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Pictured: Man who beat injured pet puppy to death with two hammers

Dog's battered body found in bin.

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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.

This is the man who beat his injured dog to death with two hammers rather than take it to the vet.

John Boyle killed his Staffordshire bull terrier after it was hit by a car, but he claimed it had been taken away to a farm.

The 54-year-old confessed when animal welfare officers from Belfast City Council found the dog's battered body in his bin.

A source told Sunday Life the dog was discovered at his then north Belfast home in November 2017 following a tip-off.

Officers went to the house after being called by a concerned neighbour who had seen Boyle with the ailing pet and who was worried he would not seek proper care for its injuries.

When Boyle was questioned about the whereabouts of the pup, he said a friend had taken it away to a farmhouse in the countryside. But when his house and yard were searched, the body of the dog and two bloodied hammers were discovered.

He then admitted killing his pet and said he couldn't afford to take it to the vet.

Boyle, who now lives on the Springfield Road in the west of the city, was charged with a single count of causing unnecessary suffering to a dog on November 23, 2017.

At Belfast Departmental Magistrates Court last week, he admitted the charge and the case was adjourned for sentencing on March 3.

When approached at his flat, Boyle told Sunday Life he didn't want to talk about the case as it was "being dealt with through the courts".

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."

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