Tag Archives: Wiltshire

Pinehurst, Swindon, Wiltshire: Clive Elliott

#TheList greyhound breeder/trainer Clive Donald Elliott, born 19/11/1979, of 35 Limes Avenue, Swindon SN2 1QQ – convicted of multiple counts of cruelty towards dogs in his care

Clive Elliott

Clive Elliott binged on drink and drugs while his dogs starved in kennels at the home he now shares with his mother. When police and an RSPCA officer visited the property they found one dog stuffed in a freezer, two others dead on the floor and other animals starved.

The greyhound trainer and breeder, who had inherited a number of dogs from his late father, left the animals unfed for around four days.

 The shocking conditions some of Clive Elliott’s greyhounds were found in

The shocking conditions some of Clive Elliott’s greyhounds were found in

But a vet who examined the stricken animals after they were rescued from their kennel suggested the dogs had been subject to weeks or possibly months of neglect.

RSPCA prosecutor Matthew Knight said officers had found eight dogs. Three were dead, including one that had been put into a bin liner and stuffed into a chest freezer.

“There was no dog food whatsoever in the property,” the solicitor said.

The five other dogs were in a poor condition. Their nails were overgrown, some had abscesses and scurvy.

An abscess on the leg of one dog
An abscess on the leg of one dog

One of the animals had a severe mouth ulcer, which Elliott later admitted knowing about. The dog initially wolfed down food but died a week later after his condition deteriorated.

Autopsies were carried out on the dead dogs. The bone marrow of one was a glutinous liquid – the result of poor nutrition. The vet said it would have taken weeks or possibly months to reach that stage.

As an example of how poorly nourished the greyhounds were, Mr Knight said one dog had increased in weight by a third in just one month after it was taken from the house. He said: “The vet puts this purely down to providing the proper food.”

Interviewed by the authorities, Elliott said matters had deteriorated after the breakdown of a relationship. He had turned to drink and drugs and did not ask for help as he was “too proud”.

Shameless dog killer: Clive Elliott pictured outside court
Shameless dog killer: Clive Elliott pictured outside court

He told the RSPCA his mother, who has dementia, would have fed them had there been any dog food. He added: “There wasn’t any food for my mum that’s how low I was.”

The dogs Elliott was accused of having neglected were racing as recently as January 2019. Racing cards suggest Gemstone Bobbie, who added a third to his body weight after being rescued, was at the Swindon track twice that month. “C D Elliott” was the trainer

Elliott’s lawyer Terry McCarthy of Jeary & Lewis Solicitors said his client had inherited dogs after the death of his father in 2014.

He had owned his own printing business and was looking after the dogs on the side. He changed jobs, working night shifts and caring for the animals during the day.

He found he was not coping well and, when his relationship broke down, matters spiralled.

“Things went wrong there and Mr Elliott was affected by the breakdown,” Mr McCarthy said.

“It seems some dogs were removed from him by someone his ex-partner met and the problems with the breakdown and the lack of income got in top of him.

Shameless dog killer: Clive Elliott pictured outside court

“There is reference to the back problem you have heard about for which he has been prescribed medication.”

Elliott had been abusing prescription medication on top of that. “It’s my feeling that Mr Elliott was suffering at the time from severe depression. It’s unfortunate that he didn’t go and see a doctor and there is no medical evidence to confirm it.

“It’s quite obvious that as a result of that depression he wasn’t coping with anything.

“You’ve read in the report he couldn’t bring himself to look after his mother properly – as well as his dogs.

“Some of the dogs I think you’ve heard about were owned by another person. That person did not provide food for them either.

“Mr Elliott had no money.”

Chairman of the bench Jane Durrant said Elliott had shown no evidence of remorse.

“The pictures we have been shown are extremely distressing and the number of dogs and the level of suffering they endured is really quite appalling,” she said.

“The distress caused to these dogs was just quite unbelievable.”

Elliott did not appear to react as the sentence was read out.

Sentencing: 20 weeks’ imprisonment. Ordered to pay a total of £872 costs and charges. Banned from owning dogs for life.

