RSPCA: Two North East men jailed for ‘gross cruelty’ to dog

Two men from the North East have been jailed after causing ‘gross cruelty and tremendous suffering’ to a dog that had already been bit by a car. The dog’s owner failed to get veterinary attention for her and tied chopsticks to her broken leg before his friends tried to kill her.

The two men stood on the six-month-old lurcher-type dog and forced her back legs over her head, breaking her neck. She was stabbed several times with a potato peeler and then dumped on a grass verge to die.

Kevin Stuart Varty (D.O.B 20.4.68) of Magdelen Place, Ferryhill and Andrew Painter (D.O.B 30.8.78) of Church Close, Kirk Merrington, Spennymoor were sentenced at Newton Aycliffe Magistrates Court yesterday (Monday 1 August). They were jailed for 18 weeks and banned from keeping animals for life.

The sentencing of owner, Kieran Wynn (D.O.B 19.2.93) of Hallgarth Terrace, Ferryhill, was adjourned until 2pm on Monday 22 August at Newton Aycliffe Magistrates Court.

RSPCA inspector Claire Wilson said: “What happened to this dog is utterly horrific. It’s difficult to comprehend what she went through firstly after being hit by a car and receiving no treatment and then during the ordeal that followed.

“The fact that she has survived and continues to be very loving towards people is unbelievable and a testament to everyone who has helped her along the way.”

‘Maggie May’, as she’s been named, was found collapsed on Lanark Terrace, Ferryhill, by a member of the public on Sunday 6 March. They called the RSPCA and police who picked her up and took her to a veterinary surgery.

The court heard that the dog had been run over at around 8pm on Saturday night (5 March), just hours after Wynn bought her, and that he couldn’t afford vet treatment so tied chopsticks to her broken leg with red lace and Sellotape. The leg was later amputated. Friends Varty and Painter visited his home the following day and decided to kill her.

Wynn pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to Maggie May by failing to provide her with veterinary care following a road traffic accident at a hearing on 7 July. Varty and Painter admitted causing unnecessary suffering by subjecting her to physical trauma resulting in a fractured neck. Painter also admitted causing unnecessary suffering by repeatedly stabbing her with a potato peeler.

In mitigation, the court heard that Wynn, Varty and Painter regretted their actions. Wynn said he rang the vet and though he didn’t have the money to get the dog treated at the time was intending taking her when he did. Varty said that he felt he was putting her out of her misery. Painter said his judgement was impaired by alcohol.

In a statement, veterinary evidence said: “To withhold veterinary treatment…and then inflict a broken neck on this dog along with the skin wounds was an act of gross cruelty and caused tremendous suffering for this dog”. It added that even with veterinary care once she was brought in she suffered for nearly four weeks until her injuries healed.

RSPCA inspector Wilson said: “Whatever their motivation, there can be no excusing what these men did to this dog and the sentence passed reflects that. I hope it will prevent any other animals from suffering because of their actions, or lack of them, in future.”

Maggie May has been living with RSPCA fosterers since being discharged from the vets. She was signed over to the RSPCA after the previous hearing last month and has now been permanently rehomed with them.


Notes to editors:

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