RSPCA: Suspended jail sentence for man who was filmed beating dog

Hit her around 30 times with vacuum cleaner nozzle

Tuesday 17 September 2013

A man from Middleton who was filmed repeatedly beating his dog with a vacuum cleaner nozzle has been given a suspended jail sentence.

Richard Haye Stewart (D.O.B 22.07.77) of Winster Drive appeared at Bury Magistrates Court this morning (Tuesday 17 September 2013).

He pleaded guilty to, on a day between 13 March 2013 and 28 May 2013, causing unnecessary suffering to a female white and brindle American bulldog called 'Peggy' by inflicting multiple blunt force trauma.

RSPCA deputy chief inspector Ben Strangwood said: “The footage is shocking to watch. It shows Stewart hitting Peggy over and over whilst she cowers against a wall. He is obviously hurting her and she is crying out in pain. He laughs into the camera and asks the person filming if that’s enough, what about this one, then throws the nozzle at her.”

The RSPCA attended Stewart’s address on 31 May after the footage was passed to us by a concerned member of the public. Peggy was seized by police and placed in RSPCA care where she has been ever since.

Stewart was sentenced to eight weeks in jail suspended for 18 months and banned from keeping any animals for five years. He was also ordered to pay £2,004.00 in costs at £50 a month and £80 victim surcharge.

In mitigation the court heard that he was very remorseful and had pleaded guilty at the first opportunity.

RSPCA deputy chief inspector Strangwood said: “This was a vicious, unnecessary and unprovoked attack on a sweet-natured dog.

“Stewart has shown remorse and said his actions sickened him and the courts have dealt with it in an appropriate manner.

“The District Judge has said that behaviour towards defenceless animals such as this will not be tolerated by the courts.”

Three-year-old Peggy was signed over to the RSPCA this morning and she can now be re-homed. Anyone who would like to find out more about her should call RSPCA Warrington, Halton & St Helen’s branch animal centre on 01925 632944.

To help the RSPCA continue to do our necessary work please text HELP to 78866 to give £3 (Text costs £3 + one standard network rate message).




Notes to editors

  Photographs and footage are available, please contact Leanne Plumtree by emailing

  RSPCA inspector Strangwood is available for further comment at limited times only

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