Swindon Advertiser

North Bradley, Trowbridge, Wiltshire: Sam Kirkham

#TheList Samuel Jake Kirkham, born 03/01/1997, of St Nicholas Close, North Bradley, Trowbridge BA14 0TH – killed a three-month-old puppy in a fit of rage

Twisted Sam Kirkham from Trowbridge, Wiltshire, killed a tiny Cavachon puppy named Murphy by throwing him across the room in a fit of temper
Twisted Sam Kirkham from Trowbridge, Wiltshire, killed a tiny Cavachon puppy named Murphy by throwing him across the room in a fit of temper

Kirkham said the puppy – a Cavachon known as Murphy – had bitten him so he lashed out and sent the tiny dog flying across the bathroom. Murphy was taken to an emergency vet in a comatose state but died three hours later.

Twisted Sam Kirkham from Trowbridge, Wiltshire, killed a tiny Cavachon puppy named Murphy by throwing him across the room in a fit of temper

A post mortem examination revealed the puppy had suffered a traumatic injury which had caused extensive internal damage to his skull, mouth, abdominal cavity, kidney, lung, and intestine.

Kirkham lied to his Facebook friends about the circumstances surrounding Murphy’s death

Pleading guilty, Kirkham claimed that the puppy had defecated on the floor so he’d put him in the bath. He told the court Murphy had bitten him so he struck him, which caused the dog to fly across the bathroom, hitting either the wall or the toilet.

Kirkham’s girlfriend appears to have forgiven him for killing a tiny puppy.

Kirkham’s girlfriend, Alisha Marsh, with whom he currently shares another dog known as Lucky, is standing by him and told a friend not to believe what was reported in the newspaper.

Twisted Sam Kirkham from Trowbridge, Wiltshire, killed a tiny Cavachon puppy named Murphy by throwing him across the room in a fit of temper
Sam Kirkham with girlfriend Alisha Marsh and another dog named Lucky

RSPCA inspector Miranda Albinson, who investigated for the animal welfare charity, said: “This was a horribly sad case where poor Murphy lost his life.

“There is no excuse for an innocent animal to be subjected to violence”

Sentencing: 270 hours of community service and 20 Rehabilitation Activity Requirement days; fines and charges totalling £835 Banned from keeping any animal for 10 years with the right of appeal after five years.

SomersetLive

Devizes, Wiltshire: Simon and Sarah Jane Sherman

#TheList Simon Sherman, born 08/07/1972 and Sarah Jane Sherman, born 22/02/1972 of Waiblingen Way, Devizes SN10 2BP – failed to treat their dogs’ ailments or to feed them properly

Sarah Jane Sherman and husband Simon Sherman  were convicted of neglecting their dogs Laddie and Milo
Sarah Jane Sherman and husband Simon Sherman were convicted of neglecting their dogs Laddie and Milo

The Shermans were banned from keeping animals for life after leaving their dogs emaciated and sick.

Not exactly remorseful, is he?
Sarah Jane Sherman and husband Simon Sherman (pictured)  were convicted of neglecting their dogs Laddie and Milo
Simon Sherman

RSPCA Inspector Miranda Albinson discovered collies, Laddie and Milo, in March 2019 after concerns were raised about their welfare.

Collie Laddie was living a miserable and painful existence due to the neglect of his owners Sarah Jane and Simon Sherman
Collie Laddie was living a miserable and painful existence due to the neglect of his owners Sarah Jane and Simon Sherman

During veterinary examination, Laddie was found to have a skeletal appearance, alopecia from his mid-back to tail, and paraphimosis, the inability to retract his penis, which had left it dry and inflamed.

Laddie the dog neglected by his cruel owners Sarah Jane and Simon Sherman

Inspector Albinson said: “Laddie was lying in a green plastic dog bed on the kitchen floor.

Laddie the dog neglected by his cruel owners Sarah Jane and Simon Sherman

“There was a small dirty cushion in this bed and next to it was a filthy blanket which was wet to the touch. Inside the bed was an empty silver dog bowl.

