West Harptree, Somerset: Stephen Potter

#TheList horse abattoir operator Stephen John Potter, born April 1965, of Whistley Farm, Whistley Lane, West Harptree BS40 6HD

Stephen Potter and a horse being put down at one of his abattoirs
Stephen John Potter has grown rich on the back of his shoddy businesses. Photo on right shows a pony being put down at one of his abattoirs. Source: Daily Mail

Two businesses, F Drury & Sons Ltd, of Tockenham Corner, Swindon, SN4 7PF and L J Potter Ltd of Whistley Farm, West Harptree BS40 6HD together with Stephen Potter, who is the director of both companies, were found guilty of animal welfare offences following a prosecution brought by Wiltshire Council Trading Standards.

On 22nd October 2018, L J Potter Ltd transported a horse from Northern Ireland along with a consignment of other horses to Drury’s abattoir. The lorry arrived at the abattoir late at night and as the horses were being unloaded from the lorry, a grey mare was found to be lying on her side and unable to rise. CCTV footage viewed by the court showed the horse attempting to stand five times, but continually falling over until eventually she managed to stand unable to bear weight on her right fore leg and reluctant to move.

The grey mare that was the subject of the prosecution
Abhorrent cruelty: the grey mare couldn’t walk and or breathe but was left to suffer for several hours by Stephen Potter’s company

The court heard evidence from expert witnesses who viewed the CCTV footage that in their opinion, at that stage, either a vet should have been called to assess the condition of the horse, or she should have been put down. Instead, the court heard that Stephen Potter, who was not present at the abattoir but was viewing the unloading of the horses, instructed the driver to transport the grey mare on a further journey from the abattoir to his farm in Somerset.

The vehicle departed but soon returned to the abattoir as the horse had somehow managed to stand during the journey. The horse was unloaded from the vehicle and CCTV footage showed her being unable to walk on her front leg. Experts giving evidence for the prosecution were clear that the horse was suffering, needed urgent veterinary attention and was not fit to be transported.

The mare was left alone in the lairage at the abattoir overnight until she was noticed by the vet on duty at the abattoir early in the morning. He took the view that the animal was in a severe condition, breathing rapidly, distressed and therefore needed immediate destruction.

District Judge, Tim Pattinson, said that Potter ‘had made an error of judgement that had resulted in a horse suffering for several hours which could, and should have been avoided. In this country we expect high standards of animal welfare especially in commercial activity’.

Judge Pattinson also said that Potter had shown an excessively relaxed approach to the problem and had underplayed the pain and suffering of the horse.

The case, brought by Wiltshire Council Trading Standards, resulted in a total penalty of £22,170 divided between the two companies and Stephen Potter and included costs of £10,000 awarded to Wiltshire Council.

Wiltshire Times

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In November 2010 Animal Aid exposed shocking cruelty at F R Drury. Undercover footage obtained by the group showed sheep being decapitated whilst still alive, calves slipping and collapsing repeatedly to the floor for three hours and goats leaping into the killing area to try to evade the stunning tongs.

Truro, Cornwall: Gary Clark

#TheList smallholder Gary Joseph Clark, born c. 1975, of 30a River Street, Truro TR1 2SJ – kept pigs, poultry and a llama in filthy and dangerous conditions

Foul and hazardous conditions on Gary Clark's Cornwall smallholding
Foul and hazardous conditions on Gary Clark’s Cornwall smallholding

Taxi driver Clark, who also runs an auto-repairs business named Team GC Enterprises, pleaded guilty to six offences relating to a failure to care for the animals under the Animal Health Act, 2006.

The offences related to a failure to care for the pigs, poultry and llama, that were kept at Trevarth Farm allotments in Lanner, Redruth, Cornwall.

Over the course of three visits made by Cornwall Council’s Animal Health officers and an Animal Plant and Health Agency vet, the enclosure for the pigs was found to be continually waterlogged, with mud coming up to the animals’ bellies.

The only water available for them to drink was dirty and muddy and they had access to hazardous objects such as nails and sharp edges.

