Monday, 14 December 2009




A FORMER housing officer who left eight cats to die has been jailed.

Teresa Coogan, 44, was locked up for 16 weeks after a case at Salford Magistrates.
Asim Ali, defending Coogan, who had worked as a housing officer and ran her own counselling business, said she 'allowed things to get on top of her'.

He added that she had suffered domestic abuse, had lost her job and fallen into a 'vicious circle' that had left her contemplating her own life.
She pleaded guilty to 14 mistreatment offences at an earlier hearing.
Sentencing her to 26 weeks in custody, reduced to 16 weeks for her guilty plea, chair of the bench John Horton said there were no physical signs she had tried to kill herself.
At this point a friend of Coogan's, who had earlier threatened an M.E.N. photographer outside court, leapt to his feet in the gallery and hurled abuse at Mr Horton. He was led away by security guards.
Coogan was also banned from keeping animals but can appeal in five years.
The defendant, who wore a balaclava outside court, stood motionless in the dock as the sentence was passed.
The prosecution cost over £13,000. As Coogan is on benefits the RSPCA will have to foot the bill.
Inspector Melissa Furey, who first attended Coogan's house, welcomed the sentence.

She said: “This was an extremely sad and emotional case. The house was in an appalling state and the cats were subjected to horrendous conditions.
“This sentence should act as a deterrent to people in future.
The RSPCA seem to have no intention of implementing a strategy to deal with compulsive animal hoarding inspite of their many millions. The vast majority of RSPCA prosecutions involve the mentally ill, the disabled and pensioners the oldest of whom was in his nineties. Compare this with crime in general - the vast majority of crime in Britain is NOT commited by the mentally ill, the disabled and elderly people. People in the above catogories are seen as easy targets, prosecutions provide free publicity for the RSPCA which leads to increases in donations. It is high time the government launched a review, we have the disability descrimination act in this country and the RSPCA is not above the law.

Maria Smith

Tuesday, 8 December 2009


ITV have now apologised for Gino killing and eating a RAT!
For God's sake it's vermin and surely there are more important acts of animal cruelty to be investigated by the RSPCA than the killing and eating of a rat.
But the story is ample proof that in the Facebook and Twitter age minority pressure groups can now hold the sane decent majority to ransom as they peddle their own brand of stupidity.
Not content with the rat risotto, Peta - People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals - is also upset that so many insects are being abused or killed in the programme.
Will these people please get a life and get out of ours?
The only way any insect has been abused is by having Jordan inflicted upon them.

Monday, 7 December 2009



Thousands of X-Factor viewers are now voting 'unofficially' - and much more cheaply - for their favourite acts via a website rather than paying for premium-rate calls.

Viewers who vote via the website pay for their calls by listening to a 15-second online advert.With free2call the 35p 'diverted' call is paid for through sponsorship, with firms paying around £5,000 for 10,000 calls to the premium-rate lines. But with free2call they call a local-rate 03 number and avoid premium rates in return for listening to a 15-second advert. Calls are then diverted to an X Factor 09 premium-rate line with the cost paid by sponsors and advertisers.

So far viewers have been able to use free2call to vote on four of the six X Factor shows - it is only available if is able to find a sponsor.
The RSPCA sponsored 10,000 votes for around £5,000 in the fourth live show, which gave 3,500 votes to Danyl Johnson

Friday, 4 December 2009


Abandoned dogs are no longer being rescued and rehomed by the Stafford, Wolverhampton and District branch of the RSPCA due to lack of volunteers, it emerged today.Volunteer Lucy Hayreh said today: “We have had to close the dog and cat waiting list because we just can’t take them from the public any more, although we have to take the ones that our inspectors remove from homes.”

THE Hull and East Riding branch of the RSPCA is facing closure and has launched a desperate appeal for help.The charity, which has been in the city for 106 years, says it only has enough money to cover running costs for four months after donations from the public dried up.
Lyn Clarke, branch manager of the Clough Road-based centre in north Hull, said this was the lowest ever amount the organisation had held in reserve.
She said: "This is the worst it has ever been and I'm seriously worried. We are facing closure.
"Our donations have dried up – we would probably expect to receive somewhere between six and eight donations a week, now we are not even getting that a month.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009



A WOMAN whose large Japanese Akita dog sank its fangs into a Shih Tzu and tossed the tiny pooch into the air is to appeal against her jail sentence.

Kayleigh Steadman, 23, was jailed for 10 weeks by magistrates last month after admitting causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal.
Steadman's pet Akita Vinnie had escaped through Steadman's broken fence and darted on to nearby Barking Park in Essex where he mauled tiny Shih Tzu Chubby.
She had ignored an earlier RSPCA warning to secure her garden after Vinnie broke free to attack a black Labrador by breaking free.
Steadman now claims the jail sentence was 'manifestly excessive'.
Steadman, who is on bail pending the outcome of her appeal, failed to appear for the short hearing at Snaresbrook Crown Court due to 'anxiety and stress'.
Judge John Hand QC agreed 'with some hesitation' to adjourn the case until January 27 after he was handed a medical certificate confirming Steadman's condition.
Vinnie struck on January 30 this year and attacked Chubby 'without warning' after escaping from Steadman's home.
Steadman gave chase and repeatedly screamed in vain for Vinnie to release Chubby.
A brave bystander was forced to restrain Vinnie in a head-lock to save the Shih Tzu.
Chubby later underwent an operation to treat a number of wounds but has fortunately made a good recovery, according to the RSPCA.
Insp Andrea Middleton had issued Steadman with a verbal warning in November last year after Vinnie's assault on the Labrador.
Steadman claimed she had made several attempts to contact Barking and Dagenham Council in a bid to get the fence repaired.
The JPs jailed Steadman and also disqualified her from owning pets for 15 years.
Steadman, has admitted causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal but has appealed against the 10 week jail sentence.

Friday, 27 November 2009



On the 19th October 2007 2 RSPCA officers attended the family home.

The RSPCA officers described the parents as obstructive aggressive and belligerent.

The 5 year old was removed by social workers, RSPCA what have you done!


Read the full court ruling at;

Thursday, 26 November 2009


A devastated cat owner has spoken of her shock after her family pet was removed from the street by animal charity officers and put down within hours.

