Tag Archives: worst UK animal crimes

Cavehill, Belfast: Wayne McGrath

#TheList Wayne Francis McGrath, born December 1972, of Marsden Gardens Flats, Belfast BT15 5AN – bludgeoned his pet dog to death with a hammer and burnt his remains

Wayne McGrath and victim Patch
Wayne McGrath and victim Patch

McGrath said he killed the American bulldog-type dog, known as Patch, after the animal mauled an eight-year-old girl.

Police found no evidence of the Patch’s remains but a court heard his owner caused him “unimaginable pain”.

McGrath admitted charges of being the keeper of a dog involved in the attack on the child and causing him unnecessary suffering.

Belfast Magistrates’ Court was told Patch was not on a lead when he attacked the girl at Kinnaird Avenue, North Belfast.

The child was bitten and mauled, and witnesses described seeing the dog shake and trail the child by the hair.

Social media image of Wayne McGrath with Patch

McGrath and another man punched and kicked the dog in a bid to break his hold on the girl, the court heard.

She then fled, but the animal shook off a chain put round his neck and began chasing her.

“The dog caught up with the child and got on top of her, and was shaking her and mauling at her chest,” a prosecution lawyer told the court.

The two men then grabbed the dog and restrained him, while the girl was led to safety.

McGrath was questioned at the scene by police, who took both him and the dog back to his partner’s house.

The following day officers checked to see if he had handed over the animal to be humanely destroyed, but McGrath told them he had killed the dog himself.

The court heard he had received death threats and was under pressure to dispose of the dog, but did not have the money to take the animal to a vet to be euthanised.

No remains of the dog were found when police searched McGrath’s home, but during interviews he claimed to have killed the animal at a dump near Ligoniel.

“He admitted killing the dog by hitting it over the crown of the head with a hammer twice, and then putting its remains in a wheelie bin, covering it with copper wire and petrol, and setting the remains and the tools he used on fire,” a prosecution barrister said.

But no evidence of dog remains or the burnt bins were found during further searches of the dump area either.

The court heard McGrath’s admissions were the only evidence that the dog had died in the way described.

The prosecution said the animal had been subjected to unnecessary cruelty.

“A blow to the head with a hammer would cause a lot of damage, trauma and pain,” the lawyer argued.

“In the final moments of its life the animal would have experienced unimaginable pain and fear inflicted by its carer.

“There’s no way to ascertain if the first blow from the hammer would have rendered the dog insensible, and the owner ascertained a further blow was indeed required.”

A defence barrister said McGrath acted out of fear, having received a visit from people connected to an unnamed criminal organisation.

The judge said it was a “terrible case” in which a girl had sustained “lasting injury” and a dog was treated in an “appalling” manner.

“I have no doubt in my mind that unnecessary suffering was caused to that animal.”

Sentencing: four months in prison. Lifetime ban on keeping any animals. McGrath was released on bail, pending an appeal against his jail sentence.

BBC News
Newsletter

Hartlepool, County Durham: Thomas Wade

#TheList Thomas Andrew Wade, born 02/03/1993, previously of Mellor Street, Stockton-on-Tees, but as of September 2020 living in an NHS care facility in Park Avenue, Hartlepool TS26 0DZ – subjected his pet cat to prolonged torture which included putting her into a hot oven and flushing her down the toilet

Thomas Wade pictured outside court
Thomas Wade aka ‘Evil Tom’

Wade claimed in court he heard voices from a WWE wrestler named Kane before launching the attack on the cat, known as Sweetie. During her ordeal, which came after she apparently “disobeyed” her twisted owner, Sweetie was put in a hot oven, flushed in a toilet, strangled with a TV cord and thrown against walls.

Wade then made disturbing voice recordings of himself where he spoke in detail about carrying out the horrific abuse and proclaimed: “No one can be more evil than myself.”

Despite the sickening cruelty, Sweetie miraculously survived the ordeal, but was hospitalised with severe third degree burns.

Wade pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to an animal during his appearance at Teesside Magistrates’ Court.

