No Justice for Murdered Greyhounds!
British law exposed as a joke.

Greyhound Action are apalled at the outcome of the David Smith case which concluded at Durham Crown Court yesterday and resulted in Smith receiving a meagre £2,000 fine, he was also ordered to pay £2,000 costs.

David Smith, the builder's merchant from Northdene Terrace, Seaham, Co. Durham, was exposed by the Sunday Times in July last year for killing and burying greyhounds on his land. It was alleged that he had killed as many as 10,000 dogs over a period of 15 years and that his father before had provided a similar service. Smith (the greyhound serial killer) was allegedly paid £10 for each dog he killed, he used a bolt gun to dispose of the dogs.

Despite the fact that Smith had committed these atrocities he was not considered to have broken any animal welfare laws and it was only on the grounds that Smith had buried the dogs on his land without a permit that the Environment Agency decided to privately prosecute him.

Greyhound Action supporters gathered outside the Court yesterday in mass protest, displaying anti-greyhound racing banners and posters, the supporters had travelled from Scotland, Newcastle, York, Coventry, Birmingham and Co. Durham to attend the demonstration organised by Greyhound Action North East. Approximately six Police officers were also present.

When Smith arrived he was taken around the back of the Courthouse to the rear entrance for his protection, he also had to be escorted to his vehicle after the hearing. Apparently, Smith has received over thirty personal threats since he was exposed in July last year. As Smith left the Courthouse, the angry protestors filled the air with shouts of "MURDERER".

We were contacted yesterday by Jan Lakey, spokesperson for Greyhound Action North East who sat inside the Courthouse during the hearing together with around fifteen other Greyhound Action supporters awaiting the verdict. Smith had been on police bail since his hearing at the Magistrate's Court in February this year and allegedly in his pre-sentencing report there were concerns as to his mental and physical health, therefore any sentence and/or fine imposed at yesterday's Crown Court hearing would take this and his personal financial situation into account.

Approximately 25 friends and family members of Smith were also present in court and when the verdict was announced some of them sickeningly shouted "YES" in triumph. The court hearing lasted for just over an hour.

Jan told us " I was totally astonished at the low level of the fine, we were all in shock, I had gone into the Court with the expectations that Smith would have been fined a large amount of money and possibly faced prison. I was so angry when I heard the verdict I had to take 2-3 minutes to cool off before I could face the media who were waiting to take interviews, this was nowhere near the justice needed. No amount of fine on one level would have sufficed but it could have acted as some example to others who are offering the 'same kind of service' .

"Even the Judge himself was bemused by the fact that there was no law in place to offer protection to the dogs. If Smith had been prosecuted under animal welfare law, he would have been sent to prison for causing undue suffering. The Judge also mentioned that if Smith had applied for a licence to dump waste (i.e. dogs carcasses) and the licence had been passed then there would have been no court case at all as Smith's actions would have been perfectly legal."

The RSPCA felt that a bolt gun if used properly was a humane way of killing dogs and said there was no evidence to show that Smith had killed the dogs inhumanely, therefore it was concluded that no animal cruelty laws had been broken.

GA cannot understand how the RSPCA could come to this conclusion. None of us will ever forget the tragic fate of Rusty the greyhound shot in the head with a captive bolt pistol by greyhound executioner Andrew Gough who then hacked off Rusty's ears and left him to die on a rubbish tip in the Rhymney Valley in Wales. Rusty, who was discovered many hours later by a dog walker was still alive but tragically had to be put to sleep by a vet due to severe brain injury so even though Rusty had been shot with a bolt gun he was not killed instantly and in fact suffered drastically for several hours. Gough received a six-month jail sentence for the suffering he had caused to Rusty.

Convicted dog killer Andrew Gough ... got a 6 month sentence
click here for more info

Rusty just one of Gough's victims

How do any of us know whether or not Smith killed every dog humanely? Is it not possible that some of the dogs he shot with the bolt gun may have just been stunned? If this were the case would it not be possible that some of the dogs could have been buried alive?