“He was clearly extremely underweight, with prominent hip bones, ribs and spine, and had complete fur loss over his back end.

“Milo had a sticky, dirty, and greasy coat and I could feel that he was also extremely underweight.

“There is no excuse for allowing any pet to get into the state Laddie and Milo were in.

“There is always help available for those people who need it and we encourage people to seek out this help to prevent animals suffering.”

Sentencing:
Simon Sherman – 250 hours of community service and ordered to pay a total of £335 costs and charges.
Sarah-Jane Sherman – costs and charges totalling £230.
Both are banned from keeping animals for life.

Swindon Advertiser

Marlborough, Wiltshire: Tracy Wright and Megan Wells

#TheList Tracy Wright and daughter Megan Wells, both of 23 Five Styles Road, Marlborough SN8 4BD – left their elderly Jack Russell to suffer with a painful skin condition for over a year

Tracy Wright and daughter Megan Wells and their elderly pet dog Tilly, who they left to suffer in agony for a year
Tracy Wright and daughter Megan Wells and their elderly pet dog Tilly, who they left to suffer in agony for a year

The RSPCA launched an investigation after discovering the 13yo dog named Tilly was suffering from itchy scabs and had lost fur on her front, legs and neck.

Although Tilly has now recovered, she will need medication for the rest of her life.

Wright and Wells admitted causing unnecessary suffering when they appeared before Swindon Magistrates’ Court on 24/07/2018.

RSPCA inspector Sharon Crisp said: “This was a frustrating and saddening case, that could have been easily avoided if poor Tilly was given the care she deserved.

“Those who own animals have a responsibility to look after them and ensure health conditions are dealt with promptly by a vet to avoid their pets suffering. It is never acceptable to just ignore an animal in need.

“Tilly’s a lovely, friendly old dog who was left without the help she desperately needed for a prolonged period of time.

“Her skin was so bad when I arrived it was shocking to see her.

“She was clearly incredibly uncomfortable with raw skin on her stomach, neck and face. It was only when I saw her again once her skin was better and her fur growing back that I realised how depressed and miserable she had been when she was rescued too. She was wagging her tail and happy- a totally different dog.”

The court heard in mitigation that Wright and Wells had health and financial issues.

Sentence:  the pair were ordered to carry out ten days of Rehabilitation Activity Requirement as part of a 12-month community order imposed by the court. £85 victim surcharge. Banned from owning animals for five years.

Gazette and Herald

Haydon wick, Swindon: James Cooper

#TheList James Mark Alexander Cooper, born 02/03/1994, of 79 Severn Avenue, Swindon SN25 3LL – killed a dog through multiple vicious attacks and injured another

James Cooper from Swindon killed one whippet and subjected another to months of abuse
James Cooper from Swindon killed one whippet and subjected another to months of abuse

James Cooper admitted two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to whippets Millie and Tinkerbelle.

Cooper pleaded guilty to inflicting a torrent of violence on six-year-old Millie, who suffered fatal blunt force trauma. Months earlier he had repeatedly attacked three-year-old Tinkerbelle.

The court heard how Cooper and his girlfriend Katie Gardiner were looking after three-year-old Tinkerbelle for her step-mum, Carley Young, when the attacks happened.

Three-year-old Tinkerbelle suffered numerous painful injuries at the hands of sadistic James Cooper from Swindon
Three-year-old Tinkerbelle suffered numerous painful injuries at the hands of sadistic James Cooper
Three-year-old Tinkerbelle suffered numerous painful injuries at the hands of sadistic James Cooper from Swindon

When external injuries prompted a vet visit, Cooper had told vets that Tinkerbelle’s injuries, including multiple skin abrasions, were caused by her falling down the stairs.

Just days later, the dog was taken back to the vets with new fractures and an ulcer-type injury to her left eye.

In the weeks that followed Tinkerbelle suffered a human bite wound as well as injuries to her tail, which had to be amputated.

Serial dog abuser and killer James Cooper from Swindown pictured outside court
Serial dog abuser and killer James Cooper pictured outside court

Matthew Knight, prosecuting, told the court: “The defendant still hasn’t provided an explanation of what happened or why these offences occurred.