Ruth Ingle and her daughters Lauren, 20, and Elley, 11, were stunned to discover their cat Cleo had been put to sleep by the RSPCA without their knowledge.
The grey tabby, who was almost 19 years old, was put down within just four hours after she was taken from the street where they live in Sycamore Road, off Sweet Briar Road, Norwich.
They only discovered the elderly cat's fate when they noticed a piece of paper “shoddily” attached to a lamp post saying “animal found”. They rang the number on the sheet only to be told their cat had been put down.
Now, the family has issued a warning to other pet owners.
Ms Ingle, 43, said: “We had her ever since she was born; my daughter chose her from the litter when she was just one-year-old.

“She was old and skinny, but she was still eating well and purred when you touched her. We've got five other cats and they were washing her and making a fuss of her.
“She was living out her last few days in her home with her cat family and us. We knew that if she was in any discomfort or pain, then she would have to be put down, but that was our decision to make and that was taken away from us. I know some people say it's only a cat, but when you've had her for nearly 20 years, then it's different.”
Cleo was taken away, unbeknown to the family, by an RSPCA officer on November 10.
The family knew she only nipped out briefly when necessary but spent most of the time in the home. She was not wearing a collar, but had been microchipped but about 18 years ago. However, Ms Ingle fear the chip may not have been detected because it inserted so many years ago.
Sophie Wilkinson, a spokeswoman for the RSPCA, confirmed the cat had been taken by a collection officer after they received a report saying it looked like a stray, was very skinny and could not walk. Cleo was taken to All Creatures Healthcare, in Horsford, where the decision was made to put her down.

Thursday, 19 November 2009


Welcome to the "Animals Have Rights" Website

The aim of this new website is 3 fold

(1) To bring about change within the RSPCA HQ.

It is not about bringing down the organisation and we would urge people who donate to do so at local level only direct to their RSPCA Shelter where it will be put to good use as they are self funding and struggle for cash or, donate to your local privately run rescue centre / sanctuary.

(2) Raise Awareness

The aim is to educate people about animals & their rights.

(3) Help people place unwanted, abused or abandoned dogs and other animals in the appropriate environment.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009



The RSPCA is a defunct and heinous authoritarian establishment that should no longer exist in Britain. Run by joyless bureaucrats who treat humans with about as much respect as dish-rags, with no obvious benefit to the millions of pets in this country, it exploits the powers granted to it by the state and the contradictory, sloppily worded Animal Welfare Act 2006 to terrorise innocent animal-lovers across the UK. Most of the public don’t know how powerful a lobby group and propaganda machine the RSPCA actually is. It has successfully sewn up all the major bodies which play a part in implementing the AWA (not just the police and the media, but the general public and even law courts too), and uses them to hound people for their own financial gain.

Yes it is cheaper to prosecute than advertise. And since the RSPCA have the power to prosecute, they have been milking this power for all its worth – after all every court case brings publicity and therefore, donations. The budget is almost entirely funded by donations – in excess of £100 million a year. Staffs at the RSPCA are paid handsomely, and get free housing loans. The UK’s ‘Director-General” has an annual salary of £90,000. They recently built a new Head Quarters costing ten million pounds and other newly built local facilities now house more staff and fewer animals. Then there is the story of the RSPCA facility at Swansea. After ten years of fund-raising they felt ready to build a new and better centre. It now has excellent, spacious administrative offices, but room to keep just 27 dogs. They had previously been able to house 140. It’s good to know that the donations are being spent usefully. Presumably the dogs that can no longer be housed will put down immediately, on the grounds of their age, or some asserted (but unproven) defect.

A quick look at the facts will tell you everything you need to know. The RSPCA kills over half of the cats and dogs it comes into contact with. The AWA 2006 could see you incarcerated for letting your dog eat a piece of chocolate. The RSPCA regularly and illegally break into people’s houses and seize their pets for no good reason. They seem to have three ways of dealing with complaints about this by the way. One is destroying the evidence, such as by cremating the bodies, so the defendant can in no way prove that their pet was not suffering from injuries or disease at the time of their seizure. The second is by keeping the animal in a so-called ‘safe haven’ of solitary confinement so that the defendant cannot even access the animal in order for their vet or animal doctor to run an independent assessment of the animal prior to any trial proceedings. And let’s not forget their penchant of hiring unprofessional vets of their own, or vets that are willing to lie in court and produce one-sided arguments in order to gain favour with the RSPCA. Council members who question the RSPCA are silenced and dismissed. And finally, the very fact that the RSPCA equates ‘saving’ an animal with ‘putting it down’ should be enough to make our hairs stand on end. Just try typing ‘RPSCA victims’ into Google and see what you come up with.

Such case studies are growing in huge numbers every year – there is even a website called ‘Victims of the RSPCA’ where innocent pet lovers across the UK describe their shameful treatment at the hands of this all too forceful and frankly unnecessary authoritarian charity, such as the pensioner couple who were told their beloved cat was suffering from starvation, liver failure and blindness, and it would have to be put down. In fact it was only suffering from fleas. Had they let their cat go with the RSPCA inspector she would certainly have been murdered. Or the story of a friend who had his beloved puppies and their mother forcibly taken away from him at eight days old simply for having their tails docked (a process known to cause little to no pain or discomfort if done within a few days of birth). The puppies were left in appalling cramped conditions, developed debilitating diseases which stunted them while the owner was not only charged thousands of pounds in kennelling costs but also had his story splashed across the pages of his local paper - along with a colour photograph of his house - which was subsequently vandalised and continues to be targeted by such attacks every year. It's just publicity for the RSPCA who see their donations increase every time they run a smear against an innocent pet-owner. Or how about the case of a dog shelter in Ghent, Wales which the RSPCA deemed ‘overcrowded’ despite the hours of care afforded to every dog from dedicated and genuine animal-loving workers. Under strict orders never to repeat the the happenings, the workers were forced to slaughter over 70 dogs at the shelter, to comply with the RSPCA rules and regulations and many suffered from nervous breakdowns as a result. This story and countless others paint a very different picture of the RSPCA indeed – but even so their slick PR machine is as well oiled as it ever was and the public still remain woefully unaware that their primary concern has become how to keep the money flowing. Why do we keep letting them get away with this?