Jan asked the prosecution solicitor why the dogs bodies were not exhumed but was told that no purpose would have been served from doing this.

(GA comment: the role of the RSPCA in this case seems quite remarkable ... is it credible that they really have the welfare of the dogs upper most in their minds if they can't see the cruelty in this situation? You might like to ask them?)

According to the defence barrister, Smith's activities were out in the open and the community knew what was going on. It seems that many of the people of Seaham accepted the actions of Smith and we were horrified to learn that 200 local people had even signed a petition to say that he was a good person, we were also told that allegedly an ex-police officer had even offered to give Smith a character reference in Court.

What we did find interesting is that it was stated in Court that allegedly the local police also used Smith's services, that they had taken injured animals including dogs to him. Smith's defence mentioned that allegedly the local police, the RSPCA and the local council had all used Smith's services and his father's before him. The defence barrister at the Magistrate's Court in February had said in Smith's defence that he had not hidden his services and that they were allegedly used by these agencies. The Police and the RSPCA denied knowing what Smith was doing. The local council have refused to make any comment until after the case hearing on Friday.

Jan from G.A. North East could not believe that the defence barrister stated that Smith had said that he had killed nowhere near the alleged number of 10, 000 dogs and that he was now claiming to have killed between 1000 - 1500 dogs over the past ten years. Smith claims that due to working at a newsagents and then a builder's merchants he was only able to kill 2 dogs during a morning slot between 9.30 and 10am and that this was not done 7 days a week. Apparently the number of greyhounds killed escalated in the last twelve months. (We believe that this is utter garbage and just a last desperate attempt by Smith to try and make himself appear as less of a monster - as if he could!).

The Judge at yesterday's hearing felt that as a result of the Smith case, new legislation may come forth that could offer better protection for animals and that the Smith case will act as a catalyst for change.

Jan was interviewed by several media representatives and whilst being interviewed was approached by one of Smith's supporters who told her " If it wasn't for meddlers like you lot - do-gooders, we wouldn't be here today".

Jan was delighted with the overall media coverage of yesterday's events and told us "The media have been very sympathetic and have done the greyhound supporters a good service. In particular the coverage in the North has been excellent." (Local television, local radio, Sky News, BBC, ITV and channel 5 all attended yesterday's event).

Jan added "Out of this terrible thing, it has brought attention and awareness as to what goes on in the greyhound racing industry."

On a personal note we at GA believe that it was a crime in itself that this inconcievable man was able to walk away from a place that is supposed to represent justice with such a lenient punishment. Where is the justice in all of this? The greyhounds whose lives were taken so cruelly have been shown no justice whatsoever. If a human takes the life of another human then they will get life imprisonment and yet a man who is found to have taken the lives of thousands of dogs is allowed to walk free? Whether Smith killed 1,000, 10,000 or 10 dogs is irrelevant, one greyhound killed as a result of this sick, evil industry is one too many as far as we are concerned!

It is imperative that we all remind ourselves that it is in fact the people involved in the commercial greyhound racing industry who bear the most guilt here as it is they who have created an industry where thousands of dogs are killed every year, so even though Smith is a monster, the racing industry is the essence of pure evil.

All we can say is that the lives of those beautiful greyhounds slaughtered by this scumbag will not be lost in vain. The David Smith expose has travelled the globe and has highlighted the plight of the greyhounds enormously. So many more people have been made aware of the cruelty involved in the greyhound racing industry and the Greyhound Action campaign to abolish commercial greyhound racing has become far stronger as a result - the people of this country will never forget the case of David Smith the man who allegedly killed up to 10,000 greyhounds and buried them in his back garden. We have the sympathy and the support of the general public and in time WE SHALL OVERCOME!

Please see below links to the related news items.

Final thoughts on this case:

Once again this just goes to prove what we already know from experience...

there is no justice ... just us!

... forget politicians, forget the law, we are the only ones fighting for the greyhounds.

“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing” (Edmund Burke)