Multiple Victims

You sick animal

Sunday World, 2/12/2002
Brian McCann is the deviant publican behind a stomach-churning ‘squish’ video showing a woman callously stamping a helpless kitten to death with a stiletto heel.  see more

Crocodiles and snakes ‘destined for sale here’

Irish Examiner, 25/2/2006

Crocodiles which can grow up to three metres long were among a haul of deadly reptiles destined for sale here, it emerged last night.  see more

Poisoners use pigeons as live bait to kill buzzards

Irish Examiner, 27/08/2011

BIRDWATCH Ireland has expressed horror after poisoners used three live pigeons tied to the ground to kill a pair of young buzzards.  see more

Farmer may go to jail over ‘large-scale’ animal cruelty

Irish Independent, 25/07/2007

A farmer faces the threat of prison after being convicted of what one animal welfare official described as the worst large-scale case of cruelty she ever encountered.

Kenneth Coombes appeared at Skibbereen District Court yesterday for a litany of cruelty offences on his west Cork farm.

  An unburied carcass was discovered on the front lawn of Coombes’ home outside Skibbereen; the entire property was infested by rats and rubbish was lying strewn throughout the farmyard; two dogs were found living in barrel; 19 ducks had lost most of their feathers and were fighting with rats for feed; horses were in an alarming condition while sheep and pigs were wandering local roadways.

  The court was told the rat infestation problem was so serious that the Health Service Executive’s environmental health section had to be consulted to prevent a potential public safety risk.


Yesterday, the Department of Agriculture was directed by the court to deal with the 12 pigs and 86 sheep that remain on the property while Coombes is remanded in custody for three days.

  Animal Care Society official Della Murray told the court that several dogs had scars on their neck from effectively being chained to the ground.  One dogs was so traumatised after being kept throughout its life in a cage that it now could not tolerate being in the open.  Another dog had a broken leg which, after being left untreated, had set in an incorrect position.

  “It was absolutely appalling. It is the worst case of cruelty on a large scale that I have ever seen,” she said.

Coombes, of the Carrig, Luttiga, Skibbereen, had pleaded guilty to six offences before Judge James McNulty last November. They included allowing a livestock carcass to remain unburied on the front lawn of a dwelling house on June 2 2006 allowing sheep and pigs to wander untended on the roads and ill-treating pigs through keeping them in a car trailer where there was insufficient room for them to lie down.

  The court had allowed him nine months to reduce live stock numbers on his farm and address the serious health and environment issues on the property.

  Defence solicitor Ray Hennessy said yesterday that substantial progress had been made over recent weeks with horses, sheep and pigs being disposed of. He said that his client was from a dysfunctional background and was socially isolated.

  However, Judge McNulty said Coombes had been allowed ample time to resolve the problems on his farm. He said the facts in the case were “grim” – and warned that a custodial sentence may now be warranted.

  The court heard Coombes had several previous convictions for cruelty to animals dating back 15 years. He also has a conviction for sex4ual assault.  Coombes was remanded in custody to appear for sentencing before Bantry District Court on Friday.

Animal cruelty case farmer hit with lifetime ban

Farmers Weekly, 26/02/2014

A Northern Ireland livestock farmer has been banned from keeping livestock for life after his father died and the farm fell into disrepair.

  William Beacom of Middle Farm, Trasna Road, Maguiresbridge, was handed the lifetime ban and a four-month prison sentence suspended for three years after being found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering and failing to properly care for animals on his farm.

  Mr Beacom, 30, was also found guilty of failing to prevent animals from accessing the carcass of a farmed animal.

  Enniskillen Magistrates Court heard that government officials discovered more than 20 decaying cattle, sheep, pig and poultry carcasses, while starving cattle were found in direct contact with dead animals.

  Dard veterinary staff who visited the farm every day between 21 March 2013 and 20 April 2013 also found a build-up of dung in cattle sheds and three cows and calves being kept in a silage pit without water.

  In another instance a cow was found dead underneath a drinking container.

  Dard staff said they were shocked at the conditions and the “above normal” mortality rate at the farm.

  Despite repeated visits from officials, the court heard Mr Beacom was unable to meet his livestock’s basic requirements of providing food, water and dry bedding.

  Defence barrister Craig Patton said conditions on the farm had deteriorated following the death of Mr Beacom’s father, which had left him unable to access the single farm payment.

  Poor silage, his mother’s health problems and the suicide of his grain supplier had all affected Mr Beacom’s mental state and left him unable to find money to sustain the farm.

  While he knew what was happening was not right, Mr Beacom was £20,000 in debt and had no idea what to do, said Mr Patton.

  His mental health had been so badly affected that a local psychiatrist was concerned he was going to take his own life, he added.

  Since facing prosecution, Mr Beacom had sold the farm’s livestock and hoped to rebuild his credibility in the farming world by undertaking farm management courses, the court was told.

  Sentencing Mr Beacom, district judge Nigel Broderick said while the death of his father, his mother’s illness and cashflow problems were contributing factors, they did not excuse Mr Beacom’s actions.

  Recognising Mr Beacom’s financial situation and mental health concerns, the judge decided not to impose a fine, but said the crimes were serious enough to warrant a custodial sentence.

  Mr Beacom, who has decided to appeal the ruling, was told he could apply to have the lifetime ban revoked after two years.