Animal owner sentenced at Lisburn Magistrates Court

September 23, 2022

Marcus McMillan, of Drumlough Road, Royal Hillsborough on the 19th July 2022 pleaded guilty to one charge of causing unnecessary suffering to five dogs and one charge of failing to meet the needs of five dogs under the Welfare of Animals Act (Northern Ireland) 2011 when prosecuted by Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council.

Mr McMillan also failed to meet the needs of the animals causing them to endure horrendous injuries and survive without treatment of those injuries. The charges date back to April 2021 and breach Section 4 and Section 9 of the Welfare of Animals Act (NI) 2011. 

On 13 April 2021 the Council’s Animal Welfare Service attended the property having been notified by PSNI of concerns for the animals living in an outhouse and pens. Paramilitary Crime Task Force officers, assisted by the Police Service’s Tactical Support Group and local district officers, had conducted a search in the Royal Hillsborough area and discovered and seized a number of dogs with serious injuries; as well as a quantity of cannabis, drug-related paraphernalia and over £10,000 in cash.

Detective Inspector Corrigan said: “During the search, officers found a total of ten dogs. Disturbingly, many of the dogs had sustained extremely serious injuries to their faces. The Council’s Animal Welfare Service was alerted to the situation immediately and attended the scene.’’

The Animal Welfare Officers found 10 dogs with varying degrees of serious injury and, of the ten dogs kept in cages in outbuildings at the site, nine were Patterdale Terrier types and one was a Wheaten Terrier type.

The dogs had injuries to their heads and faces. They had untreated injuries including holes through the tissue surrounding their mouths, parts of their faces missing and other serious facial injuries, some more recent than others.

The five dogs with active infections around the jaws required immediate treatment. Three required hospitalization and surgery. There was no evidence of professional veterinary treatment having been sought for these dogs, in spite of the seriousness of their injuries.

In her deliberations, Judge Rosie Waters described the injuries sustained by the dogs horrendous and was surprised that the dogs all survived.

On 22 September 2022, Mr McMIllan was sentenced to five months imprisonment and a lifetime ban from keeping animals was imposed. Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council were awarded full costs of £6048.

Detective Inspector Corrigan added: “It’s thanks to collective efforts, and partnership with the council, that Mr McMillan has today been brought before court and held to account.”