Sunday Life

| 14.9°C Belfast

Dog killer warned he will go to jail if he doesn’t give up drugs

Judge gives thug Keegan (27) ultimatum 


Kyle Keegan

Kyle Keegan

Cross-breed puppy Sparky

Cross-breed puppy Sparky

Keegan at a previous hearing

Keegan at a previous hearing


Kyle Keegan

An alcoholic druggie who was so out of it that he can’t remember beating a defenceless puppy to death has been warned to stop taking drugs “or go to jail”.

Kyle Keegan (27) was due to be sentenced for possession of the class C prescription drug pregabalin in July last year.

He was caught with a handful of tablets in his pocket when cops stopped a car in which he was a passenger.

Craigavon Magistrates Court was told that, according to the probation pre-sentence report (PSR), Keegan is still abusing cannabis on a daily basis and had turned up for interview “unsteady on his feet”, blaming medication prescribed by his doctor for his condition.

Hearing Keegan is now working for a scaffolding firm, the judge said if that were the case, “he would be a danger to himself and other co-workers”.

“I don’t accept the explanation provided to probation, because I think that any GP who would be prescribing any prescribed medication to the extent it renders you in the shape you were in when you went to probation, especially given your job at work, I doubt if they would do that,” said District Judge Bernie Kelly. A defence lawyer said Keegan had “taken his first steps” to halting his drug abuse and being a productive member of society by holding down a job, suggesting that the case “may be appropriate for a deferral”.

Keegan, from Gilpins Manor in Lurgan, made headlines three years ago when he was jailed for 15 months for killing cross-breed puppy Sparky.

He claimed he had “no memory” of using a claw hammer to smash the skull of the 11-week-old dog in February 2018.

Keegan had consumed “very substantial amounts” of alcohol and drugs while at a party at the home of Ellen Hoy in Ailsbury Park in Lurgan.

While she went to visit her dad, leaving Sparky in his crate in the front hallway, Keegan armed himself with a hammer and bludgeoned the dog to death.

It was that blood spattering coupled with DNA evidence that damned Keegan.

A day before he was due to go on trial, he lodged an eleventh-hour guilty plea to causing unnecessary suffering to Sparky, whose body lay undiscovered, wrapped in a plastic bag, in a black wheelie bin for two days before his distraught owner found him.

The judge branded Keegan’s actions “vile, violent, savage”.

In relation to this latest case, it was deferred until September, on the condition of “no drugs”.

“Your drug habit has to stop today and it ends completely,” the judge said.

“When I say no drugs, I mean no drugs, because even as much as a minuscule amount will render you a prison sentence.

“If you’ve managed no drugs, to stay out of trouble and I get a much more positive PSR, I’ll find a way to sentence you that does not result in the immediate loss of your liberty.”

However, Keegan was again warned if he failed on any aspect he should prepare himself for prison.

Top Videos