Guilty: Circus owner Bobby Roberts convicted of causing unnecessary suffering to Anne the elephant who was chained and cruelly beaten by keeper

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“I am so f-ing mad over this, I’ve probably made a ton of mistakes, sorry, I’m in a lot of pain, but had to get this out…oh poor Anne, we have failed you, I’m so sorry!”

“For Christ sake, she was a circus elephant, they are forced into doing degrading tricks, detrimental to their bodies which is why poor Anne now has arthritis. Forced by beatings, electric prods etc. But, no matter, we will continue to charge motorists with dodgy lights more than we charge a person in control of an elephant…MORONS!

  • Bobby Roberts found guilty today of three charges of causing unnecessary suffering at Northampton Crown Court
  • Walks free from court after receiving three year conditional discharge
  • Wife Moira Roberts was cleared of all charges
  • Anne now lives at Longleat in a paddock with her own sandpit
  • Animal rights group said the sentence is ‘derisory’

Circus owner Bobby Roberts was today convicted of three counts of causing unnecessary suffering to Asian elephant Anne. 

Roberts was also convicted of failing to prevent an employee from repeatedly beating the animal, which was filmed chained to the ground and being hit with a pitchfork. “This is all just contradictions…the owners came off best, poor Anne still has the scars & memories!”

Roberts, 69, who ran Super Circus in Polebrook, Cambridgeshire, also failed to ensure the elephant’s needs were met by not giving her medication for her arthritis.“So why not charge him for that?”

He was given a three-year conditional discharge at Northampton Crown Court but was not ordered to pay costs and was not banned from owning animals. “WTF..f-ing furious to say the least!”

His wife Moira, 75, was cleared of all three charges by District Judge David Chinnery following a five-day trial at Northampton Crown Court.

District Judge Chinnery told Roberts the real cruelty was meted out by the groom, who is believed to have returned to Romania. “Who told him, he had been filmed? who told him to get out asap? the owners did…. God I’m fuming over this!”

During the trial, the court was shown footage filmed secretly by animal welfare group Animal Defenders International (ADI) of the elephant being kicked and struck with a pitchfork several times by the groom at the circus’s winter quarters last year.

The footage, filmed between January 21 and February 15, 2011, also showed Anne constantly chained to the ground.

“I am showing this video purely for those who may not be aware of what happened to Anne etc. Then they may understand how furious I am that the Roberts got off without even so much as a slapped butt!!”

The elderly animal could be seen chained by one foot and one hind leg in a barn.

Such has been the public outcry since the footage was released, the judge said Roberts had ‘suffered enough punishment over the last 18 months.

He told Roberts: ‘As a result of what has happened your business is effectively at an end. You have lost everything which you have built up over the last five decades. I am told that you have no funds at all.’ “Are we supposed to feel sorry for these people, who have made a living out of exploiting & beating animals?”

He added it would be ‘disproportionate’ to ban him from keeping animals, especially because of his  ‘exemplary record or animal husbandry’. “How are we supposed to know that, can’t have hidden cameras everywhere!!”

Roberts claimed he was unaware that Anne had been constantly chained and that the groom, who is believed to have returned home to Romania, had not followed his instructions. “Sorry, did he never look at Anne’s feet or legs? could he not see the strap marks? So one must assume Anne had no foot care, for nobody to notice! “

He admitted that the elephant would be chained up at times but said his instructions were that she be let loose behind an electric fence in a cordoned-off area. “Chained up at times, what times would that be, she is in her winter quarters, why would she be chained for a couple of hours, then loose…Tell me where in her winter quarters could she have been behind an electric fence? if she was, she still would have only been able to take a step or two!”

Cruel: A keeper prepares to hit Anne once more with a stick

District Judge Chinnery added during sentencing: ‘The chaining I regard as serious but the real cruelty it seems to me was inflicted by your groom, a man whom you had entrusted with the care of Anne, behind your back and without your knowledge.’

He said it was to Roberts’ credit that he had ‘cared for and managed animals for the greater part of your seventy tears without criticism from any quarter.’ “Mmmm, so how did Anne learn those tricks she did in the circus, one only has to look at any elephant training in a circus, behind the scenes of course, to see that they are beaten into submission. 

The footage was taken in the barn at the circus’ winter quarters where Sri Lankan elephant Anne, who worked for Roberts since 1957, was kept when not on tour.

Prosecutor Helen Law said in the film Anne, who already had arthritis, rocked backwards and forwards which, as in humans, is a sign of distress.

Circus: Anne was kept her chained up for 24-hours-a-day and only un-shackled so they could swap which leg she was chained with, a court heard. Look at Anne’s eye’s, they show such heartache!

The legs of the elephant – who was not receiving medication for her arthritis – could also be seen to buckle several times in the footage.

Following the verdict, Richard Crowley, deputy chief Crown Prosecutor at CPS East Midlands, said: ‘The images of the abuse suffered by Anne the Elephant upset a great many people across the country. “Yes they bloody well did!”

