#TheList Jackie Hurst, born c. 1961, of 103 Southbourne Avenue, Walsall WS2 9TE and Katie Hurst, born c. 1988, of 39 Manor Road, Walsall WS2 9PU – failed to seek immediate treatment for pet dogs infested with worms and suffering skin disease
Two of four puppies belonging to Jacqueline and Katie Hurst died as they did not get veterinary care needed and the pair instead tried to treat the pets themselves. They admitted five offences of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal.
Issues with mange and the eye conditions of the three-month-old rottweilers being looked after at two addresses in Forrester Street, Walsall, were raised after they finally took them for vet treatment.
Once the RSPCA became involved they had concerns about an adult rottweiler dog called Lady, four, and a Staffordshire bull terrier suffering similar ailments. Jacqueline Hurst’s partner Stanley Bates (pictured) was later convicted for neglect of those two dogs.
Mr Nick Sutton, prosecuting for the RSPCA, said: “These animals were suffering from a cocktail of ailments so serious they caused the death of two puppies. These people are not fit to have animals.”
The pair pleaded guilty to the charges.
Sentencing: £250 costs each. Jacqueline Hurst – supervision and curfew order. Katie Hurst – 120 hours of unpaid work plus supervision order. Both were disqualified from keeping animals for life.
#TheList Alexander Spence and Sheena Spence (also known as Sheena Percival) of West Bromwich, and more recently Hopes Avenue, Dalmellington, Ayr KA6 7RN – battered a Scottie dog nearly to death before throwing him off a 5th floor balcony
An older case but this unbelievably callous couple NEED to be included in our database. Both are now in their early 70s and, sadly, it would appear that neither has popped their clogs yet.
The Spences were looking after black Scottish terrier Laddie while his elderly owner Nancy Howells was critically ill in hospital.
They told the RSPCA they had lashed out after Laddie bit Mrs Spence on the ankle.
The couple, who were drunk at the time, admitted hitting the dog between two and three times each, causing him to hit a door, before Mrs Spence threw him from the balcony of their flat.
Laddie suffered bruising to the left side of his body, internal bleeding and injuries to internal organs, including a torn liver and kidney damage.
A veterinary surgeon said his injuries were consistent with being beaten rather than a fall and that he was probably “dead or dying” when thrown from the balcony. He estimated that Laddie had undergone a 10-minute ordeal of pain before dying.
Mrs Howells’ daughter told the RSPCA how she received a “curious call” from Mr Spence in which he said: “Hello Pat, the dog has bitten me and Sheena… do you want me to finish him off over the balcony?”
Later, Mrs Spence told Mrs Howells’ son-in-law in a telephone call: “The dog will be OK but that is if he doesn’t come by an accident first.”
When Mrs Howells’ grandson arrived at the couple’s house the following day to collect the dog Sheena Spence handed over the collar and lead, telling him the animal had run away.
Laddie was found by a neighbour who called the council, which then alerted the RSPCA.
Mrs Howells died later the same month and her family said outside court they were never able to tell her what happened to her dog.
Sentence: jailed for 12 weeks and disqualified from keeping animals for life. That sentence was later reduced to 10 weeks suspended for a year and their disqualification order reduced to just 12 months
#TheList Rose Jay, born c. 1949, of Monksfield Farm, Monksfield Lane, Newland, Malvern WR13 5BB – found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to a chestnut mare.
Jay’s pregnant horse, called Sunshine, was found emaciated and being kept, along with others, in a Christmas tree plantation.
A representative from World Horse Welfare (formerly ILPH) visited Jay’s farm in 2006 and saw the mare in poor condition in a field with some hay but no water.
She visited again a few weeks later and found the horses were without grass, hay or water.
On March 15, 2007, the woman discovered the horses had been moved to a Christmas tree plantation.
Nicholas Sutton, prosecuting on behalf of the RSPCA, said: “The mare appeared to have deteriorated.
“There was no hay or grass in the plantation but there was straw.”
A few days later, the woman returned and was shocked to see the mare was emaciated, with protruding spine and ribs.
The RSPCA was contacted and a vet subsequently said the animal, which also had lice and worms, had been suffering for several weeks.
Representing herself, Jay said the mare had since given birth to a healthy foal and had absorbed the weight to put into the foal.
She said she moved the horses to the plantation after an attempted theft and was £30,000 in debt.
She said her other horses were healthy and she intended to appeal against her conviction.
The RSPCA’s chief inspector for Worcestershire, Lee Hopgood, welcomed the sentence imposed on Jay, saying: “I feel it adequately reflects the seriousness of the offence and Mrs Jay’s clear inability to adequately care for horses or take advice.”
Sentencing: 12-week prison sentence suspended for 13 months. Total of £3,150 costs including vets’ bills. Banned from keeping horses and ponies for five years (expired May 2013).
#TheList Matthew Alex Corfield, born 05/11/1988, of Garden Village, Highley, Bridgnorth, Shropshire WV16 6HN and Alex John Lister, born 22/09/1989, of Bickford Lane, Teignmouth TA14 8QT – attacked a horse with a meat cleaver, leaving her so badly injured she had to be put down.