“In regard to Millie, the defendant said she had jumped over a six-foot fence and fell on some brambles, which is how she sustained the injury.”

Other excuses given to vets included that she had run into a patio door.

James Cooper inflicted a torrent of violent abuse on Millie, 6, who eventually died from her injuries
James Cooper inflicted a torrent of violent abuse on Millie, 6, who eventually died from her injuries

Mr Knight continued: “Millie suffered multiple fractured ribs and was killed by the defendant.

“However when asked he said the further injuries were caused by the fact he gave CPR.

“She suffered a number of blunt force trauma injuries and I am in no doubt that she was killed by the defendant. Her injuries were extensive, widespread and severe. In my opinion, they were sustained on more than one occasion.

“There are striking similarities in the way both Millie and Tinkerbelle were assaulted front on, sustained multiple fractured ribs and swelling to the left side of her face.”

A post-mortem examination found Millie had emphysema and bruising – some that had been inflicted just 24 hours before she died.

Three-year-old Tinkerbelle suffered numerous painful injuries at the hands of sadistic James Cooper from Swindon but is recovering
Surviving dog Tinkerbelle

Following Cooper’s conviction, the RSPCA dropped the charges against his girlfriend Katie Gardiner, DoB 27/07/1994, who denied the allegations.

James Cooper with girlfriend Katie Gardiner, who was originally charged with dog cruelty as well. Charges against her were dropped following Cooper's conviction.
James Cooper with girlfriend Katie Gardiner, who was originally charged with dog cruelty as well. Charges against her were dropped following Cooper’s conviction.

Richard Williams, defending, said his client had suffered with a number of mental health issues, including anxiety and depression, and was bullied at school, often finding it difficult to stand up for himself.

“In relation to the offences, there is not much I can add to make them any less distasteful,” said Mr Williams.

“James Cooper has struggled in articulating and expressing exactly what happened.

“There is quite a lot that can shed some light on what has happened in James Cooper’s life. He had moved in with Katie Gardiner last year and it was his first serious relationship and the first time he moved away from home. He struggled and he accepts he lashed out at the dogs.

“He has dabbled in drink and drugs and has since abstained from those substances.”

Victim Millie was just six years old when she died from blunt force trauma, following a violent attack by James Cooper

District Judge Simon Cooper said: “Tinkerbelle made at least five visits to the vet for treatment while in your care and from that, examinations revealed that she had been severely beaten, suffering fractured ribs and a human bite wound and the effect on her was akin, in my judgement, to torture. Nonetheless, she recovered, even if she had to have her tail amputated.

“Millie was taken back on the third examination while she had been in your care and you had been under investigation. They found her covered with wounds to the mouth and multiple fractured ribs which ultimately led to her death.

“I agree with the RSPCA that it is a difficult and disturbing case. You gave a variety of explanations for these offences but, in fact, you finally accepted your responsibility.

“This case has rumbled on for nine months due to your inability to accept your responsibility.

“I have come to the decision that an immediate prison sentence would utterly destroy you. What you did was vicious and savage but little would be achieved in the long run by sending you into custody.

“It has been an agonising and hard decision to come to. The most difficult decision of today is not to send this young man into immediate prison but it is one, in my long experience, that would completely destroy his life.”

Sentencing: 12-week consecutive prison sentence for each offence to be suspended for two years. 150 hours of unpaid work. Total of £1,115 costs and charges. Lifetime ban on keeping animals.

Swindon Advertiser
Update on Tinkerbelle

Swindon, Wiltshire: Darren turner

#TheList publican Darren Turner, born 03/04/1975, of the Kings, 20 Wood Street, Swindon SN1 4AB – neglected four goats he kept in a ‘petting zoo’ at his pubs

Swindon publican Darren Turner was not banned from keeping animals despite his failure to care for four goats who had to be euthanised to end their suffering
Swindon publican Darren Turner was not banned from keeping animals despite his failure to care for four goats who had to be euthanised to end their suffering

Darren Turner, who owns four pubs, including 20 at the Kings, the Clifton in Old Town and the Fox and Hounds in Wroughton, admitted causing unnecessary suffering to four goats between the start of December 2015 and January 20 2016.