A llama at the site had no shelter from the elements and there were sharp objects including nails and sharp projections found in its enclosure.

The poultry was not provided with clean dry litter and also did not have access to fresh water.

Despite the extensive advice he was given over the course of the visits, Clark made only minor improvements to the unacceptable conditions in which the animals were kept. All requests to remove the sharp objects and to provide dry lying areas and fresh water were ignored.

Sentencing: total of £792 in fines and surcharge. Banned for five years from keeping farm animals, including llamas.

Falmouth Packet

New York, Lincoln: Tamara Lloyd

#TheList Tamara J Lloyd, born October 1969, of Chapelry Farm, Langrick Road, Lincoln LN4 4XH – failed to meet the needs of dozens of animals living in squalor at her sanctuary

Sanctuary from hell boss Tamara Lloyd

Following an RSPCA prosecution, Tamara Lloyd of The Alternative Animal Sanctuary was found guilty of 16 offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

More than 70 cats, 14 pigs, along with dogs, horses and terrapins were among the animals kept in ‘appalling conditions’ at the sanctuary.

The offences came to light after the RSPCA executed two separate warrants in May 2019 and January 2020.

Lloyd was filmed for a TV documentary shortly before the first raid, with footage showing the chaotic home and outdoor pens overrun by animals. Before the raid she spoke on the Channel 5 programme called ‘The Woman with 106 Dogs’, which aired in June 2020.

Scenes of animal suffering at Tamara Lloyd's sanctuary

During the first warrant, 14 Vietnamese pot-bellied pigs were found housed in an area dirty with faeces and urine accumulation and cluttered with debris and hazards.

Seventy cats did not have a suitable environment in which to live. They were surrounded by urine, faeces and ammonia and some had no access to a suitable diet and fresh drinking water

Two cats were found to have suffered failing to seek appropriate veterinary care to explore and address painful ear infections.

Five more cats were found to be suffering with chronic dental disease that not been treated.

A boar had a severely in-grown tusk. This had penetrated through his face and into the oral cavity.

Sanctuary from hell boss Tamara Lloyd

Three dogs were found with untreated infected wounds on their bodies. Another dog, named Flo, had a ligature injury to her leg – again this had not been treated

One dog had matted fur, heavily contaminated with mud, faeces and plant matter. This took two hours to remove while under a general anaesthetic.

Following the first warrant , the RSPCA served Lloyd with several improvement notices. The charity attempted to work with her over several months to reduce the number of animals on the site and to improve the welfare of those remaining. While initially cooperative, Lloyd went on to acquire more animals.

After further welfare concerns and complaints, another raid was carried out in January 2020. The RSPCA confirmed that one dog was found dead and another was put to sleep by the owner’s vet.

Witnesses described the conditions on site as ‘appalling’. Dead rats were found in the animals’ accommodation along with overflowing litter trays, stagnant dirty water and hazardous objects.

Eleven dogs were found inside the main living quarters of the house, which was described as uncomfortably warm with a strong smell of ammonia and pools of urine on the floor. There was heavy faecal and urine soiling throughout the downstairs with dirty bedding, empty food containers, a lack of sufficient water, and hazards such as general clutter, rubbish and exposed nails.

A three-legged dog was found in a dark kennel with little ventilation, which was soiled with faeces and urine.

Lloyd also did not take reasonable steps in all the circumstances to meet the needs of seven cats for a suitable environment in which to live.

No provision of clean drinking water
Seven cats were kept in a poorly ventilated area littered with the bodies of dead rats. Again there were overflowing litter trays, and faeces and urine over the floor. The area was cluttered and hazardous. .

Two pigs had not been provided with a suitable diet including access to drinking water or a suitable environment in which to live.

The adult Vietnamese pot-bellied pigs were found to be obese and living in an area where faeces and urine had accumulated as well as debris and hazards, and dead rats, one of which was being chewed by the pigs. There was no provision of clean drinking water for the pigs and the feed for them was not suitable as was evidenced by their obese state.

