Under fire Doncaster rooster rescue accused of keeping cash raised for paralysed woman
A controversial Doncaster animal sanctuary at the centre of animal neglect allegations has been accused of keeping cash raised for a woman left paralysed in a riding accident.
Bentley’s Rooster Farm and Rescue closed its doors last week amid a series of allegations and accusations from opponents accusing its owners of animal neglect as well as threats and initimidation.
Owners Aaron McIntrye and Jodie Swann have been accused of failing to hand over £400 after organising a fundraiser for mum of two Louise Evans, who suffered life changing injuries when she was seriously injured falling from a horse earlier this year.
Now the woman’s angry uncle Lee Winchester has demanded answers from the pair who have also sent the Free Press a number of threatening messages since details of the farm’s closure broke.
He said: “My niece is now severely disabled and still in rehabilitation.
"These two have taken all of the money raised and kept it for themselves.
"We've given them the benefit of the doubt but they've now deleted their Facebook accounts and have kept giving excuse after excuse.
"It has become totally apparently they have done a runner with the money.”
Rider Louise was paralysed from the chest down on May 10 when the young horse she was riding reared violently.
Her mum Nicola said: “She got on him and sorted everything out, then asked him to walk on and he just went ballistic.
"He threw himself to the side, then threw his head about so fast, he smashed her in the face.
“She raised her hand to her face and as she did, he just shot up in the air, bolt upright. Normally, she’d have leaned forwards and held on but because she’d just been smacked in the face, she came off backwards. He’s a big Irish horse and she didn’t stand a chance; she had a back protector on but it was the angle she landed at.
“As soon as she landed, my gut instinct said this was a game-changer.”
Louise was taken to hospital, where she underwent a 12-hour operation and was placed in an induced coma and on a ventilator.
She is currently undergoing treatment at the National Spine Injuries Centre at Stoke Mandeville Hospital.
Nicola added: “Lou said she’s looking at it like ‘I’m in a wheelchair, and if anything comes back, that’s a bonus. I was told it’s highly unlikely she will walk again.”
Added Mr Winchester: “Jodie was an old school friend of Louise's and heard about her accident through Facebook.
"They said that they would run raffles for her to raise money. Aaron said the money accidentally got paid into their own account. It’s been an absolute nightmare.”
“We gave them the benefit of the doubt, but this went on for ages excuse after excuse why they couldn't pay the money.
"It just became apparent after the abusive messages that Louise was not getting any of the raffle money that was raised for her.”
The sanctuary closed its doors last week and Mr McInytre said he was going to donate all its animals to nearby Manor Estate Farm – but that sanctuary said they had had no direct dealings with him and called in police after threats were made.
A spokesman for Manor Estate Farm said: “We haven't been approached by Rooster Farm directly.
"We have been told by a third party they have made threats against us and have gained advice from South Yorkshire Police.
"Rooster Farm have always said we have made trouble for them and they seem to think there was a rivalry between us which is total nonsense.
Animal health experts from Doncaster Council have been called in while the owners of Rooster Farm are understood to have been reported to both the RSPCA and South Yorkshire Police by critics who have accused them of animal neglect as well as threats and intimidation.
Opponents who have accused Mr McIntyre and partner Jodie Kincaid say they have received threatening and abusive messages with one reportedly from Mr McIntyre reading: “I’m not one to be f***** with.”
After details of the story broke, Mr McIntrye claimed an angry mob had left him fearing for his safety after descending on his house. However, South Yorkshire Police have confirmed that they have received no reports of disorder or public order offences at any address connected with Mr McIntyre.
Numerous opponents of the farm have revealed screenshots to the Free Press of threatening and abusive messages said to be from the pair.
It is also understood an eviction notice has been served on an allotment used by the rooster sanctuary at Pipering Lane in Bentley, which was set up in 2019 with the aim of rescuing chickens, ducks and other birds.
A number of threatening emails and Facebook messages have also been sent to the Free Press since the story broke.
In response to an email approaching Mr McInytre for comment on the farm’s closure, he wrote: “I have told the police about your email and have also told the specialist slander solicitors – and if any of our information is shared we are in our right to sue you personally and your newspaper.
"I will have to pop into your office and speak to you face to face. I’m coming down to your office.
"What you’re doing is an act of bullying and harassment.”
Another message, supposedly from a relative of the couple read: “Oi listen you little p**** who the f*** do you think you are slagging the rescue off?
"These are lovely people and now you are slagging us off we have had to close the rescue. You will get what’s coming to you.”
Mr McIntrye has not responded to an email asking for a response in relation to the allegations about failing to hand over the money.
A new fundraising page has been set up to help Louise. You can donate HERE