Maybe it is their PR machine and how good it is as bringing them out shining in every case. As recently as last year the RSPCA launched a campaign to stop children in schools from having classroom pets – a cornerstone of learning how to care for animals and take responsibility for them. In an increasingly bureaucratic age where even our children’s educations are being cross-examined, mutilated, revised and tested by our over-compensating government, a classroom pet can bring some much needed respite into a class and give teachers and pupils a rare opportunity to bond. Not anymore, thanks to the RSPCA who ‘worry’ that the bright lights and noisy conditions may distress the animals – while of course keeping them in equally noisy, cramped cages in their "shelters" wouldn’t. Added to this their declaration that pet shops should not be allowed to sell pets as many pet-shop owners are "unaware as to how to care for the animals", and what you have is a growing and frightening monopoly over animal ‘welfare’ and even pet ownership. And why should we doubt that this is what the RSPCA has had in mind all along? If they can wield their power over the smallest shelters in local areas, they can almost certainly do the same to pet shops and suddenly, nobody will be able to purchase a pet without first being vetted stringently by the RSPCA. And no matter how much “Animal Rights Activists” will bleat that this is a good idea – I certainly don’t want to see my wish to own a pet get dissected and scrutinised by a charity that is as ruthless as it is incompetent. As an aside, I want to add that I despise you so-called animal rights activists. Don’t you think it’s time that we began trusting each other in this country? Not every man woman or child that wants to own a dog has a view to abusing it you know. The result of 12 years of this right-curbing government is a people that sanctimoniously believe they have a right to vet every potential animal owner. It's wrong. As a free-thinker, I abhor a monopoly of any kind and I can warn you now that a monopoly of this kind will make it increasingly difficult to own a pet, increasingly impossible to look after it with your privacy intact, and almost guarantee that the welfare of animals be side-stepped as the ‘charity’ bloats and makes more and more money for itself.

The deeper one digs, the more disturbing the facts are that come out – council members sacked for daring to question their policies, animals being forcibly taken away and put down without the consent of their owners, and those same owners then being charged for kennelling costs. The organisation is rotten, corrupt to the core, and there is sparse evidence to suggest that they have improved the welfare of animals in this country. Putting animals down does not equate with ‘saving’ them and I resent their twisted logic on this matter. Given a choice between living on the street and being killed ‘humanely’ I know which one I’d pick. Why shouldn’t our pets, and indeed their loving and caring owners be given the same choice?

Friday, 13 November 2009



A MAN has been banned from owning animals for five years after he beat a dog with a stick.

Footage from a CCTV camera shows Thomas Lovell, of York Road, Southend, using a branch to play with the Staffordshire bull terrier.

But things turned sour after the dog, a two-year-old called Rex, accidentally caught Lovell’s hand with his tooth.
It caused Lovell, 28, to lose his temper and to start beating the dog with the stick in the middle of the street.
Klare Kennett, a spokeswoman for the RSPCA, said they had brought a prosecution against him following complaints from members of the public.

Lovell appeared at Southend Magistrates’ Court where he pleaded guilty to a charge of causing unecessary suffering to an animal on March 10 this year, an offence under the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

He was given a year-long community order during which he must have treatment for alcohol dependency for six months.
He was also ordered to pay £100 costs to the RSPCA and received a five-year ban from owning animals.


The Earl of Wessex faces a possible criminal investigation for animal cruelty after photographs showed him appearing to beat two gundogs with a stick during a royal pheasant shoot.
An RSPCA inspector is to examine the images, taken by a photographer at Sandringham, Norfolk, on Saturday, to determine whether the animals were subjected to "unnecessary suffering".

Buckingham Palace insisted that the Prince was simply trying to break up a fight between the two labradors and said that the pictures do not show definitively whether he actually struck them.
Throwing a stick for a pet dog too dangerous, says leading vet But animal rights groups condemned his behaviour as "sickening" and "cowardly".
The photographs show the Prince approaching the two dogs waving a long crook as they grapple over a dead pheasant.
One picture shows one of the animals cowering to one side as he swings the stick over his shoulder.
In another, it hovers above the spine of one of the dogs.
Onlookers said he appeared to take three swipes at one of the dogs while shooting in a field with his nephew Peter Phillips.
If found guilty, the Prince could also be banned from keeping animals and receive a criminal record.

A spokeswoman for the RSPCA said an investigation was not under way but declined to rule one out.
"We need to look at the photographs and my colleague the inspector will consider whether it is appropriate to take action," she said.


Wednesday, 11 November 2009



James MacDonald, 42, parked his BMW in direct sunshine and left rottweiler Sasha inside the car for more than two hours.

The dog was spotted panting and struggling for breath by passers-by who contacted the RSPCA who alerted the police.

A post mortem examination on Sasha's body had suffered multiple organ failure due to the overwhelming heat.

MacDonald said in an RSPCA interview that he knew pets were not allowed inside the B&B so he had been forced to leave leave Sasha in the car with the window open.

He told Inspector Will Rippon that he 'loved that dog so much' and wished he could turn the clock back".

After the case, Inspector Rippon said: 'This case just highlights how important it is not to leave dogs in cars in hot weather.

'They can overheat so quickly leading to suffering and potential death. I would encourage anyone to think twice before leaving their dog in a car.'

A VET has escaped with a caution after the death of one of his labradors, which was left in a car for six hours on a hot day.

The incident has led to claims of a cover-up by the RSPCA, which pursues other dog owners who leave their pets trapped in sweltering conditions, and the vets’ governing body, which failed to take disciplinary action.
Both organisations have been accused of being too lenient – one even said the case was a “tragic accident” – to protect the career of Alex Gough, 37, from Clutton in Somerset.
Gough’s two labradors, Heidi and Rory, had to be given emergency treatment after they were rescued from the vet’s car in May 2007. Rory, a nine-month-old male, could not be saved.

At the time Damien Bush, Gough’s business partner and fellow vet, urged his colleague to report the incident to the RSPCA and the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS), which can discipline members for acts of misconduct.
Bush was surprised by the approach taken by both bodies. An RSPCA official said to me, ‘If he comes to us and expresses remorse, then he may get off with a caution. To be honest, we don’t want to be seen to be going after vets because we rely on vets for goodwill’,” he said. “[Gough] then reported it to the RSPCA, which conducted a very discreet investigation. He was cautioned and it was all forgotten about,” added Bush, who fell out with Gough over the case. Gough has since moved to another practice.
The RCVS took no action against Gough because it decided that he had done nothing wrong.
The RSPCA has consistently urged owners never to leave dogs in their vehicles. They say that opening a window or providing a bowl of water inside a car is not sufficient to stop animals overheating. Those who are prosecuted and found guilty of allowing their dogs to suffer face a maximum penalty of six months in jail or a £20,000 fine.
The RSPCA insisted it showed “neither fear nor favour” in dealing with such cases. A spokesman said the Gough case was “treated like any other case”. He said punishments could vary from a caution to a full prosecution, but if someone admitted guilt and showed remorse it might lead to leniency.
The RCVS declined to comment because Gough’s case was now closed. Gough also refused to comment.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009


The leaders of Britain's charities face accusations that their six-figure pay packets are excessive and part of a culture of greed polluting the voluntary sector.

