Antrim

Sick punters lay bets on cat fighting.

Sunday People, 11/06/2000.

Sick gamblers behind outrageous animal fights in Ireland have sunk to a new low - using CATS. At least one group of illegal dog fight organisers recently provided twisted punters with a bloody sideshow: cats being ripped to shreds by vicious dogs. A source who witnessed the sickening blood-bath in Co. Antrim said as many as a DOZEN terrified cats died horrible deaths after being released into pens with enraged Lurchers. The cats were thrown into large pens which had wire mesh over the top, so punters could watch, but the cats couldn't escape," said one punter. "It was wholesale slaughter. I would bet on dog fighting, but this was sick. Those cats didn't have a chance." According to the source, any cats not killed outright had their necks broken by 'pit attendants'.

 

Irish horse breeder in import ban

Sunday People, 24/4/2001

A Top Irish horse breeder and Grand National training legend has been left raging after being accused of illegally exporting bulls’ semen. Billy Rock who launched the career of top jockey Tony McCoy, faces charges of bringing the fluid into the Republic without a license. Rock and two other men will be fighting the charges in court but Billy has been suspended from the sperm import trade until the matter is settled. His business activities at his Co. Antrim farm are breeding horses and importing bulls’ semen for artificial insemination. The two other men charged are Robert Cameron from Mansfield Road, Mauchline, Ayrshire and James Ernest Campbell from ‘Lawnfield’, Tempo, Co. Fermanagh. A court hearing in regard to the allegations of three years ago has been suspended a number of times due to unavailability of witness due to the foot and mouth outbreak but it is finally due to go ahead in June.



Sick punters lay bets on cat fighting

Sunday People, 11/06/2000

Sick gamblers behind outrageous animal fights in Ireland have sunk to a new low – using CATS. At least one group of illegal dog fight organisers recently provided twisted punters with a bloody sideshow: cats being ripped to shred by vicious dogs. A source who witnessed the sickening blood-bath in Co. Antrim said as many as a DOZEN terrified cats died horrible deaths after being released into pens with enraged Lurchers – a breed of dog more traditionally associated with racing and rabbit hunting. The events are taking place on both sides of the border.

  “The cats were thrown into large pens which had wire mesh over the top, so punters could watch, but the cats couldn’t escape,“ said one punter. “It was wholesale slaughter. I would bet on dog fighting, but this was sick. Those cats didn’t have a chance.”

  According to the source, any cats not killed outright had their necks broken by ‘pit attendants.’ He said fellow punters told him afterwards that some of the cats had tried to fight back.



Animal cruelty ruling: father and son jailed for allowing horses and ponies to suffer horrifically

Robert McAleenan, 55, and his son Conor, 28, given two years over neglect at Co Antrim farm

Irish Mirror, 02/12/2014

 A father and son have been jailed for almost two years for allowing horses, ponies and donkeys to suffer in the most horrific way.

 In the landmark ruling on Tuesday, Robert and Conor McAleenan, originally from Oldpark, Belfast, were also banned from keeping animals for 25 years.

 Their farm in Co Antrim will now have to be cleared of any livestock remaining on site while they face Christmas in prison.

 In the most robust sentencing in Northern Ireland regarding cruelty to horses, Judge Desmond Marrinan told the men: “This is one of the worst cases of animal cruelty that I have encountered and you should be thoroughly ashamed of your callous behaviour.”

 Antrim Crown Court judge said he was unimpressed by the men’s defence and found no substance in claims Robert McAleenan, 55, and his son Conor, 28 had not set out to deliberately cause suffering or distress to the animals.

 Mr Justice Marrinan said: “This was a case of neglect.”

 He told the court the case photographs were “horrific... almost unbelievable”, and said: “The evidence bore testimony to the fact they treated these poor animals in a pitiless manner without the slightest regard for their welfare. In my view they are unfit to be carers for any animal.”

 The men pleaded guilty to a total of 16 charges of causing unnecessary suffering to the animals between November 1 and 25, 2011 on their Lisnevenagh Road farm in Co Antrim.