On Friday 13th April 2007, a 19-year-old piebald mare, known as Maggie, was attacked at Essington Hall Farm, Essington, South Staffordshire, by drunken youths Matthew Corfield and Alex Lister then of Wednesfield, Wolverhampton. A third youth – Anthony Ronald Hinsley, born 07/09/1988, of Fryer Close, Wolverhampton WV11 3JD, was also initially charged, but the case against him was later dropped.
The trio, who had been drinking in local woods with two other youths, went into Maggie’s field and startled her. As she fled, Corfield and Lister proceeded to chase her with the former repeatedly hurling a meat cleaver at her.
The court heard Corfield laughed as he inspected the 12-inch by five-inch blade for blood.
Maggie was found the following day lying in a pool of blood. She had suffered a five-inch-deep cut to her neck, a three-and-a-half-inch cut on her shoulder and her right leg was broken. The tendon of one of her rear legs was severed by a blow that cut to the bone. Her injuries were so severe that she had to be put to sleep on humane grounds.
Corfield, Lister and Hinsley were arrested after locals raised £1,500 for information leading to the conviction of those responsible.
Paul Jenkins, defending Corfield, said he did not accept he was “solely or exclusively” to blame.
Jenkins said it was not a premeditated attack and that Corfield had taken the cleaver with him to chop wood to make a fire for the five friends who were camping in Black Cat Wood.
Ian Hodnett, for Lister, said he had tried but failed to film Corfield and another friend chasing the horse on his mobile phone.
He said Lister’s only other involvement was to chase Maggie around the paddock.
Corfield and Lister both admitted causing unnecessary suffering to Maggie. Corfield was given five months in a young offenders institution but was released after just eight weeks. His father, Peter Corfield, told a local newspaper that he believed his son “had definitely paid his debt to society”. He added that his son had been rehired by his employer, a building company.
Sentencing: Corfield – five months in a young offenders institution. Ordered do 180 hours of community work.
Lister – 12-month community order and 180 hours’ community service.
#TheList producers of pornographic animal torture videos: Craig John Chapman, born 03/02/1975, of Cresswell Road, Hilderstone, Stone ST15 8RF, Theraza Smallwood, born 10/10/1980, of Parkhead Drive, Stoke-on-Trent ST3 6EW, Christine Louise Besford (now Christine Miller), born 02/05/1976, of Doulton Court, Stoke-on-Trent ST2 7QY and Sarah-Jayne Cook, born 1980, and from Stoke-on-Trent (now Sarah-Jayne Porter of Alvechurch, Birmingham).
In the only case of its kind to ever be prosecuted in the UK courts Craig Chapman, Christine Besford, Sarah-Jayne Cook and Theraza Smallwood all pleaded guilty to conspiracy to publish obscene material after making videos of small animals being tortured and killed for the sexual gratification of paying customers, which included London publican Brian Patrick McCann. More on him later.
The animals tortured to death by the gang over a period of around a year included mice, rats, guinea pigs and a kitten.
All four also admitted separate charges relating to the cruelty and torture of small animals.
Peter Cooper, prosecuting, told Stoke on Trent Crown Court how Chapman had told someone he met over the internet that he could supply videos depicting scenes of animal torture.
Describing the horrific scenes on the tape Mr Cooper said: “Throughout the film there are scenes of small animals being stamped on with high heeled shoes.
“There is another scene of an overtly sexual nature involving Chapman and a mouse taped to a wooden board.”
The footage also included a scene in which an eight-week-old kitten was glued to the floor and killed by a woman (identified as Christine Besford) with her stiletto heels.
“The man behind the camera [Chapman] tells the girl [Besford] to stand on the kitten’s head. She did this, but not very well and her heel fell onto the kitten’s neck.
The kitten yelled in its incomparable distress…… the man behind the camera laughed”.
A former business associate of Chapman told us this (obviously treat as allegations for the time being):
Chapman had been going on a fetish chat room and putting it out there that he could make ‘custom made’ videos of animals being tortured to death and these bastards were e-mailing him with their fantasies and he along with the 3 other scumbags would get to work buying mice and guinea pigs from Pets at Home and other animals from a local yellow paper.
There was a scene in the seized video where Chapman lies on the floor naked with a plank of wood across him with a hole drilled in it for his privates to poke through, and a girl crushes a live mouse on it then smears its entrails on Chapman’s bits. Sick beyond belief.
They resin glued a 12 week old tabby kitten to a piece of wood and then tortured it to death. Chapman can be heard complaining on the tape “Oh no, there’s only 15 mins left on the tape, I was hoping to make a THIRTY MINUTE show of this…”
It turned out that Chapman had been using his secretarial recruitment agency to see if any pretty applicants were particularly hard up for money and were potential “video stars” for his grotty enterprise.
