#TheList Ian White, born c. 1983, of Camborne Road, Hyde, Thameside – stamped on a pensioner’s dog during a violent crime spree
Ian White’s catalogue of offending began at 10.20pm on November 12, 2018, when he called for a taxi which arrived at a house in Hyde, Manchester.
During the drive he took out a knife and began threatening the driver of the vehicle.
The taxi dropped him off in Buxton Road, Furness Vale, where he flagged down a passing 4×4 and demanded the 65-year-old woman drive him away from the scene.
The woman, who was not physically harmed during the incident, let him out in Yeardsley Lane, Furness Vale. A short time later White made his way to a pub in Buxton Road, Furness Vale.
He entered the pub threatened staff with the knife, caused criminal damage within the business and then left.
White then knocked on the door of a nearby house demanding a taxi be called for him. When the owner, a 75-year-old man, refused to call White a cab he forced his way into the property, assaulting the pensioner and stamping on his dog.
He then left this address and was detained by officers in Buxton Road.
White was charged with 16 offences including threats to kill, possession of a bladed article in public, criminal damage, kidnapping, ABH, affray and causing unnecessary suffering to an animal.
He appeared at Derby Crown Court on May 21, 2019, where he pleaded guilty to all offences (other than an attempted robbery which he pleaded guilty to theft from a person) and was sentenced to seven years in prison.
A number of psychological assessments were made of White and it was concluded that the offending took place at a time when he was suffering “an autistic crisis”.
#TheList Simon James Hancock, born 20/04/1982, of 28 Terrier Close, Southampton SO30 2ND – shot a dog in the head four times with an air rifle before dumping him in a wooded area and leaving him for dead.
The court was told how on July 11, 2018, Hancock attempted to destroy the 15-month-old dog, known as Jet, who belonged to his former partner.
After shooting Jet four times with an air rifle, Hancock dumped him in bushes close to his home in Hedge End, where he suffered, alone, for five days.
When the dog was was finally discovered, he had collapsed and was infested with thousands of fly eggs around the pellet holes.
Jet’s microchip details identified Hancock’s former partner as the owner, and investigations by the animal charity began.
An air rifle found in Hancock’s home was examined by forensics and it was accepted that it was the weapon used to shoot Jet, although Hancock claimed it had been dumped on his doorstep the same morning as the search warrant.
He claimed a friend named Paul, whom he said he has since been unable to trace and didn’t know his surname, was given to Jet after it is claimed the young terrier bit his ex-partner’s daughter.
Hancock’s version of events was not believed by the court and in May 2019 he was found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal.
RSPCA Inspector Graham Hammond said: “Jet was treated in a shockingly brutal manner, being shot in the head four times, then dumped while still alive but horrendously injured.
“You cannot begin to imagine the suffering this dog went through during the five days he was left alone and injured.
“Thankfully he has survived and has made a very good recovery.
“He’s such a happy, friendly dog who loves everyone he meets. It’s amazing to see him thriving in his new home.
“More than £5,000 was spent on veterinary care.
“He was very touch-and-go at times and he lost hearing in one ear because an ear canal had to be removed. His vision has also been affected.”
Sentencing: 200 hours of community service; £1,600 in costs. Banned from keeping animals for just 10 years.
#TheList John Chris Joshua Bunting (DoB 24/03/1995) of Garstang Road North, Wesham, Preston PR4 – caught on camera beating his pet dog.
Bunting pleaded guilty to one offence of causing unnecessary suffering to the dog, known as Disco, under the Animal Welfare Act.
The RSPCA was called by police on 8 September 2018 after they had arrested Bunting, seized the dog, and taken him to a vet practice.
RSPCA inspector Alison Fletcher said: “I met Disco before I saw the footage, which is distressing to watch.
“He was brought into the room by a male vet and he was extremely frightened. He had no obvious injuries but it was impossible to touch him without causing him distress.
“When I attempted to pick him up to place him in the kennel at the rear of my van and take him to the animal centre he went into blind panic. I did eventually manage to coax him inside after around 20 minutes of sitting with him and calmly reassuring him.”