 Conor McAleenan, who had owned the animals, was jailed for 14 months.

 His father, who owns the farm between Antrim and Ballymena, was given nine months.

 Sitting in Coleraine, Judge Marrinan said the case was triggered by a tip-off from a member of the public.

 He said that the scene that confronted vets and PSNI officers on November 22, 2011, was a one of horror.

 They were faced with an overpowering stench of dead animals which had been dumped in a heap on the farm, with numerous other standing around in filth, starving and left to fend for themselves.

 One vet said: “The scale of what I saw was unbelievably large. The father and son had fundamentally failed to protect the animals, failed to address the most basic health and husbandry requirements.

 "Some of the animals were in such a pitiful state of suffering that they had to be euthanised on humane grounds.”

The father and son were told they will serve only half the term in jail followed by half again under supervised licensed parole but were removed from the court to Maghaberry Jail on Tuesday where they will spend Christmas.



Antrim horse cruelty: Father and son facing jail

Horses and ponies found living among animal carcasses as judge compares them to "prisoners of war"

Irish Mirror, 28/11/2012

A father and son may face jail next week after condemning 70 horses to a life compared by a judge to “prisoner of war” conditions.  see more



'Evil' Andrew Stewart jailed for setting fire to family dog Cody

Belfast Telegraph, 07/10/2014

An "evil" man who set fire to a family's pet dog has been sentenced to 10 months in jail.  see more



Man jailed for setting dog on fire

Andrew Stewart, who doused border collie in diesel, to spend 10 months in jail over case that shocked Northern Ireland

Guardian, 07/10/2014  see more



Man jailed for setting fire to family dog which had to be put down two weeks after 'evil' attack

  • WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT

  • Andrew Richard Stewart, 23, doused Cody in fuel before setting her alight

  • The border collie, three, was so badly burned that her ribs were visible

  • Had to be put down two weeks later after being told she would not recover

  • 70 campaigners applauded as Stewart was jailed at Belfast Crown Court

  • Recorder said it was an 'appalling, vile act' on a 'much-loved' family pet  

  • Cody's relieved owner Nicola Agnew said the family could now have closure

  • Co-defendant Jamie Downey, 23, also jailed for perverting course of justice

Mail, 07/10/2014 see more




Father and sons plead guilty to dog fighting charges

NewsLetter, 14/01/2014

A father and two sons from east Belfast have pleaded guilty to charges linked to animal cruelty and animal fighting.

  Jeremiah Kirkwood (43) and his sons Christopher (23) and Wayne (20), who are all from Island Street, appeared in the dock of Belfast Crown Court on Tuesday.

  All three originally faced a total of 15 charges, but after pleading guilty to three charges each, the remaining counts were left on the books.

  Each of the three men admitted to causing unnecessary suffering to four terrier cross puppies on dates between November 1 and November 28, 2011.

  They also pleaded guilty to possession of items for use in connection with an animal fight, namely a CD7 battery pack, handheld lamps, a green dog harness and an animal trap. The father and two sons also admitted a charge of keeping or training animals for an animal fight on dates between July 10 and November 28, 2011.

  The final charge relates to four bull lurcher dogs.

  A co-accused, 19-year old Jamie Edward Morrow from McAllister Court in Belfast, originally faced three charges. Two of these were left on the books after he admitted a charge of keeping or training an animal for a fight, namely a whippet cross Staffordshire bull terrier, on November 27.

  After the guilty pleas were entered, Judge Donna McColgan ordered that pre-sentence reports be prepared for all four men. The Judge agreed to release them on continued bail but said: “this is no indication of the likely outcome of the case”, which will be heard before the same court on February 21.

  Also appearing in the dock of the same court was Catherine Kirkwood from Island Street in Belfast.

  Wife of Jeremiah and mother of Wayne and Christopher, the 43-year old originally faced a total of 15 charges linked to animal cruelty and animal fighting.