‘Bobby Roberts had clear responsibilities for this elephant’s welfare, which he wilfully neglected when he treated her appallingly. Anne was kept chained up, beaten regularly and suffered significantly as a result. “Yes he neglected Anne; but you let him off scott free, what does that say to other abusers??”

Not only did Bobby Roberts breach his professional obligations towards Anne, but his neglect and abuse was criminal. He gave instructions for Anne to be chained and took no action to prevent the beatings she had received, failing to provide any training or supervision for the staff member responsible for her. “So why has this man got away with not even a slapped wrist?? his neglect was criminal; yet he is a free man who can go his merry way!!”

‘Today should serve as a warning that those who mistreat animals can expect to face prosecution.’  “What, when you let people off the hook? sorry but Roberts should have taken some of the blame, he was with that elephant everyday & must have seen the marks of abuse on her poor body, what about the arthritis? he didn’t do anything to ease Anne’s suffering, knowing she would be in pain…to give or do nothing; then to say it should serve as a warning…well it’s ridiculous!”

The RSPCA’s Jody Gordon said: ‘Anyone looking at this shocking footage can see how this poor elephant suffered, and this clearly spells out how completely unacceptable this is.

‘It is only a pity those physically beating Anne in the film footage could not be prosecuted also.’ “Why, because they got wind of what was happening & had time to flea without the Roberts knowing…please…I still think it was them who told him to leave, thinking they would be out the woods if he had gone”

Animal Defenders International chief executive, Jan Creamer called the sentence ‘derisory’ and provides no faith that the Animal Welfare Act can protect animals in circuses.’ “And she is so bloody right!”

She said: ‘Inspection after inspection fails to identify this abuse.  These practices will not stop until the use of wild animals in circuses is prohibited by law.

‘For years, Animal Defenders International has been campaigning to set Anne free from her chains and the terrible conditions in which she was kept and, despite the obstacles we faced at every turn, we refused to give up hope.

Our commitment to ensure that action was taken has given Anne her freedom from the circus, along with the camel called Monty.’ “Yet, had she not been taped undercover, this would still be happening. But the FBI call people with an interest in animal welfare, terrorist…FFS…we are not terrorists, we only want animals to be treated properly! Never mind animal rights folk, the FBI should concentrate on those who actually want to harm & kill people!”

She added: ‘Anne’s story is one repeated all over the world. It is time to ensure it never happens again here. The government must prohibit the use of wild animals in circuses as they have promised.’ “The Governments promises mean jack shit, first they led us a merry dance with red herrings i.e the Austrian case…now, its costing more for this farcical license system than it would if they just added a couple of paragraphs to the Animal Welfare Act 2006” 

She also called on Longleat to find the elephant a companion as a ‘matter of urgency’. “Totally agree, Anne is so lonely, you can see it in her eye’s, doesn’t every species have the right to a companion?”

Published on 3 Apr 2012 by 

We are delighted to announce that Anne the elephant today celebrates her first anniversary living at Longleat Safari Park. Since her arrival on 3rd April 2011 she has had a new lease of life and continues to enjoy her retirement under the care and supervision of her experienced keepers and dedicated team of experts. Her keepers and everyone at Longleat are extremely grateful for the public support and messages of goodwill Anne has received over the past year.

Her keepers have spent huge amounts of time over the past twelve months working with Anne to improve her wellbeing and physical condition. The difference and improvement in skin condition, feet, trunk, ears and general muscle tone is clear to see and she certainly doesn’t look like an elephant approaching 60.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2237469/Anne-elephant-abuse-Circus-owner-Bobby-Roberts-guilty-causing-unnecessary-suffering.html#ixzz2D4Mbopzs
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Circus Bosses On Trial For Cruelty To Elephant By Worker

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“The story of  Anne the elephant, is very close to my heart! When the original news broke, with the video of her being beaten, I posted it onto Care 2; along with a petition & sent many letters to Lord Henley & the Government; including my MP. I was so pleased, when all the petitions put together made sure  she was able to leave that place, imagine being shackled to the floor unable to move but a step forward or back!

“The MF that beat Anne got wind of the news in advance, somebody grassed that they police were coming for him, which is why he did a runner. Who knows, perhaps the Roberts told him to go, thinking if he left the case would be over?  just hope that justice is served, & Anne did not suffer in vain; although I would have preferred the actual person seen beating Anne, to also be on trial!”

The trial of circus owners Bobby and Moira Roberts is due to go ahead on Monday 19 November, following video evidence filmed by ADI showing a worker of the Bobby RobertsSuper Circus kicking and beating their elephant, Anne, at their winter quarters last year.

The worker caught on film left the country immediately.

Mr and Mrs Roberts are being jointly charged with a series of offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2006, to which they have pleaded not guilty:

1. Causing the elephant to suffer unnecessarily, by requiring the elephant to be chained to the ground at all times, contrary to section 4(1) of the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

2. Failing to take reasonable steps to prevent their employee from causing unnecessary suffering to the elephant, by repeatedly beating it, contrary to section 4(2) of the same Act.

