#TheList Michael ‘Mick’ Lingen, born 11/07/1967, of 29 Northfield Street, Worcester WR1 1NS – killed a Yorkshire terrier by hitting him on the head with an axe
Lingen admitted two charges – one of destroying the dog, who belonged to his former partner, and another of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal by striking him in the head with an axe.
Magistrates said the offence was so serious they had to impose a sentence of 12 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months.
Lingen must carry out 200 hours unpaid work within the next twelve months.
He must also pay £135 costs and a £122 victim surcharge.
Lingen was also disqualified for life from owning or keeping all animals or being involved in any arrangement in which he could control or influence their care – made under Section 34 Animal Welfare Act 2006.
#TheList Annette Nally, born 18/03/1969, of Pryor Road, Oldbury B68 9QJ – kept rescued horses in filthy ‘death camps’
In a case brought by the RSPCA, Annette Nally was found guilty on four charges, three of causing unnecessary suffering and one of failing to take reasonable steps to care for an animal. The charges related to eight horses found at a yard off Astwood Lane in Stoke Prior, Worcestershire on July 14, 2018, and others at another yard in Solihull.
Nally had worked with charities and organisations to provide homes for neglected and retired thoroughbreds.
Inspectors found one dead horse and 12 emaciated animals in Stoke Prior. Two of the emaciated horses were later put down.
The RSPCA later visited two other sites in Nally’s control in Lapworth, Warwickshire, and Old Green Lane, Solihull. Seven more horses were found there in a poor condition.
District Judge Ian Strongman told the court how a mare called Ruby and her foal Rebecca were found in a barn by concerned members of the public.
He said: “The floor was made up of urine and faeces, it was a filthy stinking mess.
“In the stable next door a stallion Rocky, who a year before was a fine stallion in prime condition, was in the same situation, skin and bone, living in absolute filth.”
The court was told Ruby, who was starving to death, was put down 24 hours after being found at Stoke Prior and Rebecca had survived because she had still been feeding from her mother.
The shocking evidence included post mortem reports showing animals starved to death. In one case string was found in a gelding’s small intestine which the judge concluded may have been eaten in desperation.
The animal was found dead in a barn at Stoke Prior and the court heard marks in filth on the floor by its head indicated it had thrashed as it struggled to get to its feet during its final hours.
The judge told Nally: “You saw animals deteriorating in front of you and did nothing to stop it.”
He added that RSPCA inspectors had been so traumatised by what the had seen at the yard they were unable to continue working on the investigation.
Nally, who had denied all the charges, claimed the horses in her care had been unable to eat properly because the hot summer had cause grass in the fields not to grow.
She also denied the animals had been left without water and claimed three horses had been affected by a mystery illness which caused their faeces to become bright yellow.
The judge dismissed her explanation as “entirely bogus and untrue”.
In mitigation her solicitor, who wished only to be known as Ms Whitehead, told the court her client has debts including a £2,000 vet’s bill, now works a courier and “just about manages to survive”.
Ms Whitehead added Nally was of previous good character and described the case as a “blip”.
The judge said Nally’s reputation for caring for horses meant the public and the Retraining of Racehorses charity send animals to her in good faith and the breach of trust was an aggravating feature of the case.
#TheList Claire A Mason, born c. 1972, of Magnolia Close, Drakes Broughton, Worcester WR10 2AZ – banned from keeping equines for 20 years after neglecting her three part-bred Arab horses
Mason admitted causing unnecessary suffering by failing to provide appropriate veterinary treatment for part-bred Arabs Rosie, Enrica and Fern, who were kept on a livery yard in the Worcestershire village of Norton. All three animals were suffering from laminitis.
The mares were found to be “severely lame” when an RSPCA inspector attended following concerns raised about their wellbeing in May 2018.
Inspector Suzi Smith said: “The horses were suffering from laminitis brought about by failing to treat underlying pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction, also known as Cushing’s.
“This can be managed successfully on medication alongside a well-managed diet. Sadly Mason failed to do this despite being made aware of the condition and being advised accordingly.”
The inspector said Mason was an experienced owner who should have known how to care for horses adding this made it “even more unacceptable” that she left the mares to suffer.
“The treatment plans and advice she’d been given were simply ignored. By banning her from keeping horses the court has recognised how important it is that no other animals are made to endure the same fate,” said Ms Smith.
All three mares were put down with the owner’s consent following veterinary advice owing to the severity of their condition.
The court heard Mason had mental health problems and further mitigation was advanced on the basis that the defendant had owned horses for years, had never had any previous issues, and had “won prizes at shows”.
Sentencing: 12 weeks’ imprisonment, suspended for 12 months, and 100 hours of unpaid work. She was ordered to pay £1,000 costs and a £115 victim surcharge. Banned from keeping equines for 20 years
#TheList Joe Purvis, born c. 1993, of William Tennant Way, Upton-upon-Severn, Worcester WR8 OLP – broke his kitten’s jaw and caused what are believed to be burns to her head; kitten also lost a leg
Purvis took his 12-week-old Maine Coon cat, named Indico, to a vet in November 2018 where she was found to have three fractures to her head.
The pet, bought for £50 several months earlier on Facebook, also had an open wound on the top of her head, and lost a leg while in Purvis’ care.
Purvis admitted to giving Indica a “back-hander”, claiming she had bitten him, but did not accept that the marks were caused by a burn. Instead, he claimed she hit her head on a tap while he was trying to wash her.
The former student at Heart of Worcestershire College accepted a charge of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal when he appeared before magistrates.
Sara Pratt, prosecuting, said the defendant had taken the kitten to vets in September 2018 and she had such severe injuries to her leg that they had no choice but to amputate it.
On November 9, 2018, Purvis then took her again to Coldicott & Kingsway Veterinary Clinic in Tewkesbury and was described by staff as smelling “overwhelmingly of cannabis”.
Mrs Pratt said he told vets he believed the cat had suffered a broken jaw due to him giving her a “back-hander the night before” after she’d defecated on his bed and bit him.
He also told them the open sore on her head was caused by her hitting her head while he washed faeces off her.
Purvis said to vets he “couldn’t cope with such a demanding animal” and that she was the “first and last” pet he would ever own.
Mrs Pratt said the defendant had been unable to sleep the night of the incident and had toyed with the idea of taking her somewhere to “let her go as a stray” but decided to take her to Coldicott clinic instead.
The vets told him Indico needed an X-ray, but he said he didn’t have any money and “did not want the cat” before becoming “verbally aggressive”.
When veterinary staff wouldn’t agree to take the kitten off him, he told them there was “no proof” he owned her anyway.
He added that if he was forced to take her home he would “let her go” and described the vets as “money grabbing” despite them offering to give some treatment for free.
The court heard Purvis then agreed to sign over the cat to the practice and started to fill out a document but then “screwed it up” and exited.
The cat was left at the vets where she was examined, and it was determined she had fractures to the eye and jaw.
The wound to the head appeared to be a burn rather than a graze, as Purvis described it.
Mrs Pratt said vets said there was a “crunching of the bones” on the right-hand jaw bone.
The kitten’s general demeanour was said to be “nervous” in contrast to most young cats who are usually “bold and active” when going to the vets.
An RSPCA inspector went to Purvis’ home later the same day. Purvis agreed to sign over Indico to them and was later interviewed at a local police station.
Mrs Pratt said “there was significant intervention in terms of operations to put right the injuries” which had proved costly to the vets as Purvis hadn’t paid any money.
Defending Purvis Judith Kenney, of Judith Kenney Solicitors in Worcester, said she had seen pictures of the cat while she was living with her client and she was “happy and contented”.
A cat owner herself, Kenney said it is often the case that once a young cat goes through such trauma as a major operation and re-adjustment to life, they are “never the same”.
“The reality is, then she couldn’t defecate properly in her litter tray anymore,” she explained, and went on to say she believes Purvis was not properly told how to look after her after the amputation and “struggled with her”.
Referring to the day in November in which he struck the cat, Kenney said: “Only he knows the truth of the matter.”
“Why would he take the kitten to the vets and admit what he had done if he didn’t have some compassion towards her?”
She said he became agitated at the vets because he “couldn’t afford to pay anymore” fees and had a hospital appointment later that morning.
She said he is often “impulsive” and “that’s part of his difficulties”.
At the last hearing in February, Kenney had said her client suffers from mental health problems.
Kenney said: “He wants me to ensure that you are aware that he did the right thing. He took the cat to the vets. He didn’t do the right thing in hitting her and breaking her jaw.”
She added: “There has been absolute vilification of him in the press. When I read some of the comments, I just couldn’t believe some individuals can’t see that there’s two sides to a story.”
“He is an animal lover,” she continued. “He accepts what he did on that day was not right and if he could put the clock back, he would.”
The court heard the cat has now been rehomed.
Sentencing: 14 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months. Costs and charges totalling £515. Banned from owning any animals for 10 years.
#TheList Danielle Rogers (aka Danielle Wood), born c. 1998, of Durham Road, Worcester WR5 and partner Keeley Scott, born c. 1998, of Chedworth Drive, Worcester WR4 – starved one dog to death with another found in an emaciated condition
Rogers and Scott were convicted in their absence in July of two offences of causing unnecessary suffering to Patch and Lulu, contrary to Section 4 of the Animal Welfare Act.
The pair admitted dumping their crossbreed Lulu in a plastic bag in a park after she starved to death.
Their admission came after skinny Patch, a black and white Staffordshire bull terrier, was handed into Ambleside Vets in December 2016.
Rachel Hayward, a RSPCA inspector who was called by the concerned veterinary staff, said: “He was frightfully thin. You could see every bone in his body including the shape of his skull – he was a walking skeleton.
“He weighed just 9.8kg – around half what he should have weighed as an adult, male Staffy.”
Insp Hayward managed to trace Patch’s owners, who admitted that their second dog Lulu had died and they had dumped her body in a nearby park.
“Those poor dogs were locked inside a flat, hidden away from view and left to slowly die. Their basic needs simply weren’t met and as they lost more and more weight their owners simply ignored them,” she added.
“Sadly, it was too late for poor Lulu, but Patch had a chance and we were determined to get him back to health.”
Staff at Ambleside Vets gave Patch round-the-clock care to nurse him back to health and build his weight to 16kg.
His rehabilitation was made more difficult by a medical condition he was suffering from called megaesophagus, meaning his oesophagus did not function properly, so he couldn’t get food into his stomach easily.
Once he was strong enough, Patch went to the RSPCA’s Southridge Animal Centre, in Potters Bar, Hertfordshire, where staff set about trying to help him eat properly.
Insp Hayward added: “It worked and he soon caught the attention of dog-lover Lulu Jenkins, from St Albans, where he went off to join her and her pack of six other rescue dogs.
“I’m so pleased he got a happy ending after everything he has been through. He’ll never need to worry again about when his next meal is coming or whether he’ll eat that day.”
Sentencing: 12-month community orders with a 30-day rehabilitation activity requirement; ordered to pay £355 each. Banned from keeping animals for ten years.
#TheList Wayne Anthony Bishop, born 23/09/1987, originally from Droitwich, Worcs, and more recently Flat 6, Holland Court, 110 Milton Road, Weston-Super-Mare, Somerset B23 2UJ – stabbed his dog to death.
Bishop admitted causing unnecessary suffering to a mastiff cross known as General.
The court heard how he stabbed the dog to death “in anger” before leaving his body to rot inside his flat for several days.
The dog was found by police officers in Bishop’s then home in Stalls Farm Road, Droitwich, after neighbours alerted them to the smell coming from the property.
Officers found General lying in a pool of blood and with a stab wound to his chest.
Initially, Bishop told the RSPCA he attacked his dog but claimed it was after the dog had attacked him.
RSPCA inspector Rachel Hayward, said: “It’s horrendous to think that he was stabbed to death in such a brutal attack.
“Bishop had no injuries so we disputed his claims he had been attacked by General.
“He later admitted he stabbed the dog in anger and said at the time General wasn’t attacking him as he had first claimed.”
Sentencing: 18 weeks in prison, suspended for two years; 250 hours of community service; £865 in costs. Lifetime disqualification order on all animals.
#TheList Mark Stange, born c. 1965, and wife Jennifer, born 1954, of Kyreside, Tenbury Wells WR15 8BX – left their West Highland terriers to suffer an untreated skin condition
Mark and Jenny Stange were found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to Westies Star and Sadie between February 28 and May 28, 2016, contrary to Section 4 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006.
Mark Stange told the court he did not believe the dogs were suffering.
When RSPCA Inspector Suzi Smith first saw the dogs she was shocked to see them with hardly any hair and crusty, greasy, infected and inflamed skin with scabs.
Both are now recovering well, one doing of them thriving to such an extent with a new owner that she won the ‘Best Rescue’ category in a dog show.
Inspector Smith, who was one of the judges, said: “Star’s new owner brought her along to the local RSPCA branch dog show as part of the River Carnival in Hereford where I was judging alongside Wye Valley Vets.
“I had no idea she was coming and honestly didn’t recognise her with all her hair- needless to say I ended with tears in my eyes.
“Pet owners need to realise that they have a responsibility to care for their animals. That includes ensuring any health issues are dealt with promptly to avoid distress to animals in their care.”
