Five-year ban for owner who strangled dog

PET BAN.... David Short was convicted of cruel acts on Marley, below.
PET BAN.... David Short was convicted of cruel acts on Marley, below.

A MAN who hurled his pet dog into the road during a booze-fuelled attack in South Tyneside has been banned from owning animals for five years after narrowly avoiding jail.

David Short, 25, also tried to strangle the puppy, called Marley, and admitted he wanted to ‘kill the dog’ before being arrested by police on October 28, 2011.

Short was convicted of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal and failing to ensure its needs were met at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court last month, but failed to turn up to the hearing.

He was due to be sentenced at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court on Friday, but instead he was sentenced at Peterlee Magistrates’ Court yesterday.

The incident took place at about 5.30pm at Lumley Terrace, Jarrow, and was witnessed by Short’s ex partner, who tried to take the dog from him before he threw it into the road.

Judith Curry, prosecuting for the RSPCA, said: “The dog was found cowering and shivering on the pavement. The police said Short was slurring words, his eyes were glazed and he smelt strongly of intoxicating liquor.

“He had said ‘I want to kill the dog’.

“Short had picked Marley up and threw him into the road, narrowly missing a parked car.”

The court heard that Short had also placed the dog on his knees and squeezed its neck.

Marley, a Staffordshire bull terrier, who was seven months old at the time, was taken to a vet and found to have reddening on the neck, which could have come from strangulation.

He did not have any bruising or cuts, but the vet reported he was underweight and undernourished.

Gavin Sword, defending, said: “This is not a pleasant offence and not something he is flippant or amused about.

“David Short lost both parents at a young age, his mother at 15 and his dad died two years later.

“Since the age of 15, he has abused alcohol. He is a young man who has some difficulties.

“He doesn’t want to be reliant on six litres of cider a day to function, but it doesn’t happen overnight.”

Tony Thompson, chairman of the magistrates, said: “Based on the evidence we have heard, the offence is so serious that only custody is applicable.

“We are prepared to suspend this term of imprisonment for 12 months.

“You will be given a supervision order for 12 months, with an alcohol treatment requirement for six months.

“We’ve taken a chance here, setting you free again.

“I have to say, if you come before court, it won’t be so good for you. This will probably be your last chance.”

Short, of Bow Street in Bowburn, County Durham, was given a 12-week sentence for causing unnecessary suffering to an animal, with a two-week sentence for failing to ensure the needs of an animal were met, to run concurrently.

Both sentences were suspended for 12 months.

He was also sentenced for two separate charges of failing to comply with community orders.

Short was also given a 12-month community supervision order, with an alcohol treatment requirement of six months.

Short was disqualified from owning animals for five years, and cannot return to court to try to amend that term for three years. He was also ordered to pay court costs of £80.

After the sentencing, RSPCA inspector Claire Hunt said: “This was an absolutely shocking and deliberate case of cruelty for which there can be no excuse.

“I am extremely pleased that he has been banned from keeping an animal as this is the only way to protect others in future.

“Happily, the dog was signed over to the RSPCA and rehomed.”

Twitter: @shieldsgazchris