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Northern Ireland drug smuggler Milliken has week to find home for death row dog

By Paul Higgins

A convicted drug smuggler is to try to have one of his pit bull-type dogs rehomed, a court has been told.

Previously Antrim Magistrates Court heard that the PSNI was footing the bill for the ongoing care of five pit bull-type dogs - two adults and three pups.

However, a lawyer for the police yesterday revealed that all bar one adult dog had been rehomed.

He told District Judge Oonagh Mullan that it was "the worst" as regards its behaviour, and had "possibly been used as baiting" in dog fights.

Although Francis Milliken was not in court, the lawyer suggested that "maybe he could make efforts to have it rehomed", and asked for the application for the dog to be destroyed to be adjourned for a week.

Milliken (42), from Donore Crescent in Antrim, was given a four-month jail term suspended for two years.

He was also banned from keeping animals for two years after he was convicted of causing unnecessary suffering to five pit bull-type dogs - an adult male and female, two male pups and a female pup - on dates between December 1, 2015 and January 15 last year.

The court heard that when police searched an unoccupied house at Donore Crescent in Antrim's Greystone estate they found the two adult dogs in cages so small they were unable to sit, and the animals had scars and wounds.

A prosecuting lawyer told the court there were also newborn pups in another cage without water or bedding.

In all, 10 dogs were seized from Milliken, and were assessed as "extremely badly looked after".

In December 2013 Milliken was jailed after he admitted importing 5kg of class B cannabis resin. The drugs haul was found when the PSNI stopped and searched a car in Ballykelly in December the previous year.

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