In the first of three video clips Bunting can be seen entering the rear garden of a property on Garstang Road North, Wesham and walk over a grassed area partially out of view. A dog can be heard to cry out. He then appears at the corner of the house holding Disco in his left hand, by the scruff of the neck. He strikes the dog with his right hand a number of times while carrying him into the house. Disco can be heard to cry out again a number of times.
A second clip shows shadowy figures behind the frosted glass of the rear house door. Noises consistent with a slap and a dog vocalising can be heard. The door opens, a man’s voice can be heard to shout “Get out” and Disco runs out into the garden followed by Bunting. The dog runs onto the grassy area and sits down with his back to the garden wall and facing the house. The dog remains in the garden and Bunting returns back into the house.
A third clip shows Bunting standing over Disco before picking him up by the neck. Bunting carries Disco over to a brick-built outhouse within which the dog is placed. Bunting picks up a long piece of polystyrene and repeatedly hits something inside the outhouse. It is not clear whether he is striking Disco, though this was admitted by Bunting in interview.
The court heard that Bunting handled Disco in the manner seen in the footage because Disco wouldn’t go to the toilet, and would sit on the grass and not want to come in, then when he came back into the house he would urinate and defecate there. He said that he was trying to move Disco from behind the door to mop the floor.
Veterinary opinion was that it was likely that Disco had been subjected to shouting or violence when urinating and defecating, which caused him to become anxious when performing these bodily functions. It continued that this had led to him associating the garden with a place in which he experienced anxiety. In a similar way, when Disco urinated or defecated in the house and he was punished, there would be an association with an unpleasant experience in the house.
“This poor dog was in turmoil, caused to suffer physically and mentally,” said Inspector Fletcher.
“It has taken a great deal of love, patience and training from the wonderful staff caring for him at RSPCA Southport, Ormskirk and District Branch Animal Centre, but I saw him today and he’s like a different dog.
“I’m very happy to say that he’ll be looking for a new home soon.”
Sentence: 18-month community order, 15 rehabilitation action requirement days, 300 hours of unpaid work, ordered to pay £500 costs and £85 victim surcharge. Disqualified from keeping animals for four years
#TheList Natalie Page, born c. 1973, of Pentland Terrace, Dunfermline KY11 4ES – kept pets in squalid conditions
Natalie Page admitted failing to ensure the needs of her pet cat were met by exposing the animal to faeces, household debris and unhygienic conditions.
Depute fiscal Alistair McDermid said a SSPCA inspector had gone to Page’s home on June 1, 2018, and warned her about the living conditions for her animals.
On July 19, there was a return visit and two dogs were removed from the house.
Then, on October 25, two police officers went to the house on an unrelated matter.
They were trying to trace the owner and went inside when they found the front door unlocked.
“There was a thoroughly unpleasant smell and there was rubbish piled high on the floor of every room. The officers believed it was not suitable for habitation by a human and that the conditions posed a health risk,” said the depute.
“An adult cat was in the living room and was eating mouldy food that had been discarded on the floor. The pieces of mouldy food had been there so long they had flies coming out of them.
“There were cat and dog faeces on the floor. The dog faeces appear to have been there for three months.
“Wires were exposed where rubble had come away from crumbling walls.”
The cat was taken away to a local vet where it was found to be in “reasonable health” but required urgent dental work.
When Page was cautioned and charged by police she said: “I’ll get it sorted.”
Defence solicitor Peter Robertson said his client was currently living with her mother while her property was having renovations carried out by the council “to make it habitable”.
Sheriff Charles MacNair told Page: “The photographs taken at the time show the deplorable state of your property. If you want to live like that, I can’t do anything about it but animals can’t speak up for themselves and need protection.”
Sentence: fined £360; 21-month banning order preventing Page from owning, keeping or taking charge of animals.
#TheList Simon Sherman, born 08/07/1972 and Sarah Jane Sherman, born 22/02/1972 of 136 Waiblingen Way, Devizes SN10 2BP – failed to treat their dogs’ ailments or to feed them properly
The Shermans were banned from keeping animals for life after leaving their dogs emaciated and sick.
RSPCA Inspector Miranda Albinson discovered collies, Laddie and Milo, in March 2019 after concerns were raised about their welfare.
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.
Inspector Albinson said: “Laddie was lying in a green plastic dog bed on the kitchen floor.
“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.
