Herne Bay man banned from keeping dogs for five years after attacking Staffordshire bull terrier
A man who punched and kicked his Staffordshire bull terrier on Herne Bay seafront has been banned from keeping dogs for five years.
Sean O’Rourke, of Gilchrist Avenue, Herne Bay, admitted attacking his dog Moo near the Kings Hall in Beacon Hill on December 30 last year.
Canterbury magistrates this morning heard how the 22-year-old punched and kicked the animal with such force residents were alerted to his yelps and howls.
Sean O'Rourke tries to avoid reporters outside court this morning
Wayne Oxford looked out of his window to see O’Rourke punching the dog on the head.
Juliet Dack, who at the time was walking her dog on the grassy downs at Beacon Hill, reported seeing O’Rourke kicking the dog several times to the side of the body.
The two witnesses followed O’Rourke up the hill, Mr Oxford having called police on his mobile phone.
The pair confronted him when he later appeared out of a house in Glen Avenue without terrier Moo, which is white with black markings “like a cow”.
“Don’t worry he’s a rescue dog and I’m training him,” O’Rourke told police officers. “He was being a bit of a git.”
The dog was seized by RSPCA inspectors and taken to a vet’s.
Sean O'Rourke leaving court
The vet could find no signs of injury but explained that bruises do not necessarily show up on such dogs due to their thick skin.
O’Rourke, who had previously denied the assault, this morning changed his plea and admitted the offence before magistrates.
Solicitor Rowland Jenkins, prosecuting, said: “For reasons best known to himself, Mr O’Rourke lost his temper and took it out on the dog.”
Will Nelson, defending, told magistrates that Moo had been in the care of O’Rourke since 2011 when he was a puppy.
“There is no suggestion whatsoever that during that period of ownership the dog had been anything other than well cared for,” he said.
Mr Nelson added that on the day in question Moo had refused to be put back on his lead so his client had struck the dog.
Canterbury Magistrates' Court
The dog’s behaviour that day was “the last straw” for his client, he said, as it had happened shortly after the breakdown of his relationship and when he was about to be made homeless.
Moo will remain in the care of the RSPCA as he has been since the incident on December 30.
O’Rourke, who has previous convictions for criminal damage and battery and who in 2011 spent time in prison for assaulting a police officer, cannot now own, borrow or have anything to do with the care of any dog for five years.
Magistrates also ordered him to pay 10 per cent of the costs of the RSPCA case, or £727.22. He was also fined £267 including a victim surcharge.
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