Belfast Telegraph

Ex-Polish soldier shot dog in head, Tyrone court told

By Staff Reporter

A former member of Polish special forces has been remanded in custody, accused of breaking into his ex-partner's home and shooting her dog in the head.

The woman returned to the property to find it covered in blood, with the dog in a gruesome state and barely alive.

Slawomir Marcim Pazera (36) of Knockmenagh, Craigavon, is accused of entering the home in Dungannon as a trespasser on September 4 with intent to do damage or cause injury while armed with a weapon.

He is further charged with causing unnecessary suffering to the dog.

A detective told Dungannon Magistrates' Court that the charges could be connected.

Objecting to bail, the detective explained the woman called police after returning to her home on the evening in question to find it covered in faeces and blood.

The animal had two wounds to its head, but was still alive. The victim called her vet, who said they believed the pet had been shot. The dog's injuries were so severe it had to be put to sleep.

The remains were removed for a specialist post-mortem to determine the cause of the injuries, but the report has yet to be filed.

The woman said she and Pazera had until recently been in a relationship, but he could not accept it was over.

After he was arrested, the defendant, who denies all charges, admitted going to the property, but said he could not get in so he went to his home in Craigavon.

The detective objected to bail, telling the court he feared Pazera could contact his former partner.

"He has expressed anger management issues and on a previous occasion, whilst in a hospital setting, disclosed thoughts of wanting to hurt his then partner," he said. "He also approached victims in another matter and threatened them not to attend court."

A defence barrister said that despite no weapon being found and no gunshot being heard, his client had been swabbed for firearms residue. The results have yet to be returned.

He also claimed the dog had been "sick and apparently dying", adding that, after serving in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kosovo, his client had developed post-traumatic stress disorder.

"This is causing him difficulty in a custodial setting," the barrister said. "He is willing to abide by any conditions including tagging, a curfew and exclusion from Dungannon."

But District Judge John Meehan rejected any question of release.

"This is a sinister, highly dangerous situation" the judge said.

"The relationship could only be described as toxic and there is an issue over the vulnerability of the victim. One must assure safety above all."

Pazera was remanded in custody to appear again at the same court by video-link later this month.

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