#TheList Paul Oliver, born c. 1978, and Hannah Rose, born c. 1988, both of Sutton Crosses, Long Sutton, Spalding PE12, Paul Reece, born c. 1970, of Grove View, Usk Road, Chepstow NP16 6SA and Julie Elmore, born c. 1963, of 6 Brynarw Estate, Abergavenny NP7 7ND – convicted of animal cruelty after fox cubs were fed to hounds
Footage obtained by a group called the Hunt Investigation Team (HIT) was instrumental in the successful prosecution of Paul Oliver, master of hounds with the now disbanded South Herefordshire Hunt.
Oliver was convicted of four counts of animal cruelty for allowing his hounds to kill four fox cubs and was handed a 16-week suspended jail sentence for causing their “painful, terrifying” deaths.
District Judge Joanna Dickens, sitting at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court, also imposed a 12-week suspended sentence on Oliver’s partner, Hannah Rose, the hunt’s kennel maid.
The pair were ordered to pay £300 in costs and a £115 victim surcharge after being convicted of causing unnecessary suffering.
HIT, a relatively new group whose members include ex-services personnel, received training in covert investigative methods.
They fixed a device to Oliver’s Land Rover following a tip-off and tracked him to a site where they suspected he was catching fox cubs in May 2016.
They also set up cameras at the hunt’s kennels and obtained footage they said proved Oliver was catching cubs and taking them back to his hounds to “blood” them.
The court heard that one camera recorded Oliver dumping the bodies of two cubs in a wheelie bin.
The activists are said to have taken legal advice from lawyers and animal welfare organisations who told them they could not recover the cubs as this would amount to theft.
They said they did not pass the case to the police because they did not believe officers would have the resources to follow it up.
HIT members, who are involved in several ongoing investigations, are so worried about reprisals that one was allowed to give evidence during the seven-day trial from behind a screen.
Julie Elmore and Paul Reece admitted two counts of causing unnecessary suffering to cubs which were distressed by being transported to the kennels.
Elmore and Reece were given conditional discharges and ordered to pay costs of £50 after the judge said both had been “motivated by consideration” for two fox cubs.
A fifth defendant, Nathan Parry, born c. 1978, also of Brynarw estate, was cleared of all charges.
Parry took foxes to kennels but was found not guilty after the judge accepted he believed they would be relocated in the wild.
Martin Sims, director of investigations at the League Against Cruel Sports and former head of the police’s National Wildlife Crime Unit, said: “We believe the incidents show that hunts are clearly still hunting as the poor fox cubs were thrown into the kennels to give the hounds a taste for blood.
“The barbarity of these incidents is sickening and will horrify the vast majority of the British public who are overwhelmingly opposed to fox hunting.”
Deborah Marshall, HIT spokeswoman, said: “This case has taken far too long to come to court and we have faced false allegations against investigators and obstruction throughout. We are glad that justice has finally taken its course.
“The capture of fox cubs to be used to train hounds is nothing new and is widespread across Britain, as is the mass destruction of healthy hounds to make way for younger ones. We will continue to expose cruelty and wildlife crime.”
#TheList Kyle Keegan, born c. 1994, of 7 Gilpins Manor, Lurgan BT66 8AG – filmed himself bludgeoning a 12-week-old puppy to death with a hammer; broadcast the killing on social media
In a case that has dragged on for several months puppy killer Kyle Keegan finally confessed to his evil crime on 4 June 2019.
He has been bailed to appear for sentencing on 4 July.
The court heard how the bloodied remains of the 12-week-old pup, named Sparky, were uncovered in a bin in the Ailsbury Park area of Lurgan after a house party. An initial postmortem on the pup’s remains revealed how she had sustained a number of fractures as well as severe brain trauma.
At one stage there had also been allegations that Sparky’s body had been put into a microwave and tissue samples were sent to Scotland for expert analysis but to date, no evidence of that has been forthcoming.
Previous courts have also heard how police conducted enquiries with social media outlets after the incident was broadcast online.
District Judge Bernie Kelly revealed how she had been sent a photograph of the incident which claimed the life of Sparky the dog.
The judge said: “I’m shocked I’m going to say this but [it was done] for someone’s entertainment.”
“I have been in this post for more than 35 years and I have never in my life come across something as cruel as what’s alleged in this case,” declared Judge Kelly.