South Scotland

Man who kicked Jack Russell to death avoids jail

A 32-year-old man who punched and kicked a Jack Russell terrier to death has avoided a prison term.

Matthew Hammond, of Carlisle, admitted causing unnecessary suffering to the two-year-old dog at Thomas Telford Street in Langholm last July.

Sheriff Brian Mohan told him he regarded it as extremely cruel behaviour.

He imposed a community payback order and banned Hammond from keeping any animals for three years.

Dumfries Sheriff Court heard how the squealing of the distressed pet had been heard in nearby houses.

The police were alerted after Hammond was seen dragging the dog along the street.

'Thoroughly ashamed'

Officers later traced him to a caravan where the dead pet was lying on a blanket on the floor and arranged. A post-mortem examination was then ordered.

Solicitor Vicki Urquhart said the incident had had a "catastrophic" effect on Hammond's working life.

He has left his job involving horses and had also given up ownership of a horse and had no contact with animals of any kind.

She said: "Despite the offence, he had cared deeply for animals and was thoroughly ashamed and distressed."

Ms Urquhart said Hammond accepted that the attack was clearly the result of alcohol and had taken steps to address the problem.

The sheriff ordered Hammond be under supervision for 12 months and carry out 200 hours unpaid work.

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