A Lisburn man wept in court yesterday as he was charged with kicking his 15-week-old puppy to death.
Appearing in the dock of the city's Magistrates Court, 24-year-old Marcus Sarre continually wiped away tears and shook with emotion as he was charged with causing unnecessary suffering to a dog on April 14 this year.
He was also charged with having class B cannabis.
Giving evidence to the court, a police constable said he believed he could connect Sarre to the offence, adding that in any event, the defendant had made "full admissions" during police interviews.
He said police were objecting to bail as police feared he would commit further offences because "he had another animal in the house".
District Judge John Ranaghan asked: "What did he do to this animal" and the officer told him, "he has kicked the dog and it's died, that's the long and short of it".
The judge declined the officer's offer to go into further details about the incident, but the constable revealed that it had been a small, 15-week-old mongrel puppy.
The court heard officers were called by neighbours who heard someone "in distress" believing it was a domestic type incident.
However, when they arrived, they discovered that it was Sarre himself who was in a distressed state.
A small amount of cannabis was also found and the constable confirmed Sarre may have consumed some before he kicked the puppy.
Under cross examination from defence barrister Damien Halloran, the constable confirmed that Sarre had been "very distressed" during police interviews when he had made "full admissions and expressed remorse".
"What he has said is that he had consumed substances, was angry and struck the dog," Mr Halloran told the court. "He didn't mean to harm or kill the dog."
Having told the court that Sarre's other dog has now been safely re-homed already, the lawyer said "this is a very sad state of affairs".
Mr Halloran said Sarre "is considerably distressed even now about what happened in that house over the weekend...and he will have to face the courts' punishment for it".
He submitted however the incident happened "in circumstances of his mental health" and with a psychiatric assessment to be carried out as soon as possible, Sarre "just snapped....it's an unusual, strange and distressing aberration on this man's record".
Judge Ranaghan told the weeping defendant he was minded, "with a heavy heart, to grant bail" as his mental health had played a role in the offence.
The judge declared: "It's a disgusting incident, regardless of any breakdown or aberration or whatever, it's very distressing.
"Be warned now, breach any condition and you will be spending your time on remand," Judge Ranaghan told Sarre.
Among the conditions, Sarre is barred from drinking in public and from having contact with any animal.
He is due back in court on May 14.