Turner kept the goats at his pubs as part of a menagerie.

Graham Gilbert, prosecuting for the RSPCA, said when a vet saw the goats in April 2015 she was immediately concerned for their hooves, though they were otherwise in good health.

Their feet were not entirely normal, he said, and she discussed the long term prognosis for them with Turner, saying the hooves needed to be regularly trimmed.

The following months she wrote him a letter outlining the long term options for the animals, including the possibility of them being put down if it got worse.

Mr Gilbert said the vet said she lost contact with Turner after July 2015 and in October she was at the Fox and Hounds, not to visit the goats, when she spotted them.

“It appeared the goats’ feet had deteriorated,” he said, and though she called Turner and left a voicemail, he did not get back to her.

Swindon publican Darren Turner was not banned from keeping animals despite his failure to care for four goats who had to be euthanised to end their suffering
Animal abuser Darren Turner

In January 2016 an RSPCA officer saw the goats had an odd gait and because of the impact the hooves were having on the quality of their lives they were destroyed.

The legs were then removed and sent to an expert who said the hooves were severely overgrown to a worrying degree, and curling up on themselves.

In at least two he said there were pathological fractures and also had problems with their knees.

“He concluded the goats were clearly in pain and that would have been entirely apparent to anyone who saw them from their gait,” he said.

When he was interviewed by RSPCA officers in January 2016 Turner accepted he knew their hooves needed to be trimmed regularly.

“He said the last thing he wanted was for the goats to suffer in any way, or for them to be put down,” he said.

Alex Daymond, defending, said his client had got the animals, which had issues with their legs and feet when he got them, as part of a sort of petting zoo at his pubs.

He said he never intended to cause any harm to them but accepted for a short period of time he neglected to look after them properly.

Turner now employed two people full time to look after the animals, he said, and had also spent £40,000 to care for them.

And he said because of the nature of his work running four pubs he would struggle to find the time to complete any unpaid work.

Recorder Patrick Clarkson QC, sitting with two magistrates, said they would not ban him from keeping animals as recent inspections had not raised any welfare issues.

Sentencing: 80 hours of unpaid work. No ban on keeping animals.

Swindon Advertiser

Swindon, Wiltshire: Ebony Eve

#TheList Ebony Eve, born c. 1989, of Frobisher Drive, Swindon – battered her pet Shar Pei Nettles with hammer and stabbed him 20 times with a kitchen knife

Dog killer Ebony Eve from Swindon, Wilts, and her loyal victim Nettles
Dog killer Ebony Eve from Swindon, Wilts, and her loyal victim Nettles

Police called to Eve’s home found blood splattered on the floor and walls next to where the dead pet was lying.

Speaking softly, the killer told them she had killed her dog.

Eve admitted causing unnecessary suffering to the pet and was remanded in custody for her own safety.

She was later transferred through the Mental Health Act to the medium secure unit, run by Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust.

At a sentencing hearing on Friday, magistrates said the killer, who has severe mental health issues, will not be sent to prison but will remain in a secure psychiatric unit.

Magistrates heard how Eve’s brother had been with her the night before the killing when she gave Nettles a bath because he smelled.

The following morning he found the dog’s bloodied body on the living room floor of their home in Swindon and raised the alarm.

Eve admitted killing the dog straight away but could give no explanation as to why she had done it.

Chairman of the bench Felicity Dowell said: “We have read the two reports from the psychiatrists and we feel what they are recommending is the most sensible option.

“Therefore you are going to continue with the hospital order where you are now and you will remain there and you will get the treatment you need there.

“You will stay in hospital as long as it takes depending on how you respond to the treatment.

“We are not making any costs because of your situation nor are we awarding a victim surcharge.”

Sentence: to remain in a secure psychiatric unit indefinitely.