Stuart Haywood, prosecuting, said loner Wade, who has learning difficulties and autism, received Sweetie as a gift from his sister as she thought it would be “good for him”.

The tabby was then given to Wade for a three week trial before possible adoption.

But on October 8, 2019, Wade went to his sister’s home and told her the cat “was not wanted anymore”.

Thomas Wade pictured outside court

Mr Haywood said his sister then went to Wade’s home where she “smelled a strong smell of burning”.

“The defendant was sitting on a settee and the cat was wet and breathing rapidly, he refused to say why,” he said.

He added that fur was then found in Wade’s oven. After more questions, Wade finally admitted what he had done, saying that it “felt good”.

His sister immediately notified the RSPCA and Sweetie was taken to a vet where she was found to be in a “terrible condition”.

She had sustained skin damage and “significant” third degree burns before being hospitalised.

The police soon became involved and Wade was arrested.

Rambling voice recordings were later discovered of Wade speaking about the abuse.

In the recordings, one of which was eight minutes long, he spoke in detail about attacking Sweetie.

In one sinister recording he said, “No one can be more evil than myself” and said he wanted to “rip out its tongue” after seeing her struggle while being “choke slammed”.

In another he referred to himself as “evil Tom”.

In police interview, Wade said he “threw her against four walls” and said he carried out the violence in part because he claimed he heard voice in his head from the WWE wrestling character, Kane, in his head.

Wade was also remorseless, telling officers “she had not suffered enough”.

He said he put the terrified cat in the oven “on high for five minutes” after throwing her against a wall and said he became infuriated at Sweetie for “disobeying” his orders for her not to go under his bed. The court heard that Wade had “no mental health” issues, but did have learning difficulties.

Matthew Agar, defending, said the incident was “shocking”, and said he “did not want to minimise” the offence.

He said it was his view Wade’s learning disability was a “contributing factor” and that he had serious concerns for him.

Mr Agar added that Wade was now aware of the severity of the offence and that he felt Wade had something like a “split-personality”.

He said that Wade had moved to Teesside from Grimsby and would “go weeks” without any other contact with people.

Sentencing Wade, district judge, Helen Cousins called him an “extremely dangerous man” and that she would liked to have “put him in prison for as long as I could”.

Sentencing: 18-week prison sentence, suspended for two years. Six months of mental health treatment. 30 rehabilitation activity days and 18-week hospital curfew. £440 costs. Banned from keeping pets for 10 years (expires 2030).

GazetteLive

Shrewsbury, Shropshire: Steven To and Charlotte Plimmer

#TheList Steven Sai Chong To, born 21/03/1992, and wife Charlotte Plimmer, born 15/11/1996, both of 13 Theatre Royal Apartments, 15 Shoplatch, Shrewsbury SY1 1HR – for cruelty offences relating to four kittens

Cat killers Steven To and wife Charlotte Plimmer
Cat killers Steven To and wife Charlotte Plimmer. Sadist To is banned from keeping animals for life while Plimmer received a seven-year ban

Takeaway worker Steven To killed two kittens and inflicted months of abuse on two others while his wife, Charlotte To (née Plimmer) failed to react to the ongoing cruelty.

Between August 2018 and March 2019, the Tos inflicted abuse which RSPCA veterinarian Dr David Martin said was the worst he had seen in his 22 years of practice.

The court heard how eight-week-old kittens Jin and Sun, and two-month-old pets Moon and Mew, suffered seizures, broken bones, infections, hair and skin loss, multiple amputations and tail lacerations which left one “hanging on by a thread”.

Steven To pleaded guilty to three animal cruelty charges relating to harming the cats, and Charlotte To pleaded guilty to four charges of failing to provide a safe environment and veterinary care.

Prosecuting on behalf of the RSPCA, Sara Pratt, said: “The defendants lived together with their kittens in a flat in Shrewsbury.

“Over the period of August 2018 and March 2019, they acquired a total of four kittens, two of which were killed while in the care of the defendants, as a result of the actions of Steven To – Jin was almost 12 weeks old and Mew was just five months old at the time of their deaths.”