We also received the following contribution from a Facebook user with a long-standing interest in the case:
Chapter Four [of Terry Spamer’s book] – simply titled “Look Away Now” is all about how Chapman was caught. What a harrowing read. Just reading the description of the first scene – where they’ve gaffer taped mice to the clutch of a car was enough to give me a mild panic attack.
Safe to say that by the time we get to the part where Chapman has RESIN GLUED the tabby kitten’s right hind leg to the piece of hardboard, I was in tears.
The terrified kitten has tried to escape clockwise, anti clockwise and almost a full circle in its desperate attempts to escape, breaking its own leg in the process.
Chapman tells the “star” (Besford) to stand on the kitten’s head. She does but her foot slips off and crushes its spine. At this point Chapman LAUGHS.
Even after the kitten is dead, Besford, at Chapman’s request, stabs her high heel at the kitten’s head until it rolls completely off.
The guinea pig is hung by picture cord, being lifted off the floor by Smallwood before Chapman tells her not to do it so hard or else she’d strangle it and the video would end too early, as they need to torture the poor creature for as long as possible for more money.
She stabs it through its ribcage with her high heels then after 15 mins of this, she breaks its spine by standing on it full weight as it tries to run away mortally wounded.
That’s the running theme here – Chapman giving the “stars” the instructions on how to hurt the animals in the worst ways possible to achieve the most pain for the longest time for more money.
He tells the “star” at the beginning not to brake as hard, as he wants the mouse to last longer.
For his “friend” to testify that he was only motivated by money back then in order to do this , then consider the fact that he LAUGHS at the kittens’ agony when it yells in pain.
That to me sounds like enjoyment.
What people are not realising is that there weren’t just three scenes on the tape, there was TWENTY. TWENTY scenes of terrified animals being slaughtered under Craig John Chapman’s instruction in order for him to make money. He was selling clips for £200 a time so do the math. Apparently demand for new tapes was so great that he couldn’t keep up . Beyond sick. Beyond depraved.
Chapman paid Besford, Cook and Smallwood between £100 and £700 each for taking part in the torture.
The defendants got the mice and guinea pigs from a pet store and the kitten had been bought from an advert in a local newspaper.
An RSPCA report, read out in court, said the animals all died from multiple internal injuries caused by the torture and they had all suffered immense cruelty before they died.
Sentencing: Chapman was jailed for two years for conspiracy to publish the video and four months for cruelty to animals. Besford, Cook and Smallwood were each jailed for four months. All four were banned from keeping animals for life.
The Customer: Brian McCann
In November 2002 father-of-four Brian Patrick McCann, born 24/03/1955, then the owner of Rosie McCann’s bar in York Road, Islington, London, was jailed for his role in producing the twisted videos.
A police search of McCann’s computer revealed 40 files of “squish” or “crush” movies in which small animals such as kittens, guinea pigs, mice and even fish and earthworms were squashed to death, usually by a woman in high heels and wearing a short skirt.
McCann commissioned the video after contacting Chapman via a website specialising in such films.
McCann ordered the video over the internet and asked specifically for footage of a kitten being killed to be included.
Judge Nicholas Medowar QC said McCann had directly contributed to the production of at least one of the films, ordering specific scenes to be inserted to satisfy his own desires.
He said McCann had offered “excuses more than explanations” and appeared to be in denial about the gravity of what he had done, and imposed a jail term to be effective immediately.
RSPCA inspector Mr Simon Osborne, who witnessed scenes from the movies, said they were the most sickening he had seen in his six years as an animal protection officer.
“What was very distressing for me was not only watching these animals being trodden on … but it was the sounds of the animals screaming in pain, in obvious terrible agony,” he said.
Mr Osborne said the society was disappointed a tougher sentence had not been imposed and that animal cruelty had been dropped from the charge list.
Craig John Chapman is managing director of transport company Dulogis Group Ltd (known as UK Sameday before its rebranding in late 2018 – we hear he might be putting that into reverse now).
An article published in a trade magazine and the local paper told how Chapman started the business in 2003 after he was released from jail “left an office job” and built it up from one man with a van to a nationwide company.
Chapman was named Entrepeneur of the Year at the Stoke Sentinel Business Awards in March 2019 – quite astonishing when a simple Google search lays bare the grim details of his murky past (the case made all of the main online news sites, is mentioned in a Wikipedia entry on crush fetishes and even featured in a Channel 5 documentary on extreme porn).
Chapman lives in a large house in Stone with his partner and their toddler son.
Theraza Smallwood, who is shown on the video torturing a guinea pig, has three older children, all with different surnames, and is currently dating someone around half her age. We contacted Smallwood who told us she hadn’t spoken with Chapman for 17 years (strange that since they are first cousins and she even worked for him a while last year).
She couldn’t or wouldn’t identify Chapman from the photo we sent her. She told us that her participation in animal snuff videos was “a very long time ago and I’d like to keep it in the past”.
Christine Louise Besford now goes by her married name Miller. She runs a barber’s in Endon Road, Stoke.
Sarah-Jayne Cook is recently married and she and her husband have a young son. She goes by her married name Porter and lives in Alvechurch in Bromsgrove, Birmingham.