Two Peterborough men appeared in court this morning to face animal welfare charges after a video of a dog being abused was posted on Facebook.
Michael Garner, 50, of Brookfurlong in Peterborough, pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to a protected animal, namely an American Bulldog called Roscoe, by punching the dog around the head.
He has been given a six week prison sentence suspended for 12 months and a four month curfew to stay at his home address between 9pm and 6am.
He has also been disqualified from keeping an animal or having control of an animal.
Thomas Garner, 47, of Brookfurlong in Peterborough, pleaded not guilty to failing to prevent unnecessary cruelty to an animal and failing to ensure the welfare of an animal.
He will face trial at Peterborough Magistrates’ Court in June.
Giles Beaumont prosecuting told the magistrates court today (Friday, February 3) that Michael Garner was seen on Facebook Live hitting the dog - owned by Thomas Garner - on or around the head at least 16 times after the dog had hold of his arm sleeve.
He said that Michael Garner “appears to sexually stimulate Roscoe with a glass object.”
Mr Beaumont added: “The dog has been goaded into this game.”
Roscoe suffered bruising to his lip as a result of the beating, and the court heard that a vet examining the American Bulldog believed he had been normalised to the treatment he suffered.
The court was shown the Facebook Live video where the punches can be seen. Pornography was also showing on a screen in the background.
The RSPCA had been alerted to the video by members of the public.
Rebecca Keogh defending said: “It’s certainly unpleasant and uncomfortable viewing.
“It’s clear he was caught up in the incident. It does not excuse that behaviour but he was very drunk.
“If he was not drunk he would not have done it.
“It was lucky he was not seriously hurt goading a dog that size.”
Sentencing, District Judge Ken Sheraton said: “To be frank I see no sense in that behaviour, drunk or not.
“I see less sense why you would put this on Facebook to show to the world. I’m surprised you’ve reached the age you have and not come to your senses.”
Michael Garner has previous convictions in the last three years of producing cannabis and domestic abuse.
He will have to pay costs totalling £200.