Research seen by The Independent shows that more than 50 charity chief executives received between £100,000 and £210,000 last year. In one case, a charity paid its chief executive nearly £400,000.
Unite, the union which represents 60,000 charity workers, said too many charity bosses were paying themselves more than the Prime Minister's salary of £197,000.
Rachael Maskell, Unite's national officer for the not-for-profit sector, said: "The excessive City pay culture is seeping into the remuneration packages of charity bosses and should be curbed. This is to be deplored, as it corrupts the ethos of the voluntary sector and is an insult to those, often on average incomes, who donate to charity.
*RSPCA: Mark Watts, chief executive, received £105,500 in pay and perks in the year to April 2009.

"I think the general public will be shocked by the scale of the packages that some executives are being awarded. This sector is losing its sense of what real value is."

Tuesday, 3 November 2009





I just want to express my feelings about the RSPCA. I do not believe that they are doing their job properly.

They maintain to not leave any abandoned animal. However, I do not believe this to be the case.
Three weeks ago I took in two abandoned kittens, one of which I have re-homed with no help from the RSPCA as they refused any help. I did all this by myself.
Today, on the walk to school there was an abandoned dog tied up outside Illingworth Methodist Church and yet again, the RSPCA refused to come and collect the dog so an elderly man took it upon himself and took the dog home.
I would like to start asking the question 'What exactly are the RSPCA doing with our donations?'
They have gone against everything they stand for and I believe this should be made known to everybody so they can see what sort of organisation they are running - Not a very good one!
Three animals that I know of, they have refused to help, how many more have they refused?

I am disgusted at them and they have lost any further donations from me!
Lynn Robinson

Leanne Plumtree, RSPCA North Regional Press Officer, responded:
I applaud Ms Smith's clear concern for and commitment to animal welfare.
Unfortunately, I don't have enough information to look into what happened in the first example she gives and would like to encourage her to contact us with more details if she is dissatisfied with how we have acted.
In respect of the stray dog, the RSPCA is aware of the confusion surrounding this issue and sympathises with people who are often unsure where to turn to if they see a dog either wandering or tied up alone.
Under the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005, which came into force in autumn 2007, stray dogs are the responsibility of the local authority and as such the local dog warden.
We can only deal with a stray dog in an absolute emergency, for example if the dog is in imminent danger of death or severe suffering and the local authority is unable to attend.
As a charity entirely dependant on donations there is always a limited number of resources but we do the very best we can with them.
Our aim is always to promote kindness and prevent suffering to all animals as efficiently and effectively as possible


The RSPCA is not the Halo'ed organisation they would have us believe.

They harrass, they respond to vindictive false calls, and without any prior knowledge, dive in like Sharks in a feeding frenzy.

They ignore calls for help for injured creatures, very often all they will say "is let nature take it's course".

They are a wealthy organisation continually appealing for more and more, to the detriment of kinder, more accessible and better run Animal Charities.

A local solicitor says her involvement in harassment cases has quadrupled in the past 24 months.

Are they an Animal Help charity, or are they, as they wrongly believe, a Police Force.

If they call on you without a Police attendence send them away until they do return with a Police Officer.

Read the internet sites to find better animal Charities to support, and how to deal with them should they call - there are quite a number.

Local RSPCAs are not funded by their mighty HO centre.

Local branches probably do their best on what they can get - but what happens to the millions HO rake in?

Plush offices, highly paid executives - the usual story.

Their demands would take care of a lot of animals we report as needing help.

They should also re-think this funding strategy and animals would benefit

Monday, 2 November 2009


A JUDGE has demanded an explanation from animal charity RSPCA after he heard that three dogs that are the subject of an appeal against conviction have been re-homed with new owners.
Judge Keith Cutler has ordered the RSPCA to present a report on what happened to three of seven dogs taken into care after they were confiscated from Kathryn Hamilton Johnson of Poulshot, near Devizes, in December 2003.
Mrs Johnson, 56, was charged with seven counts of causing unnecessary suffering to the six pedigree rough collies and one border collie cross. She sent a message to Kennet Magistrates' Court when the case was due to be heard in October, saying she was unable to attend.
But the bench decided to go ahead with the case in her absence. They found it proved, although no defence case was put. They banned her from keeping animals for ten years and confiscated all seven dogs. She was given a two-year conditional discharge. There was no order made for costs.
Mrs Johnson applied to Salisbury Crown Court to appeal against conviction. She was particularly concerned that the dogs were not disposed of until she was able to put her case to the court.
The appeal was due to be heard on Monday. Judge Cutler said he was concerned to hear that, despite all assurances given to him personally, three of the dogs had been neutered and re-homed. The other four dogs are still in kennels near Ringwood in Hampshire. They have not been neutered.
He said: "I spoke to the RSPCA about this and if they have done something they shouldn't I will be very cross.
"I was assured that everything would be maintained so that, in the event of a successful appeal by Mrs Johnson, the seven dogs could be returned to her. I must find out who is responsible and I want a proper explanation."
He said that a contempt of court action was possible, which could result in a heavy fine or even imprisonment for whoever was responsible.
Mrs Johnson asked that the case be adjourned as her solicitor had withdrawn on Friday, leaving her without legal representation.
Mrs Johnson wishes to call evidence from a second vet who examined her dogs and came to a different conclusion than the RSPCA.
The RSPCA vet said all seven dogs were in greater or lesser stages of emaciation, but Mrs Johnson's vet has reported that only one dog was seriously underweight.
Mrs Johnson said she was already making arrangements to re-home up to five of her dogs when the RSPCA took action to remove them from her one-bedroom home in Poulshot.
Iain O'Donnell, barrister for the RSPCA, said they would prefer that the case went ahead on Monday. He said: "It is a charity and the main concern is about cost. The longer the case goes on, the more it is going to cost."
Judge Cutler said he understood the charity's position, but his duty was to endeavour to dispose of cases justly.
He and two magistrates sitting with him agreed to adjourn the case so that Mrs Johnson could get herself representation. A new date could not be set but the appeal is unlikely to be heard before May. After Monday's hearing the RSPCA agreed to allow Mrs Johnson to visit the four dogs that are being looked after at Ringwood.

