| 16.2°C Dublin

shocking case Armagh dad, son and daughter could all go to jail after animal cruelty guilty pleas

Hannah Henry said her father was 'not fit' to go to prison when the Sunday World called at the family home


Hannah Henry with her father Martin

Hannah Henry with her father Martin

Hannah Henry with her father Martin

A father, son and daughter could all be going to jail after pleading guilty to cruelty charges relating to five dogs, we can reveal.

Hannah Henry, her brother Mark Henry and their father Martin Henry admitted causing unnecessary suffering to five different dogs.

When confronted by us this week Hannah Henry blamed the death of her mum for mistreating the dogs.

Though the full details of the case won’t be read until they are sentenced in April it’s understood the case is extremely shocking, demonstrated by the judge ordering pre-sentence reports on each of the three as she believes “their liberty is at stake.”

Appearing on Tuesday at Craigavon Magistrates Court in Co Armagh, Mark Henry, his sister Hannah and their father Martin, defence solicitor John McAtamney entered guilty pleas on to a raft of charges on their behalves.


Hannah Henry

Hannah Henry

Hannah Henry

Hannah Henry, 27-years-old from Legahory Court in Craigavon, admitted causing unnecessary suffering to four dogs including a Jack Russell, an Akita and two Shih Tzu’s on 6 November 2019 as well as four counts of failing to “to take reasonable steps to ensure the needs of the animals.”

Her 30-year-old brother Mark, from the same address, admitted causing suffering to a Labrador cross, failing to take steps for the lab and a charge of breaching disqualification order by keeping all five dogs.

Their father Martin Henry, who is 67-years-old according to court papers, entered guilty pleas to causing the Jack Russell and two Shih Tzu’s unnecessary suffering and failing to meet their needs.

Mark Henry was not at home but we can reveal he has previous convictions for causing suffering to animals and was already banned from keeping animals.

On that occasion a horse had to be put down to prevent further suffering.

On Friday we called at their home in Legahory Court in Craigavon where Hannah Henry answered the door and blamed the death of her mother for the way the five dogs were treated.

When asked why the dogs had been treated so poorly, she replied: “My mum died and everything just went wrong.

“We shouldn’t have been dragged through the courts; it was a really hard time for the family.”

Sunday World Newsletter

Sign up for the latest news and updates

This field is required This field is required

Her co-accused father then appeared at the door and said he didn’t want to comment on the convictions.

When asked if they were concerned about going to prison Martin Henry replied: “Jail was mentioned alright.”

His daughter cut in saying: “He can’t go to jail; he’s not fit to go to prison. Look at him.”

This week in court the prosecution did not open any of the facts surrounding the shocking charges and confirmed to District Judge Amanda Brady the charges revolves around a total of five dogs.

DJ Brady told the lawyer it seemed to be “a pretty serious case” so she wanted to have probation pre-sentence reports on each of the defendants, warning that “their liberty is at stake.”

All three defendants, none of whom attended court on Tuesday, will be sentenced on 5 April.

It’s not the first time that Mark Henry has been before a court for animal cruelty as four years ago this week, the 30-year-old was convicted of causing unnecessary suffering to ponies in his care.

Those charges related to events in March 2016 when a concerned member of the public reported seemingly abandoned ponies on land at Burnside to Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council.

On investigation of the complaint, an Animal Welfare Officer found three ponies belonging to Mr Henry on wasteland near Burnside in Craigavon.


Mark Henry with a horse

Mark Henry with a horse

Mark Henry with a horse

According to a council statement at the time they found one young, extremely thin pony was lying on its side in a distressed state.

Following an examination by a veterinary surgeon, the pony was deemed to be suffering and was put to sleep to prevent any further suffering.

The two other ponies at the location were tethered with no access to suitable food or water. On the advice of the veterinary surgeon, the ponies were removed by the council to prevent them suffering.

Mr Henry was fined £600 and was banned from keeping animals for 10 years. The magistrate awarded costs to the council of £1,950 and £17 court fees.

After the case ended the then Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, Alderman Gareth Wilson, welcomed the Court’s ruling saying: “It saddens me greatly to hear of cases of the mistreatment of animals in our society.

"I am glad that the Court has reflected the seriousness of this case by disqualifying Mr Henry from keeping animals for 10 years and I am content that council continues to operate a rigorous enforcement policy to ensure that those who cause animals to suffer are brought before the courts.

“I would urge the public to continue to be vigilant and report any suspected cases of mistreatment or cruelty to domestic animals and equines to our Animal Welfare team."


Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices