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Frank Lewis used the pets in his hunting game with his dogs

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A teenager stole cats from an animal sanctuary to use as “live bait” for his dogs to hunt down to kill.

Frank Lewis, 18, slit one of the cat’s legs to slow it down while he used the pets in his hunting game with his dogs.

A court heard the teenager broke into the purpose-built cat sanctuary late at night and stole a cage with ten cats which were being nursed back to health by volunteers.

Georgina Buckley, prosecuting, said: “Lewis essentially used the cats for sport. He used his dogs to hunt down and kill them.

“He caused lacerations to the cats himself to try and hinder their escape.”

Miss Buckley told Swansea Crown Court that three cats were found mauled to death in different spots near the sanctuary in Neath Port Talbot.

Four were found alive and returned but three others are still missing and presumed dead.

Ms Buckley added: “Post mortem gave the cause of death as the result of an attack and having been shaken viciously by an animal, like a dog.”

The court heard Lewis set up his sick game just two weeks after he was sentenced in a youth court for a gruesome attack on a sheep.

Lewis stole the sheep from a field and strung it up upside down to a tree, before cutting its head off with a machete. He then posed for photos next to its bloodied carcass and posting them on Facebook.

The police were alerted and Lewis, who is unemployed and on benefits, was given a referral order at Swansea Youth Court.

But he then went on to strike at the Ty Nant Cat Sanctuary at Port Talbot just days later with a 15-year-old accomplice.

Theresa Ahmed, owner of the sanctuary, read out a victim impact statement in court, where she called Lewis “pure evil and beings without a soul.”

Ms Ahmed, who built the sanctuary on the grounds of her family home and has run it with her husband since 1990, said: “The burglary has changed my life forever.

“The sickening realisation that cats were missing and what had happened to them will remain with me for the rest of my life.”

She said she had fallen during the search for the cats, and sustained injuries to her spine for which she was waiting for the results of an MRI scan.

Mr Herd, defending, said Lewis accepted responsibility for the burglary and the deaths of the cats.

He said: “Lewis concedes his dogs were trained to hunt and he knew full well about what the outcome would be.”

Mr Herd said Lewis, whose mother committed suicide five years ago, had been seen by child psychologists after decapitating a sheep, who concluded he showed “psychopathic traits” and signs of a personality disorder.

He pleaded guilty to burglary and criminal damage at Swansea Crown Court where he appeared for sentencing.

Judge Paul Hopkins told Lewis his acts added with his “extreme right-wing views on race and sexuality” meant he was “dangerous.”

Judge Hopkins said: “You tortured a sheep before beheading it, and then took a photo such was your satisfaction at what had been done.

“You then broke into a cat sanctuary and stole 10 cats. You used them as bait for your dogs.

“They are acts of great cruelty amounting to sadism.”

Lewis, of Croeserw, near Port Talbot, was sentenced to 30 months in a young offenders institute.

His 15-year-old accomplice, who was found not to have taken part in the killing of the cats, was given a nine month curfew order earlier this month.

Speaking after the hearing, Inspector Tim Hopkins, from South Wales Police, said: “This was a particularly awful crime against defenceless cats. The outpouring of emotion from the local community – and on social media from across the world – highlights the impact of Frank Lewis’ heinous actions.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the local community for their support during this investigation which resulted in the two males involved being brought before the courts.

“Thanks to a thorough investigation, and along with today’s outcome, it sends out a clear message that South Wales Police takes all crimes seriously and will ensure that offenders will be brought to justice.”

Wales Online

Notorious thieves Gregory Hawkshaw and his son Danny Hawkshaw left trail of destruction

Gregory Hawkshaw (left) and son Danny Hawkshaw (right) admitted burgling 12 churches across Southport and West Lancashire

Gregory Hawkshaw (left) and son Danny Hawkshaw (right) admitted burgling 12 churches across Southport and West Lancashire

A father and son burglary team who ransacked fifteen places of worship have been jailed over their disgraceful spree.

Shameless Gregory Hawkshaw, 45, and Danny Hawkshaw, 23, left a trail of destruction in overnight raids across Southport and West Lancashire.