Cat killers Steven To and wife Charlotte Plimmer.

The court heard Jin and Sun were registered at Animal Trusts Vets and deemed healthy in August 2018, before Moon and Mew were registered at a different practice, Copthorne Veterinary Clinic, in November 2018.

Ms Pratt added: “On September 14, 2018, a phone call was made to Animal Trust Vets reporting that Jin had been playing, knocked over some recycling, started having a seizure and died.

“On September 21, Sun was anaesthetised and X-rays revealed a fresh fracture to her right tibia.”

The court heard in October 2018, Sun was taken to the vets with two “kinks” in her tail, before returning three days later with it “hanging off”.

The defendants bought Moon and Mew in November 2018, before Sun was taken to the vets again with hair and skin loss.

Mew then suffered an injury to her chin where the skin had become detached from her jaw bone and required surgery, the court heard.

Ms Pratt said: “Just seven days after surgery to her avulsed chin, Mew was returned to Copthorne Vets with an extreme fracture dislocation midway down the tail – all tendons had been ripped.”

Mew was found dead on the kitchen floor days after returning from the vets following a tail amputation.

The court heard that an RSPCA post mortem found evidence of blunt trauma to the right side of the cat’s thorax and neck, as well as evidence that the cat had lost blood externally through the nose.

The court then heard how in February 2019, Moon was taken to Abbey Veterinary Centre starved, and again with a leg fracture in March.

Following concerns raised by the veterinary practices and the RSPCA, later that month Moon and Sun were seized by police and a full investigation was launched.

A report by Dr Martin stated that it was “clear” all four cats sustained “serious injuries” and that two died from “traumatic incidents”.

He added: “It is exceptionally unusual to have such a significant incidence of serious trauma in four cats over such a short period of time, to the extent that in 22 years of veterinary practice, I have never seen or heard of such a high incidence of serious injury.”

2011 photo of Charlotte Plimmer
2011 photo of Charlotte Plimmer

District Judge Kevin Grego said there was “no doubt” a lifetime ban was necessary for Mr To, and that Mrs To should not have “covered her eyes” to the ongoing abuse.

He said: “The penny must have dropped after a short period of time. She [Mrs To] either should have got those animals out of the house or at the very least ensured it wasn’t going to happen again.”

Judge Grego added: “Animal cruelty is incisive of a mindset that’s corrosive and damaging – that’s what makes this so serious.

“There should be no doubt the animals that died and suffered did so as a result of deliberate cruelty from you, Steven.

“That cruelty and death could have been avoided if you, Charlotte, didn’t frankly cover your eyes and accept what your husband told you when you knew what you were being told was unsustainable

Sentencing: Steven To was sentenced to 22 weeks in prison, suspended for 18 months, with 200 hours of unpaid work, 25 days of rehabilitation, a lifetime ban on keeping animals and was ordered to pay £5,000 court costs, more than £3,500 in vets’ fees and a £122 surcharge.

Charlotte To was given a 12-month community order, with 25 days of rehabilitation, 40 hours of unpaid work, a seven-year ban on owning animals and was ordered to pay £390 costs.

Shropshire Star

Grimsby, Lincolnshire: Aaron Williamson

#TheList Aaron James Williamson, born 12/08/1999, of 33B Westerdale Way, Grimsby DN37 9BY – subjected a kitten to regular beatings and bit off his ear

Kitten abuser Aaron James Williamson from Grimsby and his victim, Litten

Aaron Williamson was banned from owning animals for life after a court heard about his sickening catalogue of abuse against the young cat, known as Litten.

The thug admitted he had lost count of how many times he had punched Litten, and said he did so whenever he was angry. He also bit the kitten’s ear multiple times, removing most of it.

Williamson admitted one offence of causing unnecessary suffering to a kitten. Sentencing William, the judge described his actions as “sickening”.

The RSPCA confirmed three kittens were rescued from Williamson’s home on September 11, 2019, following a tip-off.

