Wales

Chepstow man jailed for kicking his dog Diesel to death

Diesel
Image caption Staffordshire bull terrier Diesel suffered fatal injuries in the attack

A construction firm owner who kicked his pet dog to death has been jailed for the "cowardly and vicious attack".

A witness told police Matthew Benjamin, 37, kicked his Staffordshire bull terrier called Diesel up to 100 times after a drinking session at his home.

Benjamin, of Shirenewton, near Chepstow, Monmouthshire, pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to the 18-month-old dog.

He was jailed for 17 weeks and banned from keeping animals for life.

Judge David Parsons, sitting at Newport Magistrates' Court, said it had been an attack on a "harmless animal" and Benjamin had shown "no empathy for its suffering".

The court heard Benjamin was reported to police by an un-named witness who had been living with him.

"I heard him shout at the dog to stop urinating on the floor," they told officers.

"Then I heard Diesel scream and yelp. The dog seemed to be in extreme distress and pain.

"I could hear the dog being beaten repeatedly."

Image copyright Christina Thomas
Image caption Several protestors gathered for the sentencing after a social media campaign to highlight the case called "Justice for Diesel"

The court heard Benjamin said the dog was "going to die".

"I think he must have kicked the dog over 100 times. He was a lovely dog who was brutally killed for no reason," the witness told officers.

Prosecutor Paul Ricketts said when Benjamin was arrested over the 4 December attack, he told investigators he had "completely lost his head and that the red mist descended".

Andrew Twomlow, defending, said Benjamin had pleaded guilty on the basis that he only kicked Diesel six or seven times.

Benjamin, who owned a successful business called Honey Badger Construction employing up to 20 people, blamed stress for his actions.

Mr Twomlow said: "He told probation officers he was gutted and that the dog didn't deserve to die."

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