#TheList Victoria-Louise Chamberlain (also uses the surname Robinson), born 06/09/1999, formerly of Castleford and more recently Post Office Road, Featherstone, Pontefract WF7 5ER – failed to intervene to stop her dog Sasha being repeatedly beaten by her former partner or to seek veterinary treatment for the dog’s serious injuries
#TheList Daniel McPhillips, born 01/11/1993, of Beech Crescent, Denny FK6 – strangled a King Charles spaniel, bound his head, neck, throat and legs with his lead and dumped him in the canal to drown
Daniel McPhillips was given £20 to deliver a spaniel named Alfie to a vet to be rehomed. Instead, in an act of shocking callousness, McPhillips strangled Alfie and dumped his body in the Forth & Clyde Canal with his lead wrapped around his legs.
The heroin addict then lied to the dog’s original owner, Tammy-Lynn Burgoyne, stating by text he had taken the dog to the vet so he could be re-homed. Ms Burgoyne later discovered the truth after Alfie’s body was discovered in the canal and reported the matter to the Scottish SPCA.
McPhillips appeared from custody at Falkirk Sheriff Court having been arrested for his non-appearance on an earlier date. He denied asphyxiating the dog and dumping him in the canal in September 2018.
A Scottish SPCA investigator told the court that McPhillips had avoided her telephone calls and appeared reluctant to meet with her.
An associate of McPhillips then gave evidence, stating McPhillips had actually admitted to him he had killed the dog, telling him “I didn’t ken what else to do with it.”
Giving evidence himself, McPhillips stated Alfie had escaped while he was walking with him in the woods and he could not get him back. He said he texted Ms Burgoyne and lied, telling her he had safely delivered the animal to the vets.
After considering all the evidence, Sheriff Christopher Shead found McPhillips guilty and told him a prison sentence was a real possibility.
Sentence was deferred until December 18, 2019, and McPhillips was remanded in custody until that date.
Commenting on the case, a Scottish SPCA undercover SIU officer said: “This is a truly shocking case of animal cruelty. Rather than taking Alfie to the vet, McPhillips instead decided to kill him and pocket the cash.”
“Numerous people contacted our animal helpline to identify McPhillips as the perpetrator when Alfie was discovered in October 2018 and two witnesses told us he’d openly admitted to the crime.
“McPhillips ignored our repeated attempts to engage with him and he failed to turn up for two trial dates, which meant warrants were issued for his arrest.”
The SIU officer added: “It is hard to comprehend how tragic Alfie’s death was. As well as the trauma to his neck, he also had injuries to his front legs where he’d been trying to escape the bindings. Alfie was caused unimaginable unnecessary suffering due to the actions of McPhillips. We look forward to the sentencing in this case on 18 December.”
#TheList backyard breeder Robert Milliken, born 25/05/1986, of 81 Rathkyle, Antrim BT41 1LQ – for the wilful neglect of four dogs
Father-of-three Robert Milliken was charged with causing unnecessary suffering to four dogs – two hounds and two Patterdale terriers kept in pens at a property in Ballyutoag Hill in Crumlin.
Lawyers for Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council, who brought the case, confirmed that a complaint had been received about dogfighting and living conditions relating to the animals.
When a visit was made to the property, 13 dogs were found across three pens.
In one pen, there was a terrier-type dog with a wound to his lip while a second pen containing seven dogs was riddled with faeces.
In the third pen, there was a terrier and four underweight hounds. One dog had a swollen muzzle which was bloody.
The court heard that a vet attended and determined that the two terriers and two of the hounds were suffering and should be seized.
On a subsequent visit to the premises inspectors were met with a strong smell of urine. Two dogs were running loose. One of them was described as pot-bellied with swollen glands while the other was underweight.
No water or food was available to the dogs and when offered water one of the dogs drank so much she vomited.
These dogs were also seized.
Milliken’s lawyer told the court that his client was an animal lover who had kept dogs for many years. He had, however, lost stability in his life after the breakdown of his marriage and had been “bingeing on drugs”.
He told the court that his client – a trained butcher who had struggled to find work – had been sentenced on three years in prison in 2009 for an unrelated, unspecified crime and was terrified of going back to jail.
He urged the judge to consider his client’s circumstances when arriving at her judgement.
District Judge Oonagh Mullan was unconvinced, however, describing photos of the animals as ‘horrendous’ before she lamented the ‘suffering they must have undergone and the conditions they were living with’. She added that Milliken’s treatment of his dogs amounted to “willful neglect”.
