Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Police officers caught on camera kicking pet dogs

Two police officers who kicked and beat their pet dogs were yesterday warned they could face jail.

PC Craig Neil Macleod, 34, and PC Anja Mason, 29, from Prestatyn, were filmed repeatedly hitting their border collie pup called Tess and their four-year-old rottweiler, Snoopy.

A neighbour captured shocking footage of the pair using “unnecessary and excessive” violence over a month-long period, during which the court heard the animals suffered “mental terror”.

In one shot, Mason is seen kicking the four-month-old puppy before flinging it in the air by the scruff of its neck.

In another, Macleod drags the rottweiler towards him by its lead before hitting it on the head.

He also forcefully kicks a dog toy, which hits Tess. In another clip the collie is seen running away as Mason chases it with a stick.

Yelps of distress from both dogs can be heard on the tape.

On separate occasions the pair are seen to throw water over the dogs. Yesterday, Macleod pleaded guilty to two counts of causing unnecessary suffering by subjecting both animals to physical trauma.

Mason admitted one count of the same charge against the collie. Four other charges against the pair were dropped because of lack of evidence.

There were gasps in the court room when 20 minutes of edited footage was shown of the cruelty.

In one clip the puppy is struck and kicked after it pulls an item of washing off the line.

Some of the abuse takes place out of sight of the camera but the animal’s cries can clearly be heard.

Glenn Murphy, prosecuting, said: “When the footage was shown to the RSPCA, they took the view that the treatment of the dogs was of considerable concern and was excessive and totally unacceptable.”

The pair claimed they were trying to train their pets but admitted they had chastised them.

After a veterinary report, they signed over the animals, which have now been given new homes. Vet David Martin said Tess is “desperate for attention” in the clips and adds “these actions are not those of competent and humane animal carers.”

But Joanne Stephens, defending, said Macleod and Mason stood to lose their jobs as serving officers for North Wales Police.

Chair of the bench Wendy Gibbs said a custodial sentence could not be ruled out after they found no mitigating factors.

She said: “There were several incidents of deliberate ill treatment which was frightening to both dogs. You intentionally caused pain and suffering and mental terror to both dogs and risked injury by kicking them.”

North Wales Police said both serving constables have been removed from frontline duties pending the outcome of the case.

The couple will next appear before magistrates in Denbigh on November 25.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lock these sick bastards up with only Big Bertha for company. Oh, and throw the key away.emast

Wed Feb 25, 01:41:00 pm GMT  

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