Northern Ireland

Staffordshire bull terrier dog kicked and put in bin

A man has received a two month suspended jail term for kicking a dog and throwing it in an industrial bin.

Mark Bellringer, 36, claimed he feared the Staffordshire Bull Terrier-type dog would impregnate and kill his own dog.

The injured animal was recovered from the skip in south Belfast and treated for abdominal bruising.

Bellringer, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to a charge of cruelly beating the dog at Ireton Street on Monday.

Belfast Magistrates Court heard he was arrested after a resident saw him delivering a kick to the dog, lifting it and throwing it in the bin.

A defence lawyer said Bellringer had been in the area with his own pets, a Jack Russell and a Rottweiler pup.

It was claimed that he acted in self-defence because the other dog was running loose about the Botanic area and harassing his animals.

Harassed

"He was aware that if his dog was impregnated by the Staffordshire that would effectively kill his dog in terms of the pups produced," the lawyer said.

"He tried to put his dog in a telephone box (but) the dog got in there as well."

Bellringer was described as an animal lover who later went back to the bin, only to discover the Staffordshire had been taken.

His solicitor added: "This came about as a result of his own dog not being attacked but by being persistently harassed by this other dog, which forced him to take this action.

"He has to accept he went much further with regard to that."

The defendant, said to lead a nomadic lifestyle at times, had been in Botanic trying to make money, the court was told.

District Judge Fiona Bagnall remarked: "The lesson may be don't take your dog with you."

She ruled that the offence passed the custody threshold.

But taking into account his early plea of guilt, the judge ordered that the two months prison sentence should be suspended for a year.