Sunday, 1 November 2009


Eagle saved by falconer Roy Lupton dies after being taken to an RSPCA centre

A wild golden eagle rescued by a falconry expert has died after being seized by police and animal welfare officials.
Last November Roy Lupton, 34, a falconer from Hollingsbourne, Kent, was in Perthshire when a friend’s bird became locked in a fight with a wild golden eagle, one of Britain’s rarest birds of prey. There are 442 breeding pairs, mainly in Scotland.
Questions are being asked about the bird’s care at an RSPCA centre after it was confiscated from Roy Lupton, a falconer from Kent, who was nursing the eagle from injuries sustained in the wild.
The episode began in November last year when Mr Lupton, from Hollingsbourne, Kent, who keeps golden eagles and goshawks, set out with friends to take their birds to fly them in their natural habitat in Perthshire.
During the trip his friend’s female golden eagle became locked in a fight with a wild golden eagle. Mr Lupton, 34, a member of the Hawk Board, which represents 25,000 falconers, and an expert for Fieldsports TV, thought that the injuries to the wild bird were so serious that it would need veterinary treatment. It had suffered serious damage to the area of the chest where food is stored and near the eyes.
Mr Lupton sought permission from the Scottish Executive to remove the bird and nurse her at his specialist premises at Hollingsbourne. Without authority he would be liable to a £5,000 fine and up to six months in prison for removing a bird from the wild.
He planned to release the eagle in the spring. “I was concerned that the eagle, who I called Colin, was getting too used to humans,” he said. “It is important for these wild birds to be afraid of humans as it helps their protection in the wild. So I thought the best thing would be to fit a satellite monitor on the bird so conservationists could track her progress in the wild.”
Mr Lupton said that he told official from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) about his plans. In May 5 his home and aviaries were raided by three officers from Kent Police, a policeman on secondment to Defra’s animal heath section and a wildlife crimes investigator from the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.
“I explained everything to them but they were adamant they were going to remove the wild golden eagle and accused me of the illegal theft of the bird and keeping an unregistered bird,” he said.
“But what really appalled me is that they had no understanding of how to deal with such a bird. They brought the wrong box to carry the bird, I had to lend them one of my own.”
The bird was taken to the Mallydam wildlife centre in Sussex, run by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Mr Lupton was formally questioned by police, who passed the matter to the Crown Prosecution Service, but the case was dropped.
He was concerned about the eagle’s fate and was allowed to visit the premises with his vet. “I was horrified by what I saw,” he said. “The RSPCA was keeping the bird on a concrete floor, which is bad for its talons, and there was leaf mould on the roof of the room, which can cause lung infections in golden eagles.”
A month later he was allowed to take the bird home. Her condition had badly deteriorated and his local vet took blood tests. The bird was found to be suffering lead poisoning and Mr Lupton learnt that it had been fed on rabbits which had been shot with lead pellet.
On June 17 he took the bird to a centre in Swindon run by Neil Forbes, an avian veterinary surgeon. The eagle died 12 hours later.
In his autopsy report, Mr Forbes said that the bird was kept in inappropriate conditions while in the care of the RSPCA and was “not provided with good practice in terms of husbandry”.
He said: “Whilst I cannot be certain the bird’s death was a direct result of the Defra seizure and the period of RSPCA care, certainly the stress effect (suppressing the immune system), the persistent systemic infection from the time of leaving the RSPCA care, does indicate a very high likelihood of a causative link between the period of care and the bird’s subsequent death.”
The Hawk Board is demanding answers from Defra about the events.
Defra said that it could not comment on details as the case was subject to an internal investigation. “Animal health officers, with Kent Police, attended a falconry in Kent in the belief that the person in question did not have the correct paperwork for the eagle,” it said.
The RSPCA said: “Staff were extremely upset to hear about the death of this eagle and the society agrees this is a very sad and tragic event.” It said that it had had only two days’ notice to make preparations for the bird and during its stay staff raised concerns that it might have had underlying health problems.
The RSPB said that it was concerned about the eagle’s death and hoped that Defra would learn lessons from the incident.

Saturday, 31 October 2009


Each of the animals were found abandoned or homeless and were being cared for at the Decoy Kitten Rescue centre in Newton Abbot, Devon.

It works as an unofficial 'over flow' facility looking after animals when there is no room at other cat homes or the RSPCA.
Around 60 kittens will have to be put down by lethal injection next Wednesday if new owners aren't found.
Kittens which are due to be killed include three week old Sam, Frodo, Bilbo and Sapphire as well as a tabby called Winks.
"If they have nowhere else to live we'll have no choice but to put them to sleep. ''The RSPCA can't take them because they're full - we are usually the overflow for them.
''The credit crunch has been an absolute nightmare for animal charities.
"It's also meant there have been a lot more unwanted kittens because people can't afford to pay for vet's bills.
A spokesman for the RSPCA said its officers had visited the facility but confirmed its centres were full and a cull would not be illegal.

Friday, 30 October 2009



Following many complaints to the Chief Constable, South Wales Police have confirmed that they are investigating the RSPCA and its inspectors in relation to ten acts of alleged cruelty to German Shepherd dogs, and other welfare offences.

It has not been confirmed whether any RSPCA employees have been suspended pending the results of the police investigation into their activities.

Jayne Shenstone from German Shepherd Rescue added:

"German Shepherd Rescue is pleased that its complaint against the RSPCA is being investigated by South Wales Police. These ten poor German Shepherd dogs were treated disgracefully by the RSPCA and its employees."

"The dogs were grabbed one by one with a grasper, shot in the head with a captive bolt and then left to die."

"The RSPCA is a member of The World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) and the International Companion Animal Management Coalition (ICAM) who specifically condemn any use of a captive bolt by anyone on dogs of any type."

"The RSPCA has claimed it's the only time they have heard of such a weapon being used like this, but captive bolts are routinely issued to inspectors."

