Monday, 08 March 2021

Man who punched his dog is spared prison

A MAN from Henley who abused his dog despite claiming to be an animal lover has been spared a prison sentence.

Joshua Alexander chased and intimidated Goat, a black terrier, near his home in Queen Street Mews, Reading Magistrates’ Court heard.

The 31-year-old IT specialist had pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to the animal and failing to ensure that the needs of the dog were met.

Last Friday, he was sentenced to a 12-month community order, with nine months drug rehabilitation and 20 rehabilitation days.

The court was told Alexander had been caught on CCTV harming the dog between February 28 and March 8 last year.

He was filmed chasing Goat along an alleyway next to his home and punching it.

After viewing the footage, presiding magistrate Chloe Jeffs told Alexander that he would be spared jail for the offences, which could have merited a 51-week prison sentence. Miss Jeffs said: “This case is so serious that custody has been a strong option. We have thought long and hard about whether to send you to prison.

“We have more than 35 years’ experience on the bench and we have never seen footage as upsetting as what we have seen today when it comes to animal welfare.

“Your intimidating behaviour towards a dog who you claim to miss was cruel, mean and, frankly, quite shocking and to call yourself an animal lover is outrageous. We do not believe that you can be trusted to look after animals.”

Alexander was banned from keeping any animal and also ordered to pay £690 costs.

Goat has since been rehomed by the RSCPA.

Nikki Denham, an investigator with the charity, said: “It is upsetting to see Goat cowering in the footage.

“I would like to thank the police and witnesses for reporting the matter as without people like them, the RSPCA would struggle to bring incidents like this to the attention of the courts.”

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