Kitten abuser Aaron James Williamson from Grimsby

RSPCA inspector Kate Burris said: “Williamson tortured this kitten. He admitted repeatedly biting Litten’s ear, which resulted in the loss of most of it, and that he had lost count of the times he had punched Litten. He said he did it when he was angry.

Kitten abuser Aaron James Williamson from Grimsby

“District Judge Curtis said his daily abuse of small, defenceless animals who were unable to harm him and were at his mercy was sickening.

“He said that Williamson had called himself a monster in interview, and that was accurate as to how he behaved.

“We are extremely grateful to the witnesses who contacted us, and got these kittens out of this situation despite the position that put them in. It was very brave.

“I was surprised how friendly Litten was when I first met him given the abuse he had suffered, he was so affectionate and loving and was rubbing his face against mine during his veterinary examination.

“I just knew he was going to make a perfect addition to any family.

Abused kitten Litten, renamed Oreo
The abused kitten’s new family have said that he is doing ‘fantastic’ and is ‘absolutely adorable and really good-natured’.

“I am so happy that he has found a fantastic new home, with people who love him and are caring for him in the way he always should have been cared for. It could have been a very different outcome for him if we hadn’t been able to intervene when we did.”

Williamson’s two other kittens found a new home together in Derbyshire.

Sentencing: 12 weeks in jail. Ordered to pay £250 costs and a £120 victim surcharge. Lifetime ban on keeping animals.

BBC News
GrimsbyLive

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

East Belfast: John Boyle

#TheList John Joseph Boyle, born 17/09/1965, of 663 Springfield Road, Belfast BT12 7HD – beat an injured dog to death with two hammers

John Boyle, formerly of Ardilea Court, Ardoyne, admitted killing his pet dog with two hammers after she had been hit by a car. He then dumped her remains in a wheelie bin. The horrific incident took place on 23 November 2017.

Officers went to Boyle’s house after being called by a concerned neighbour who had seen him with the ailing pet and who was worried he would not seek proper care for her injuries.

When Boyle was questioned about the whereabouts of the pup, he said a friend had taken her away to a farmhouse in the countryside.

But when his house and yard were searched, the body of the dog and two bloodied hammers were discovered.

He then admitted killing his pet and said he couldn’t afford to take her to the vet.

A spokesperson for Belfast City Council said: “This was a particularly extreme and harrowing case.

“Belfast City Council brought the prosecution after animal welfare officers followed up on a report that a dog had been knocked down by a car and injured,” they explained.

“Mr Boyle took a hammer and killed the dog, placing it in a wheelie bin.

“Animal welfare officers attended the property at Ardilea Court and found the dog’s body. They seized a wooden mallet and metal hammer from the property, both with evidence of dried blood on them.”

The court viewed the offence as so serious that it justified a jail term.

Boyle will serve his sentence in Maghaberry Prison.

Sentencing: six months in jail; fines totalling £264. Banned from keeping animals for 10 years.

BelfastLive
BelfastTelegraph

Sauchie, Alloa, Clackmannanshire: Paul Murray

#TheList Paul Scotty Murray, born 21/11/1999, of 10 Gartmorn Road, Sauchie, Alloa FK10 3NX – inflicted a catalogue of injuries on a pup and stuffed him into a tiny drawer

Dog killer Paul Murray from Sauchie in Alloa
Paul Murray

The badly injured dog, known as Tyson, was left in agony with no access to food, water, light or room to move after being stuffed into a drawer by his twisted owner, Paul Scotty Murray. The four-month-old dog had to be euthanised on humane grounds.

Murray only admitted causing Tyson unnecessary suffering by failing to get him treated for a catalogue of horrendous injuries. The court did not address how he came to be injured in the first place.

Tyson had sustained a fractured elbow and injured hip, and was suffering from a painful ear condition between February 21-28, 2019.

Instead of taking the stricken dog to a vet, Murray left him to suffer in agony at his property on Gartmorn Road during that period.

He also admitted cramming Tyson into a tiny drawer under a bed on February 28.

Police discovered Tyson in the drawer and immediately seized him from Murray.