After rising to consider her options, District Judge Mullan suspended the operation of the four-month sentences for three years and imposed the ban and order for costs.
Sentencing: four-month suspended prison sentence. Costs of £349. Banned from keeping animals for ten years.
Mother-of-three Angela McMullan pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to her pet dog. The charge was brought against McMullan by Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council under the Welfare of Animals Act (NI) 2011.
Council Animal Welfare Officers attended the property on April 9, 2019 following reports of concerns for a dog. On initial examination of the unnamed dog they contacted the council vet to attend.
A vet who examined the dog advised he was a very thin Staffordshire Bull Terrier cross with his ribs, spine and pelvic bones clearly visible. The vet gave the dog a body score of 1/5 which was deemed excessively thin.
The dog also had fur loss along his tail, head and muzzle. The vet stated the dog was suffering and advised removal.
The dog was voluntarily signed over to the council and successfully re-homed
Sentencing: two-year conditional discharge. Ordered to pay costs of £437.75. Disqualified from keeping or caring for any animals for 10 years.
#TheList serial wildlife persecutor Scott Matthew Cochrane, born 09/11/1989, of 4 Yarrow Close, Poole BH12 4FL – found with dead rabbits, lurcher-type dogs and steel ball bearings
Repeat offender Cochrane was back in court after breaching a five-year criminal behaviour order imposed in September 2015 after a video of him pulling the head off a live wood pigeon was uploaded to Facebook. He admitted being in possession of a wild animal and for hunting a wild mammal with a dog, an offence under Section 1 of the Hunting Act 2004.
Cochrane, whose Facebook account is riddled with boasts about his ‘kills’, is now prohibited from entering many rural areas in Dorset, Wiltshire and Hampshire. The areas include south of the A35 in the Purbeck and Dorchester area, rural northeast Dorset up to the M4 corridor in north Wiltshire and parts of the New Forest in Hampshire.
This will prevent him from using routes such as the A338 from Ringwood into Wiltshire, A354 from Puddletown to Salisbury and A350 from Wimborne to parts of Wiltshire, which all feature in hotspots for such rural crime.
At 11.41pm on Saturday October 5, 2019, officers were called to a rural location in the Blandford area in relation to suspected poaching in fields. They located a van and saw two men – one of whom was the defendant.
There were two lurcher-type dogs with them and they had a high powered lamp. They were also found to be carrying dead rabbits. A search of their vehicle located a catapult and steel ball bearings, as well as further dead rabbits.
The new criminal behaviour order will last for three years.
Cochrane must not:
• Act or incite others to behave in an anti-social manner, that is to say a manner that causes harassment, alarm or distress to any persons.
• Use or incite others to use threatening, intimidating, insulting or abusive words or behaviour in any place to which the public has access.
• Be in possession of a wild animal, wild bird or part of a wild animal or bird living or dead.
• Be in possession of a catapult or shot, such as ball bearings, or to be in a vehicle with a catapult or such shot in a place to which the public have access or private land as a trespasser.
• Allow a dog under his control off a lead, except on private land with the land owners written permission.
• Be in a vehicle with a dog traditionally used for the purpose of hare and deer coursing, such as a Lurcher, Greyhound, Saluki, or a cross breed of these varieties unless travelling to an emergency vets appointment.
• Own dogs traditionally used for the purposes of hare and deer coursing such as Lurchers, Greyhounds, Saluki or a cross breed of these varieties.
Police Constable Claire Dinsdale, Rural Crime Co-ordinator for Dorset Police, said: “Coursing with dogs and poaching is a national priority for both rural and wildlife crime and there are many repeat victims across the UK.
“This issue is not about ‘one for the pot’ but part of a network of persistent criminals who will threaten and intimidate our rural communities if challenged and cause thousands of pounds worth of damage to crops, gates and other property.
“They train their dogs on rabbits, hares and even on deer, with no regard for the welfare of wildlife or their dogs and they are willing to travel vast distances into other counties.
“Dorset Police is part of the national strategy between 22 police forces, Operation Galileo, where civil and criminal powers will be used to prevent such offending by hare coursers and protect vulnerable victims.
“I hope this sends a clear message that coursing and other such crimes are not tolerated and we will take robust action against anyone suspected of such an offence.
“This now varied order is a first of its kind for rural crime, in that it bans the defendant from large areas of rural land across three counties and it restricts his ownership of certain dog breeds and cross breeds.”
