Belfast Telegraph

Tests ongoing to show if puppy was put in microwave, court hears

By Alan Erwin

Tests are continuing in a bid to establish if a puppy allegedly battered to death with a hammer was also put in a microwave, the High Court was told.

Prosecutors confirmed the ongoing investigations as a man accused of inflicting the fatal injuries mounted a bid for renewed bail.

Kyle Keegan, 23, is charged with causing unnecessary suffering to the 11-week-old pet, named Sparky, on February 3 this year.

The dog's remains were found in a bin following the suspected attack at a drink and drug-fuelled house party in the Ailsbury Park area of Lurgan, Co Armagh.

A postmortem confirmed the pup had sustained a number of fractures as well as severe brain trauma.

Police went to the scene of the alleged killing after being alerted to concerns about the dog.

The animal's remains were seized along with a blood-spattered T-shirt said to belong to Keegan.

A blood-stained hammer which had allegedly been hidden behind a kitchen appliance was also taken for further examination.

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Accused: Kyle Keegan

Keegan, a scaffolder from Gilpins Manor in the town, was previously granted bail but returned to custody for allegedly breaching his conditions.

Opposing his latest bid to be released, Crown lawyer Conor Maguire set out how the investigation developed when a 16-year-old youth went to police expressing fear for his safety due to social media posts linking him to the incident.

The youth claimed he had heard a loud noise while at the flat on the day of the alleged attack, the court heard.

"He said he went out to the hallway and saw the applicant (Keegan) with a hammer in his hand and blood on it," Mr Maguire submitted.

"He said he walked away but heard more bangs and a yelp."

Lord Justice Treacy was told police believe there is a forensic link between Keegan, the hammer and the dead animal.

Mr Maguire added: "There was an allegation which is currently subject to investigation, that the dog had been placed in a microwave.

"There are forensic investigations ongoing to see if any determination can be made in relation to that."

Adjourning the hearing, the judge requested information on whether Keegan had complied with a previous requirement to attend his GP.

Lord Justice Treacy also told defence lawyers he wanted more information on about a job Keegan had been expected to start.

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