  A jury was sworn in to hear the case, but a prosecutor told the Judge and jury that the Crown would be offering no evidence against her.

  Judge McColgan directed the jury to find Catherine Kirkwood not guilty of all the charges against her and when they were discharged, Kirkwood was told she was free to go.




Badger baiting accused face court
BBC News, 30/04/2012

Three men have appeared in court over alleged badger baiting.

  The defendants are all accused of causing unnecessary suffering to a terrier dog and badger and interfering with a badger sett.

  At Newtownards Magistrates Court were Graham Arthur Officer, 40, from Rose Park, Donaghadee and brothers Chris and Ryan Kirkwood, aged 21 and 19, from Island Street, east Belfast.

  Another defendant did not appear in court for medical reasons. He is Darren Millar, 39, from Rainey Way Belfast. Ryan Kirkwood is also charged with resisting police. The defendants spoke to say they understood the charges.

  A police constable told the court this was "an extreme and disturbing case". She added that the USPCA said it was the worst case of animal cruelty in many years.

  District Judge Mark Hamill said the men were to desist from any type of hunting related activities and were warned to stick to their bail conditions which also included a 9pm to 7am curfew, and continued bail of £500.

  The men were arrested by police as part of operation Meles, their investigation into badger baiting across Northern Ireland.

  A number of properties were searched in the Banbridge and south Armagh areas. The accused are to appear in court again on 8 June.

A TWO-YEAR investigation into dog fighting saw two men pleading guilty today to keeping animals for use in animal fighting.

  The PSNI welcomed the guilty plea by 43-year-old, Jerimiah Kirkwood, Chris Kirkwood (23) and Wayne Kirkwood (20) from East Belfast, in relation to keeping or training animals for use in connection with animal fights; ownership of items in connection with an animal fight; and also causing unnecessary suffering to four terrier cross pups in Belfast Crown Court.

  Jamie Morrow (19), also from East Belfast, pleaded guilty at Belfast Crown Court to keeping or training animals for use in connection with an animal fight.

Detective Inspector Peter Mullan said of the guilty pleas: The corresponding police investigation has taken over two years and a significant amount of time and energy has been invested in bringing these individuals before the court.

  He thanked the Ulster Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (USPCA), the Scottish SPCA, the Dublin Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and members of the local community for their support during the investigation.

  He added that police will continue to follow up all reports of animal cruelty linked to fighting offences. When the PSNI is made aware of a possible breach in the Wildlife (NI) Order 1985 or Welfare of Animals Act (NI) 2011 for fighting offences, an investigating officer is assigned to carry out inquiries.

  Anyone with information on offences regarding non-farmed animals – including domestic pets such as cats, dogs, horses and donkeys – should contact the animal welfare officer in local councils. Anyone in Northern Ireland who has a suspicion regarding organised fighting offences is asked to contact their nearest police station on 0845 600 8000.

A BALLYMENA man has been handed a suspended jail sentence and received a lifetime ban from keeping pets for animal cruelty offences.

  Paul Sempey (37) of Queen Street in the Co Antrim town pleaded guilty to causing the unnecessary suffering and failing to ensure the welfare of a Staffordshire bull terrier type dog.

  The charges were brought by Mid and East Antrim Borough Council under the Welfare of Animals Act (NI) 2011 and followed an investigation earlier this year.

  Animal welfare officers called at Sempey’s property and found his dog was severely emaciated, less than half its expected body weight and in the final hours of its life.

  Sempey was sentenced to six months in prison suspended for two years and ordered to pay legal costs of £116. In addition he was disqualified for life from the keeping of any ‘warm blooded animal’.

  A spokesman for the council said the local authority gave a high priority to the welfare of domestic pets and horses, and operated a rigorous enforcement policy.

  "Complaints are investigated thoroughly and where necessary formal action is taken, which may include the service of improvement notices or in extreme cases the seizure of animals," he said.

  "The council may also prosecute for offences such as in this particularly harrowing case, which I hope serves as a warning to anyone who does not take appropriate care of animals.”