Wiltshire

Trowbridge dog hanging pair given suspended jail terms

Woolpack Meadows road sign Image copyright Google
Image caption The dog was hanged at a home in Woolpack Meadows, Trowbridge in January

A man and woman involved in the hanging of a dog at a house in Wiltshire have both been given suspended jail terms.

Jon Allen, 27, had pleaded guilty to jointly causing suffering to the dog called Shandy by hanging.

Shandy's owner, Veronica Reid, 42, had pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting the hanging at her home in Trowbridge.

Paul Brown, 52, who had pleaded guilty to the joint charge did not show up at Salisbury Magistrates' Court and a warrant was issued for his arrest.

The court previously heard Allen and Brown hanged the Collie-type dog because Reid did not want to pay to have it put down.

Allen was sentenced to 23 weeks in prison suspended for 18 months and 300 hours community service.

Reid was sentenced to 18 weeks in prison suspended for 18 months and put on a curfew for six months.

Both were banned from keeping animals for 10 years.

'Hoisted by a noose'

At an earlier hearing, the court heard Reid, of Woolpack Meadows, had inherited the dog from an ex-boyfriend.

Allen, also of Woolpack Meadows, and Brown, of Okehampton Road, Exeter, visited a vet in Trowbridge on 17 January to ask about having the dog put down because of its behaviour.

The vet told them they would need to bring the dog in to be assessed the next day, but noted they appeared concerned at the financial cost.

Sarah Wood, prosecuting on behalf of the RSPCA, said: "Instead, the three defendants took matters into their own hands. And, the prosecution say, at the instigation and encouragement of Miss Reid, decided to hang the dog the next day."

She said the dog was hoisted by a noose around its neck from a rope hanging from the attic and took five to 10 minutes to die.

Cost swayed decision

Brown, she said, checked to see if the dog was dead and punched and kicked the animal to the head to be sure.

Nick Redhead, defending Reid, said the dog had bitten visitors to Reid's home and had to be kept in a cage a lot of the time.

He said the cost of having the dog put down had swayed their decision as Reid felt it was "beyond her finances".

RSPCA Inspector Miranda Albinson said: "I've never dealt with dog hanging before - why anyone would ever think this is appropriate is beyond me.

"If people need to have a dog euthanised for whatever reason we would urge them to speak to a vet and get a payment plan or contact a charity who may be able to help them.

"To cause an animal to suffer in such a horrendous way is unacceptable."

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