Ten terrapins were found in an environment detrimental to their health and well-being. A vet noted that “slime and sludge covered the surface of the stagnant water, dead maggots were seen in excessive numbers floating on and under the water” The vet described the smell from the water and building as “putrid” and said that all had suffered for some considerable time due to their squalid environment, and were severely immuno-suppressed.

Vets deemed the animals to be suffering with obvious signs of disease and ill health and the animals were removed.

In his verdict, District Judge Peter Veits said:

“I find that [Lloyd] started with good intentions and clearly believed in the sanctity of life for her animals, but her issue here has been that she simply cannot say no.

“She needed to recognise that as a sole owner of the premises that her capacity to meet the needs of animals was limited. She either needed staff or less animals and by choosing to carry on she has undermined her sole purpose in that her failures have contributed to the suffering of animals.”

Lloyd was convicted of 16 offences and acquitted on one charge.

Sentencing: two-year conditional discharge; costs and victim surcharge. Banned from keeping animals for 10 years. Lloyd has lodged an appeal.

Boston Standard
RSPCA News
Lincolnshire Reporter

Flimby, Cumbria: Callum Frew

#TheList Callum Jay Frew, born June 1997, of Lavender Hill, Flimby Brow, Flimby, Maryport CA15 8TD – member of a gang of sadistic hunters that inflicted pain and suffering on wildlife

Callum Frew
Callum Frew is banned from keeping all animals for life

Callum Frew is the final member of a vile hunting gang to be sentenced for persecuting badgers, foxes and deer. The other members, Dillon Broderick, Kai Cartwright, John James Thompson and Scott David Martin Walpole, were sentenced in August 2020.

Company director Frew admitted a total of ten offences. These include wilfully killing a badger, causing suffering to a fox by encouraging dogs to chase and attack it, failing to provide veterinary care for his lurcher who had infected painful injuries to its face. They happened between 2018 and 2019

The prosecution came after an RSPCA investigation into material depicting wildlife crime was discovered on a mobile phone by police looking into a separate case. The RSPCA’s Special Operations Unit launched an investigation into footage showing the men badger digging and baiting. Further investigation then revealed more offences against Frew.

Investigating officer Jason Bowles said: “The footage shows the men and their dogs inflicting pain and suffering on innocent wildlife.

“Badger baiting and digging are brutal and illegal blood sports which sees violence being inflicted on wild animals as well as painful injuries on the dogs who are used.

“Frew and others appeared in images and footage showing the men out with their dogs, digging down into badger setts and setting dogs on the animals. It’s extremely upsetting to see the badger being attacked by the dogs and to hear their cries as they’re killed. We then discovered that there was more evidence against Frew showing him setting his dogs on foxes and badgers and brought more charges against him.”

PC Samantha O’Key, Cumbria police wildlife, rural and environmental crime coordinator, said: “We are very pleased with the outcome of this investigation and the subsequent convictions that have been brought against the individuals, as Cumbria Police takes animal cruelty very seriously.

“We worked diligently with our RSPCA colleagues and this is a good example of partnership working at its most effective.”

Sentencing: concurrent jail terms of 120 days on each offence, suspended for 18 months. Community order with 26-week curfew and 100 hours of unpaid work. Ordered to pay costs of £2,000 and a victim surcharge of £122. His mobile phones were ordered to be destroyed. Disqualified from keeping all animals for life. Deprivation order on two whippet-type dogs.

News and Star

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

Barry, Vale of Glamorgan: Bridget Gulley

#TheList Bridget Patricia Alexander Gulley, born c. 1997, of Holland Way, Barry CF63 1RF – for dog neglect

Bridget Gulley
Bridget Gulley

Bridget Gulley pleaded guilty to three charges under the Animal Welfare Act in relation to a black female crossbreed dog called Bella.

Gulley “failed to provide adequate veterinary care and attention for its severe skin disease, hair loss and associated infection”.

The offences were committed between September and October 2019.

No further details are currently available.

Sentencing: 12-month community order; 10-day rehabilitation activity requirement; £405 in fines, costs and surcharge. Banned from keeping animals for five years (expires September 2020).