3. Failing to take reasonable steps to ensure that the needs of the elephant were met to the extent required by good practice, contrary to section 9 of the same Act.

This is a test case, the first trial of circus owners and their responsibilities under the ‘duty of care’ detailed in the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

Anne is a 59 year old female elephant wild caught in Sri Lanka and bought by the Bobby Roberts’ Super Circus in the 1950s. Anne was transferred to a safari park with the owners’ consent following the release of the ADI video in 2011.

Here are a few of letters I sent regards Anne & animals in general in the circus. You can tell by my MP’s response to one letter;  I was implying that no animal should be forced to perform for human entertainment. Click on each page to read:-

 

News Link:-http://www.ad-international.org/animals_in_entertainment/go.php?id=2911&ssi=10

 

Anne Investigation – Trial Update

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Posted: 19 June 2012. Updated: 19 June 2012

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Following a fifth hearing for legal arguments today at Kettering Magistrates Court, District Judge Chinnery ruled that the trial of Bobby and Moira Roberts is to proceed, but delayed until November. The charges relate to video recordings of beatings of Anne the elephant, taken by Animal Defenders International (ADI) investigators at the Bobby Roberts Super Circus winter quarters in Polebrook, in January and February 2011.

Mr and Mrs Roberts have been jointly charged with the following offences, to which they pleaded not guilty at the preliminary hearing of the case on 1 December 2011:

1. Causing the elephant to suffer unnecessarily, by requiring the elephant to be chained to the ground at all times, contrary to section 4(1) of the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

2. Failing to take reasonable steps to prevent their employee from causing unnecessary suffering to the elephant, by repeatedly beating it, contrary to section 4(2) of the same Act.

3. Failing to take reasonable steps to ensure that the needs of the elephant were met to the extent required by good practice, contrary to section 9 of the same Act.

Following a two-day hearing this week at Corby and Kettering Magistrates Courts, held under reporting restrictions, it was announced today that the case would proceed.

Tim Phillips, Campaign Director ADI: “We are delighted that Anne’s owners will finally face trial over the evidence we provided. This is the first test of the intention of the Animal Welfare Act, 2006, which was that owners can be held responsible for what happens to their animals. The investigation and case have been a daunting financial commitment for ADI, but this is an important case that will affect animals in years to come. We are delighted that it is now proceeding and hope there will be no further delays.“

The private prosecution was commenced by ADI on 18th July 2011 at Northampton Magistrates Court. In November, the CPS took over prosecuting the case.

Find out more.
Donate now to help ADI campaign against the use of animals in circuses.
News Link:http://www.ad-international.org/animals_in_entertainment/go.php?id=2697&ssi=10

Trial dates set for Anne the circus elephant case

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Circus elephant trial dates set for June…

The trial has been fixed to take place in June of a pair of circus owners charged with the alleged abuse of Anne the elephant, following allegations from an animal welfare charity.

The trial is now set for June 18 to 22 it was announced at a pre-trial hearing at Corby Magistrates Court. The next review of the case will take place at Wellingborough on May 4.

Husband and wife Bobby and Moira Roberts, owners of Bobby Roberts Super Circus, are charged with offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 in relation to the mistreatment of Anne an elephant that was removed from the wild and sold to the circus.

The CPS – Crown Prosecution Service – agreed last year to take on the prosecution of Bobby and Moira Roberts in relation to the alleged mistreatment of the elephant.

The case was originally brought as a private prosecution by the charity Animal Defenders International (ADI), an international animal welfare charity.

The charity, which advocates a complete ban on wild animals in circuses, produced video footage of the animal’s treatment via a surveillance camera installed in a barn in Polebrook, Northamptonshire where the elephant was based during the circus’ winter break.

ADI carried out an investigation into Anne’s welfare at the Roberts circus, in Peterborough during January and February 2011. The charity assembled a private prosecution based on the video evidence. The private prosecution commenced on July 18, 2011 at Northampton Magistrates Court.

The CPS was approached by legal representatives in the case and the Director of Public Prosecutions, Keir Starmer QC, eventually agreed the CPS would take over and continue legal proceedings, partly as a result of the public outcry over the case.

Mr and Mrs Roberts, who are now entitled to a fair trial says the CPS, are jointly charged with causing the elephant to suffer unnecessarily by requiring the elephant to be chained to the ground at all times. Another charge is failure to take reasonable steps to prevent their employee from causing unnecessary suffering to the elephant by repeatedly beating it.

The couple are also charged with failing to take reasonable steps to ensure that the needs of the elephant were met to the extent required by good practice. All the charges are issued contrary to sections from the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

Anne is a female elephant, aged 58, originally from Sri Lanka that was sold to The Bobby Roberts Super Circus in the 1950s. Anne was subsequently transferred to Longleat Safari Park in April 2011 with the owners’ consent. The Longleat Safari Park runs the charity The Longleat Charitable Trust that also incorporates the Longleat Elephant Sanctuary Appeal

http://www.xperedon.com/news_1146

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