06/19/2024 - UK Expert Witness News: Expert Witness Gives Evidence in West Yorkshire Dog Cruelty Case

Expert witness testimony in a West Yorkshire dog cruelty case helped secure a conviction. An expert witness for the prosecution, Vet Dr Sean Taylor, told the court that the evidence indicated that the dog in question, Storm had a 1.2in (3cm) lesion on her tongue and was also suffering from dental disease.

The expert testimony helped secure a conviction against Ethan Lee Farrar of Oakhill Road, Batley, West Yorkshire who was banned from keeping animals for five years and was also given a 12-month Community Order requiring 20 RAR days to be completed, and ordered to pay costs of £400 and a Victim Surcharge of £114. His mother, Michelle Farrar, too was banned from keeping animals for two years and was slapped with a 12-month Community Order requiring 20 rehabilitation activity requirement (RAR) days to be completed, and was ordered to pay costs of £400 and a Victim Surcharge of £114.

Bradford Magistrates Court had heard that in October 2022, RSPCA Animal Rescue Officer Rebecca Goulding had paid a visit to a property in Oakhill Road, Batley, to check on the welfare of a pet called Storm and a puppy called Rain.

Ms Goulding of the RSPCA said: "The stench of urine and faeces that could be smelt from outside the property, combined with the filthy windows and stained curtains, suggested conditions inside were not suitable for the dogs."The living room appeared in complete disarray and all surfaces were covered in faeces."

The visit by the RSPCA was prompted by complaints the dogs were living in unsuitable conditions. Ms. Goulding made several unsuccessful attempts to revisit the property. Eventually, Michelle Farrar agreed to surrender the puppy to the RSPCA and relocate Storm to a different address on Ealand Road in Dewsbury. She was cautioned that Storm should not be returned to Oakhill Road unless the property’s conditions significantly improved.
Despite these warnings, Ms. Goulding found Storm back at the Oakhill Road house a month later. This time, the dog was left outside in the yard, prompting another warning that Storm could be taken away.

In February 2023, another RSPCA inspector visited the property and found Storm in a deteriorated condition. The dog appeared very thin and was observed sitting on a window ledge covered in feces.

Dr Sean Taylor said, "the physical damage to the dog caused by neglect would likely have caused her to experience pain, adding that the condition had been present for some time.".

Storm was rehomed by the RSPCA, but was later diagnosed with cancer.