The court heard a vet found “evidence of definite trauma to the head, neck and femur”.

The injuries were likely to have been a result of “separate incidents” of trauma, and the pain the dog was in would have been obvious to any owner.

Sadly, Tyson was euthanised on welfare grounds on March 1.

Murray’s solicitor, Grazia Robertson of Glasgow law firm L and G Robertson, said her client was barely able to care for himself, let alone an animal.

She said this was due to a troubled upbringing, and asked for unpaid work or a curfew to be imposed on Murray.

She added: “Clearly, some punishment is required.”

A furious Sheriff Craig Harris warned Murray of how seriously he viewed the offences.

He said: “You put this animal through absolute hell. You should be nowhere near animals.

“I’ve given serious consideration as to whether you should go to prison for this.”

Instead, Murray walked free from court with a community order.

Sentencing: 150 hours of unpaid work and a one-year supervision order. He is banned from owning, keeping, or taking charge of any animal for a period of seven years.

Alloa Advertiser

Brixham, Torbay, Devon: Craig Dolling

#TheList Craig Anthony Dolling, born 21/04/1993, of 24A Briseham Road, Brixham, Torbay, Devon TQ5 9NS – subjected his pet dog to a savage beating, causing him to lose a leg

Violent dog abuser Craig Dolling from Devon

Rocco, a young Staffordshire bull terrier, suffered a catalogue of horrific injuries at the hands of his owner Craig Dolling.

The pet was left bloodied with cuts, a broken leg, fractured ribs, cheek bone and skull. Dolling and his girlfriend, Natasha Hilson, 25, then let the animal suffer by not taking him to a vet.

Abused dog Rocco suffered an appalling catalogue of injuries

When asked to explain the injuries Dolling told his partner: “I just went mad on him earlier. You know what I get.”

The RSPCA said Dolling’s behaviour was ‘tantamount to torture’.

Father-of-one Dolling, who has previous convictions for violence, admitted two charges of causing unnecessary suffering to Rocco when he appeared in court.

Lindi Meyer, prosecuting, said the defendant lived with Rocco and his partner Hilson. Both accepted responsibility for the pet.

The RSPCA and police went to the house on September 2, 2019, after reports of an injured dog. Initially the pair did not answer but Hilson let them in just as police were about to force entry.

The dog had obvious leg and head injuries, said the prosecutor.

Hilson said Rocco had hurt his leg trying to get over a gate almost a month before. She confirmed he had not seen a vet.

“There was a strong smell of ammonia and faeces on the floor,” added Ms Meyer.

A police officer said the injured state of the dog was ‘heartbreaking’ and he had never seen such a badly injured animal before.

Rocco had multiple cuts, dislocated femur, swelling, two large head wounds that were so severe vets were unable to examine his right eye, a fractured tooth, cheek, three fractured ribs, and a fracture to the right hock which was several weeks old and so severe the leg had to be amputated.

Abused dog Rocco suffered an appalling catalogue of injuries

There were stains on the carpets which Hilson said Rocco had left after he injured his head trying to escape from his cage.

Dolling said the injury to Rocco’s leg happened about one and a half months before when he tried to jump over a door. Both denied mistreating him and Dolling said he didn’t take him for treatment because he thought the vet might think he had beaten him. He couldn’t explain the fracture to the dog’s eye and denied beating him. He said he thought the animal would die without vet attention.

Texts between the two revealed more of what really happened to the dog.

Hilson demanded to know what had happened to Rocco’s face. Dolling replied: “I just went mad on him earlier. I’m sorry, I didn’t mean it. I’m f****d.”

Hilson said the dog was ‘only a baby’ and hadn’t done anything to deserve such treatment.

Dolling answered: “You know what I get. I get what you’re saying. I’m sorry, I’m a nasty c**t.”

Hilson said there was a history of domestic violence in the relationship. Dolling now accepted responsibility for what he had done.

