Dog was bludgeoned to death with hatchet
A MAN who brutally killed a dog with a hatchet, and then threatened to kill an NWSPCA inspector, pleaded guilty at Gorey District Court to charges of animal cruelty and producing an article in the course of a dispute.
A man who brutally killed a dog with a hatchet, and then threatened to kill an NWSPCA inspector, pleaded guilty at Gorey District Court to charges of animal cruelty and producing an article in the course of a dispute.
However, reporting restrictions were placed on the case after the man said he feared for the safety of his wife and children, following comments posted online alongside previous reporting on the case.
The man faced the charges arising out of an incident at a house in the Riverchapel area on February 14 last year.
Gardaí were called to the house following a report of a man who lived there having killed a dog using a hatchet. He then threatened an NWSPCA Inspector with a crowbar, saying he would kill her if she called the gardaí. She was terrified.
The defendant told gardaí he was putting down the dog to 'put it out of its misery.' Inspector Seán Clince said it was obvious the dog had suffered.
He told Judge John Lindsay that the defendant had previous convictions and was supposed to be of good behaviour as a suspended sentence was hanging over him, following an earlier case in Portlaoise Circuit Court.
Solicitor Tom Honan said his client had a troubled background, but admitted culpability. He explained that the defendant had a drug problem, and this influenced his behaviour.
'His recollection of the circumstances surrounding both of the incidents wasn't clear, which I think would relate to his substance abuse,' he said.
He told the court the defendant is a married man with young children. 'The issue of the dog is completely out of character for him,' he commented. 'Despite what happened, he is a dog lover and has had a dog all his life. This is down to his drug abuse.'
Judge Lindsay agreed to his request for a Probation Report.
Because the matter of the suspended sentence now has to be dealt with, he was remanded on bail to Portlaoise Circuit Court on February 25 next.
Mr. Honan then said that following previous reporting of the case, the defendant was concerned for the safety of his family. He said that he received certain threats. 'There are concerns for his wife and children,' he said.
He handed in an example of a comment made online. Inspector Clince was shown the document and said 'obviously I wouldn't want to see any harm come to anybody,' he stated.