.
#TheList Gary McDonald, born c. 1990, of 64 Mungalhead Road, Bainsford, Falkirk FK2 7JG – attacked a nesting swan in a public park
Gary McDonald pleaded guilty to a charge under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 at Falkirk Sheriff Court.
The court heard that on May 6, 2018, McDonald entered Crownest Park in Stenhousemuir and approached a group of teenagers saying, “Watch this, I’m going to snap the swan’s neck”. He also asked the group to film him.
Members of the group shouted at him to leave the swan alone as he approached the nest site and took out their phones to film his actions.
McDonald climbed down the verge on the east side of the pond, known as the Lido”, and sat next to the nest.
The swan became alarmed and stood up, stretching out its wings and neck in warning.
McDonald then grabbed the bird by the neck and held it for several seconds before it escaped by entering the pond.
The witnesses uploaded their footage to social media and a witness appeal by Police Scotland resulted in McDonald being identified.
This was the second year that the swan had nested at the side of the Lido.
Sara Shaw, head of the wildlife and environmental crime unit, said: “This was a callous act against a nesting swan.
“Wild birds are protected under our wildlife laws and those who choose to commit acts of violence against them can expect to be held to account.”
Sentencing: three-year community payback order with supervision and conduct requirements.
#TheList Tyler Rhys Earwaker, born c. 2000, of 32 Shalfleet Close, Eastbourne BN23 8DU & Liam Smith, c. 1999, of 43 Kensington Way, Polegate BN26 6FH – laughed as they set packs of dogs on captured wild rabbits
Earwaker pleaded guilty to six offences and Smith pleaded guilty to two. The pair were prosecuted by the RSPCA following an investigation which included examination of horrific mobile phone footage.
RSPCA inspector Carroll Lamport launched the investigation in May 2019 following a tip-off. She said, “When we checked [their] phones we found lots of videos of Earwaker and Smith releasing captured wild rabbits and setting their dogs on them.
“Some of the videos show the chase taking place across fields while others take place in fenced areas such as a basketball court and a children’s playground meaning the rabbits had no real chance of escape.
“It’s really upsetting to watch the footage and the rabbits must have been extremely distressed before being released. The chase would have been terrifying for them and the manner in which they were killed would have resulted in unnecessary suffering.”
The videos show the pair encouraging the dogs to chase down the rabbits – some of which are clearly in shock – and in one case the rabbits are kicked and thrown onto the ground.
A warrant was executed by police on May 14 at an address in Eastbourne. RSPCA officers joined police and a number of mobile phones were seized.
Five dogs were found at the premises – belonging to Earwaker’s family – and the RSPCA said all appeared in good condition. A number of hutches and cages were located in the garden, some with ferrets inside.
Inspector Lamport said, “We found long hunting nets, often used for catching animals, and a number of animal carriers in the shed and Earwaker told me he used the large trap for rabbits, using carrots as bait.
“Some of his coats were bloodstained and a number of phones and an iPad were seized.”
Four dogs – two lurchers and two terriers – were seized by police and Earwaker was interviewed.
Inspector Lamport later received a call from Smith’s father claiming one of the dogs seized belonged to him.
She said, “Mr Smith told me he’d bought the terrier for his son, We discovered that his son, Liam Smith, had been going out with Earwaker rabbiting and ferreting.
“They were catching rabbits and ‘dropping’ them in front of their dogs for the dogs to chase in order to train the dogs they thought the latter was legal.”
The court determined the four dogs should be returned to their owners.
Sentencing: Earwaker – 12-month community order with 200 hours of unpaid work. He was disqualified from keeping rabbits for five years and ordered to pay £300 costs and £85 victim surcharge.
Smith – 12-month community order with 100 hours of unpaid work. He was disqualified from keeping rabbits for five years and ordered to pay £300 costs and £85 victim surcharge.
#TheList Mark Cuthbert, born 07/03/1977, of 82 Thornyflat Place, Ayr KA8 0NE – set his dogs on wildlife including badgers; bought cats online to use as live bait for his dogs; failed to get vet treatment for his dogs’ fighting injuries
Mark Cuthbert pleaded guilty to keeping dogs for the purpose of an animal fight and killing a cat at home and at another premises.
Cuthbert used the selling website Gumtree to purchase the cats – with many owners believing their animals were going to a safe home.