"We look forward to an early confirmation that South Wales Police will proceed to PACE interviews. We believe that serious offences have been committed, and that they merit charges for both the RSPCA and the officers responsible."

Anne Kasica from the SHG said:

"It appears that South Wales Police are treating this in a professional an objective manner. We look forward to the outcome of their investigations and interviews with the RSPCA."

"We would comment that the RSPCA have recently been charging even more people -especially the young, sick and the old with new offences under the Animal Welfare Act (AWA). The RSPCA spent huge sums lobbying for the AWA, which criminalises any failure to meet animals' needs."

"In comparison to the RSPCA's treatment of these ten German Shepherd dogs, on 14 October 2009, farmer Ronald Norcliffe was fined £150 for failing to meet his cows 'psychological and ethological needs' following a prosecution by Kirklees Council. His failure was not providing his cattle with an electric light in the cow shed even though Mr. Norcliffe had no electricity in his farmhouse."
"Should the RSPCA be convicted of a criminal offence of cruelty to the animals then it would clearly place their position as a prosecuting authority for this specific type of offence in question."

Inspctor Mark Hobrough of South Wales police can be contacted on 01656 655555

Chief Constable of South Wales police Dr. Barbara Wilding cab be contacted by e-

For further comment please contact:

Jayne Shenstone spokeswoman for German Shepherd Rescue on 01568 797957

Or from the SHG:
Anne Kasica on 01559 371031
Ernest Vine on 01559 370566
Mobile 07534 056639.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009



A British couple have been banned from keeping horses for five years after the charity World Horse Welfare and the RSPCA removed two Shetland ponies from their care, one of whom was grossly overweight.
Keith Hall, 60, and Lynn Hall, 56, from Cleveleys in Lancashire, appeared before Blackpool Magistrates Court this week, where they admitted causing unnecessary suffering to a 21-year-old mare called April and failing to meet the needs of a 12-year-old stallion called Dale.
World Horse Welfare field officer Chris Williamson and an RSPCA inspector visited the Hall's rented field on Fleetwood Rd in Blackpool on November 4 last year and found that April's feet had not been trimmed for a very long time. She was lame and in pain.
Her companion Dale had been allowed to become grossly overweight.
Both ponies were seized and taken to World Horse Welfare's Penny Farm in Blackpool, where they immediately received the care they needed.
Dale was put on a strict diet and exercise programme and has recovered well. April did not respond to treatment and the difficult decision was made to euthanize her.
"This is one of the first cases under the new Animal Welfare Act involving an obese horse," Williams said. "I am pleased that the serious welfare implications of allowing a horse to get into this condition were taken into account in the sentence."
The Halls were ordered to pay costs of £500 each and a three-month curfew was imposed, enforcing them to be resident at their home between 10pm and 6am.
They indicated their immediate intention to appeal their five-year ban.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009



Ian Briggs, chief inspector of the RSPCA’s Special Operations Unit, said dog-fighting is up 400 per cent in the past three years in the UK.
“Out of all the work my unit now does about 98 per cent is related to Asian gangs,” he said.
It was in the Alum Rock suburb of Birmingham three years ago that the police and RSPCA first realised the sheer scale of the problem.
Twenty-six men, all of Pakistani origin and aged 18 to 42, were arrested after being found crammed into the back of a kitchen showroom store.
Mike Butcher, of the RSPCA’s Special Operations Unit, said: “The West Midlands region is an area where we are getting a lot of intelligence about organised dog-fights in the Asian community.


Sunday, 18 October 2009



Saturday, 17 October 2009




Wednesday, 14 October 2009



A RHONDDA woman was jailed for 18 weeks for what a magistrate described as “the worst animal cruelty case in his 25 years”.
Bridget Louise Davidson, 36, pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to Franklin – a white and black bull terrier.
The seven-year-old dog was found dead by the RSPCA in the kitchen of her rubbish-strewn house on Railway Terrace, Cwmparc.
Davidson had locked Franklin in without food and water.
Prosecuting solicitor Geraint Richards told Rhondda Magistrates’ Court that Davidson “could not look after herself, let alone Franklin”.
The prosecutor said RSPCA officer Nicola Johnson found the bull terrier after looking through a window of the empty house on May 13.
“When she looked through the window she could see the body of a white dog but couldn’t tell whether he was dead or alive,” said Mr Richards.
“So the police were called and they forced entry. The dog was then taken to the veterinary surgeon for expert examination.
In interview Davidson accepted that no-one else was responsible for the dog and she couldn’t look after him.”
Mr Richards, of Martyn Prowel Solicitors Cardiff, prosecuted on behalf of the charity on a pro bono basis.
Richard Williams, defending, said Davidson was herself neglected as a child and placed in care from the age of 11.
“She appreciates that she has no business looking after animals anymore,” he said. “She’s in no state to be looking after a budgie, cat or dog.
“The only saving grace is she wasn’t looking after a child as the outcome could have been tragic.”
Summing-up, presiding magistrate Dewi Hughes said: “I have to say that in over 25 years sitting on the bench this is the worst case of animal cruelty I have seen.
“The case is so serious that only a custodial sentence is appropriate.
“It was the ill-treatment of the dog which resulted its horrific death.
“We have taken into account your early guilty plea.
“The custodial sentence will be 18 weeks; we also disqualify you from keeping or owning animals indefinitely.”
Speaking outside the court in Llwynypia, RSPCA inspector Simon Evans said: “This poor animal died a wretched and painful death. Grossly underweight, this dog suffered appalling neglect at the hands of his owner.
“The magistrate summed it up when he said it was the worst case he’d seen in 25 years.
“In 10 years I have seen maybe half a dozen people end up in prison – so it’s right up there with the worst.
“She had a number of options open to her if she couldn’t look after him. All she had to do was pick up the phone.”
In addition to the 18-week custodial sentence, the defendant was also disqualified from keeping or owning any animal until further notice.