The drug addicts targeted churches across Ainsdale, Southport and Scarisbrick, making off with hundreds of pounds in cash, laptops, projectors and televisions.

When the pair were set to be sentenced last November, Danny – who was on bail – failed to attend Liverpool Crown Court.

Meanwhile Gregory, of no fixed address, brazenly requested a deferred sentence, claiming he could retrieve some of the stolen goods.

His son, of Sandbrook Road, Ainsdale, went on the run, living in a tent in Preston, and was not caught by police until Christmas Eve.

Today Judge Robert Warnock said some of the kind-hearted parishioners from the churches had offered the pair forgiveness.

But jailing them both, he said: “This was invasion of these places of worship. I owe a public duty in respect of these matters.”

The pair were caught when blood matching Gregory’s DNA was recovered from the scene of one of the burglaries.

They admitted burgling Ainsdale Methodist Church in Liverpool Road overnight on September 30, stealing two laptops and a projector.

Paul Becker, prosecuting, said they broke their way in using a fire extinguisher, took the CCTV hard drive and smashed a window.

The duo also admitted raiding St John’s Anglican Church, also in Liverpool Road, on October 10, when they took a £300 laptop.

A vestry door was pulled completely off its hinges and they caused an estimated £1,000 of damage.

Mr Becker said they confessed to 13 other break-ins, which were to be taken into account. These included raids on:

St Mark’s Church in Southport Road, Scarisbrick, where £400 of cash was taken
St James’ Church in Lulworth Road, Birkdale, where a TV, laptop and cash worth £1,380 were taken
St Peter’s Church in St Peter’s Road, Birkdale, where a projector and two laptops were stolen
Lord Street West United Reformed Church, Southport, where £30 in cash and a laptop was taken
St John’s Church in Rufford Road, Crossens, Southport, where a laptop and projector were taken

Gregory, formerly of Bank Street North in Southport, was first convicted of burglary when he was just 11-years-old.

He was locked up after stealing two expensive mountain bikes from a Southport garage with his son in December 2013.

The dad had the gall to claim he only struck at the garage – and four other homes – to try to pay off his cannabis smoking son’s drug debts.

On that occasion, Judge Clement Goldstone, QC, said: “You commit offences because you are an inherently dishonest man who was burgling houses and sheds years before your son was born.”

Rebecca Smith, defending Gregory, admitted his record was “appalling” and said he was trapped in a “vicious cycle of drug addiction and offending to facilitate that addiction”.

Nicholas Archer, defending Danny, said it was “very sad” to see a father and son before the court, but his client did not seek to blame anyone else.

He said: “He feels he’s let himself down and it’s safe to say he feels let down by his upbringing, but he accepts he is the author of his own misfortune.”

Judge Warnock said Gregory’s record was “disgraceful”, adding: “You too Danny Hawkshaw have started off in the same way as your father.”

He jailed Gregory for four years and Danny for three years, plus three consecutive months for “running away from what you knew you were going to face”dh

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Southport Visiter

A woman sprayed a fire extinguisher in the face of a vulnerable burglary victim so she could steal her purse containing just £2, a court heard.

Kelly Nuttall was jailed for aggravated burglary

Kelly Nuttall was jailed for aggravated burglary

Kelly Nuttall, 35, sneaked into the Webster Court sheltered home, off City Road, as the 56-year-old victim had left her door open while she was sitting up through the night watching the EU referendum results on TV in her lounge, Norwich Crown Court heard.

When the victim confronted Nuttall, she refused to leave and sprayed the fire extinguisher in the face of the victim, who suffered stinging in her eyes.

Chris Youell, prosecuting, said that when the victim told Nuttall once more to get out of her home, she had squirted the victim in the face again before taking her purse containing £2 and a bank card.

Nuttall was later arrested and in interview told police that she wanted to go back to prison so she could get off drugs.

Nuttall, who appeared via video link from Peterborough prison, admitted aggravated burglary on June 24, this year, and was jailed for five years, four months.

Jailing her, Judge Stephen Holt said that the victim had been vulnerable and said it had been a “traumatic experience” for her.