The Scottish SPCA’s special investigations unit (SIU) received intelligence in March 2018 that Cuthbert had dogs for animal fighting. The SIU obtained a warrant to search Cuthbert’s address and, upon inspection, found his pets had injuries consistent with animal fighting.
They also suspected he had been self-medicating his dogs to avoid drawing attention to his illegal activities.
Investigators seized an electronic device that contained video and images of animal fights. The clips included Cuthbert’s dogs killing badgers and domestic cats.
Objects in the footage matched animal fighting paraphernalia discovered at his home. Among the items seized were tracking collars, nets, live animal traps, syringes, superglue, and pet carriers.
DNA analysis of these supported the case that many of the items were used for animal fighting.
The dogs involved in the case were black and white Patterdale terrier, Billy, and two brown female Patterdale terriers known as Digger and Tally.
Cuthbert pleaded guilty to keeping dogs, cats and a rat for an animal fight contrary to the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006 under Section 23 (1) (a), for procuring cats for the purpose of animal fighting and arranging, participating and causing animal fights to take place under Section 23 (2) of the Act.
Commenting on the investigation and court case, a Scottish SPCA undercover special investigation unit (SIU) officer said, “This is a truly horrific case of animal cruelty, where we suspect dozens of animals have suffered mentally and physically at the hands of Mark Cuthbert. His inhumane treatment of animals is completely unacceptable.”
“We investigate reports of animal fights every week and the imagery and videos we discovered on his phone are some of the most depraved and upsetting we have seen. One harrowing video shows the three dogs attacking a domestic cat in a field which is fighting for its life. It’s clear the cat was caused horrendous suffering and many of the cats he purchased will have suffered long, torturous deaths.
“Cuthbert had been picking up the cats for his dogs to attack from the online selling site, Gumtree.
“After contacting Gumtree, we found correspondence between Cuthbert and people who had listed their cats on the site which led us to believe large numbers of cats were uplifted from pet owners who trusted their cats were going to a good, safe home.
“As well as the cats he purchased under false pretence, his own dogs have been treated appallingly. When we visited Cuthbert, two of his dogs had very obvious facial injuries and scars to the face, nose and jaw. Digger had a healed injury to the lower lip which had caused a v-shaped deformity and Billy was very aggressive when approached.
“If you are using an online service to find a new home for, or sell, your pet, please be vigilant and ensure your pet is going to a safe environment. If you are suspicious, do not continue with the sale and notify the Scottish SPCA as soon as possible.”
The Scottish SPCA’s special investigations unit are experts in investigating animal fighting offences and rely on information from the public to continue to put a stop to this horrific activity. All information shared with the Scottish SPCA can be treated with confidentiality and can be reported to the animal helpline on 03000 999 999.
Sentencing: ten months’ imprisonment. Ten-year ban on owning or keeping any animal.
#TheList Patrick Carter, born 17/11/1999, of 30 Lansbury Street, Greenock PA15 2NR – filmed his brutalised dogs ripping wild animals apart in a series of horrific animal fighting videos
Carter has been branded ‘barbaric’ after admitting to training his three dogs to attack and kill foxes and badgers and taking them on sickening hunts.
The thug’s vile cruelty — which took place over at least six months — was finally exposed after concern for the dogs was reported to the Scottish SPCA.
Investigators found multiple videos on Carter’s phone showing him and others goading their dogs to fight with foxes and drag badgers from their setts.
One piece of footage showed faceless individuals using spades to hit a doomed badger, as other participants in the barbaric “sport” urged them to allow the dogs to finish it off.
In another sickening video, a badger is pinned in place while dogs attack it.
Carter refused to seek vet treatment for his injured pets despite them suffering serious injuries in battles with badgers.
An undercover Scottish SPCA special investigations unit officer said: “The footage and pictures we uncovered are gut-wrenching.
“The animals he set his dogs on would have endured terrible suffering before they were killed.”
Carter’s dogs, a Patterdale/Jack Russell cross called Laddie, and lurchers Max and Murphy, have now been successfully rehomed.
During the investigation officers uncovered conversations between Carter and a pal discussing animal fighting as well as the result of a recent hunt.
Items associated with animal fighting, including a hunting lamp and used nets, were seized in a raid on his home.
The probe revealed that callous Carter regularly made Laddie, Max and Murphy fight wild animals and the dogs had also suffered severe injuries.
The undercover officer said: “Whilst his dogs appeared to be in good general health when we searched his property, Laddie had severe facial injuries consistent with animal fighting and Max had scarring to the jaw area and his leg.
