Tag Archives: West Midlands

West Midlands

Biddulph, Staffordshire: Andrew Beech

#TheList Andrew William Beech, born 31/05/1986 of 64a Kingsfield Road, Biddulph ST8 6DR – subjected his pet dog to repeated violent attacks over several months, finally killing her

Dog killer Andy Beech from Biddulph, Staffordshire, and victim Millie - a grey Staffordshire bull terrier
Dog killer Andy Beech from Biddulph, Staffordshire, and victim Millie – a grey Staffordshire bull terrier

Neighbours of Andrew Beech had witnessed him screaming and swearing at his blue Staffordshire bull terrier, Millie, many times in the months leading up to her violent death on 19 August 2019.

Dog killer Andy Beech from Biddulph, Staffordshire,
Beech, who also pleaded guilty to assaulting an ex-partner, is banned from keeping animals indefinitely following his brutal killing of a defenceless dog

One witness described seeing Beech throw Millie’s bed into the communal yard and yelling at her aggressively. He then kicked her hard, causing her to cry out. The witness tried to confront him but Beech disappeared inside his flat before she could do so.

Dog killer Andy Beech from Biddulph, Staffordshire,

On the evening of Millie’s death horrified neighbours heard Beech yelling “you shit all over the flat” followed by sounds of a dog in severe distress, crying and screaming.

On August 21, Beech wrote the following on Facebook: “my Millie moo died, completely shocked, RIP”.

Rumours emerged on social media that Beech had killed Millie and one local animal lover, Nicola, decided to go to his house to confront him. Beech told Nicola that Millie had died from natural causes and said he had buried her body in local woods. However, Nicola had noticed bloodstains on the walls of his hallway and was unconvinced by his lies. She went through his bins and was horrified to discover remnants of a blood-soaked dog bed.

Dog killer Andy Beech from Biddulph, Staffordshire,

Police were called but were reluctant to investigate so Nicola, determined to get justice for Millie, decided to take matters into her own hands.

She posted an appeal for information on Facebook and was soon contacted by someone who said they would show her where Beech had buried Millie’s body – actually in a small plot in the car park to the rear of his flat.

Nicola took a shovel and found Millie’s battered body in a cardboard box. She was wrapped in what remained of her dog bed.

The box contained a message that said “Millie, I’m going to miss you every day” with dog biscuits, and a deflated ball.

Nicola contacted the RSPCA who collected Millie’s remains and took her to a vet for examination. There it was discovered that she had died from a blunt trauma. She had several other traumatic injuries including a punctured liver and lung, a broken hip and internal bleeding. Almost every rib was broken.

Some injuries were older and had been inflicted on her months earlier, proving that this attack had not been a one-off.

The RSPCA prosecuted Beech but he denied the charges and continued to scream about his innocence to his friends and family and publicly on Facebook.

Faced with overwhelming evidence against him, however, Beech eventually pleaded guilty to two charges of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal as well as harassing an ex-partner.

The court heard Beechhad lost his job at a builders’ merchant following the social media backlash in the wake of Millie’s death.

Dog killer Andy Beech from Biddulph, Staffordshire,

Beech’s lawyer, Peter Howland of Turnocks Defence Solicitors, told the court that his client became frustrated with Millie following a change in his working hours causing him to be away most of the day and that “he kicked her because of her behaviour”.

Speaking about the fatal attack Howland said that his client “kicked the dog a number of times and, as a result of that, it died within a matter of minutes. He was shocked and didn’t know what to do.”

Howland claimed that Beech had been in the Army and had served in Basra “which has had an effect on his mental health.”

This cut little ice with the judge who told Beech: “You could not cope with owning the dog but you made excuses – it would not have taken a genius to give the dog to the RSPCA.

“Instead you subjected the dog to cruelty on a regular basis. This was not a one-off – and then you kicked this dog to death.”

Sentencing: jailed for 24 weeks and banned indefinitely from keeping animals.