Sentencing: eight weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months. Victim surcharge of £122 and £85 costs. The other man was given a caution. Three-year criminal behaviour order.
#TheList Wendy Hylton, born c 1948, of Stanton Drew, Somerset BS39 – failed to provide hoof care for two ponies
Hylton pleaded guilty to two offences, following a prosecution by the RSPCA.
Concerns about two Shetland ponies, known as Tonto and Midnight, had been raised with the RSPCA after one of the two ponies appeared to be unable to walk.
Officers from the animal welfare charity were joined by a vet on May 25, 2019, who carried out a clinical examination of Tonto and found he was in a significant amount of pain, and unable to walk as a result of his severely overgrown hooves and laminitis.
Midnight was also found to have overgrown hooves and both horses were seized by police and taken into the care of a specialist equine charity where they received the care and treatment they needed.
RSPCA inspector Miranda Albinson said: “Providing regular and routine farriery (shoeing of horse care) is a vital part of owning equines.
“Cases like this are very sad as they could so easily be avoided with the correct care.”
The offences took place between March 24 and May 24, 2019, in the vicinity of Radford Hill, Timsbury.
These acts were contrary to S.4(1) of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and S.9(1) of the Animal Welfare Act 2006.
Sentencing: four-month curfew; ordered to pay £385 costs and charges. Lifetime ban on keeping animals.
#TheList Samantha McIntyre, born 11/04/1975, of Copse Wood, Foston Lane, Bradford BD2 3QU – abandoned a cat and three kittens to go on holiday for nine days; mother cat starved to death
McIntyre, who at the time was living in Coed Onn Road, Flint in North Wales, said she had left food out and the shower running for her pet named Lulu, and her three kittens while she went to visit her partner in Bradford.
The 44-year-old said she had only intended on being away for three days, but ended up staying longer to look after her boyfriend when he fell ill.
Meanwhile, concerned residents contacted the RSPCA reporting fears the animals had been abandoned.
Inspectors visited the property on several occasions to put food through the letterbox and sealed the front door with tape so they could see if anyone had been home.
But it was nine days before McIntyre returned, by which time Lulu had died.
A post-mortem examination revealed there was no food in her system and her death was due to malnutrition.
The three kittens were rescued by the RSPCA and are now said to be doing well.
McIntyre, who now lives permanently in Bradford, pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering and failing to look after the welfare of the animals.
Glen Murphy, prosecuting on behalf of the RSPCA, said the charity had visited the address on June 28, 29 and 30, 2019, to check if the seal over the door had been broken, and to put food through the letterbox.
They had spotted an “immobile cat” and three kittens and contacted housing officers to get them to alert the tenant.
When they finally reached her, McIntyre told the RSPCA she’d given her ex-partner permission to enter the property and feed the cats but when he was traced, he said they had cut ties and he didn’t even know she was away.
When police eventually gained entry to the house, they found no food out for the cats and the shower running in the wet room.
The court heard McIntyre had been away from June 21 to 30, 2018.
Melissa Griffiths, defending said she was suffering with mental health problems at the time and with a 21-month-old baby and a vulnerable teenager to look after, as well as her sick partner, and was “stretched in too many directions.”
“She is extremely shaken up and ashamed to be before the court for the first time and understands this is an extremely serious matter…she was just stretched in too many directions.”
Magistrates said they considered the level of neglect to be “extreme” causing the cats “considerable suffering.”
Sentencing: 16-week custodial sentence, suspended for 18 months; 12-month community order of 180 hours of unpaid work; ordered to pay £622 costs. Banned from keeping animals for two years.
Dickson’s solicitor Paul Ralph said his client had been walking his dog when she strayed from his side.
He said: “The problem was the dog was not on the lead. The dog walked on the road.
“He administered swift justice, which he would normally have done with a clip round the ear but he’d had an operation to his hand.
“The dog is six and a half years old and still lives with him.”
Dickson was told by a sheriff that this was “a dog-loving nation” and the attack had caused revulsion.
Dickson is no stranger to appearing in the dock at the Perth court.
In September 2017, he was banned for five years and ordered to carry out unpaid work – as an alternative to prison – after he ignored a 40-month driving disqualification imposed earlier after a drunken road rage incident. The court heard that he got behind the wheel of his £37,000 Mercedes but was caught by police.
He was banned for five years and told to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work after he admitted driving without a licence and without insurance on Perth’s Balhousie Street on August 3, 2017.