Sentencing: 12-month community order with a 30-day rehabilitation order; ordered to pay a £60 fine, £600 costs, plus a victim surcharge. Banned from keeping dogs for five years, with the right of appeal after three (ban expires May 2022).
#TheList Emily Till, born c. 1984, and Steven Watkins, born c. 1986, of New Road, Far Forest, near Kidderminster DY14 9TQ – left their two dogs without food and in an emaciated state.
Emily Till and partner Steven Watkins were found guilty of neglecting Staffy Bruno and husky Demon.
The RSPCA received a complaint in January 2016 about two dogs in poor condition, and inspector Suzanne Smith was sent out to the house.
She said: “We received complaints about the condition of the two dogs, and on that first visit I was shocked to see the state of them. Both Bruno and Demon were so thin I could see all their bones protruding, even despite Demon’s thick coat.
“It later transpired that Demon was suffering with non-regenerative anaemia caused by his extremely thin body condition.
“Bruno weighed little over 11kg at seizure and Demon just weighed 14kg, practically half of what they should ideally weigh.”
After a vet certified that both dogs were suffering, police removed Bruno and Demon and placed them the RSPCA’s care.
Inspector Smith said: “Both Till and Watkins refused to admit any wrongdoing, but since being cared for by the RSPCA, both dogs are doing so well and are up to their optimum, healthy weights.
“I am very pleased to say that Demon, the husky, has been rehomed already as he was signed over to us shortly after we were called. But following yesterday’s sentencing, I’m delighted that now Bruno can also be found his forever home too.”
Sentencing: Till – 18-week curfew and £500 costs. Watkins – 150 hours of community service over 12 months; £750 costs.
Both were disqualified from keeping dogs for five years and deprived or ownership of the dogs.
The pair were given 28 days to rehome another dog which they had taken on before the trial.
#TheList Leyton Charles Harford, born 29/07/1983, of 135 Elgar Avenue, Malvern WR14 2HA – beat his 10-week-old puppy over the head repeatedly causing it to swell like a tennis ball
Harford was convicted of two counts of causing unnecessary harm to an animal.
In November 2013 the RSPCA were called to Harford’s flat after complaints a puppy had been hit 15 times over the head with a chew toy and also ‘kicked until it collapsed’.
When inspector Pippa Boyd approached the young Staffy, called Riddick, she said he was very subdued with noticeable swelling on his head.
Harford claimed the injury had been caused after Riddick went out to the toilet and disappeared around a corner only to yelp moments later when he heard the sound of a car driving away.
But Rafe Turner, prosecuting on behalf of the RSPCA, said Harford’s story changed three times during questioning adding it was ‘blindingly obvious’ he had beat the dog.
A vet called as an expert witness said it would be nearly impossible for that type of injury to be caused by a car without there being other cuts and grazes. He also said it was unlikely it was caused by a kick either.
Pictures were shown to the court of Riddick with the ‘half-tennis ball sized’ lump on his forehead, which Harford had claimed were taken by a relative on the night of the accident.
But the vet witness said the swelling would have taken up to 18 hours to get that bad.
Harford did admit to the charge of causing further unnecessary harm to the puppy by failing to take him for treatment after the injury claiming it would have cost him a ‘fortune’ and he was already ‘on the sick’ with Christmas approaching.
During the investigation, he said: “I know I did wrong, I made a mistake but I have been a good owner and I have put time and effort into him.”
While Riddick was in temporary foster care he hid under the table for half an hour after weeing by the back door, the court heard. The vet said this was a result of him being ‘extremely scared’ of the repercussions.
Sarah Brady, for Harford, said her client was “in rather poor health, he’s been having investigations for months in relation to chronic vomiting.”
Brady added: “This is a matter that’s caused him difficulties at home, he’s struggled to leave his house. His family have received threats.”
Addressing the court magistrate John Taylor said: “The defendant showed total disregard for the welfare of this dog. He could not give a credible explanation as to what happened, when it happened and how.”
RSPCA inspector Boyd said: “I am very pleased with the outcome of this case, which reflects the seriousness of Mr Harford’s actions against Riddick, the puppy.
“Riddick, who was an extremely subdued and non-interactive pup, has now developed into a lively, playful dog. He has been found a new home where he has settled in well and he is enjoying his new life.”
Sentencing: Curfew. Total of £1,860 costs and charges. Lifetime ban on keeping animals with no leave to appeal for ten years.