Stoke Sentinel

Silverdale, Newcastle-under-Lyme: Daniel Lahey

#TheList Daniel Christopher Lahey, born 10/04/1991, of 25 Duke Place, Silverdale, Newcastle-under-Lyme ST5 6PE but with links to Wolverhampton – locked a rescue dog in a shed to starve to death

PIctured is cruel chef Daniel Lahey who left rescue Staffy Rex to starve to death - after locking him in a shed
Cruel chef Daniel Lahey left rescue Staffy Rex to starve to death – after locking him in a shed

Callous Daniel Lahey, who has a long list of previous criminal convictions including at least one for domestic violence, admitted causing unnecessary suffering to Staffordshire bull terrier Rex.

Lahey had provided a foster home for the dog, after completing a charity’s home checks. But months later charity volunteers discovered Rex’s starved body in a black bag.

The chef told RSPCA investigators that he had not buried the rescue dog because he could not afford a spade.

PIctured is cruel chef Daniel Lahey who left rescue Staffy Rex to starve to death - after locking him in a shed

North Staffordshire Justice Centre heard Lahey took Rex home on December 1, 2018. For the first few months, Lahey sent the charity regular updates, including photographs and videos of Rex’s progress. But the charity was later unable to contact the defendant and then received a call from a relative to collect Rex’s body on April 2, 2010.

Vets discovered that the rescue dog was emaciated – weighing just 12.35 kilograms. A post-mortem examination gave the cause of death as emaciation.

The vet’s report stated: “There is a strong possibility that he was left without food for a few days. During this time he would be hungry, potentially cold at night as he was confined to a shed, and possibly psychologically distressed as scratch marks were found in the shed along with soiling.”

PIctured is cruel chef Daniel Lahey who left rescue Staffy Rex to starve to death - after locking him in a shed

Lahey told the RSPCA that Rex had struggled to put on weight and that he had left the dog with someone else when he went away for a few weeks last March. He said he returned to find Rex dead.

Following the case, RSPCA inspector Charlotte Melvin said: “It is horrendous to think of the suffering which poor Rex went through during the period leading up to his death.

“The vet’s report states he had been left in the shed for a number of days at least as scratch marks could be found near the door as Rex had desperately tried to get out.

“There is never an excuse not to feed a pet or seek veterinary treatment – if people are in need of help there are also plenty of animal charities that can help or in this case the animal rescue centre where Rex had come from would have taken him back.”

A spokesman for Pebbles Legacy, which placed Rex with Lahey, said: “We are so upset about what has happened to Rex and the suffering he must have endured. He was fostered by Lahey so he could have allowed us to take him back at any time if he was struggling but there was no indication of this at all.

“We carried out a number of home checks on Lahey which he passed and he sent us weekly updates, including videos and photographs, showing how well Rex was doing. There was even one of him looking so happy playing in the snow.

“We have no idea why this changed and it was awful to go the property and find a dog who we had cared for dead in such awful circumstances.

“It has been terribly upsetting for all our volunteers.”

Sentencing: ordered to pay a total of £850. Banned from keeping animals for life.

Stoke Sentinel

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Additional information: we are advised that Daniel Lahey may now be living in Wolverhampton WV10 postcode.

Boldmere, Sutton Coldfield: Louise Lawford

#TheList Louise Lawford, born c. 1970, of Eastern Road, Sutton Coldfield B73 5NU – for animal welfare offences relating to her pet-sitting business Pawford Paws

Pictured is professional dog sitter Louise Lawford who claimed five dogs in her care ran off after being let off the lead in Hopwas Woods, Tamworth
Professional dog sitter Louise Lawford claimed five dogs in her care ran off after being let off the lead in Hopwas Woods, Tamworth

In June 2019 five dogs, who became known as the ‘Tamworth Five’, went missing while in the care of Birmingham-based pet-sitting Louise Lawford. Lawford claimed that the dogs – Ralph, Charlie, Pablo, Maggie and Jack – had run off in Hopwas Woods near Tamworth, but no trace of them has ever been found.

The Tamworth Five - the five dogs that went missing in the care of professional dog sitter Louise Lawford
No trace of the Tamworth Five has ever been found

In court, prosecutors rejected Lawford’s version of events but were unable to prove what had happened that day. Charges relating to the pets’ disappearance therefore had to be dropped.

Lawford was called a “dog killer” by someone in the public gallery, which the judge described as “outrageous”.

The court heard that Lawford had been placed in a position of trust and left customers anguished.

The fate of the Tamworth Five remains a mystery.

Professional dog sitter Louise Lawford is pictured outside court

Some of the pets’ owners were in court to witness Lawford being sentenced.

