Belfast Telegraph

No proof Northern Ireland man skinned dog, court told

By Paul Higgins

There is no forensic evidence against a Northern Ireland man accused of killing and skinning a Collie dog, a court has heard.

William Mocsari is set to be released on bail after he supplies police with an address that raises no objections, defence barrister Chris Holmes told Newtownards Magistrates' Court yesterday.

During a bail application after the 27-year-old had been acquitted of possessing class C diazepam tablets, Mr Holmes said the only evidence the Public Prosecution Service had was "admissions" made during police interviews.

He added he intended to have the case referred to Crown Court.

Highlighting that the defendant, who stood in the dock in handcuffs, "clearly" has mental health issues, Mr Holmes said that while his client had made "full admissions, police investigated those admissions and it now transpires that there is no forensic evidence to support the existence of a dog".

Mocsari, from Rodden Street in Kircubbin, is charged with causing unnecessary suffering to a dog on December 3 last year. He is to be freed on bail once he can obtain an address that police are satisfied is appropriate, but is barred from having "custody or control of any animal".

Previous courts heard that Mocsari told his social worker and police that, having obtained a dog advertised as "free to good home", he strangled it with its lead, skinned it, cooked it and then fed it to his own Collie.

A police constable previously revealed that what could have been "traces of dog fur" were uncovered in the fireplace when the defendant's home was searched.

However, the defence contends the alleged dog killer is a "fantasist" and that this "isn't the first time that he has confessed to something that turned out to be impossible."

Dismissing the drugs charge because police had failed to disprove claims the diazepam had been prescribed, and ordering pre-sentence probation reports on two sets of driving offences and a charge of having a knife, Judge Mark Hamill lamented the fact that various animal rights groups "seem to have taken it into their heads that I have performed a role (in this case".

"All I've done is keep him in custody," he added. "I've played no role in this case whatsoever. Let's correct that and hope it permeates through their conscience because the prosecution are raising no issue about bail."

Adjourning the case until June 22, Judge Hamill granted Mocsari bail, ordered him to register with his GP "as soon as possible", barred him from having any animals and ordered him to report to police twice a week.

The defendant, who said from the dock that he believed his solicitor had already found an approved address, was told he would only be freed once police were satisfied he had a suitable residence.

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