#TheList dog breeder Gordon Laverty, born 30/06/1970, originally from Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland, but as of 2019 living in Prospect, Aspatria, Wigton CA7 2LR – neglected and caused suffering to King Charles spaniels
Gordon Laverty admitted 10 animal welfare offences. They included four charges of causing unnecessary suffering to dogs and six counts of failing to ensure the needs of animals he was responsible for were met.
Laverty’s neglect was discovered in June 2013 after a severely malnourished dog escaped and was taken to a vet.
A microchip resulted in council staff finding a number of animals at his home – all in poor condition.
The King Charles spaniels were said to be starving, unable to stand, and with badly matted coats.
Animal lover Catherine Southwell set up the foster charity organisation Cavaliers in Need as a result of the case.
Recalling the state of the dogs, she said: “It was horrific, that’s the only way I can describe it.”
The court heard six dogs were handed over voluntarily
Defence counsel Michael Boyd told the court his client was “deeply ashamed about what happened to these animals in his care.”
According to the barrister Laverty has a “long record of keeping animals properly and humanely”.
He added that the defendant, who used a walking aid to get into court, has been suffering from a range of medical conditions.
Judge Nixon told Laverty: “It’s only on the basis that you have come to this court with an entirely clear record and entered pleas at an early opportunity that the 10-month sentence of imprisonment is suspended for two years.”
He also ordered: “You are banned from keeping any pets or animals of any kind for a period of 20 years.”
Laverty must pay veterinary costs and legal fees of just over £700 as part of the sentence.
Ms Southwell, who attended the hearing with other Cavaliers in Need volunteers, wept as the punishment was handed down.
Outside court she said: “Obviously we would have liked an immediate prison sentence, but the 20-year ban was good.”
Sentencing: 10 months in jail, suspended. Costs of £700. Banned from keeping any animals for 20 years (expires 2035).