“The dogs were never found, despite being chipped and there being extensive searches,” said Jonathan Barker, prosecuting, adding he did not accept Lawford’s account that the dogs got lost in the woods, but could not prove otherwise.

Speaking after the hearing, the dogs’ owners – who say they “know” their pets are dead – said they would take civil action against Lawford.

“It’s a positive outcome because the court just did not believe the dogs were lost,” one owner Becky Parsons said. “It just doesn’t make sense.”

She said the past six months had been “an emotional rollercoaster” and that she was so upset at losing her dogs, Pablo and Maggie, that she “couldn’t face going back” to her house and has had to move.

The case, brought by Birmingham City Council, has attracted much attention on social media, and Lawford was called a “dog killer” when she left court briefly before sentencing.

Pictured is professional dog sitter Louise Lawford who claimed five dogs in her care ran off after being let off the lead in Hopwas Woods, Tamworth
Lawford was prosecuted for animal welfare offences unrelated to the disappearance of the five dogs

The former dog walker, who has already had her licence revoked by Birmingham City Council, admitted breaching conditions including limits on the number of dogs she boarded at any one time, boarding dogs from different homes, as well as failing to seek treatment for the dog with a skin condition.

Lawford’s defence said she expressed “extreme and continuing remorse for what happened to the dogs”.

“This is well-intentioned but incompetent care,” her legal representative Tom Walking said.

Lawford apologised for the pain owners of the missing dogs have suffered

Birmingham City Council welcomed the sentence, calling the case “unusual and upsetting”.

“Only Mrs Lawford knows the truth of what happened to the five beloved pets placed in her care,” said Vicky Allwood, the council’s senior animal welfare officer.

Her sentence means she will have to give up her elderly pet labrador.

Sentencing: fined £800 and ordered to pay costs of £2,616 and a victim surcharge of £80. Banned from owning dogs for five years.

BBC News
BirminghamLive

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

Moseley, Birmingham: Elizabeth O’Sullivan

#TheList Elizabeth Mary O’Sullivan, born 21/05/1967, previously of Sandford Road, Moseley, Birmingham B13 (current address tbc) – starved her three cats to death – forcing one to feed off the bodies of the others to survive.

Elizabeth O'Sullivan left three cats to starve to death in an empty flat. This is the sole survivor but he had to be put to sleep due to his poor condition
This emaciated cat was found barely alive in Elizabeth O’Sullivan’s filthy flat in Moseley, Birmingham. Sadly he was too poorly to be saved.

Elizabeth Mary O’Sullivan left her pets to die when she moved out of her ‘filthy’ flat.

The 52-year-old moved from her home in February or March 2019, but it was up to three months before local authority housing officers discovered the pets.

The dismembered bodies of two cats were found on the living room floor, while a third was found barely alive on May 16,

The officers alerted the RSPCA to their horrific find and Inspector Jonathan Radcliffe was sent to the scene.

Two of the cats had died from dehydration and starvation, but a third was found collapsed in a critical condition having survived off the remains of his fellow pets.

He took the cat for emergency treatment but the vet made the decision to put the pet down to end his suffering.

O’Sullivan was traced to a nearby address ten days later and was arrested by police, though she failed to appear in court on two occasions.

She was tried and found guilty in her absence on November 15, 2019, of one animal welfare offence.

O’Sullivan was arrested two days later and brought before the court for sentencing on Monday, November 18.

Inspector Radcliffe said: “The flat was filthy and the remains of two dismembered cats were on the living room floor.

“There was also a cat which was barely alive collapsed nearby.

“It appears this cat had survived for weeks without food and water by eating the remains of the other two pets as they had died from starvation and dehydration.

“There was no food and water in the flat – but the toilet seat had been left up so the cats may have been able to drink from this, however, as they became weaker they would have been unable to access this water.

“It is incomprehensible to think the suffering these pets must have endured and how terrified they must have been for such a long period of time before dying of starvation.

“It must have been awful for the remaining cat to watch as the others died in front of him and then he was forced to eat their remains in a desperate attempt to survive. Sadly this cat was too ill to recover from his ordeal.”

Sentencing: jailed for 20 weeks; ordered to pay a £150 victim surcharge. Banned from keeping all animals for life.