Monday, 12 October 2009



A woman disinherited by her mother’s decision to leave the family’s £2.3 million farm to the RSPCA celebrated victory yesterday when a court declared the will invalid.
Christine Gill, an only child, wept as a judge ruled that she was entitled to inherit the 287-acre North Yorkshire farm to which she had devoted years of labour to support and care for her ageing parents. The RSPCA said that it would appeal against the ruling.
Dr Gill’s widowed mother Joyce, who died at 82, did not even support the charity. She was pro-hunting and, according to her daughter and other witnesses, thought the RSPCA “were just a bunch of townies who knew nothing about the countryside”. The High Court in Leeds ruled that the shy, reclusive mother had been bullied into the will by her ill-tempered husband, John, before his death.
The animal charity, which two years ago rejected an offer of three quarters of the estate, may have to pay both sides’ legal costs, totalling £1.3 million. The court will rule on costs later.
Dr Gill, 58, a part-time university lecturer whose 12-year-old son can now fulfil his ambition to become a farmer, said she was “shaking with relief” at the court’s decision.She felt that her heart and soul had been “ripped out” when she first learnt that the will said she would get no money or land.
As the RSPCA had made plans to sell the farm, the Gills wrote to its patrons, including the Queen and the Archbishop of Canterbury. It refused to negotiate, and the Gills sought an injunction to prevent the sale of Potto Carr Farm, near Northallerton.
The judge was satisfied that Mrs Gill had “an avowed dislike” of the RSPCA and wanted her daughter to inherit the farm, but that she had been unduly influenced by her husband.

Friday, 9 October 2009



Much-loved: 'Jenny's' parents are devoted to their daughter
The recording begins with the sound of a child's voice. It belongs to a little girl and she is clearly bewildered and distressed.
At one point she begins to cry. At other times she is sobbing uncontrollably. 'Have you seen the judge yet?' she can be heard asking pitifully in between the tears before pleading: 'I want to go home with [you] Mummy and Daddy.'
The recording - and dozens of others just like it - was made during a supervised meeting between the youngster and her parents after their daughter was taken away from them by social workers.
They are known as 'contact visits' in the soulless vernacular of the care system, and took place in a room with a table and chairs and a few toys.
One hour. Once a month. That's the extent of the relationship now between this little seven-year-old girl and her traumatised parents.
There are some parents who do not deserve to see their children more than once a month. Irresponsible parents. Neglectful parents. Abusive parents.
According to care workers, the mother and father of this little girl were found to fall into this category after their home was raided by the RSPCA and at least 18 police officers to deal with a complaint about supposed mistreatment of dogs.
But what if social workers have got it wrong? In the light of Baby P and so many other scandals, it's hardly impossible is it?
Certainly, the recordings stored on a computer at! the family's home on the South Coast seem to contradict the damaging claims by social services that the girl, whom we shall call Jenny - the girl's real identity has been suppressed by the courts - did not wish to return to live with her parents.
Jenny's father spent months taking down every word of the recordings by hand, only to be told by a judge that they had to be professionally transcribed.
By the time they were, it was too late. Moves to put Jenny up for adoption were under way.
This week, after 74 separate court hearings over two harrowing years, the family finally lost their fight to have Jenny returned to them.
The Court of Appeal in London ruled that their daughter must be given up for adoption. If and when she is, they may never see her again.
Jenny was five when she was taken away, and seven now. Before we examine the peculiarly troubling details of this case, it is worth considering the comments of the family's MP, Charles Hendry.
He says: 'This case has concerned me more than any other in my 13 years as a member of Parliament.' And, he went on to describe Jenny's mother and father as 'devoted parents'.
Furthermore, one of the experts brought in to examine the child's removal, a psychiatric social worker, concluded the local authority had 'mismanaged the case'. Needless to say, his advice was ignored.
They are not lone voices: more than 200 local people, including neighbours, friends and members of the couple's church, planned to take part in a march through their village shortly after the family's ordeal began in April 2007.
Posters were printed, which read 'Social Services Have Kidnapped Our Daughter. Please Help The Fight To Get Her Back Where She Belongs.' Above the words was a picture of Jenny.
Of course, you won't have read about the protest, because it never took place. The march was just about to begin when the police, acting on the advice of social services, stepped in.
'It's hard to go into my girl's room! without crying'
They warned Jenny's parents they risked being jailed, as they had broken the law by identifying their daughter on the placards.
Just another example of the terrifying lack of transparency that now surrounds the removal of children from their families.
Reforms to open up cases such as Jenny's to public scrutiny were introduced earlier this year. But the truth is, an almost Stalinist culture of secrecy still exists in family courts.
Jenny was never physically harmed, and was 'thriving and happy before being taken away', the Court of Appeal was told.
One of the reasons for the decision was that Jenny's father had been unwilling to undergo a further assessment.
Wouldn't other parents in his position have done the same?
After all, the case had already dragged on for two years and he believed yet another 'assessment' would delay the tortuous process even more.
Yet, here we are today on the cusp of Jenny being spirited away from her family for ever.
No one suggests that Jenny's parents - whom we'll call Susan and Richard - are perfect. But over the past few weeks, our reporters have come to know the family. And one thing seems undeniable - their love for their daughter, and her love for them.
Jenny is a beautiful child with a mop of chestnut hair. She loved ballet, swimming and Susan and Richard paid for her to have private tennis lessons.
Her bedroom - with her own ensuite bathroom - in the family's home is almost unchanged from the day she last slept there.
Her favourite pink teddy bear is still sitting under the windowsill. And a collection of her videos are on a shelf.
'She loved Grease and pretending to be Olivia Newton-John,' her mother told me last night as her eyes filled up with tears. 'It's hard to come into my daughter's room without crying.'
Susan, in her 40s and involved in her local Conservative Association, used to be a beautician before becoming a fulltime mother - that was how important her child was to her.
Her husband Richard, 32, runs a dog breeding business from their home. They have been married for 13 years.They were just a normal, happy family, it seems, until the RSPCA, backed up by 18 police officers, arrived at their house early one April morning in 2007, following a tip-off that dogs were being mistreated, and that there might be guns in the house.
No guns were ever found. No criminal charges were brought, nor does Richard have a criminal record.
He was later, however, convicted of docking the tails of his puppies. But the raid was to have far more catastrophic consequences.
Both Richard and Susan were arrested for failing to cooperate with officers. By the time they were released from custody later that day, Jenny was the subject of an emergency protection order.
So an operation which had begun for entirely different reasons had ended with the heartbreak of their daughter being taken away.
There were two reasons for what happened, and both have been bitterly contested by the family.
The first was the state of the house. Police said it was covered in rabbit entrails - used as food for the dogs they raised - and animal excrement.
The couple claim most of the mess was caused during the raid. They say, the doors were left open, allowing the dogs in. Normally, they insisted, their home was 'clean and tidy'.
Only a few weeks earlier a policewoman had visited them - after a puppy had been stolen - and backed up what they said.
She also said that Jenny was 'happy'. Their home, it should also be stressed, was always immaculate when we visited the couple.
Attention was drawn to the fact that there was a hole in a downstairs bedroom ceiling. But the family point out that a pipe had recently leaked and could not be repaired until the beams had dried out. It has now been fixed.
Nor, it was claimed by the authorities, were there any clothes for Jenny in her wardrobe. Did the police look in the wrong wardrobe - the one in her parent's bedroom?
The wardrobe in Jenny's own bedroom, her parents say, was full of her belongings.
'We always put Jenny first,' said Susan. 'We have receipts from Monsoon [the fashion store] proving we spent hundreds of pounds on Jenny in the couple of months before she was taken from us. If anything, we spoilt her.'
The second reason, according to social services, that Jenny was not returned to her parents, was that she had apparently made it clear she didn't want to return to the house.
But why would she? Jenny was later diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) following the raid.
'They were raided like criminals, it is disgusting'
In fact, it would be impossible to imagine a more traumatic situation than the 'chaotic scenes' which unfolded at the house that morning and which culminated in her mother and father being led away in handcuffs.
In other words, not wanting to return home didn't necessarily mean she didn't want to be with her parents.
Those tapes made during 'contact meetings' in which she tearfully begs to be returned to her 'Mummy and Daddy' would seem to confirm this.
'She was hysterical when the police came in,' says Susan. 'It's the damage they have done to our little girl which really concerns us. I fear she will never be the same.'
There is also another sad twist to this troubling story. Susan and Richard didn't just lose Jenny that day.
Susan was three months pregnant with twins. She ! says she was in a police cell when she began to miscarry. !
'I started bleeding heavily and knew that could only mean one thing,' she said. 'I was taken to hospital where doctors confirmed my worst fears.'
Even so, she was taken back to the police station later, where she says she suffered another haemorrhage. 'I rang the buzzer and they brought me sanitary towels. Later, I was allowed home.'
But another nightmare was just unfolding. Susan was charged with neglecting Jenny - on the strength, she says, of the conditions in the house.
Three months later, all the charges were dropped.
Many would also argue that this is when the social services case against the couple should also have been dropped.
But, like other families who have been through a similar experience, once they were in the 'system' they found it impossible to get out.
It is a view supported by their MP. 'I was very concerned about the case from the outset,' says Mr Hendry.
'Every time I have attempted to discuss it with the ! director of children's services for the county council, I have been told they cannot discuss it because of the legal proceedings.
'What it has brought home to me is how difficult it is for parents to get back a child once a decision has been made to take the child away.
'It is clear to me they are devoted parents whose only goal is get their child returned. I have never seen the evidence to justify taking their daughter away from them.'
In fact, the 'evidence' is based on the testimony of two independent experts. Two others gave the couple positive assessments. But let's deal with the critical reports.
One 'expert' suggested, after spending just one hour with Jenny, that she had been sexually abused by her father.
And the proof? He came to this conclusion, it seems, after Jenny had described choking on a lollipop which, so the expert said, could 'signify the child being forced to have oral sex with her father'.
There was indeed! an incident, says her mother, in which Jenny got a lolly (a sugar-fre e one from the health shop, incidentally) stuck in her throat when she was playing.