He said it was Nuttall’s fourth burglary conviction and said she also had previous convictions for violence. However, he accepted that Nuttall also had difficulties including mental health problems and said: “You were on crack cocaine at the time and told police you wanted to go back to prison to get clean again.”

Gavin Cowe, for Nuttall, said that she deserved credit for her early guilty plea and said she had a number of personal difficulties including mental health problems.

Eastern Daily Press

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Dean Thompson, left, and Jamie Welsh have each been jailed for three years.

Dean Thompson, left, and Jamie Welsh have each been jailed for three years.

A pair of robbers who knocked a drunk man to the ground and kicked him in the head have been jailed for three years.

The victim had been enjoying a night out in Newcastle city centre when he started talking to Jamie Welsh and Dean Thompson.

Newcastle Crown Court heard how the pair followed him along the street and grabbed him with such force that he fell to the ground.

While on the floor he was aware his rucksack was being pulled from him by Welsh, 18, and Thompson, 21.

Jenny Haigh, prosecuting, told the court: “Both defendants started to kick him to his head and stand on him.

“He raised his arms to try and protect himself, he felt there was blood running down his face.”

The victim, who lost possessions including a gold iPhone and his wallet and bank cards, managed to get away and went to a bar for assistance.

Tthe items taken from the victim were recovered from the defendants after the attack in August.

Welsh, formerly of Tyneside Foyer, Newcastle, and Thompson, of Westgate Road, Newcastle, pleaded guilty to robbery.

While on bail, Welsh broke into the empty home of a woman diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, and stole an ashtray containing money from a car.

He admitted burglary, theft and criminal damage in connection with those offences.

Barry Robson, defending Welsh, said he’d had to leave home due to his drug taking and had been living on the streets after being asked to leave the Tyneside Foyer.

In relation to the robbery, Mr Robson said: “We are dealing with someone who is 18 and has been coming before the courts since March 2015.

“The situation has gradually got worse.”

Paul Currer, defending Thompson, said: “He’s a young man, he has a learning disability and has problems with his mental health.

“He doesn’t seek to blame others, he’s a very immature 21-year-old, but he understands the seriousness of the offence.”

Recorder William Lowe QC told the pair: “A young man was making his way home after a night out in Newcastle, he had a lot to drink and admitted he was drunk. He was therefore vulnerable.

“He had on his back a rucksack, and a wallet containing credit cards, when he was set upon by these two men.

“He was set to the ground with considerable force. When he was on the ground he was stamped on by these two.

“CCTV was able to capture these two young men and their victim. They were arrested very close to the scene of the offence of robbery.

“They had the items that had been stolen from their victim including the credit cards from his wallet.

“This was in my view a serious offence of robbery.”

Recorder Lowe QC sentenced both Welsh and Thompson to three years in prison.

Sunderland Echo

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Warren Ian Hamer, 36, of Woodbine Road in Burnley

Warren Ian Hamer, 36, of Woodbine Road in Burnley

A CAREER criminal who ‘reverted to type’ after he got into money troubles has been jailed.

Burnley Crown Court heard Warren Ian Hamer, 36, had multiple previous convictions for burglary and theft but had turned his life around and was in a stable relationship, had a full-time job and also had a young son.

But after getting into debt after moving into a house with his family, he ‘returned to his old ways’ and attempted to burgle a house but was caught at the scene, the court heard.

Francis McEntee, prosecuting, said: “The burglary itself is quite straight forward. Neighbours reported seeing a man acting strangely in Coniston Street, Burnley, at 9pm on September 9.

Police attended and found the defendant at the scene. He had been interrupted near to the end of the burglary.”

Mr McEntee said Hamer, of Woodbine Road in Burnley, had already taken various electrical equipment from the house and was in the process of stealing a bike.

He was also found with a screw driver and a Stanley knife, which the police was satisfied was for the purpose of the burglary.

The court heard the man who lived in the house was staying at his girlfriend’s at the time of the burglary.

Defending, Richard Taylor said his client had shown genuine remorse for the burglary and realised his girlfriend and 18-month-old son was suffer as a consequence of his actions.