BirminghamLive

Pelsall, West Midlands: Amos Price

#TheList Amos Price, born 10/08/1989, of 24a Trevor Road, Pelsall, Walsall WS3 5DB – encouraged his dog to maul a neighbour’s cat to death

Cat killer Amos Price from Walsall, West Midlands, UK
West Midlands Police mugshot of evil cat killer and career criminal Amos Price who has a history of violence and criminal damage

Footage of gypsy Amos Price setting his dog on eight-year-old cat Cleo on 23 October, 2019, was shared widely online after it was released in a bid to identify him.

The 30-year-old admitted causing unnecessary suffering to an animal.

CCTV captured gypsy thug Amos Price setting his dog on friendly cat Cleo

Price, described by police as “a yob”, was also banned from keeping animals for life at Walsall Magistrates’ Court.

The crime was discovered when Cleo’s owner, Gary Truefitt, checked his home’s CCTV footage after he became suspicious that his pet had not come back inside.

The horrific footage shows Price approaching the home with his lurcher-type dog, which he then pulled towards the cat, triggering the brutal mauling.

In a statement, Mr Truefitt said: “I feel as if there is a big part of my life missing.

“I don’t want to go home because I know Cleo is not there.”

He previously described Cleo as “a daft cat in lots of ways” but a companion who “will be very much missed”.

Cat killer Amos Price from Walsall, West Midlands, UK

Price was arrested by West Midlands Police following a six-day manhunt sparked by the release of footage by the RSPCA.

West Midlands Police said the attack was “completely mindless, senseless and beyond any justification”.

“As a police force and community we have all been appalled by the sickening actions of Price.”

The unemployed father of two, who has recent convictions for criminal damage and assault, claimed he was drunk at the time.

His defence said he was “extremely ashamed and sorry” and that his family had received death threats after the footage was shared on social media.

Sentencing: 18 weeks in jail. Banned from keeping animals for life.

BBC News
ITV News

Bell Green, Coventry: Darren Haywood

#TheList Darren ‘Daz’ Haywood, born c. 1982, of Chaloner Close, Bell Green, Coventry CV2 1UE – allowed his two dogs to become severely underweight and failed to get treatment for their skin condition

Animal abuser Darren 'Daz' Haywood of Coventry and his neglected dogs Tyson and Missy

Haywood was found guilty in his absence of three animal welfare offences, including causing unnecessary suffering.

The court heard how his Staffies, named Tyson and Missy, were severely underweight and suffering an untreated skin condition which had led to fur loss.

A concerned member of the public reported the matter to the RSPCA and Inspector Helen Smith was sent to investigate on March 4, 2019.

She found the dogs at Haywood’s address and could see immediately they both were underweight and appeared to have fur loss caused by a skin condition – they also smelt from the infection.

She was given permission to take them for veterinary treatment where the vet concluded both pets had suffered unnecessarily.
He found Tyson, aged 8, weighed 14.5kgs when a normal weight would have been 18-20kgs. His bones were protruding and he was constantly scratching due to a skin infection which had led to fur loss.

Missy, also aged 8, was also underweight at 15.2 kgs and again was constantly scratching due to a severe skin infection. Both dogs have now recovered in RSPCA care and will be available for re-homing soon.

Inspector Helen Smith said: “It was clear from the smell of the dogs and their appearance that both had a severe infection and they were constantly scratching.

“They were also clearly underweight as many of their bones were protruding.

“There is never an excuse not to feed your pets or to leave them suffering when they should be taken immediately to a vets.

“Many vets will offer a payment plan to help spread the cost and there are charities who can help with vet bills.”

Haywood failed to appear for a previous hearing and was sentenced in his absence. He was later arrested but failed to appear for a sentencing hearing. A warrant was issued for his arrest and he was finally brought before the court for sentencing.

In mitigation, the court was told Haywood suffered financial hardship.

Sentencing: 12-month community order with four-month curfew; 15-day Rehabilitation Activity Requirement; ordered to pay a £85 victim surcharge. Banned from keeping animals for five years.

Coventry Observer

Kenilworth, Warwickshire: Tiffany Guest

#TheList Tiffany Guest, born 25/12/1989, previously of Winn Close in Kenilworth, Warwickshire and with links to Washbourne Road, Leamington Spa CV31 2LD – left her pets to starve to death after she moved out of her flat and locked them inside.