“On further examination, Laddie and Max were found to have scarring and deformities within the mouth and nose consistent with previous severe traumatic injuries.
“Multiple videos of animal fighting were found on Carter’s personal devices, featuring two lurchers matching Max and Murphy’s description. All of the videos found were incredibly disturbing to view and the animals involved were clearly in great distress and suffered the most horrific end to their lives.
“Over the animals’ screams, voices can be heard in the footage goading and encouraging the dogs to tear the animals apart.”
The investigator said: “Badger baiting and animal fighting are far more common than people would think and anyone engaging in this barbaric activity is inflicting unimaginable pain on the animals involved.”
Carter is a known associate of Sean Ward, who was jailed for seven months in 2018 and banned from keeping animals for 20 years after his activities were discovered by the Scottish SPCA.
Carter pleaded guilty to keeping or training dogs for the purpose of an animal fight between February 6 and July 3 last year, contrary to the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006.
Sentencing: 225-hour community payback order; 6-month curfew; one-year’s supervision. Banned from keeping animals for 20 years.
#TheList Liam Patterson, born c. 1993, of Eastfield Road, Dumfries DG1 – trained three dogs for animal fighting
Liam Patterson was found in possession of videos on his personal devices showing his dogs fighting and being trained to fight. Dog fighting paraphernalia and photos were also found at his home.
Patterson pleaded guilty to training dogs for, causing and taking part in animal fighting. This is contrary to the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006 under Section 23 (1) (a) (2) (e).
He also admitted to being in possession of an American pit bull terrier which is a banned breed under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991.
Two of the dogs involved in the case were Staffordshire bull terriers named Zeus and Gucci and the American pit bull was called Bubba. All three were signed in to the care of the Scottish SPCA. Sadly Bubba had to be put to sleep because he was a banned breed.
An undercover Scottish SPCA special investigations unit inspector said, “We received information from the League Against Cruel Sports that Patterson was keeping and training dogs for the purposes of dog fighting and currently had fighting dogs at his home address.
“The intelligence we received also stated there was dog fighting equipment, books and gear at his home address.
“Due to immediate concerns for the welfare of the dogs, we obtained a search warrant and gained entry to the property where we found the three dogs. All appeared to be in good body condition.
“At the location, we found numerous items relating to dog fighting including weighted collars which are used as a training aid to strengthen and build endurance.
“Multiple videos of his own dogs fighting were found on Patterson’s personal devices. In many, he can be heard shouting encouragement in the background. Other footage discovered included other, unknown, dogs fighting and dogs with injuries consistent with fighting.
“Other videos showed Gucci, Zeus and Bubba being put through a vigorous training regime in line with dog fighting practice.
“Messages were found between Patterson and an unknown individual discussing plans to attend and enter in dog fights and their dogs’ ability to fight to the death. Communication was also discovered outlining Patterson’s desire to buy and sell American pit bulls.
“Over the course of this investigation, it became clear that Patterson had a fascination, verging on obsession, with dog fighting and breeds relating to the American pit bull. How he could hold these dogs in such high regard and let them fight each other with little regard for their welfare is very difficult to comprehend.
“We are very pleased with the sentence that has been handed to Patterson and we hope this is seen as a deterrent to other, active dog fighters.
“Dog fighting is such a well-guarded and underground crime, it’s extremely difficult to detect and investigate. We are proud to be leading the way using intelligence and expertise to bring these people to justice.
“The Scottish SPCA Special Investigation Unit is dedicated to combatting animal fighting. If anyone has any information pertaining to individuals who are involved in this activity, we would urge them to contact our confidential animal helpline on 03000 999 999.”
Martin Sims, director of investigations for the League Against Cruel Sports said: “We’re very proud that it was our intelligence work that has been the basis for this conviction, but what this case serves to show to the public is how abhorrent the world of dog fighting is and why the courts need to have more sentencing powers to properly punish those involved.
“In England and Wales legislation is moving through parliament to see maximum custodial sentences for animal cruelty increased from six months to five years, but we are today calling on the Scottish Parliament to stop consulting on increasing sentences for animal cruelty and get on with passing the legislation that will be a proper deterrent to people like Liam Patterson who inflict pain on animals just to make money.”
Sentencing: 300-hour community payback order; 162-day restriction of liberty order. Banned from owning a dog for 15 years.