Mr Taylor said: “When he was arrested and taken for interview he immediately admitted the offence. The property has been recovered.

“The previous burglaries were committed when he was a serious drug user.

“Since leaving custody in 2014 he has taken up with his girlfriend. Her mother employed him. They work in a recycling depot. He was on a fairly low wage. They moved in to a new home. There was a lot of debt. Their tax credits were cut.

“He fully accepts he reverted to type. Once he was in custody in realised what he has lost.”

In a letter to the court Hamer, who admitted to one charge of burglary, acknowledged that he had let down his girlfriend, son and employed.

Jailing Hamer for 32 months Judge Beverley Lunt said: “There is something very wrong if your first impulse when you have money worries is to burgle a home.

“You have a partner who supports you and a child. How would you feel if someone burgles their home?”

Lancashire Telegraph

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A man who burgled two Peterborough homes has begun a 42 month prison sentence.

Andrew Sarul, 41, of Crown Street, was sentenced at Peterborough Crown Court on May 3.

The court heard how Sarul was seen on CCTV entering a property in Cecil Pacey Court, on October 19 last year, through an open window. He left with a laptop worth approximately £1,000.

On February 18 he forced entry into a shed in Burmer Road where he stole a mountain bike, tool box and various tools. Forensic evidence was used to link Sarul to the scene.

He pleaded guilty to both counts of burglary. Two further burglary offences were also taken into consideration.

Detective Constable Adam Blake said: “Sarul is an opportunistic burglar, however he did show remorse for his actions.

“Burglary remains a top priority for the force because it leaves victims feeling vulnerable and can have a massive impact on their lives.”

Peterborough Today

Andrew Sarul

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Kenneth Graham demanded cash from the terrified Middlesbrough assistant warning her: “I’ve got a gun and I’ll shoot you”

Kenneth Graham

A robber who held up a late night store telling the terrified, lone assistant “I’ve got a gun” was jailed for three years.

Kenneth Graham, 21, arrived at the Premier shop in Middlesbrough on his bike at 9.30pm as assistant Ann Wilson was outside taking a cigarette break.

As she went behind the counter to serve him he demanded she hand over the money saying: “I’ve got a gun and I’ll shoot you”.

He was standing in front of her with his right hand inside his jacket rummaging around for something.

Prosecutor Rachel Masters told Teesside Crown Court that Miss Wilson started to panic and she hit the wrong button on the till, but eventually she took out a handful of £5 and £10 notes.

Graham, who was wearing gloves, said ‘Don’t you dare touch your phone’ and he left returning immediately to repeat ‘Don’t use your phone.”

Miss Masters added: “She was crying uncontrollably thinking that he had a gun.

“She saw a man at the cash machine and he called the police. Graham was identified as a possible suspect and he was positively identified soon after.

“She said later that she recognised him as the robber of the store having known him in the area where she lived.

“The incident left her extremely upset and scared, worrying if the person knew her and came back.

“She said ‘I feel sick about the whole incident’. When she was going to be a witness she asked for special measures.

“She said ‘I’m suffering panic attacks. I have been receiving regular support from the Victim Support network. I am struggling to do my work but it’s something I have to do because I need the money to pay my bills.”

Graham had 16 convictions for 29 offences including drugs,assault theft and burglary.

Jim Withyman, defending, said that Graham came from a respectable family but he had been threatened over a drug debt after he turned to drugs while mourning the deaths of two close friends.

He said that Graham, whose parents were in court supporting him, wished to apologise through him to Miss Wilson for the terror and upset he caused to her.

Judge Michael Taylor told Grham: “She is finding it very difficult to come to terms with what happened.

“People like her perform a valuable serviced to the public, and the message has got to out that those who commit these sort of offences will always received substantial prison sentences.

“You said that you had a gun and she was not to know whether you had one.”

Graham, of Ottawa Road,Middlesbrough, was jailed for three years after he pleaded guilty to the November 3 robbery of the store on Longlands Road, Middlesbrough.

Gazette Live

He was jailed last year for his role in the EDL rioting at the Birmingham demo in 2013. More info here.