MP Charles Hendry said the case has concerned him more than any other in 13 years as a member of Parliament
'She started coughing,' says Susan. I thought: "Oh my God, she is choking." I patted her on the back and she was OK.'
The second expert concluded that Susan and Richard were suffering from 'paranoid personality disorders'.
On one occasion, the police were called when Richard began taking photographs of the social services centre where a 'contact meeting' with Jenny was taking place.
Why? Because the grounds of the building were littered with syringes and mounds of rubbish - not a fit place! , he claimed, for them to meet their bewildered child.
'The social workers didn't want to challenge these experts, at all,' says Richard. 'I would say to them: "Where is the evidence for this allegation or that allegation?" Or "produce a witness".
'They felt we were being obstructive to the local authority's care plan. But what we supposed to do? Just give up. We would never do that.'
The allegations about the sexual abuse and the paranoia were dismissed by other experts, including Dr Peter Dale, a psychiatric social worker, who concluded the local authority had 'mismanaged the case'.
They made, he said, fixed assumptions about the parents at the outset, and had not done the necessary investigations to check whether those assumptions were correct.
Dr Dale said: 'Jenny had suffered significant harm as a result of being removed from her parents, and was likely to suffer fears of abandonment by them for some time to come and would be particul! arly at risk during adolescence.
'She needed urgent therapeutic input to help her make sense of what had happened to her.'
He continued: 'Plans for reunification [with her parents] should be established on a very urgent basis.'
Instead, Jenny is being put up for adoption. If Susan and Richard refuse to accept the decision, they could be prevented from ever seeing their daughter again. It is an outcome which their neighbours and friends can barely contemplate.
One couple are among dozens of people who have supported the couple in their desperate fight to get their only daughter back.
The pair, who have both worked in social services, say they are 'disgusted' with the way the case has been handled, and yesterday insisted the parents were 'the best mother and father a child could wish for'.
The 44-year-old woman, says: 'I worked with children in social services for 25 years and I have never seen anything like this.
'We have been friends with the family for about five years and the only critici! sm I could ever make of them is that they love their little girl too much. They spoil her rotten.
'She has spent a lot of time in our home playing with our daughter, who is a bit older, and our daughter was always over at their home.
'She is a bright, funny, intelligent child. She is always happy and giggling. Every time we saw her she was immaculately dressed, often showing off a new frock or jewellery.
'The way they were raided like criminals and their child snatched from their arms is disgusting.
'There are so many children out there who do need to be monitored by social services, as demonstrated by Baby P. This little girl is not one of them.'
Last night, Jenny's mother, tears rolling down her cheeks, described the impact on the family.
'I go to bed thinking about Jenny and I wake up thinking about Jenny,' she said. 'There's hardly a moment in the day when we are not thinking about her. It's torture.
'To think that our be! autiful daughter is probably going to be advertised on a socia! l servic es website is unbearably painful.'
No one - particularly a newspaper - has a copyright on wisdom in tragic cases such as this. But surely - in the name of justice - there are too many questions raised by the couple's MP, neighbours and independent experts, for anyone to be certain that it's right for Jenny to be torn away from her biological family.