Violent dog abuser Craig Dolling from Devon

Nobody was present at the time Dolling injured the dog and the court was not told what triggered his violence. A vet found the injuries had been sustained by blunt force trauma on at least two occasions. They would have caused considerable pain for Rocco for at least six weeks. The skull fracture was caused by being struck with a ‘heavy linear object’ not consistent with Dolling’s explanation about the door. Injuries to the ribs were caused by kicks, stamps, or throwing against an object, said the vet.

Ms Meyer said Dolling’s actions had been ‘deliberate, gratuitous and caused suffering and pain on a number of occasions’. There had been prolonged neglect over months and no vet treatment despite both being aware of the injuries.

Abused dog Rocco with his sister Lyla
Rocco with his sister Lyla

The court was played a video of Rocco in the care of the RSPCA, running and chasing a ball. “He’s doing really well,” after learning to walk again, said the prosecutor.

Hilson has yet to sign him over to the RSPCA’s care and has stated she wants him back.

Ben Darby, defending, said Dolling accepted full responsibility for the injuries and was ‘tearful’ and sorry for what he had done. He wanted help for his anger management issues and was motivated to change.

“These are pretty horrendous offences,” said Mr Darby. But he said Dolling had held his hands up and admitted his crime, even though nobody saw him cause the injuries and for that he should be given credit.

Hilson, who did not cause injuries to Rocco, admits a lesser charge under the Animal Welfare Act. She will be sentenced at a later date.

Sentencing: suspended four-month jail sentence. He was told to do up to 10 days anger management with probation and 60 hours of unpaid work. He was banned from keeping all animals for life but can appeal after just five years.

DevonLive

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Update 06/03/2020:

Natasha Rose Hilson, born 10/08/1994, also of 24A Briseham Road, Brixham, Torbay, Devon TQ5 9NS, has been sentenced for failing to seek veterinary care for Rocco while he was suffering from his injuries.

Natasha 'Tasha' Hilson and Craig Dolling who both faced charges in relation to the cruelty and neglect of Rocco
Natasha ‘Tasha’ Hilson and Craig Dolling who both faced charges in relation to the cruelty and neglect of Rocco

She must carry out 10 Rehabilitation Activity Requirement days and 240 hours’ unpaid work.

She was also disqualified from owning any animal for 15 years, with no application to lift this for five years, and must pay £200 costs.

ITV News

Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire: 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.

Crouch Hill, Haringey, North London: Joseph Thomas

#TheList Joseph Thomas, born 19/11/1973, of 28A Crouch Hill, Haringey, London N4 4AU: battered his Staffordshire Bull Terrier on multiple occasions, leaving him with two detached retina and partially sighted

Abused dog Marley

Thomas was found guilty of one count of causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal, and to a second charge of failing in his duty as person responsible for animal welfare.

The court heard how Thomas terrorised the dog, Marley, who is two or three years old, over a two-year period, with attacks that included punching the dog, whipping him with a steel lead and beating him with a branch.

The court heard how, on January 15, 2019, a woman and her friend were walking on the Parkland Walk, near Ashmount School, when they witnessed Thomas “forcefully hitting the dog with a heavy branch” about 20 times.

Prosecutor Mark Jones explained that soon after Thomas got Marley in 2017, a neighbour reported witnessing him “pulling the dog off the ground” by his lead about five times so that he was “being caused to choke and thrashing around in the air”.

Abused dog Marley

The court heard Thomas then hit Marley about 15 times with the lead, and that the neighbour would hear “harrowing screaming from the dog” coming from inside his flat.

On another occasion a Tesco employee saw Thomas punching the animal in the ribs. Separately, a further witness saw him strike the dog four times in the ribs area.

They remonstrated with him and he said: “It’s nothing to do with you,” to which they replied: “It’s got something to do with me, we’re in a public space.”

Officer seized Marley off Thomas on April 26, 2019

Sentencing Thomas, Dr Joan Scanlon cited his “absence of remorse”, ongoing denial of guilt and the “severe distress” his attacks caused for witnesses, as reasons for sending him to prison.

Sentencing: a total of 26 weeks in jail. Victim surcharge of £115. Indefinite disqualification on owning animals with no right of appeal for five years.

Islington Gazette