The Sun
Swindon Advertiser

Swindon: Sarah Jane Reeves

#TheList Sarah Jane Reeves, born 23/11/1995) of 215 Frobisher Drive, Swindon SN3 3HB – owner of a kitten that was beaten and starved to near death

Negligent cat owner Sarah Jane Reeves from Swindon

Reeves  owned a six-month-old kitten. Tilly, who was starved to a third of her body weight and beaten at a home in Haydon Wick

Tilly was ‘clearly dying’ when the RSPCA were called to a property in Speedwell Close and found her under a blanket on the sofa, cold to the touch.

The authorities were only alerted after Reeves discovered a friend had been filmed throwing the tiny cat against the walls of her home.

Despite being rushed to a nearby vet, Tilly was beyond help and had to be euthanised on humane grounds.

Tanya Jones, prosecuting, told the court: “RSPCA inspector Miranda Albinson was informed a cat at an address in Swindon had allegedly been beaten two days previously.

“She was told that there was video footage of the incident.

“She could see the cat was emaciated and looked skeletal.

“Her ribs and hip bones were protruding, and the cat was clearly dying.

“The surgeon would have expected a cat that age to weigh about two to three kilogrammes, and in his opinion, it is not something we would expect to happen over a few days.”

Terry McCarthy, defending Reeves, said much of the punishment meted out to the kitten was not her fault.

An identified 16-year-old youth was tried separately for his role in Tilly’s suffering and given a community order and 10-year ban on keeping animals.

Sentence:  community order for 12 months, with six months’ supervision and 100 hours of unpaid work; £500 in courts costs and £60 victim surcharge. Banned from keeping any animals for 10 years (expires April 2025).

Newslink:
Swindon Advertiser

Trowbridge, Wiltshire: Veronica Reid, Jon Allen and Paul Brown

#TheList Veronica Reid, born c. 1972, and Jon Paul Allen (aka Jon Paul Davis), born c. 1987, of Woolpack Meadows, Trowbridge BA14 7SU and Paul Brown, born 12/03/1962, of Okehampton Road, Exeter – tied a noose around collie’s neck and hung him with a rope from the attic, punched and kicked him to ensure she was dead.

Dog killers: from left to right Jon Allen, Paul Brown and Veronica Reid and the innocent victim of their cruelty, collie Shandy
Dog killers: from left to right Jon Allen, Paul Brown and Veronica Reid and the innocent victim of their cruelty, collie Shandy

Veronica Reid and Jon Allen pleaded guilty to charges of causing unnecessary suffering to a collie by hanging him until he died. A third defendant, Paul Brown, pleaded guilty at the court separately.

Dog killers Jon Allen and Veronica Reid from Trowbridge, Wiltshire pictured outside court
Veronica Reid and Jon Allen pictured outside court

The court heard how Allen and Brown went to a vets practice in Trowbridge on January 17, 2014, to inquire about having the dog, a collie named Shandy, put down claiming he had become aggressive.

Dog killers: Jon Allen from Trowbridge and Paul Brown from Exeter
Jon Allen and Paul Brown

When the vet told them it would cost ‘more than £100’ , the pair took matters into their own hands and decided to kill the dog themselves.

Dog killer Jon Allen from Trowbridge

It took up to 10 minutes for the dog to die by hanging, Brown punched and kicked him to make sure he was dead. The trio then buried him in the garden.

Dog killers Jon Allen and Veronica Reid from Trowbridge, Wiltshire

Their crime came to a light during a conversation between Reid and a neighbour. The neighbour told the RSPCA: “[Reid] was sat waiting for a bus one day and we started having a chat.

“I asked her what had happened to the dog, as it used to bark constantly. She then told me it was gone. I asked her what she meant, thinking she had taken it to a dog’s home or something, and then she made a hanging gesture. She also told me that the squealing noise it made sounded like when you boil a lobster.”

Sentence: Brown – 18-week prison sentence suspended for 18 months, Reid – 18-week suspended jail sentence, 6-month curfew, Allen – 23-week suspended sentence and 300 hours’ unpaid work. All three abusers – 10 year ban on keeping animals (expires September 2024).

Wiltshire Times