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'Fantasy' life of dog killing accused

Animal rights protest as court told about cruelty suspect's history of psychiatric issues

By Paul Higgins

A Co Down man accused of killing a dog and feeding it to another has "a history of fantasy", a court has heard.

Newtownards Magistrates Court also heard that 27-year-old William Mocsari had received inpatient psychiatric treatment "a number of times".

Mocsari, from Rodden Street in Kircubbin, faces three separate sets of charges alleging that he drove while banned and without insurance on December 1. It is also alleged he caused unnecessary suffering to a dog on December 3, and on December 7 Mocsari is alleged to have driven while banned, without insurance, and had a knife and class C drug diazepam in his possession.

When Mocsari appeared via video-link last Friday a police officer recounted how colleagues found "traces of dog fur" in the fireplace at Mocsari's home after he allegedly confessed to his social worker that he had obtained a collie dog advertised as "free to good home" - but then used its lead to strangle it before skinning the animal, cooking it and feeding it to his own dog.

When he first appeared in court on December 8, District Judge Mark Hamill made an order that the accused be psychiatrically assessed within 14 days and a report produced.

Since that report had not been forthcoming, District Judge Hamill ordered Mocsari to be produced from jail yesterday and for someone of seniority to appear "to explain to this court why the order has been ignored".

Yesterday, Maghaberry Prison Governor Steven Davis said he "can only but apologise" for the report having been served just in the last two days.

He explained that producing such psychiatric reports "is now outsourced to the South Eastern Health Trust".

While Mocsari had been brought to court from the prison, his solicitor Darren Duncan said he did not think there was any reason to have the defendant physically brought into the dock.

"I gather that there was animal rights protesters here," said Judge Hamill, who highlighted "the small detail of the fact that he has not been convicted of anything yet".

"The other detail is that this is a man with the possibility of a mental vulnerability, so I want him to be protected. I do not want him subjected to protest or the risk of protest, so keep him in the cells."

The case was adjourned to February 10, when Mocsari will appear via video-link.

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