Tiffany Guest from Kenilworth left two cats and a dog to starve to death in an empty flat. Only the dog survived.
Tiffany Guest from Kenilworth left two cats and a dog to starve to death in an empty flat. Only the dog survived.

Guest cruelly abandoned her cats Reggie and Ronnie and dog Kray in a property before concerned neighbours alerted police 10 days later.

Tiffany Guest from Kenilworth left two cats and a dog to starve to death in an empty flat. Only the dog survived.
The dog, Kray, survived by eating the remains of a cat that had starved to death

Officers forced entry into the flat in Kenilworth, Warwickshire, and discovered the emaciated Staffordshire bull terrier-type dog and the body of a starved cat on May 30, 2017.

Shockingly, a court heard how Kray had only survived by eating Ronnie after running out of contents scavenged from the bin.

The RSPCA were alerted and took Kray into care for treatment while an investigation was launched.

Tiffany Guest from Kenilworth left two cats and a dog to starve to death in an empty flat. Only the dog survived.

Guest was traced to near her work, which was only a mile away from the flat where she abandoned the pets.

But she left the country in a bid to evade justice after being told she faced animal welfare offences and was later traced to Malta.

Guest returned to the UK 13 months ago and was arrested by border control for the outstanding warrant.

She was brought before magistrates in relation to the animal cruelty charges and was bailed to re-appear at another date – but again fled to Malta.

Tiffany Guest from Kenilworth left two cats and a dog to starve to death in an empty flat. Only the dog survived.
Horrific conditions inside the flat where Tiffany Guest left her pets to starve to death

On October 10, 2019, Guest was again arrested after she re-entered the country and was remanded in custody until her case at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court.

Pictures released by the RSPCA show the emaciated body of poor pooch Kray and the remains of Reggie strewn across the untidy flat.

Other heartbreaking images show how the animals had trawled leftover food from the bin in a desperate bid to survive.

Tiffany Guest from Kenilworth left two cats and a dog to starve to death in an empty flat. Only the dog survived.
The dog, who is now known as Bobby, has recovered in the RSPCA’s care

RSPCA Inspector Boris Lasserre said after the case: “It is incomprehensible to think the suffering these pets must have endured and how terrified they must have been for such a long period of time before the cats died of starvation.

“It must have been terrible for Kray to watch as the cats died in front of him.

“There was evidence the pets had scavenged to try and feed themselves as the bin contents were all over the kitchen floor.

“Just 14 days later, by being fed properly in RSPCA care he made an amazing recovery with a significant increase in weight.

“Warwickshire Police officers did an amazing job in finding Kray, who they renamed Bobby, just in time as he would not have survived much longer.

“He is a lovely gentle dog and made a remarkable recovery in RSPCA care and has now been re-homed.”

In mitigation, the court was told she suffered from depression at the time of the incident.

Sentencing: 18 weeks in jail. Ordered to pay £372 costs and charges. Banned from keeping all animals for 15 years.

Mirror

Wyken, Coventry: Adam and Shelbie Cook

#TheList Adam Cook, born c. 1992, and wife Shelbie Cook, born c.1996. of Attoxhall Road, Wyken, Coventry CV2 – allowed their pet dog to become severely underweight and failed to get treatment for her skin condition

Animal abusers Adam and Shelbie Cook from Coventry, UK

Adam and Shelbie Cooke pleaded guilty to three charges under the Animal Welfare Act in relation to their two-year-old dog named Sassy.

American bulldog Sassy was starved and neglected by Adam and Shelbie Cook
American bulldog Sassy was starved and neglected by Adam and Shelbie Cook

The American bulldog had fur loss over her face, legs and ears and smelt of yeast due to the nasty skin infection. She was so underfed her ribs, hips and spine could be seen through her skin and her nails were very overgrown. She weighed just 19.3kg when her normal weight should have been 30kg.

In mitigation the couple claimed they had been in financial hardship.

Animal abusers Adam and Shelbie Cook from Coventry, UK

Sassy’s ordeal only came to an end when RSPCA inspector Louise Marston visited the couple’s home following a report from a concerned member of the public in March 2019.