#TheList farrier Michael Francis McNamara, born c. 1979, of Island Gate Stables, Saltash PL12 6RJ – violently attacked a horse to make the animal show him respect
An experienced farrier kicked and punched a horse and jabbed him several times with a metal object because he wanted the animal to “show him some respect”.
McNamara pleaded guilty to one charge of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal.
Prosecutor Lindi Meyer, on behalf of the RSPCA, said the incident happened in the presence of a child at some stables in the south east Cornwall area on the afternoon of January 4, 2019.
McNamara is a fourth generation farrier with 24 years of experience. He was clipping a Bay Gelding horse’s hooves when he “lost his temper” and began beating the animal.
In CCTV shown to the court, McNamara could be seen harshly picking up the horse’s legs, kicking and punching him and also jabbing him with a metal tool several times, all while shouting angrily at the terrified animal.
The horse attempted several times to swing away from McNamara, but was unable to as he was being held by a rope.
A vet concluded that the attack caused the horse pain lasting several days, with injuries including bruising and inflammation, as well as fear, anxiety and a future lack of trust.
“The horse was showing signs of fear and anxiety,” Ms Meyer said. “He offered the horse no reassurance. The horse was in fear and not understanding what was expected.”
In total McNamara punched the horse once, kicked him twice and struck him 18 times with the metal object, connecting each time.
In interview, McNamara admitted he was “heavy handed” and said the horse was “trying his patience”.
Ms Meyer said: “He said his bad back was causing him pain that day, and that he was just trying to get the horse to show him some respect.
“He didn’t agree with the vet’s opinion that the horse was fearful, but agreed he overreacted and lost his rag.”
Defending McNamara, who has no previous convictions, Tracey Baker said: “Hindsight is a wonderful thing and looking back at what happened, this defendant shouldn’t have gone to work that day.
“He made his decision and he has to live with that. He made full and frank admissions and he has been nothing but very genuinely remorseful.
“His prime concern is for his family and the impact on his father’s reputation, his father is very well known in the industry.
“As I say he has no explanation for his behaviour. It is deplorable, he knows that, and he is thoroughly ashamed of himself. This court case and the consequences are going to stay with him for a very long time.”
A number of yards have withdrawn McNamara’s services, meaning he is no longer working full-time.
Sentencing McNamara, District Judge Diane Baker said it was “gratuitous violence” on his part.
Aggravating factors were the presence of a child, abuse of a position of trust and the length of the beating, she said.
Judge Baker told McNamara: “I’ve read a very moving letter from your partner talking about you as a man and not just a farrier.
“You also deserve credit for working 24 years following a profession that’s important to you, and satisfying a large number of clients for a long period of time.
“All your references talk about the caring way you dealt with horses, and I have no doubt you are very remorseful and had unusual things to deal with in your personal life [at the time].
“But you are a professional man with a professional responsibility and despite that, you didn’t treat that pony in the way you were supposed to. I have seen frankly quite gratuitous violence while you were in a professional position.
“You should have calmed that pony. You kicked, punched and jabbed it numerous times with a weapon. I’ve seen the CCTV and the pony is simply standing there, clearly extremely frightened and it can’t get away.”
Judge Baker said she was considering sending McNamara to prison but took several factors into account, including because his actions were “severely out of character”.
Sentencing: six-month community order, including a curfew barring him from leaving his home between the hours of 7pm and 5am. Total of £385 costs and charges. Disqualified from working with equines for a period of three years, unless under adult supervision with the right of appeal after two.
#TheList Jacob Peter Marshall, born 14/02/1996, of 27 Harrowins Farm Drive, Queensbury, Bradford BD13 1DQ – killed his pet dog Lucy by stabbing her seven times and shooting her three times in the head with an airgun
Marshall, who is originally from Burnley Road, Sowerby Bridge, Calderdale, West Yorks, videoed some of his attack on German Shepherd cross Lucy (pictured) and sent the footage to his ex-partner.
RSPCA investigators found the knife Marshall used on Lucy covered in blood in a locked safe in his house.
A neighbour of Marshall’s commented on the CLUK FB page that she had witnessed him beating Lucy on a regular basis and had reported him to the authorities.
It has also been alleged that Marshall – apparently a drug and alcohol abuser – had killed a dog previously by deliberately running her over in his car.
Sentencing: Jailed for 26 weeks. Fine to be paid. Five-year restraining order. Banned from keeping an animal for life.