Barry and District News

Louth, Lincolnshire: Byron ‘Baz’ Toyne

#TheList career criminal Byron David Toyne, born c. 1985, of Keddington Road, Louth LN11 0AA – attacked a hamster during a violent domestic incident

Social media image of Byron Toyne
Byron Toyne, who goes by the first name Baz

Byron Toyne, whose previous convictions include harassment and assault, pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to the hamster, known as Nibbles, by throwing and shaking him. Toyne claimed he was unaware the hamster was in the cage.

We understand that Nibbles’ owner only took him to the vet four days after the incident where he was diagnosed with a broken back and put to sleep. She was not prosecuted for her failure to seek prompt treatment for the stricken pet.

Toyne also admitted committing criminal damage to a bicycle wheel, art box, leaning board and canvas picture belonging to a Louth woman on the same day.

Sentencing: community order which includes 170 hours of unpaid work. Total costs and charges of £175. He was not banned from owning animals.

Louth Leader

Plymouth, Devon: Michael Rose

#TheList Michael ‘Mikey’ Rose (aka Michael Garner), born c. 1997, previously of Hill Park Crescent, Greenbank, Plymouth PL4 but most recently no fixed abode – punched and kicked a police dog after constables found him living in a tent in woods

Michael Rose aka Michael Garner and PD Ollie
Michael Rose aka Michael Garner and PD Ollie

Rose, who is originally from Basildon, Essex, punched and kicked PD Ollie as constables tried to restrain him. But the dog managed to grab hold of his ankle as he’d been trained to do.

The thug also rained blows on three police officers who found him in a tent and tried to headbutt another back at the police station.

Rose then assaulted two custody officers who were taking him to court the next day. One of the officers later said it was the most aggressive he had seen someone in 17 years of policing.

Jailing him for 18 months in total, Judge William Mousley said all six officers had been “just doing their job”.

Police mugshot of Michael Rose aka Michael Garner

He added that Rose had significant mental health difficulties, including paranoia, though he had refused to co-operate with psychiatric staff in the past.

Rose pleaded guilty to six counts of assaulting an emergency worker and one of causing unnecessary suffering to a dog on December 23 and December 24, 2019.

He changed his pleas minutes ahead of his trial.

Police Dog Ollie’s Twitter account said after the attack that there were no serious injuries and that he “recovered quickly”.

Rose was jailed in December 2017 for 29 months for two offences of blackmail. The latest offences were committed on licence after his release.

Rose, representing himself, mumbled from the dock through the prosecution opening of the case.

Middlesbrough, North Yorkshire: Ashley Corner

#TheList Ashley Lauren Corner, born November 1985, of Park Avenue, Marton, Middlesbrough TS6 0AP – for the neglect of two dogs found in dire condition.

Ashley Corner social media image
Ashley Corner is now banned from owning animals until 2025

Corner’s dogs, West Highland terriers Harvey and Woody, were found by RSPCA officers with matted fur and paws covered in faeces.

The single mother-of-three boys, who is also a backyard breeder, pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to an animal between September 1 and 29, 2019.

Neglected dog Harvey
Neglected dog Harvey (this image is a couple of years old)

Stuart Haywood, prosecuting on behalf of the RSPCA, said officers were called to Corner’s house after reports regarding the state of the dogs.

Mr Haywood said that Corner initially refused the RSPCA officers entry, but they subsequently returned and finally gained entry.

Corner’s home was found to have a “strong smell of urine and faeces” and the dogs were “covered in fleas” with “matted fur”.

The paws of one dog were covered in faeces and both also smelled strongly.

Ashley Corner pictured outside court
Unremorseful Corner laughs outside court

The court heard that Corner signed one of the dogs over to the RSPCA but refused to do so with the other.

Corner, now of Newton Aycliffe, admitted failing to adequately explore and address the causes of the poor condition of both dogs.

Sentencing: 12-month community order with 12 rehabilitation activity days. Ordered to pay £200 costs which will be taken out of her Universal Credit payments. Banned from keeping animals for five years.

GazetteLive

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