She immediately saw that Sassy was suffering with a bad skin condition and was severely underweight.

Animal abuser Adam Cook from Coventry, UK

Adam Cook allowed Sassy to be taken by Inspector Marston for veterinary treatment while an investigation took place, but refused to sign her over into RSPCA care.

But Sassy was taken into the possession of West Midlands Police under the Animal Welfare Act after a veterinary examination suggested she had suffered unnecessarily.

Following an interview with Inspector Marston a few days later, Adam Cook agreed to sign Sassy over into RSPCA care.

Abused dog Sassy looking healthy and happy
Sassy has recovered in the care of the RSPCA

Inspector Marston said: “As soon as I took Sassy to the vets I offered her water which she gulped down and the vet concluded she was borderline dehydrated. I also offered her food and she was ravenous.

“Her skin was in a terrible condition and her itching had caused fur loss and made some skin thicken, which suggests long-term irritation.

“She was also severely underweight but there was dog food in the house.

“The vet concluded that she had suffered in this way for weeks to months which must have been awful for her.”

Inspector Marston added: “There is never any excuse for not taking pets to a vet if they require treatment. Many vets will offer a payment plan to help spread the cost and there are charities who can help with vet bills.

“I am delighted to say that in the care of the RSPCA Sassy has had her skin condition treated and is back to a normal weight and has now been rehomed.”

Sentencing:
Both were given a 12-month community order involving 80 hours of unpaid work and a 15-day rehabilitation activity requirement. Ordered to pay £335 costs and charges each. Banned from keeping dogs for five years.

CoventryLive

Hinderwell, Saltburn-By-The-Sea, North Yorkshire: Jamie Cole

#TheList Jamie Chapman Cole, born 27/09/1996, of 4 Pond Farm Close, Saltburn-by-the-Sea TS13 5HJ – for the starvation and neglect of his cocker spaniel dog

Convicted dog abuser Jamie Cole from Saltburn by the Sea, and his "shockingly thin" cocker spaniel, Blue
Jamie Cole’s dog Blue was described as shockingly thin, but the gamekeeper was not banned from keeping animals.

Vets estimated that gamekeeper Jamie Cole had neglected and starved his 10-month-old dog, known as Blue, for three to four weeks.

On 4 February 2019 Cole, who at the time was based at a farm near Minsterley in Shropshire, took Blue to the Malthouse Veterinary Group in Shrewsbury complaining of diarrhoea.

Vets there found her to have sunken eyes, a low body temperature, weighing only 6kgs and unable to stand on her own for long.

RSPCA prosecutor Roger Price told the court that a healthy body temperature for dogs would be between 38 and 39.2 degrees and the vet who assessed Blue used a thermometer that would only go as low as 32, which indicated that her temperature was at or below that threshold.

Blue was taken in and placed on a bed with a heat lamp to try and raise her body temperature, and ate “ravenously” when fed, Mr Price said.

Blue’s condition improved and she was seen on February 6 by another vet at Taylor & Marshall.

That vet described Blue as “shockingly thin” and said she was likely to have been in her condition for three to four weeks.

She had been suffering with a “large amount” of roundworms as well, Mr Price said.

Her condition continued to improve in the vets’ care and she gained weight.

The court heard that Cole was an experienced handler of dogs, and that several other dogs he had responsibility for at the time were healthy and happy.

Cole’s representative Georgia Griffiths told the magistrates: “This is a man who’s incredibly upset with what’s happened. He feels terrible in himself for letting it happen, and letting the dog down and himself down.”

Being a gamekeeper was a “lifelong dream” and he had always had a good relationship with dogs, she said, but after his failure to care for Blue he has given up his other dogs and his job voluntarily and moved to be with his family in Yorkshire.

“His dream has been squashed by his own actions but he wasn’t malicious, and he didn’t do it on purpose.”

Chair of the bench Lesley Thirlwell said: “You were proactive in giving up your job, your animals and changing your lifestyle completely.

“We feel that that was punishment over and above the punishment the courts were going to make.

“You have shown remorse and already changed your lifestyle, and that has convinced us you will not be acquiring any dog in the near future.”

Sentencing: community order including 80 hours of unpaid work; ordered to pay £485. Deprivation order on Blue but no ban on keeping animals was imposed by the court.

Shropshire Star