Following a protracted investigation and subsequent trial, a Douglas man, name locally as 41 year old Richard William Miller, appeared for sentencing before the courts on Friday 5th January 2018. Having been found guilty of 2 offences relating to the illegal possession of two birds of prey and 2 further offences of cruelty to dogs, he was sentenced to fines, costs and compensation totalling £4500 and banned from keeping any animal for 10 years.
One of the investigating officers PC Mark Kerruish, a wildlife crime officer based at Ramsey Police Station expressed his thanks to the MSPCA who assisted in the recovery of the animals and their subsequent care, and explained that the hawks have been re-homed in a UK based sanctuary and the dogs who are still with the MSPCA are hoped to be re-homed in the near future.
“The animals were all recovered from a Douglas address in August 2016 following an intelligence led search operation. The hawks had been the main focus of the search, having been reported as being kept in poor conditions without the required license to keep the birds of prey. The dogs were subsequently located whilst inside the property.
The dogs in particular were located in appalling conditions, both were underweight with prominent back bones and located in a single down stairs toilet, on a urine soaked piece of foam surrounded by extensive faeces, with no food or water readily available.
One of the dogs, a white terrier was stained yellow to the lower part of its body as a result of urine staining, and it took MSPCA staff 3 to 4 months of regular washing to remove the staining. Both dogs are now fine and doing well!
It is hoped that this result and sentencing by the courts sends out a clear message, showing that any offences relating to the cruelty or neglect of animals are taken very seriously by the Isle of Man Constabulary.
We will continue to work alongside the MSPCA and other agencies to ensure that offenders of this nature are bought before the courts and, if guilty, that the fines imposed on them reflect this robust approach."