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Belfast man who beat injured puppy to death with hammer jailed


John Boyle at his home in West Belfast. Picture Colm O'Reilly. Sunday Life.

John Boyle at his home in West Belfast. Picture Colm O'Reilly. Sunday Life.

John Boyle at his home in West Belfast. Picture Colm O'Reilly. Sunday Life.

A Belfast man who beat his injured dog to death with two hammers rather than take it to the vet has been jailed for six months.

John Boyle, formerly of Ardilea Court, killed his Staffordshire bull terrier after it was hit by a car in November 2017 before placing it in a wheelie bin.

He entered a guilty plea at Belfast Magistrates Court on Tuesday for causing unnecessary suffering to the animal.

Belfast City Council brought the prosecution after animal welfare officers followed up a report a dog had been knocked down by a car and injured.

Animal welfare officers attended the property and found the dog’s body.

They seized a wooden mallet and metal hammer from the property, both with evidence of dried blood on them.

As well as receiving a six month custodial sentence, Mr Boyle was banned from keeping animals for 10 years under Section 33 of the Welfare of Animals Act (Northern Ireland) 2011.

Sunday Life reported the 54-year-old originally claimed a friend had taken it away to a farmhouse in the countryside.

He only confessed to the crime after animal welfare officers found the body of the dog, saying he couldn't afford to take it to the vet.

A Belfast City Council spokesperson said: “This was a particularly extreme and harrowing case. Council is committed to thoroughly investigating all complaints around animal welfare issues.

"Council takes its duty in this regard very seriously and we trust this sentencing will serve as a warning to anyone who mistreats animals.”

Last June, a Co Armagh man was jailed after he admitted beating a 11-week-old puppy to death with a hammer and broadcasting the sickening attack online.

Kyle Keegan, from Lurgan, was given a 30-month sentence at Craigavon Crown Court for killing crossbreed pup Sparky in February 2018.

Sentencing the 24-year-old, Judge Neil Rafferty QC said the puppy's post-mortem report made for chilling reading and added: "There is little can be said that would express the horror of this small dog's death at your hands."

Belfast Telegraph